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Your pectoral muscles attach your humerus to your body and work in concert with your anterior deltoids to move your arms laterally, vertically and/or rotationally, making them key players in sports as well as everyday overhead actions such as drying your hair. They also stabilize your shoulder blades, protracting and rotating them as your arms move through space.
This TRX move takes push-ups to a whole new level, adding elements of balance, stability and — above all — control to challenge your chest in all directions.
- Set the TRX loops to knee height or below, depending on your ability. (The more vertical your body angle, the easier the move.)
- Take a handle in each hand and position your shoulders over your wrists so the straps hang perpendicularly to the floor. This increases balance and helps prevent shoulder strain and/or injury.
- Because the TRX straps move independently, you have to engage your lats and serratus anterior (the finger-shaped muscles along the sides of your rib cage) to hold the straps in place, ensuring optimal muscular recruitment while preventing injury.
- Extend your legs straight behind you so your body forms a straight line, and tighten your abs and squeeze your glutes to prevent your hips from sagging.
- Bend your elbows and lower your torso between your hands. Depth will vary according to individual mobility and biomechanics, but don’t descend past the handles to protect your shoulders.
- Extend your arms forcefully, but not explosively, to rise to the start; you don’t want to swing around on the TRX and break form.
- Throughout the move, keep your entire spine — including your head and neck — in a straight, neutral position. Don’t drop your chin to look at your feet or raise your head to look forward.
- You can do a TRX push-up with your feet in the cradles rather than your hands, but this becomes more of a core and glute challenge rather than a chest one, so save this version for lower-body days.
Sample Functional Chest Workout
Do these moves in order for one minute each. Rest 60 seconds between rounds, and perform up to five rounds.
- TRX Push-Up
- Medicine-Ball Chest Pass (against a wall)
- Parallel Bar or TRX Dip
- Dumbbell Pullover (moderate weight)
- Eccentric Dumbbell Flye (light weight)