Favorite Workouts from Top Fitness Trainers

woman with personal trainer

Do you find yourself doing the same workout day in and day out? If you're following your routine, but just not feeling the good vibes that typically come with exercise, it might be time to change things up. 

Not sure where to start? From cardio and strength training to yoga and stretching, there's a workout here for everyone. Plus, a bonus yoga routine you can do even while you're on an airplane.

Juliet Kaska's Favorite Circuit Workouts

Celebrity fitness trainer Juliet Kaska, creator of the "Move for You" work out, shares three circuits that you can do individually or combine for a total body workout. 

Circuit No. 1: Pilates Moves
Do each move with no rest between. Complete the circuit one time.

Single Leg Stretch
Curl up, bringing your head, neck and shoulder blades off the mat. Your right leg is pulled in toward your chest with your hands placed on either side of your knee, elbows bent and lifted out to the side. Left leg is reaching straight, hovering a few inches off the ground. Keep your lower back imprinted into the mat and your shoulders off the mat as you alternate your legs. Repeat 10 times each side. 

Double Leg Stretch
Staying lifted, pull knees into chest, hands reaching to ankles, making your body like a tight ball. Inhale as you extend legs straight out hovering above the ground and arms straight overhead. Don't allow your shoulder blades to touch the ground as your arms reach overhead. Circle your arms around as your curl up another inch and pull your legs back in. Repeat six times. 

Single Straight Leg Stretch
Stay lifted as you extend one leg straight up toward the ceiling and the other out straight out hovering above the mat. Reach your hands up to your ankle keeping your leg straight (if your hamstrings are tight, keep your leg straight but place your hands behind your thigh just below the knee). Pulse top leg toward you twice from the abs, switch legs like a scissor switch. Repeat 10 times each side. 

Double Straight Leg-Lower Lifts
Stay curled up with both legs extended straight up toward the ceiling. Turn your legs out and squeeze your heels and inner thighs together. Place your hands stacked behind your head (shoulder blades are still lifted off the mat). Keep lower back imprinted into the mat as you lower your legs toward the mat on an inhale and on an exhale draw abdominal wall in deeper as your pull legs back up to the start position. Repeat six times. 

Stay curled up with hands stacked behind head, bend the right knee in toward your chest as your lower left leg to hover above the mat. Twist your torso toward the right knee, keeping elbows wide framing the head, not crossing the face. Switch legs and rotation. Repeat 10 times each side. 
Circuit No. 2: Strength Training 
Do each exercise. Rest 30 seconds between each move. Do the entire circuit three times.

Seated Row
Sit on bench with legs extended straight and feet on plate. Use a close grip bar or rope in both hands. Hinge back slightly, and draw shoulders back then pull on weight bringing elbows along body till your shoulder blades are drawn in and arms are pulled as far back as they can go. Keep abs tight as you bring arms back to start position. Repeat 15 times. 

Step Ups with Row
Change out the close grip bar for a single handle/loop. Stand to the side of the bench (make sure bench is secure, won't slide and can hold your bodyweight) facing the weight stack. Place your right foot on the bench and handle in your left hand. Step your left leg back into a small lunge. Stand straight up on the bench bringing your left foot off the ground and pulling your left arm back in a wide row (elbow lifted out to the side). Repeat 10 times then reverse it the other side for 10 reps. 

Place both hands on bench and legs back behind you in plank position. Lower down to bench and push back up. Repeat 20 times. 

Step Downs with Isometric Bicep Curl
Start standing on bench with right leg straight and left leg off the ground. Bend your left arm to a 90-degree bicep curl with full tension, maintain this position as you bend the right leg lowering the left leg toward the ground. The left foot is flexed. Stop right before your left foot touches the ground. Power up through right leg returning to start position.  Repeat 10 times then reverse it the other side for 10 times. 
Circuit No. 3: Treadmill Intervals
Complete one-minute sprint followed by recovery walk paired with a strength training move. Start with five-pound dumbbells. 

  1. One-minute sprint followed by recovery walk with overhead shoulder presses. Elbows bent to 90 degrees out to side at shoulder height. Press weights up and overhead. Repeat 15 times. 
  2. One-minute spring followed by recovery walk with 90-degree lateral raises. Bend elbows to 90 degrees at your side. Keep the 90-degree angle as you lift arms up to the side. Repeat 15 times. 
  3. One-minute minute spring followed by recovery walk with bicep curls. Palms face inward. Keep elbows tight to waist as you bend and straighten arms. Repeat 15 times. 
  4. One-minute sprint followed by recovery walk with triceps dip (off treadmill). After you have fully turned treadmill off, and belt has stopped moving, sit on back of treadmill with hands placed next to your hips. Legs extended straight out in front of you. Lift hips off and slightly forward of treadmill. Bend elbows till your buttocks come just above the ground, then press up. Repeat 20 times.  

Ross Rayburn's Favorite Yoga Routine 

Peloton yoga instructor, Ross Rayburn, knows a thing or two about yoga. He also has a ton of experience squeezing workouts in while on the airplane. In fact, he's flown over 3 million miles since 2007 to teach yoga around the world. He's also taught yoga in 37 countries and on every continent (except for Antarctica). Here, he shares four yoga poses for airline travel. 

Crossed Ankle Twist (during the flight)
Benefit: a great pose to relive low back stiffness.

Sit tall towards the front of the airplane seat. Extend the legs as straight as possible. 
Keeping one foot on the floor, cross the right ankle over the left. Scissor action in the legs, squeezing inner thigh muscles together. Place both hands on the left arm rest, twisting to the left while keeping the inner thigh squeeze going—hold for three slow breaths. Keeping the legs the same, twist toward the right arm rest. Change the ankle cross and repeat the twist in both directions. 

Seated Backbend (during the flight)
Benefit: helps to relieve upper back and neck strain.

Sit tall a few inches away from back seat. Hold arm rests with elbows back toward the seat. Press the back of your head firmly into the headrest. Lift your chest toward the ceiling creating an upper back bend. Hold for three slow full breaths. Lower chin to chest expanded. Repeat.

Pyramid Pose (after the flight)
Benefit: one way to relieve the pain and strain felt on the low back.

Stand with feet about two feet apart, front foot pointing forward, back foot slightly turned out. Place hands on the back of a chair (or the handle of your carry-on bag). Keeping both legs straight and strong, bend forward, bending the elbows. Stick your bottom out behind you until you feel the low back move toward an inward curve (the opposite of rounding your lower back). Repeat with second foot forward.

Clasped Hands Behind the Back (after the flight)
Benefit: stretching the chest muscles and relieving neck tension.

Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Bend the knees slightly to engage the leg muscles (imagine having to hike up a mountain). Keeping the legs strong, stand with legs straight. Clasp hands behind the back. Puff up your chest like a cartoon superhero. Keep your head and neck steady (avoid jutting head and neck forward). Stretch your arms longer with hands still clasped. Switch the clasp (index fingers switch position). Repeat.

Quianna Camper's Challenging Core & Cardio Circuit

Pairing core moves with cardio blasts is what Quianna Camper, AAAI/ISMA certified personal trainer with RSP Nutrition, does best. Here, she shares her challenging core and cardio circuit that you can do at home, in the gym or anywhere you can find some space. 

Perform each exercise continuously for one minute. Rest for 30 seconds. Then, move to the next exercise. Camper says you can complete each circuit three to five times with a two-minute break each round.

1 minute of jump lunges 
30 seconds rest
1 minute of seated knee tucks
30 second rest
1 minute of side plank dips
30 seconds of rest
1 minute of alternating plank knee tucks
30 seconds of rest
1 minute lateral squat jumps with high knee
30 seconds of rest

Jump Lunges
Start in a neutral stance, shoulder-width apart. Push off both feet, exploding straight and landing into a lunge with your right leg in front. Alternate and repeat for a full minute. 

Seated Knee Tucks
In a seated position, place your hands on the floor at your side with your legs fully extended forward and lean back. Bend your legs bringing your knees to your chest. Hold for two seconds and fully extend your legs out without touching the floor. Repeat.

Side Plank Dips
Lie on your side placing your hand on the floor (modify by placing elbow on floor), make sure you're right underneath your shoulders. Place one foot on top of the other, allowing your body to be in neutral position. Dip your hips down toward the floor and lift them higher than neutral. Repeat.

Alternating Plank Knee Tucks
Start in a plank position, hands under your shoulders and feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your left knee to your right elbow, crunching in your core, bringing your left leg back out to starting position. Switch to your right leg to left elbow. Alternate the movement and repeat.

Lateral Squat Jumps with High Knee
Start with your legs in a wide stance past shoulder-width, feet facing forward. Shift your body weight to the right into a side lunge position. Touch the floor with your left hand, while left leg remains straight. Push off with your right leg jumping onto your left leg, placing right leg down. Step out onto your left leg, push off with your left leg, jumping onto your right leg. Alternate the movement and repeat.  

Caitlin Egan's Go-To Bodybuilding Style Workout

Caitlin Egan, a personal trainer at Life Time MetroWest-Boston, says her favorite workouts are typically bodybuilding style, which means lifting heavy weights and breaking her week up into a split routine that gives each day a designated group of muscles. 

When it comes to her favorite muscles group to train, Egan says she loves back exercises because of the challenge that comes with pull-ups and rows. Before doing any of these movements, Egan says to make sure and always drive the scapula down for the first movement of any pull up, pull down or row. 

Here's the workout that helped Egan go from doing one pull-up to a set of 10. 

Do as many pull-ups as you can for three sets. Rest 30 seconds between each set.  

Lat Pull Down
Do four sets of six to eight repetitions of lat pull downs with 30 to 60 seconds of rest between sets. Finish with one set of 30 reps.

Single Arm Bent Over Row
Do four sets of eight to 10 repetitions (each arm) of single arm bent-over row with a dumbbell. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between each set. 

Seated Row 
Do four sets of eight to 10 repetitions of seated rows. Can use a cable machine or seated row machine. Rest 30 to 60 seconds between each set.

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About the Author

Sara Lindberg

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Sara Lindberg, B.S., M.Ed., is a fitness expert and full-time freelance writer with 20+ years of experience. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science and a Master's degree in Counseling. She’s spent her life educating people on the importance of health, wellness, mindset, and mental health, and she specializes in the mind-body connection, with a focus on how our mental and emotional wellbeing impact our physical fitness and health. 
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Sara Lindberg, B.S., M.Ed., is a fitness expert and full-time freelance writer with 20+ years of experience. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science and a Master's degree in Counseling. She’s spent her life educating people on the importance of health, wellness, mindset, and mental health, and she specializes in the mind-body connection, with a focus on how our mental and emotional wellbeing impact our physical fitness and health. 

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