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TRX bicep exercises and workouts

We reveal the 5 best TRX bicep exercises for muscle growth.
Written By  Liam Brown
Last Updated on 14th June 2021
A man performing a TRX bicep workout in the park

If there's one body part that every weight lifter wants to develop, it's the biceps muscle.

This list of the best TRX bicep exercises will help you do just that. Our guide also includes full workout routines that you can follow to gain bicep muscle and increase your arm strength.

Top 5 TRX bicep exercises

Performing TRX biceps exercise is convenient because all you need is a suspension trainer and a place to anchor it. Plus, all of the exercises are completely customizable.

For example, you can lean back more and stand further away from the anchor point to increase the resistance. Similarly, you can make the movements easier by shortening the straps and shifting your feet toward the anchor point.

1. Bicep curl

A man performing a TRX bicep curl

The TRX bicep curl is a simple yet effective exercise for increasing the size of your upper arms. It's also highly versatile because once the regular version that you're about to see becomes too easy, you can perform it one arm at a time to double the difficulty.

Make sure to really control the eccentric phase of the rep to get the best results. We're not throwing around heavy iron here, so there's no need to rush through your reps. Instead, perform an explosive concentric, squeeze your biceps as hard as you can for a couple of seconds, and then lower your body under control.

  1. Attach your TRX to an anchor point above your head.
  2. Grab the handles with a supinated grip.
  3. Step away from the anchor point to remove the slack from the straps.
  4. Lean your body back to create some resistance for your biceps.
  5. Ensure that your spine is straight and that your feet are close together.
  6. While keeping your elbows and shoulders still, curl your head toward the TRX handles.
  7. Keep lifting until the undersides of your forearms make forceful contact with your biceps.
  8. Hold the contraction for a few seconds and then lower your body under control until your elbows reach full extension.
  9. Repeat for 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps.

2. Hammer curl

A man performing a TRX hammer curl

Performing hammer curls with the TRX works your brachialis and brachioradialis muscles in addition to your biceps. As such, you'll find it easier than the regular bicep curl because you're lifting your bodyweight with more muscles.

The hammer curl is one of the best TRX biceps exercises for this very reason. It enables you to overload your arms with more resistance, which is to say you can lean back more and move further away from the anchor point because you're always stronger when you curl with a neutral grip.

  1. Attach your TRX to a secure anchor point above head height.
  2. Grab the handles with a neutral grip.
  3. Step away from the anchor point and lean your torso back at an angle.
  4. Make sure that your feet are close together and that your back is straight.
  5. Curl your forehead toward the TRX handles while keeping your elbows and shoulders stationary.
  6. Keep curling until your forearms and biceps come into contact with each other.
  7. Hold the muscle contraction for a moment.
  8. Lower yourself back down under control until your arms are fully locked out.
  9. Repeat for 3-5 sets of 6-15 reps.

3. Bicep clutch

The TRX bicep clutch is an intense training drill that makes a valuable addition to any intermediate or advanced TRX bicep workout. By flaring your elbows out and then curling your chest toward the handles, the TRX biceps clutch shifts the emphasis of the exercise onto the outer muscle fibers of your biceps, otherwise known as the long head.

Improving the outer head can help to make your arms look wider and your biceps more peaked. So if you already have a solid foundation off mass, then the TRX biceps clutch is definitely worth including in your workout.

  1. Position your TRX above head height.
  2. Hold the handles with a neutral grip.
  3. Step away from the anchor point and lean your body back to create some resistance.
  4. Curl your chest toward the handles by flexing your biceps. Keep your elbows in front of your torso at all times to avoid turning the movement into a row.
  5. Keep lifting until your forearms forcefully press up against your biceps.
  6. Squeeze your biceps as hard as you can and then release the contraction.
  7. Lower yourself back down until your elbows are completely locked out.
  8. Repeat for 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps.

4. Reverse curl

A man performing a TRX reverse curl

Doing reverse curls with a TRX mainly works your brachioradialis and brachialis. This is because performing TRX bicep exercises with a pronated grip puts the biceps in a position of mechanical disadvantage where they're unable to produce a significant amount of force.

As a result, your brachialis and brachioradialis have to pick up the slack and do most of the heavy lifting. This exercise ultimately leads to more proportional arms in the long run because most lifters have decent biceps but comparatively worse brachialis and brachioradialis development.

You can also see the various other TRX forearm exercises that train your brachioradialis and flexor muscles so that you can build complete arms.

  1. Suspend your TRX above head height.
  2. Hold onto the handles with an overhand grip.
  3. Step back to pull out the slack from the straps.
  4. Learn your torso backward at an angle to generate more resistance.
  5. Tighten your core, maintain a neutral spine, and keep your feet close together.
  6. Curl your face toward the handles until the tops of your forearms press right up against your biceps.
  7. Squeeze your arms forcefully for a second or two.
  8. Lower your body slowly until your elbows reach full extension.
  9. Perform 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps in total.

5. Zottman curl

A man performing a TRX Zottman curl

If you want to combine reverse curls and bicep curls into one convenient movement, then you should definitely do Zottman curls with the TRX.

Out of all the TRX exercises for the biceps, the Zottman curl is the most challenging because you're using the strength of your biceps during the concentric phase of the rep to overload your brachialis and brachioradialis during the eccentric portion of the rep.

  1. Suspend your TRX to an anchor point above head height.
  2. Grab the handles with a thumbless supinated grip.
  3. Move away from the anchor point and lean back to create some resistance.
  4. Curl your head toward the handles while keeping your shoulders and elbows stationary.
  5. As your biceps reach full contraction, rotate your wrists so that you're now holding the handles with a pronated grip.
  6. Lower yourself slowly while maintaining this overhand grip.
  7. Switch back to the initial underhand grip in preparation for the next rep once your elbows are fully extended.
  8. Perform 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps in total.

TRX bicep workouts

Woman performing TRX bicep exercises

These three TRX bicep workouts all cater to slightly different goals. For example, workout two prioritizes muscle growth by blasting your biceps from a variety of different angles and with lots of training volume. However, it still has a secondary focus on strength development.

Conversely, workout three emphasis rapid strength gain by having you perform lower reps but more sets, a training protocol that will also build plenty of muscle.

If you're new to suspension trainers, then it's recommended to start with the beginner TRX bicep workout so that you can acquaint yourself with some of the basic exercises.

Workout 1: Beginner

1: Supinated Curls — 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps

2: Hammer Curls — 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps

3: Zottman Curls — 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps

Workout 2: Hypertrophy

1: Single Arm Curls — 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

2: Hammer Curls — 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

3: Reverse Curls — 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps

4: Clutch Curls — 2 sets of 20 reps

Workout 3: Strength

1: Hammer Curls — 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps

2: Bicep Curls — 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps

3. Zottman Curls — 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps

In conclusion

Bicep TRX exercises tick all the boxes; they're challenging, fun, and highly convenient. With a suspension trainer, an anchor point, and a moderate amount of space, you can give your arms a great workout and make them grow.

TRX bicep exercises are also fully adaptable to your strength level and training goals. So if you're a bodybuilder who's wondering if the TRX is legit (it is because you're using your body weight), then you can lengthen the straps, stand away from the anchor point, and lean your torso back to increase the resistance and really challenge your biceps.

Of course, if you're a beginner, then you can lessen the resistance by doing the opposite. There's no right or wrong position for the majority of these exercises. What really matters is that you're comfortable and able to feel the target muscle working.

References

  1. Krieger, J. (2018). Set Volume for Muscle Size: The Ultimate Evidence Based Bible. Weightology. https://weightology.net/the-members-area/evidence-based-guides/set-volume-for-muscle-size-the-ultimate-evidence-based-bible/
  2. Soligon, S. D., da Silva, D. G., Bergamasco, J. G. A., Angleri, V., Júnior, R. A. M., Dias, N. F., Nóbrega, S. R., de Castro Cesar, M., & Libardi, C. A. (2020). Suspension training vs. traditional resistance training: effects on muscle mass, strength and functional performance in older adults. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 120(10), 2223–2232. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04446-x

Liam Brown
Liam Brown has been coaching clients as a personal trainer for more than 12 years. Raised by his athlete mother and physiotherapist father, he understands the critical importance of learning the proper technique for both avoiding injury and building muscle.
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