If you’re like most gym goers, you’ve likely tried every form of biceps training in order to mass up your upper arms. You’ve no doubt hammered your bi’s with barbell curls, dumbbell curls, preacher curls and chin ups. But there’s one form of biceps work that you’ve probably overlooked, despite it possibly being the most effective of them all – suspension training.
Using a suspension device, such as the TRX or Emerge, offers huge benefits over conventional equipment. To find out which brand should be your suspension trainer of choice, check out this comprehensive review from Gains Bible.
Training with a suspension device allows you to adjust your center of gravity, applying maximum overload to your biceps. You’re also able to perform variations of exercises that are not possible with barbells and dumbbells. In this article, we present 7 biceps blasting TRX moves that will guarantee that you’ll have guns to impress.
1)TRX Bicep Curls Variations
Performing traditional curls on the TRX allows you to benefit from the off center gravity balance as well as total tension through a full range of motion in both the concentric and eccentric phases of the exercise.
To perform the curl TRX style, grab the TRX handles with your feet together and in line with the handles. Use a neutral grip so that your palms are facing each other. Lean back to straighten your arms so that your torso is at about a 30 degree angle. Keep your elbows away from your upper body and in line with the shoulder (don’t allow them to cave in).
Now, curl the straps by way of elbow flexion as you bring your torso towards the TRX. As you curl, twist your wrists to provide supination of the bicep. In the top position, the palms should be facing away from your body. Your eyes should also be in line with the handles. Now straighten your arms back out to move into the next rep.
To increase the resistance level, simply walk forward to put your body at a greater angle.
2)TRX Single Arm Bicep Curls
This move allows you to isolate each bicep and is especially beneficial for developing the bicep peak that so many strive for. Grab hold of the TRX handle with your right arms and stand side on to the device. With your feet in line with the handle, stretch out so that your arm is straight and your torso is at about a 45 degree angle relative to the floor. Place your right foot slightly in front of your left foot for balance.
Keeping your elbow away from your body, flex at the elbow to pull your body toward the TRX strap. Do this exercise to a two second count on both the positive (lifting) and negative (lowering) portions of the exercise to achieve maximum benefit. You should also tense tightly for a second or two in the peak contraction position.
To make this exercise more difficult, walk in towards the TRX. Do all of your reps with one arm and then repeat with the other arm.
The TRX Clench is a bodyweight suspension move that is all about peak contraction of the biceps. This makes it another awesome move to bring out your biceps peak.
Begin by grabbing the TRX straps with your feet in line with the handles. Lean back so that your arms are fully extended and your body is at about a 45 degree angle. Now, starting with your right arm, move the strap across your body toward your left shoulder. Imagine that you are strongly hugging a person. As your fist makes contact with your opposite shoulder, strongly contract the bicep muscle. Then, slowly return to the start position. Repeat with the opposite arm.
Walk further underneath the TRX straps to make the movement more difficult.
4)Seated TRX Curls
This is an advanced biceps move that will place maximum tension of the meaty middle part of your upper arm. Start by shortening the length of the straps. Now grab hold of the straps with a neutral grip, with your feet a little closer than the line of the handles. Next, squat down into a full squat, a little lower than thighs parallel position. This will extend your arms down to a full extension and at a slight outward angle. Make sure that your elbows stay out, away from your body as you perform the exercise.
Without trying to use the legs for assistance, curl up so that your face comes toward the straps. Hold the peak contraction for a second and then slowly return to the full squat position. As the reps get harder, you can start to provide thigh assistance as a means of spotting yourself. Again, to make this move more difficult, walk yourself further in towards the TRX anchor point.
5)Wide Grip Biceps Curl
This move is fantastic Trx bicep exercise for targeting the lower portion of the bicep, where it inserts into the elbow – an area that is often neglected. That’s because this is an exercise that is virtually impossible to simulate with barbells and dumbbells. Thanks to the TRX, however, it’s a piece of cake.
Start by grabbing the TRX straps with your knuckles facing the ground and your feet together and in line with the handles. Lean back to fully extend your arms. Separate your hands so that each arm forms a straight line from the shoulder to the TRX handles. Keeping your elbows out, flex your elbows to curl so that your head comes up between the handles. Keep a wide grip so that, in the peak contraction position, your hands are close to your ears. Contract your biceps strongly in the peak position. Slowly return to the start position.
Throughout this exercise your body should stay in effect alignment. You can increase the intensity of the exercise by moving your feet closer to the anchor point.
6)Single Arm TRX Squat Curls
Begin by shortening the straps. Then grab a single handle with your right hand. Place your other hand on your hip. Look up towards the anchor point and drop back to a fully extended position. Now drop down into a full squat position. Keeping your elbow up, out and at the level of your head, curl to bring your head toward the handle. Come up until your forehead makes contact with the handle.
The squat position creates extra resistance, making this an extremely difficult exercise. The lower you squat, the harder it makes the curl. Do not use momentum of thigh flexion to make the exercise easier unless you are doing forced reps, in which case you can use your thigh lift as a self spotter.
Perform all of your reps with one arm and then repeat with the other side.
Not sure if TRX is right for your home gym? Click here to check out this in depth TRX review for more info about that if you’re thinking of buying TRX brand suspension trainers.
7)High Curl / Clutch Curl Combo
By combining a high curl with a clutch curl, you are able to hit every area of your biceps in one dynamic exercise. Begin by facing the anchor and grabbing the handles with a knuckles down grip. Your feet should be together and in line with the handles. Lean back to fully extend your arms. Make sure that your elbows are out, away from your body. Keep your arms apart and in line with your shoulders.
Now curl so that your head comes toward the straps. You have reached peak contraction when your forehead makes contact with the straps. Slowly return to the start position.
The second part of this combination exercise involves curling with your palms facing your chest. The elbows remain out as you bring your fists in toward your inner chest. Tap your fists against your chest in the peak contraction position as you strongly contract the biceps.
Putting it All Together
The seven trx biceps blasting exercises that we’ve just described will provide you with everything you need to build impressive upper arms. Doing them all in one workout, however, would overtrain your arms, actually making them smaller and weaker. You should, rather, choose any three exercises to perform in one session.
Remember to perform your reps slowly in order to provide both concentric and eccentric benefits. As the exercise gets easier (because you’re getting stronger), move closer to the anchor point, which will place your body at a more extreme angle.
Rather than counting reps, perform each exercise for a set period of time. We suggest starting with 30 seconds and progressing to 45 seconds. Perform the three moves in a circuit with no rest between them. Do three rounds of this circuit to give your arms a massive, growth inducing pump.
Jim is a long time fitness enthusiast and former powerlifting coach and gym owner. He recently retired and now blogs and writes about fitness tips and tricks that are based on over 35 years of industry experience.