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Using TRX To Train For OCR (Part 3)

This is Part 3 of a "Using TRX To Train For OCR" series. If you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2, there is a lot of valuable information provided in those articles.

This article is going to focus specifically on using the TRX for shoulder strength in order to prevent shoulder injuries. Though it'd be virtually impossible to come up with accurate statistics, it is a reality that large numbers of athletes have suffered shoulder injuries while training for, and participating in Obstacle Course Races. Obstacle that require hanging (think Monkey Bars, Rings, Multi-rigs, etc) can put a significant amount of stress on the muscles and ligaments in/around your shoulder. In order to prevent damage to those muscles, we need to strengthen them!



TRX Chest Press

Of course, any type of Chest Press is going to work your chest and tricep muscles, but it will also work your Anterior Deltoid, which is the muscle in the front of your shoulder. What's great about the TRX Chest Press, in comparison to other chest presses, is that you are working in an extremely unstable environment. The straps are designed to seesaw if equal pressure isn't applied on both hands, and because you aren't using a rigid bar, your musculature has to support the full range of motion. This means more stabilizing work for your shoulders.


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TRX T (Reverse Fly)

We addressed the Anterior Deltoid above, now we want to address the Posterior Deltoid (muscle in the back of your shoulder). This muscle is typically under-developed in athletes, so you may have to start this exercise off at a very easy level. While you will feels this a TON in your Posterior Deltoid (if you perform the exercise properly) you will also be working several other muscle groups like your Teres Minor, Middle and Lower Trapezius, and Rhomboids; you will benefit from the strengthening of all of these muscles. This exercise will BURN. To perform the movement properly, you may be going through a short range of motion to start. Don't worry about that, just focus on perfect form, and you'll progress in time to more difficult angles.



TRX Y (Y Fly)

With the TRX Y, we get to train our Medial Deltoid, Posterior Deltoid, Trapezius muslces, Rhomboids, and more. Essentially, we're strengthening the muscles in the middle and back of the shoulder, as well as a significant number of supporting muscles groups. Just like the TRX T (Reverse Fly), this exercise can be very challenging to perform properly when you first begin. Start with an easy angle, and make sure your elbows aren't bending through the movement. Your hips should stay in line with the rest of your body (you should not push your hips forward during the movement).


If you begin to implement these exercises into your training routine, I promise you will develop significantly stronger, and less injury-prone, shoulders over time. Stronger shoulders will afford you better races performance.

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Joel Hayes (Coach & Article Author)

Luke Hayes (Coach)

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