When we asked the folks at TRX to show us the most insane exercise that could be done with one of their legendary suspension trainers. You have passed on.
You can call it a single exercise if you like, but it’s actually a combination of four basic movements: pushups, plank, lunge, and jump bend.
And all of this on one leg, as your other foot is secured in the TRX harness that hangs several meters above the ground.
What do you call such an exercise? You could call it absolutely brutal, but let’s keep its name simple: We introduce the TRX One-Leg Power Burpee.
According to TRX master trainer Jay Brockway, this one exercise does pretty much everything. The one-legged power burpee hits several large muscle groups and trains all areas of athletics and functionality at the same time.
“Here you have it all,” says Brockway. “In effect, you train the quadriceps, glutes and core, and you also have a chest press in there. And once you put your foot in the strap you have the instability factor so you work on balance, speed, coordination, agility and all that. It’s a phenomenal movement for the whole body. “
How to make the TRX One-Leg Power Burpee
- Anchor a TRX suspension trainer overhead and adjust the straps so the handles are only about a foot off the floor. If you are exercising at home, you can anchor the TRX to the top of a door.
- Hook one foot into both handles away from the anchor and jump forward so that you start in a standing position with your non-working leg stretched out behind you (foot in the handles a few meters above the ground).
- Like a burpee (on one leg only), drop to the floor and do a push-up.
- At the top of the push-up, pull your working leg under you to do a split squat position and go straight into a powerful one-legged jump bend.
- At the top of the jump, lift your knee on the work side as high as possible in front of you. Use your arms to create the upward momentum for the jump.
- Land gently on your work leg and go straight to the next rep.
- Do all of the repetitions on that leg, then switch legs and repeat the process.
Here is a video demonstration of the Brockway exercise:
How to scale the exercise
Needless to say, this is a difficult exercise that not everyone with the right form can do. If it is too advanced for you at the moment, start with an easier version and work your way up to the full-blown combination.
There are endless ways to modify the movement, Brockway says, starting with the absolute basics and progressing from there. “You can expand it… do the lunge and the plank [separately], and then put them together, ”he says. “Of course, you need the basics of stability in the lunge and stability in the shoulders to push yourself up and fight gravity. Because as soon as you put your foot in the straps, it’s game over. “
Below are some possible progressions, from the easiest to the most difficult. Start with the most challenging version you can currently run and continue working from there.
- Try performing a burpee without a TRX (both feet on the floor). This beginner version is performed without push-ups below and without jumping above; the intermediate / advanced version is one push-up down and one jump up on each rep.
- Walk on a plank with one leg hung up, then come back up (no jump up).
- Add the push-up to the previous progression.
- Do the full version described above, minus the push-up below. In other words, drop onto a plank (arms outstretched, chest not sinking to the floor) and from there do the one-legged jump bend.
- Do the full-scale version slowly and in a controlled manner up to the one-legged jump squat (which is performed in an explosive manner). In other words, “chop up” the movement into conscious steps, without rushing.
- Make the TRX One-Leg Power Burpee fully for speed, much like CrossFitter increasing the speed of their burpees for time.
How to adapt the TRX One-Leg Power Burpee to a workout
Brockway recommends using this exercise as the final move in a lower body workout that includes traditional two-legged squats and lunge movements earlier in the session. It also works well at the end of a full body workout.
There are a few different methods Brockway suggests for the exercise: traditional sets and repetitions, high-intensity intervals, and a Tabata-style protocol.
Sets and Reps: 3 sets, 7 reps
The recipe here is 3 sets of 7 repetitions per leg. “So do seven repetitions on one leg, get some rest, and then do seven on the other leg and go back and forth,” says Brockway.
A simple interval scheme he recommends is 30 seconds on (continuous repetitions), 30 seconds off (full pause) – i.e. 30 seconds on the right leg, 30 seconds pause, 30 seconds on the left leg, 30 seconds pause, etc. – for up to three rounds per leg.
This protocol is 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 3 sets on one leg, then repeat on the other leg. During the 10-second rest period, keep your foot buckled and stand upright on your working leg; There is not enough time to stop and then get back in.
The Tabata scheme is very strenuous from a conditioning standpoint, but it is also easily scalable. “For example, a new person might get no chest on the floor and 20 on, 20 off,” says Brockway.
To purchase a TRX Suspension Trainer (and / or other exercise equipment), visit TRXTraining.com.