Even though suspension training equipment is found across most gyms today, the TRX clock press is one of the most underused exercises you see on many gym floors. This exercise is a great addition to a chest workout routine as a warm-up exercise, “finisher” or a good variation in your main chest routine.
What is the TRX Clock Press?
The clock press (TRX) is an exercise that utilises suspension cables to mainly target your chest and core. It is called the “Clock press” as when you perform the movement on each side your extended arms will point to the 9 and 3 o’clock positions.
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How to do the TRX Clock Press:
Set Up: For this exercise you need to use a TRX system (suspension training system), specifically the suspension cables. The cables need to be securely fastened above you and be fully extended so that they dangle not far off the floor.
- Standing with feet wider than shoulder width apart with feet facing forward.
- Grip the handles with both hands and move forward until you have tension on the cable. Ensure the handles are at roughly waist height with palms facing down (prone position).
- Hold the handles and stand straight with your back to the anchor point where the cables are secured.
- Stretch your arms straight in front and gently lean forward, allowing the straps to come over each shoulder. You should be able to still balance fairly easily. Adjust the cables or your position if this is not the case.
- Your body should be at an approximately 40° angle, with your hands in front of you and your weight on your toes, much like an incline push up position.
- Make sure your core is engaged and keep your body straight while remaining leaning forward.
- Keep a slight bend in your elbows but keep your arms close to your body.
- Breathe in and lower yourself into the tension, keeping your right arm bent while you slowly straighten the left arm to the side away from your body.
- Your left arm should be straight and in line with your shoulder.
- Breathe out and bend the left arm back to the original position and repeat with the alternate arm.
- Keep repeating the exercise, alternating arms each time or repeat with the same arm, take a rest and then try with the other arm.
Muscular Endurance: 12-20 Reps Hypertrophy: 8-12 Reps
TRX Clock Press Muscles worked:
Prime Mover: pectoralis major (chest)
Secondary Muscles: Anterior Deltoid (front of shoulder), Biceps brachii (front of arms), Rhomboids (back), Triceps brachii (back of arm)
Like this exercise? Check out some of our other exercise guides here:
Common mistakes with the TRX clock press
- Sudden movements – To avoid back injury and sustain balance and form, keep your movements slow and steady.
- Touching TRX straps – The TRX straps should not be touching your arms during the exercise, this can chafe your skin.
- Tight straps – Make sure the straps are tight before you start the exercise, there should not be any looseness, as this will impact the effectiveness of the exercise.
TRX Clock Press Benefits:
- This exercise is a great all-round exercise, as well as helping to build and tone your chest muscles, you are also working your core. When you lower your body through one axis point via the clock press, you’re asymmetrically loading the body and giving yourself just enough feedback to maintain stability but also resistance to create strain on both your core and the prime target, the pectoralis major.
- The TRX Clock Press is a combination of the chest press and chest fly and helps improve shoulder stabiliser muscles and is a good foundation for even more advanced exercises.
- The suspension clock press is a suitable for complete novices and highly advanced calisthenic trainers due how easy it is to manipulate the resistance utilising your bodyweight.
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Regression & Progression for the TRX Clock Press:
The great thing about the TRX clock press and suspension training exercises all together is that they are applicable to every soma type and fitness level as you can make the exercise easier or harder with minimal fuss, using the steps outlined below:
Make the exercise easier (regression):
Firstly, to make the exercise regressive (easier), which is advised if you’re new to using suspension cables or just exercise in general, you can simply take a step further forward, reducing the angle of your tilt and in turn your depth and range of motion you need to drive back up from.
Make the exercise harder (progression):
There is two ways to make this exercise progressive (harder). The first logical way is to replicate the regression step in reverse, by taking a step closer to the TRX system before getting into position. This will increase the range of motion and the subsequent resistance from your own body weight.
The second way of making the exercise harder is by changing the execution of the movement by instead of trying to put your arm out at a 90-degree angle to the 9 or 3 o’clock position, aim for the 10 and 2 o’clock position. This not just places a slightly different emphasis on the muscles, focusing more on your inner chest and triceps, but your bodyweight is distributed further away from your point of axis making it more challenging:
Clock Press (TRX) Safety Precautions:
- Lower Back Pain Problems – If you suffer from lower back pain, its advisable to consult a practitioner before commencing this exercise as it places huge emphasis on your core, and you can cause yourself further damage if performed incorrectly.
- Test Rep – If you’re new to the exercise, do a test repetition first in a stance you know you feel comfortable. Even if you’re a seasoned gym veteran who has years of training, but have not spent time engaging with suspension cables as not just would it be embarrassing if you fall flat on your face (we have all been there) for being overly ambitious, but also it gives you a good measure of the optimum angle for you to uptake when knocking out your repetitions whilst sustaining good form.
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