11 Exercises Top Trainers Do Every Time They Work Out

Trainers spend hours every day helping other people work toward their fitness goals. And while it's cool to learn what they typically recommend for their clients, I think it's more interesting to find out what the experts do during their own workouts. Think about it: Trainers know all the exercise options out there, so the ones they actually choose to do on their own time must stand out to them for a reason.

After talking with many trainers (for this story and other fitness stories I've reported over the years), it's pretty clear that most gravitate toward compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once. They're simply more efficient—and who doesn't want to get more done in less time? Sure, trainers also do isolation exercises like bicep curls and dumbbell flyes to target individual muscle groups that they want to strengthen. But overall, compound exercises tend to take up the majority of time in their routines.

Of course, I should acknowledge that trainers are often strong and fit and work out very often. Exercising is part of their job, after all. So some of the things they do every single time they work out may look a little more advanced than what you and I would or could do on the reg. But I think most people will be surprised to know that many times, trainers pick pretty straightforward exercises to do themselves. There's a reason for that—the basics work, and complicated moves aren't always better. Sure, you'll notice that some trainers like to throw more complex moves into their workouts to mix things up, but many of their go-tos are standard exercises you've probably seen before.

Below, check out 11 exercises top trainers do every time they work out. Most are compound movements, but there a few cardio and mobility-focused moves sprinkled in, too, for good measure. Some of these picks have multiple fans singing their praises—that's how you know adding them to your routine is a great idea. Modeling the exercises is Alyssa Marsh, a senior club manager at Blink Fitness, Flywheel Sports instructor, and USA Boxing Amateur fighter based in Philadelphia.

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Self – Fitness