If your crow doesn’t flow, your back bend could be bendier, or your warrior is too wobbly, the solution might be hanging right in front of you. A TRX Suspension Trainer™ can help you stabilize many yoga postures, letting you focus on achieving proper form.
When you think of the Suspension Trainer, strength is probably the first thing that comes to mind. It’s reasonable. The TRX Straps are known for an all-core, all-the-time workout. You can use them for many of the same exercises you may traditionally do with dumbbells or cables. But the Suspension Trainer is also a great way to increase your stability.
And stability is at the core of yoga.
As TRX and Yoga instructor Krystal Say explained, yoga postures may require strength, but the practice is more focused on stabilization. For example, in a yoga handstand, you are stabilizing through your arms, shoulders, legs, and core to maintain the pose. “It is total body integration from the soles of your feet, to the tips of your fingers. You have to have a connection to be able to raise and contract your muscles, to create a sense of stability,” Say said.
When you add a Suspension Trainer in yoga, the straps absorb part of the stability responsibility. It’s as much about giving your mind a break as giving your body a boost. Think of it as training wheels on a bike, or a harness in rock climbing: the Suspension Trainer empowers you to safely focus on the mechanics and improve your practice.
Ready to go all-in on your TRX for Yoga routine? Try these moves to level up your yoga practice.
Hip Hinge Flow
TRX Training Club℠ instructor Stephanie Warwick cooked up this sweet hip flexor release to keep your back and legs happy. Here, the straps support the weight of the upper body, letting you focus on deepening the release within your hips and lower body.
First, start with your TRX Suspension Trainer fully shortened. Stand facing the anchor point with your feet at least hip-distance apart. Press your palms down onto the handles of your straps, and hinge forward. As you hinge, press the handles forward. As you return to an upright standing position, round your back slightly—like a cat pose—before lengthening your spine back up. Flow for 2-3 reps, then pivot your heels slightly so that your toes are pointing in. You’ll repeat the hinge motion for 2-3 reps before pivoting your heels so your toes face out. Repeat for another 2-3 reps.
Feel free to play with this flow, repeat all three stances, if you wish.
For the second part of the hip release, start seated on the ground facing the anchor point, with your legs in a butterfly position. (That means legs in front, knees bent outward, and soles pressing against each other in the middle.) Extend your arms straight ahead and press your palms into the foot cradles. Hinge forward, pressing the foot cradles away from your body. Like the first move, you’ll slightly round your back as you straighten back to a seated position, pulling the handles toward you. Continue for 2-3 reps.
For a variation on this flow, leave your left leg in front of your body, and shift your right leg behind you; still keeping the knee bent. (Get both legs as close as you can to 90-degree angles.) Repeat the same hinge and return post for 2-3 reps, then switch legs.
In our second move, TRX Master Trainer Kari Woodall demonstrates how to use the Suspension Trainer to support a Warrior modification.
Begin with your straps adjusted to mid-length in single-handle mode. Stand to the left of your Suspension Trainer with your left foot forward, and your right foot back. (This will be similar to Warrior I, except both sets of toes should be facing forward.) Take one of the handles of your straps in your right hand.
Facing forward, bend both knees to drop into a lunge, while sweeping your arms out to the sides to end straight overhead. This should take you to a lunge position, with your back leg hovering just above the floor or mat. Drive back up to your modified Warrior I, then hinge forward, and lift your arms—palms facing down—straight behind you. (The end point for your arms should be similar to the terminal point for a tricep kickback.)
Next, repeat the lunge you started with, but this time—while holding the lunge position—sweep your arms down to the left, back up overhead, and down to the right, before straightening back to standing. Continue the progression for 2-3 reps on your first side, then switch to the second side.
Frogs and Dancers
UK-based trainer Katy Bath has a yoga challenge duo on tap, with TRX-supported variations on the Frog and Dancer postures.
Begin with theSuspension Trainer adjusted to mid-calf length. Kneel facing the anchor point, with your legs set slightly wider than your mat. You should be an arm’s length away from your handles. Press your palms into the handles and hinge forward. Keep your arms straight and press the handles away as you hinge. As you extend back to a straight back, keep your arms straight and pull the handles back to their starting position with your flat palms.
Next, stand facing away from your anchor point, and thread one foot through both foot cradles. Reach your hands over your shoulders and past your ears to grab the straps of your Suspension Trainer. Walk your hands down the straps, closer to the handles. As you do this, you should be pulling your suspended foot up, into a Dancer’s Pose. Relax into the stretch, then try hinging forward slightly, keeping your suspended leg lifted. Stretch, release, and hinge about 2-3 times, then repeat on the second leg.
We’re wrapping this round-up with two superstars: Shauna Harrison and the TRX Crow.
Adjust your straps to mid-calf length, and start kneeling facing away from the anchor point. Slide one foot into each foot cradle, and press your hands into the ground. Your shoulders should be stacked over your wrists, and your fingers should be spread wide. Practice lifting and lowering your knees at the same time by pressing your palms into the ground and pulling up through your core. Try for 8-10 reps.
For the next progression toward TRX Crow, walk your hands forward and lift into a TRX Plank, adding a slight bend to your elbows. Similar to the TRX Mountain Climber, you’ll draw one leg in at a time, tapping your knee to your tricep, before extending the leg and repeating on the other side. Once again, practice this for 8-10 reps.
For the third and final progression, walk your hands back a couple of steps, and press up into your TRX Plank. Let your elbows bend slightly—as if they’re creating a shelf—and try to draw your knees to your armpits.
Can you get your knees to rest on the tricep shelf you’ve created? From there, play around with lifting your feet up or pressing the bridges of your feet down into the foot cradles. See how long you can hold the pose before lowering your knees back down.
Whether you’re new to yoga or looking for fuller expressions of your favorite postures, the TRX Suspension Trainer makes yoga more accessible. Want to make TRX Yoga a part of your fitness routine? Fire up your free, 7-day trial of TRX Training Club and enjoy all the live and on-demand classes TRX offers.