Hi friends! How’s the day going? Thank you so much for the beautiful birthday wishes for Miss P. I read them all to her and she loved them. (She also LOVED having everyone sing “Happy Birthday!”) I’ll be sure to recap the birthday festivities in one post after her party. 🙂 For today, I have a brand-new workout for you, combining two of my very favorite tools: the kettlebell and the TRX.
Kettlebells and the TRX add an entirely different dimension to training, as they target our deep internal core stabilizers. You have to work harder to maintain balance or center of gravity with the kettlebell, and the TRX encourages a plank position for the exercises. You’re in a moving plank the entire time. These are excellent tools to to challenge yourself and keep your muscles guessing!
The workout is meant to be completed circuit-style, moving quickly from one set of exercises to the next. After you finish one round of the entire circuit, you have the option to move through it again 1-2 times for 3 total times.
Here are a couple of interesting things about this circuit, which increase its *excitement*:
-It’s a longer circuit (11 exercises). This use uses quite a few unilateral movements, focusing on one side at a time. If you’re in a time pinch, you can do a couple of bilateral movements instead. (For the burpees, do regular, non-TRX burpees, and for the kettlebell squat and press, hold two kettlebells instead of one. Ditch one of the squat exercises if you’re trying to bring down the time.)
-Speaking of unilateral movements, this is SUCH a great way to train. If we’re always training both sides at the same time, it’s easy to depend on your stronger side, or ignore how each side is feeling. You may find that you can make simple tweaks to improve form because you’re really paying attention to the working muscles.
-It’s a leg crusher. These are challenging movements to work your entire body, with a lower body and glute emphasis. You’re welcome. Mauaha.
As always, talk with a doctor before making any fitness changes. Honor your body and modify as needed. This workout assumes that you’re comfortable working with the TRX and kettlebell, and know how to execute these moves safely. If you have any questions, please let me know, or ask a personal trainer at your local gym to help you. We are happy (and stoked!) for the opportunity to help others work out more safely.
Now, let’s move onto the workout!
(Pin for the next time you need some gym inspiration!)
Form cues and tips:
1. Squat and reach: step away from the TRX base point, holding onto the strap with one hand. Sink down into a squat (chest listed, and weight in your heels), as you tap your free hand to the floor. As you exhale to rise, squeeze your glutes, and “chop” your non-TRX hand to the TRX. This is one rep.
2. Squat jump. You’ll be holding onto the TRX with both hands for the one -make sure you’re standing far enough away so it’s not flopping around, and has some tension- and use this as an excuse to really press into the ground and exhale to jump as high as you can. Make sure to land with soft knees.
3. Pistol squat: stand away from the TRX base point, holding onto the straps with both hands. The straps will be straight, and your chest will be lifted, with a tight core. Bring one leg off the floor and flex your foot, bringing the leg up as high as you can. Inhale to sink down into a squat (goal is to end up with your knees in one line) and exhale to rise. Really pay attention to the standing leg and keep it as stable as possible. Squeezing the glutes really helps. If you need to, start with a smaller range of movement. Modification: regular dumbbell walking lunges.
4. Single-leg squats: turn to face away from the TRX with one foot in a strap. You may have to step a bit out so that you can find a comfortable range. As you sink down into your single-leg squat, the foot in the strap will go back. Watch your front knee to make sure it doesn’t extend past your toes and keep your chest lifted. Modification: static lunges.
5. Biceps curl: facing the base point, step in a bit (the more you step in, the more challenging this will be) and straighten your arms. Think about bringing your entire body into a plank position, so you’re in one straight line. Flex your feet so your toes point up and heels are grounded. As you exhale, bend your arms to biceps curl. Inhale to extend with control. That’s one rep.
6. Chest press: face away from the TRX base point and keep that same plank position. Keep your shoulders down and core tight as you bend your arms to a 90-degree angle. Exhale and squeeze your chest to press the handles together. That’s one rep.
7. Squat press: holding the kettlebell in one hand, sink down into your squat with a lifted chest, weight in your heels, and tight core. As you exhale, stand, and bring the kettlebell to shoulder height (inhale). As you exhale, press the KB up overhead, keeping your shoulder down. Complete all of your reps on one side before switching to the other side.
8. Kettlebell swings: ground into your feet and stand hip-width apart. Hold the kettlebell in between your knees and start to gently swing it so you can gain some momentum. When you’re ready, power through your hips, glutes and core to swing the weight up to shoulder height, then bend your knees, swinging it back to start. Remember that you are NOT using your arms to lift the weight; this is pure glute and core power. Every time the weight goes up, make sure you’re strongly exhaling.
9. Heel tucks: (I just wrote “hell tucks.” Pretty much.) You’ll start on your back with your feet in the straps, toes pointing up. Exhale to lift your hips off the floor, keeping your shoulders grounded into the floor. Take an inhale, and then exhale to bring your heels towards your glutes. Keeping the hips lifted, extend the legs back out. That’s one rep.
10. Plank and knee tucks: rotate your body (keep your feet in the straps with toes up, and as you rotate, your toes will point down towards the floor and stay in the straps) so you come into a plank position. Try to get your body into a straight line and your hips in line with your torso. Exhale to bend the knees in towards your chest. Inhale to straighten back out to plank.
11. TRX burpee: with one leg in the strap, you’ll complete the classic burpee movement. Walk or jump back to plank, step your free foot forward, and jump off the floor. Complete all of your reps on one side before switching to the other side.
I can’t wait to hear what you think about this one! This is the workout I’ll be doing today, too. 🙂
Any favorite TRX of kettlebell exercises?
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya soon.
*I’ll be running a 7-day reset starting on Tuesday, and there are so many amazing ladies (and guys!) in our Facebook group. To join in the fun, the info is all here.
Photos by Arielle Levy.