Top 5 Fridays! 5 Great Mobility and Stability Exercises with the TRX | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Great Mobility and Stability Exercises with the TRX

Thanks to my colleague with Mobility 2 Perform, Chris Nentarz for these great videos on how to use
the TRX to improve mobility and stability.

Mastering one’s own body weight is essential for sports performance, injury prevention and our overall physical and mental health. Many times, pain and poor motor control act as barriers that don’t allow our patients and clients to perform bodyweight during functional activities and fitness programs. We know now more than ever that moving well is a vital part of living well; therefore is it important to have effective methods to coaching and correcting basic foundational movements.

Foundational Movements

Our daily movement matrix is a combination of basic foundational movements such as squatting, lunging, pressing, and pulling. Each movement is an integrated, multi-joint, multi-planar movements that we utilize to accomplish a task. Each movement has a standard that allows for the least amount of energy expenditure and least amount of wear and tear. In other words, each foundational movement has an optimal way of being executed. The TRX suspension trainer is invaluable tool to correct and improve the stability, mobility and quality of these movements.

WHY TRX suspension Training?

Our primary goal as rehab and performance professionals is to deliver safe and effective movement progressions that can be utilized to enhance qualities including joint health, tissue extensibility and nervous system efficiency. TRX movements can be scaled (progressed/regressed) and utilized with manual therapy techniques and other modalities, such as kinesiology taping. The suspension trainer can be used anywhere by anyone and is very effective for use in home exercise programs.

My Top 5:

1) Squat Correction- Top Down
  • Best uses: improve ankle/knee/hip mobility and correct deep squats patterns
  • Unique Advantage: The packed should position will assist in creating tension through many of the key stability muscles in our core. The increase in activation of these muscles will allow the hip to be more mobile. 
  • Coaching Keys and Cues: Low tension breathing, shoulder down and back, “pretend there is a $100 in your armpit and don’t let anyone take it” 
  • Common Fault- extensive lumbar extension, rib “Popping,” knee driving 
2) Squat correction- Bottom Up

  • Best uses: improve ankle/knee/hip mobility and correct deep squats patterns
  • Unique Advantage: Shifting forward while in the deep squat will drove ankle mobility. The exercise is a great entry point for hands on joint mobilization. The TRX suspension trainer allows the patient to unload their body opening a window for mobility improvements 
  • Coaching Keys and Cues: You can have patients ‘stomp’ or ‘scrub’ their hips to increase triplanar mobility 
  • Common Fault- excessive knee valgus, excessive trunk flexion 

3) Hip Hinge Mobility

  • Best uses: improve posterior chain pliability, creating hinge awareness 
  • Unique Advantage: Leaning away from the anchor point causes joint distraction. In addition, the starting position allows creates a unique environment to explore hinging mechanics 
  • Coaching Keys and Cues: breathe! ‘Drive your hips back’ 
  • Common Fault- accessory tilting of pelvis, excessive flexion of lumbar spine 
  • No Fly Zone- Hot lumbar disc, severe neural tension, flexion intolerant 
4) Single Arm Row

  • Best uses: reinforce scapular ‘mostability’ (proper mobility and stability), top->down rotational stability 
  • Unique Advantage: The single arm rows creates torsional forces which much be controlled by the entire kinetic chain. For an additional challenge, athletes can close their eyes while performing the movement. This creates increased exercise intensity WITHOUT further loading of the tissues. 
  • Coaching Keys and Cues: drive your shoulder blade down and back, ‘pull your shoulder blade towards the opposite hip.’ 
  • Common Fault- Excessive elbow flexion during the pull pattern, poor thoracic-scapular-humeral dissociation/patterning 
5) Shoulder Slides Facing Anchor Point

  • Best uses: improve posterior scapular strength/endurance, improve overhead pattern, improve trunk stability, teach low tension movement of the scapula 
  • Unique Advantage: This movement requires a coordinated effort from all of UE and trunk. Great entry point for manual therapies
  • Coaching Keys and Cues: breathe! ‘push back, don’t lean back’ 
  • Common Fault- ‘leaning back’, excessive extension of lumbar spine 
Whether for mobility, motor control training, or manual therapies, the TRX suspension trainer is a valuable tool for movement specialists. It provides a uniquely rich learning environment for our patients to learn and explore movement. In addition, exercises can be easily scaled to load or unload tissues. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments.

These are great and easy ways to incorporate TRX, or any suspension system like Record Mini or Jungle Gym XT. Check out Mobility 2 Perform, workshops for fitness, CrossFit, runners, coaches and more via Chris Nentarz and myself. First workshop is in Buffalo, October 17th at Crunch Fitness in Amherst.

Interested in live cases where I apply this approach and integrate it with pain science, manual therapy, repeated motions, IASTM, with emphasis on patient education? Check out Modern Manual Therapy!

Keeping it Eclectic...


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