Training Secrets The Fitness Pros Wish You Knew

Get the proper industry secrets to transform into your dream body.

Training Secrets The Fitness Pros Wish You Knew

Sure, you spend a lot of time at the gym, but just think how many hours the trainers are out on the floor. During that time, they see an awful lot they wish they could tell you, from the exercises you should be doing more of to the ones that are a waste of energy. We polled top fitness experts for their advice about the best ways for you to get the most out of your workouts.

3 Essential Moves Everyone Should Be Doing:


“Being able to pick something up off the ground safely is one of the most important moves you can do. And it’s a full-body exercise. Everything gets hit with a deadlift,” notes Molly Galbraith, C.S.C.S., co-founder of Girls Gone Strong in Lexington, KY. “There’s a variation for everyone—it's a skill you should train at every level.”


“It engages every single part of your body, challenging your core, shoulders, quads, hammies, and glutes, no matter how beginner or advanced you are,” says Jacqueline Kasen, a performance coach and trainer based in Miami.


“It’s a basic human movement pattern. And because we are constantly sitting in our cars, at our computers, or on the phone, we often maintain poor posture. The squat helps reverse the crappy movement patterns we do throughout the day,” explains Julia Ladewski, a trainer and strength coach based in Highland, IN.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Squat Mistakes

...And 4 Moves That Waste Your Time

Smith Machine Squat

“You’re stuck in one range of motion, and the bar assists you with balance, so overall you’re recruiting fewer muscles,” says Jaclyn Sklaver, a trainer based in New York City.

Do this instead: Weighted squat holding dumbbells or barbells.

Situp or Crunch

“The purpose of the core is to resist movement, not create it!" says Galbraith. “Other exercises are far more aligned to the way you use your abs in everyday life.” 

Do this instead: The Pallof press helps you stabilize your core. Hold a resistance band wrapped around a pole. Brace your core and extend your arms away from your sternum, keeping hips and shoulders square, resisting the tendency to turn in.

Bench Press

“Most women need to build a foundation before they bench-press because they simply don’t have the shoulder stability or upper-back strength to make it effective,” says Jim Smith, a strength coach in Elmira, NY.

Do this instead: Pushup.

Upright Row

“It can compress the shoulder joint and cause injury,” says Kasen.

Do this instead: Dumbbell front raises, which focus completely on your delts.