The first time I saw a commercial or an infomercial for the TRX trainer I thought it was a gimmick, something that would come and go like almost all the abdominal training devices you will see at 3am. Since then the TRX training system has taken off to the point where you’ll have a hard time to find a gym, strength & conditioning facility or college weight room that doesn’t have one — most places have numerous TRX systems.

That being said, I was wrong, and I was way wrong. The TRX trainer has to be one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you’ll find, something that could easily be incorporated into any training program.One of my favorite movements using the TRX trainer is also one of the simplest and most effective – the TRX Row. I’m a big fan of the TRX Row for a couple different reasons, none more obvious than the fact that it is so simple – it takes a real fool to mess it up.

One reason is because it is a rowing movement. It is something I could say until I’m blue in the face, but people just don’t do enough rowing/pulling movements. Everyone loves to perform pressing/pushing movements (benching) but overlook the rowing/pulling movements. If for no other reason, you should be performing rowing/pulling movements for shoulder health. Many strength coaches and physical therapists recommend a 2:1 ratio when it comes to pulling to pushing – some going as far as 3:1 (people with shoulder issues should feel free to even go as far as a 4:1 ratio).

Even though shoulder health is a great reason to add the TRX Row into your program, the biggest reason for loving the TRX Row is due to the fact that there are endless ways to continually make the movement harder and harder — you’ll be hard pressed to get to a point where you have to move on from the TRX Row. You can start out with a very steep angle, moving to a bent leg position, to a straight leg position, and then finally to feet elevated row. Once you have reached the point where your feet are elevated you can start to load to movement. You can start to toss on a weight vest or place a plate across your chest – get creative and continue to load more and more as you progress.

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