8 Best TRX Back Exercises (+Detailed Workout)

Author: Ihor Shymechko (26 years of Oly Lifting & Training experience)

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (Olympian with 21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

The total body resistance exercise, or TRX, suspension trainer is probably one of the coolest things you’ll see at your gym and the TRX back exercise is one of the best workouts it has to offer. 

If you’ve just recently started going from a couch potato to a gym junkie, there’s a good chance you don’t quite know what a TRX suspension trainer is. Or you may have noticed some weird things hanging randomly from the ceiling but decided to go for a chest press or an elliptical.

I can understand your reasoning because an actual machine is more useful than a random string, right?

Not necessarily. If you want to increase your strength, or a strong, toned back (let’s be real – we all do), the TRX suspension can do wonders for you. Of course, it can do a lot more than just get your back defined, but today, I’ll be focusing on how to get your back looking snazzy with a TRX back workout.

What is a TRX back exercise? TRX (total body resistance exercise) back exercise uses a TRX suspension trainer to target and strengthen your back muscles. This type of exercise leverages the weight of your own body along with gravity. This way you can control the intensity yourself by adjusting your body’s position.

TRX (total body resistance exercise)

Overview of Trx as an Effective Tool for Back Exercises

When I say, “back exercises”, you see a big guy with muscles, am I right? Let me tell you, you’re not wrong there. A TRX can definitely give you that toned, defined back we all want.

But it goes beyond that, believe it or not. Let me first get into what a TRX is and then I’ll show you how versatile it is.

You know those straps you see hanging in your gym? That’s what a TRX consists of – adjustable straps that are anchored to something sturdy. It targets many different muscle groups, including what we are most interested in today - the back.

You can do a lot of different exercises on a TRX, but the ones that are the most popular are rotations, extensions, rows and pulls. These are great because they’ll work your back muscles from a lot of different angles. You can also use the TRX to increase the effectiveness of other workouts.

Once you try one of the TRX exercises, you’ll notice one thing right away – it needs quite a bit of stability and control. This is why a TRX goes beyond your back; the stability it needs engages numerous muscle groups, like your core, shoulders and arms. 

You may think it’s best to wait a while until you get used to working out before you try a TRX (especially if you’re new to gym equipment). Well, I would suggest you don’t wait because TRX is very adjustable, and you can modify the intensity to whatever you’re comfortable with. 

A TRX will do a lot more than give you a toned back. It can improve your posture, and is even used in rehabilitation. It has also been a proven and effective tool to be used in the type 2 diabetes therapy program.

TRX System We Recommend - Rogue Fitness The TRX Sweat System

Rogue Fitness The TRX Sweat System

Rogue’s TRX system deserves to be mentioned before we go into more details on TRX pull exercises. If you’re in the market for a new addition to your home gym, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one. 

It’s made of nylon straps that are sturdy enough to never have to worry about stability during your workouts. Also, foam handles are comfortable and do not dig into your skin (which is a big thing, trust me).

Rogue Fitness The TRX

The weight capacity it has is 700 lbs., which means it will fit just about any shape or size you are. I can see the price bothering some people, though. There are cheaper TRX systems on the market that you can go for. But if you decide to invest in this one, I don’t see you regretting it because the quality really is outstanding.

Positives:

  • Easy to adjust it

  • Comfortable

  • High weight capacity

Could be better:

  • Pricey compared to other TRX systems on the market

3 Basic Trx Back Exercises

I’m guessing you’ll want some actual workouts to do, right? I’ve made a fuss about how great a TRX is so it’s only fair of me to get into what you can actually do with it and how. We’ll be starting with some basics first.

Tips From the Champ

Rogue’s TRX system deserves to be mentioned before we go into more details on TRX pull exercises. If you’re in the market for a new addition to your home gym, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

1. TRX Row Variations

These are so good for your back muscles! And there are also a couple of variations you can do so you don’t get bored. The first are your simple, standard rows – just grip the handles and lean back (and keep your body straight!). You can also do wide or narrow grip rows; they’ll work your inner and outer back muscles.

2. TRX Pull-Up Variations

If you like your traditional pull-ups, you’ll like these, too. You can do assisted, suspended or archer pull-ups. For the assisted ones, you have to adjust the straps before you start because those need less body weight. For the suspended ones, you just need to keep a stable position as you pull yourself up. Lastly, reach one arm across your body for archer pull-ups.

The icing on the cake! These target the biggest muscle in your back. You could do single-arm pulldowns, where you hold one handle and pull it to the side of your body. You could also do double-arm pulldowns (pretty self-explanatory) and eccentric lat pulldowns. With the eccentrics, it’s all about muscle control so focus on the lowering part of your workout.

3 More Dynamic Trx Back Exercises

Like I said, the TRX is super beginner friendly. If you’re just starting out, you can do any of the variations I mentioned; just keep in mind that you’ll most likely need to adjust them a bit to match your level of expertise.

Now, if you’re not that into the basics or their variations, I have prepared some other workouts you can try.

Trx Back Exercises

1. TRX Superman

The first one has the best name ever – the TRX Superman. The Superman works your entire back and is fairly easy to do. Extend your arms over your head and lie down facing the ground. Put your hands in the handles and lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground at the same time. 

2. Y Fly

The Y Fly is another thing you can try and trust me, you’ll feel this one in your upper back. Stand facing away from the anchor point, grab the handles and extend your arms in a Y shape. Lean back, and then pull your arms back and down while also squeezing your shoulder blades.

3. T Raise

The T Raise is a lot like the Y Fly, except this one will work your middle and lower back muscles. It’s one of the best TRX lower back exercises. Again, stand facing away from the anchor point, grab the handles and lean back a bit. Your arms should be raised to the shoulder height (so they form a T-shape). Now all you need to do is to pull yourself up and down. 

2 of the Best Trx Back Exercises

I can already hear some of you asking, what are the best exercises you can do? Yeah, it’s great to have all of these on paper so I know what to do, but I want the best of the best.

If you’ve found yourself in this, let me just say – I respect your attitude. You don’t want to waste any time on something that’s either a filler or just a workout that will mix things up. I have to say, I think it’s important to mix things up from time to time because if you don’t, your motivation will dwindle. And what happens next? Well… You give up. With that being said, I’ll still go over some of my favorites and just workouts I consider to be the most useful.

I’ll be honest and just put this out there – I’m a fan of the basics. Give me some standard rows or suspended pull-ups and I’m good. But I also like some lesser-known workouts and I think the results they give are just fantastic.

1. Renegade Row

The Renegade Row, for example. You start in your standard push-up position with your feet in the straps and your hands on the floor. You do a push-up, and then row one arm up. Then you alternate sides for each repetition.
Best Trx Back Exercises

2. Inverted Row

Inverted rows are amazing, too. You start off with adjusting the straps to mid-length. Then, hold the handles with an overhead grip and lean back. Make sure your body is straight the whole time. Pull your chest to the handles and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This one’s great for upper back and lats.

Best Trx Back Workout

Just doing the same exercises all the time might get tedious or stale after a while. So, if you’re planning on using a TRX machine setup to get a good full day’s workout done, then I’ll provide you with a list of exercises, sets, and reps that you can do. One that will benefit your back. Here you go!

TRX Workout Program

Warm-up: a 10-minute warm-up routine to prepare your muscles.

TRX Row: 
3 sets of 12 reps. (holding TRX handles, lean back, arms straight; pull body up, squeezing shoulder blades together)

TRX Y-Fly: 
3 sets of 12 reps. (grip handles, lean back, arms in 'Y'; pull body up, keeping arms wide.)

TRX T-Deltoid Fly: 
3 sets of 12 reps. (Lean back, arms straight out to sides; pull body up, maintaining 'T' position)

TRX High Row:
3 sets of 12 reps. (grip handles, lean back, arms straight; pull body up, elbows high, aligned with shoulders)

TRX Single Arm Row: 
3 sets of 12 reps (each arm) (stand sideways, one hand on TRX; lean away, arm straight.; pull body towards TRX, one arm)

TRX Single Arm Row: 
3 sets of 12 reps (facing up under TRX, hold handles above head; pull upper body up, squeeze shoulder blades)

Rest: Rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.
Best Trx Back Workout
This workout program will target primarily your back muscles. So keep that in mind if you plan on doing this program daily. Give some time for your best muscles to recover, so instead do exercises that target other muscle groups if you want to use TRX every day. And just in case you get bored with this program, you can incorporate the renegade and inverted rows into the above program to spice things up a bit. You can simpy adjust the workout by swapping Rows with Renegade Rows and by swapping High Rows with Inverted Rows. Leave the sets and reps the same on 3/12.

FAQ

Is Trx a Good Back Workout?

Yes! The TRX is a wonderful back workout because it works so many muscles in your back. It’s also easy to adjust the system so it doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or just starting out. It’s meant to be used by everyone who wants a strong back. 

Is Trx Really Effective?

The TRX is extremely effective. And it’s not just good for your back; it’s great for your strength, weight management and fitness in general. It combines bodyweight and suspension training, so you’re working numerous muscle groups at the same time. It is also used in rehabilitation and is proved to be a useful part of type 2 diabetes therapy program.

Conclusion

We’ve reached the end of today’s topic so if you’re still with me, you’re up to date on everything TRX related. We’ve discussed different TRX exercises for back you can do and gone over what muscles are working the hardest during those workouts. But the most important thing that you should take with you from today’s article is that you should never judge something based on its appearance. A TRX looks so simple but can do so much for you; even increase the effectiveness of other workouts. 

So what about you? Do you do TRX? If yes - is it at the gym or at home? What type of setup/machine are you using? Which TRX band back workout is your favorite? And what I want to know the most - do you have any exercises, tips or suggestions that you’d like to add? I want to make the best guide possible, and the only way to do that is to incorporate the input of other experienced people!

Don’t be shy, I’d love to hear any thoughts you have on this article. Leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure to read all of them. TRXing out!

Also read:

References:

  • Short-Term Effects of Suspension Training on Strength and Power Performances // Ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739337/
  • The Effect of Using a Suspension Training System on Muscle Activation During the Performance of a Front Plank Exercise // Researchgate: http://surl.li/jhukd
  • TRX Suspension Training: A New Functional Training Approach for Older Adults – Development, Training Control and Feasibility // Ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4833470/
  • The Effects of TRX Suspension Training Combined with Taurine Supplementation on Body Composition, Glycemic and Lipid Markers in Women with Type 2 Diabetes // Mdpi: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/11/3958
  • The Acute and Chronic Health Benefits of TRX Suspension Training® in Healthy Adults // Researchgate: http://surl.li/jhult

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Coach, PRO Olympic Weightlifter

Experience: 26 years

Best Results: Snatch - 208 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.


Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years

Best Results: Snatch – 200 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Oleksiy Torokhtiy. I am a professional athlete with 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. I have won multiple European, and World titles and have taken part in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012).

After finishing my career, I have committed myself to coach, and as of 2022, I’ve hosted 200+ weightlifting seminars all over the globe. I’m the founder of an international sportswear and accessories brand, Warm Body Cold Mind (my motto), author, and creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.


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This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by expert with proven experience. When writing the article we use our expertise and data from open sources with strong reputation, scientific or medical based. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


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