Updated: May 25
If you haven't already had a chance to read Using TRX To Train For OCR (Part I), you should go do that now, and then come back here to read the follow-up (this article).
In "Part I" I went over 4 exercises (and a few variations of them) that would be beneficial for OCR athletes. Today, we're going to add another 4. While this is not a Hollywood production, and sequels aren't all that I care about, if there is a good response to this article like there was for Part I, then perhaps I'll write a "Part III" for TRX and OCR training. We'll see! For now, onto the article!
We've all done Burpees at a Spartan Race. I don't know anyone who hasn't. Burpees are a great full-body exercise, but we're taking them one step further and adding in single leg stability and strength to the equation. Running (what OCR requires the most of) is a one-leg-at-a-time sport. Developing strength in each leg individually is a smart training move. This exercise will also help build ankle stability and your overall balance.
When you first try this exercise, take your time. Don't rush it and trip yourself up and get hurt. Also, please note that normally this exercise would be done on your palms, not your fists. I have limited range of motion in my left wrist due to a injury and surgical repair back in high school, so I have to perform this exercise as it shows in the video. However, for most people, your palms will be a much better and safer way to go.
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Lunges remain an awesome exercise for building strength in your legs - especially for running. Developing the muscular strength and endurance that accompanies a LOT of lunging is also extremely beneficial for running on courses with a lot of elevation.
The TRX Lunge takes things a step further by requiring more work and more balance and stability in the "working leg" compared to a traditional lunge. These can be quite difficult at first, so make sure you begin in a safe environment with something you can use to catch yourself if you start to fall.
TRX SIDE PLANK
If you read Part I, as I know you all did, then you'll know that stability is a big factor in running. Both core stability and hip stability play a very important role in reducing fatigue and weakness-driven breakdown into bad form. Bad form will almost always lead to injuries.
The TRX Side Plank puts your body in an elevated, and unstable, position. It's a harder version of a regular side plank because you are holding a greater percentage of your body weight in a suspended position. When you set up for the side plank, make sure that your bottom leg is your back leg. You can see this exemplified in the video above. The left leg is the bottom leg, and also the leg in back. Your goal is to keep your body in a perfectly straight line without dipping your hips forward, backward, upward, or downward. Hold the position as best as you can without allowing your body to swing.
TRX FALL DOWN
The TRX Falldown is an explosive exercise. While a jump squat is really working your lower body, the TRX Falldown incorporates most of your upper body and lower body into a single movement. This exercise is great for developing the type of movement and strength you need to jump up and get over an obstacle like a wall or beam.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be fully outstretched as your butt just barely touches the floor. That's your starting position (as seen in the video above). You'll initiate movement by pulling your elbows down and in by your sides. As your knees come over your feet, you'll then use your legs to press upward explosively into a jump. While the jump is occurring, you'll extend your arms into a lockout position. Let gravity bring you back to the floor and into your starting position again. Make sure that you land with bent knees each and every time. Never land with locked knees.
Just like that, you now know 4 new TRX exercises. Incorporate these exercises regularly, and you'll see the difference.
If you've found these first two TRX articles helpful, share them with your friends, and I'll write a "Part III"!
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Joel Hayes (Coach & Article Author)
Luke Hayes (Coach)