Move of the Week: TRX Pull-up

Move of the Week coming you way, so pull yourselves up for this one!


MOVEMENT PATTERN AND MUSCLES WORKED: Vertical pull; shoulders, lats, and upper back.

WHY DO IT: When it comes to targeting the lats and building the back, pull-ups are the way to go. However, many gym-goers lack the strength to even do one pull-up, let alone multiple as part of a set. This is where regressions come in; we’ve featured the eccentric pull-up before, and today’s move will also help you out here.

When you have your feet grounded, the pull-up motion becomes a lot more manageable. You essentially cut your bodyweight in half doing so.

The TRX Pull-up sort of resembles an inverted row, especially at the top. But you don’t have to keep your body straight here, and the line of pull is different. Instead of pulling horizontally like in a row, you are pulling upwards in a more vertical direction–that’s why a pull-up is seen as a vertical pull exercise.

Move of the Week: Reverse-grip Inverted Row

Basically, today’s move can be seen as a row/pull-up hybrid that contributes more to the pull-up pattern.

HOW TO DO IT: Set up a TRX on a rack, and adjust the length of the straps so that you are sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you, and your arms fully extended above your head. From this seated position, pull your chest up to your hands and drive your elbows into your back pockets. Descend slowly, and repeat for reps.

Simple enough right? As a side note, you can also keep your torso perpendicular to the floor to make this exercise as much of a vertical pull as possible. Dan is actually leaning back in the video. This makes it a little easier, and also why it resembles more of a row than a pure pull-up. Play around with the positioning here to find out what works best for your capabilities.

However, you should still think of this as a vertical pull, and should be feeling your lats working in this exercise. I like this as a supplementary exercise at the end of a training session and I would recommend doing 3 sets of 8-10 reps. If you’re looking to do real pull-ups eventually, using the TRX can get you there. Let us know what you think on Twitter or Instagram @halevylife !

by Jeremy Lau

Jeremy Lau

Jeremy Lau Halevy Life Staff CoachJeremy Lau is a Senior Staff Coach at Halevy Life.

Jeremy graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering and is currently pursuing his M.Ed. in Exercise Physiology at Columbia University. In addition to his academic accolades, Jeremy is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Prior to joining the team at Halevy Life, Jeremy completed a coaching internship at Cressey Sports Performance, where he coached both amateur and professional athletes, among whom were many professional MLB baseball players.

As an athlete, Jeremy has played baseball competitively for most of his life.