Squats are one of the most effective ways to train your legs and butt. To take them to the next level, use these TRX moves to transform your squats into more challenging variations.
TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, meaning it allows you to use your body as the resistance. TRX straps help you intensify squats without adding additional load from dumbbells, barbells, or machines.
The support of the straps makes it possible to do even the most challenging squat variations, whether you’re a beginner or advanced.
The squat can be intensified in three ways: by using one leg at a time, both legs, or by adding a jump.
Add these TRX squat variations to your fitness training to get stronger and develop more tone in your butt, legs, and core.
TRX Single Leg Squat
Single Leg exercises are always going to be harder than their two-legged counterparts. This unilateral squat variation is also known as a “pistol squat,” and it’s the hardest squat variation of them all.
Start by distancing yourself just far enough from the TRX that you can pull it straight with your arms bent and your elbows just next to your rib cage.
Stand straight up but with a slight backward lean so that there is tension on the straps.
Lift one leg off the ground and flex your foot so your toes are pointed to the ceiling.
Now start to bend your standing leg and lower your butt towards the floor.
Tip: Using your arms to pull slightly on the TRX straps as you stand up helps fill in the gaps at any point during the exercise where your leg strength is lacking. However, as you progress, you should be able to use the straps just for guidance, so that all the strength of the lift is coming only from that standing leg.
TRX Jump Squat
Jump Squats, a high intensity version of squats, are a great way to build power and strength in your lower body. They also get your heart rate up fast for a really effective cardio workout.
The TRX straps help you lean back into the squat more than if you weren’t holding on to them, which in turn ensures that your knees track right over your heels rather than beyond the front of your toes.
Start by grabbing the handles of the TRX, facing towards it.
Drop down into the squat position, making sure that your arms and back are straight, your knees form a 90-degree bend, and the pressure of your body weight is in your heels rather than your toes.
Next, jump up off the ground, as high as you can. Do not bend your arms or pull on the straps in any way.
Land softly and then repeat immediately. Aim to flex your butt and legs with every jump.
Tip: Because of the impact on your muscles and joints when landing, it’s important that you use good form and alignment when doing jump squats.
TRX Overhead Squat
You’ll be surprised how challenging this squat variation is. You need just the right amount of tension on the straps to stay vertical without tipping backward.
Start by holding the TRX handles above your head, facing away from the straps. You may have to test the distance a bit with a couple practice reps before you find just the right foot position.
Open your feet to make a wide base (wider than shoulder-width apart), and point your toes slightly outward.
Keeping your arms straight and keeping tension on the straps, squat down until you form a 90-degree bend with your knees. Your back should stay straight and your chin up.
Stand to the top and flex your butt and legs, then repeat.
Squeeze your butt and legs at the top of each rep and exhale.
TRX Single Leg Bulgarian Split Squat
I’m a big fan of this squat variation because of the immense hip flexor stretch you get at the bottom.
Bulgarian squats are also another great way of working unilaterally to increase independent strength in each leg.
Start by facing away from the straps and place one of your feet into both of the straps. Press down to create tension.
Next bend your standing leg until your knee makes a 90-degree bend.
Your back knee should be mostly straight but with a slight bend in the knee. The straighter you keep that leg, the more of a stretch you’ll feel through the front of your hip.
Pause at the bottom of each rep and make sure you press down into the ground with the heel of your front foot. Repeat for an even number of reps on each side.
TRX Single Leg Side Squat
If you want to target your inner thighs, this is the squat for you!
Place one foot into both handles of the TRX straps. Make sure your distance from the straps is enough so that there is tension in the straps while you’re standing up with both legs straight.
Squat down until your standing leg forms that 90-degree bend, and the leg in the TRX straps is parallel with the ground. You will feel a big stretch in your inner thigh.
Press down into the straps and the floor at the same time to stand straight up.
You can reach your arms out in front of you for better balance, or just hold them in front of your chest.
Pause at the bottom of each rep to really feel the stretch, and flex at the top with a big exhale.
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