Trainers need to practice what they preach if they want to stay on top of their game. But with unpredictable schedules and class-packed days, you have to wonder how they squeeze in time to do their own workout. These high-intensity combo moves from some of the top trainers on Instagram show you just how they do it. Targeting several muscles at once, these compound exercises help them get the job done in less time. So if you want some workout motivation or just want to change up your routine, take a cue from one of these 30-second videos. (Be warned: These moves are advanced, so don’t attempt them without a solid foundation of strength and stability.)
15 Impressive Combo Moves to Work Out Like a Super-Fit Trainer
The Seattle-based fitness phenomenon is known for her explosive moves, superior strength and incredible agility. In this barbell exercise, Keranen first combines an ab roll-out with a push-up — both on a barbell no less — for a total-body challenge. Then, she follows that up with a barbell clean to front squat for lower-body strength and power. Beginners can start by walking their hands out from their feet to a push-up and using two dumbbells instead of a barbell for the front squat.
The burpee is the ultimate cardio exercise that leaves no muscle untouched. For this variation, the Project by Equinox trainer turns it up with a lateral plyo push-up to a 180 jump squat. If you’re already thinking #OhMyGodso, just add on that bear crawl with a final 180 jump squat to return to the start. If you’re not a fan of burpees, these variations will make you one. To modify, inchworm your way to standing from the plank position, instead of jumping.
Williams, a former NFL player, knows a thing or two about strength, stability and balance. Here, he puts it all to the test with a three-legged push-up on the TRX band (hands balancing on two kettlebells, no less), followed by a kettlebell clean to press. What, like it’s hard? Demanding total-body strength and cardio endurance, this move works your chest, legs, glutes, shoulders, triceps and core. Basically, don’t forget to ‘gram it.
We bet you haven’t seen ab-busting mountain climbers like this. Right from the booty-building wall sit, Jenkins and her swole mate Brittne Babe drop their hands down to the floor for handstand mountain climbers with their legs inverted behind them. Notice how their heels don’t really touch the wall? Staying light on your toes will help you hone in on this shoulder and core scorcher.
Grab a partner and a plate for this ab burner! Here, Holder, Nike master trainer and S10 trainer, fires up his core in a high plank position. But the six-pack-chiseling work doesn’t stop there. Stabilizing his shoulders, hips and core, he pushes the plate to his partner — with power. If you’ve got a 45-pounder between you, limit sets to 30 seconds, Holder says, so you avoid sacrificing form.
Evan Betts and Devon Levesque
We know what you’re thinking: NBD, right? If you haven’t sensed our sarcasm already, this move is fully loaded. Prepare to be mesmerized by Betts and Levesque right from the jump — with synchronized backflips, that is. The sequence continues with 180 plyo push-ups to plyo lunges to muscle-ups. Oh, and did we mention superman push-ups? To help you begin to beast this flow, break down the elements before adding on.
The queen of bodyweight workouts, Stokes shows us how to fire up your core with a towel or gliders. In this single-leg push-up move, Stokes squeezes her glutes to engage her posterior chain during the push-up. Be sure to not raise your suspended leg higher than your hips, as it can cause discomfort in your low back, Stokes says. Move in slow and controlled contractions to help you maintain stability and get the most out of the exercise. Want to #GetStoked more? Try her landmine workout here.
RELATED: 5 Power Lunges for Killer Glutes
Sometimes three muscle-shredding moves are better than one. Here you’ll take your glute bridge from the floor to the bench with this hip thrust variation that adds on a dumbbell press and pullover. Notice how Gaddour’s shoulders, hips and knees are perfectly aligned throughout the entire movement. This is crucial for protecting your lower back. And remember: Start with light dumbbells to ensure your form is on point before progressing to heavier weights. Want more from BJ? Check out his HIIT bodyweight burners workout.
Gary, owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City, schools us on hinges and power cleans in this badass kettlebell complex. Using a flat back and driving from the hips, the kettlebell swing sets him up for a power clean and forward lunge. From there, he connects another kettlebell swing to a clean and overhead press, straight into the windmill. Maintaining spine mobility and alignment is key in the windmill. As you hinge your torso to your side, be sure to keep your hips square and your eyes on the overhead arm as you do a small spinal twist. To master this flow like Gary, nail down the hinge in the kettlebell swing and practice the windmill without a weight. (Then check out the other creative kettlebell exercises he shared with us.)
10. Sots Press
Combining strength and mobility, the press in snatch, aka sots press, is an advanced weightlifting move that’s popular among powerlifters and CrossFitters. Here, instead of a barbell, Saladino uses two kettlebells to challenge his balance and stability. Before trying it, you’ll want to make sure you have the mobility to sit in a deep squat. From there, you’ll press one kettlebell up overhead and bring it back down to chest height before alternating sides. While it may look like all shoulders, hips and legs, it’s a crazy core stabilizer, too.
You’ll have a newfound love for parallettes when you try this total-body bodyweight exercise. By keeping your shoulders down and elbows tucked, as Jensen demonstrates here, you’ll force your triceps to really work. If you can’t do a tricep dip, consider doing a hold for five seconds. For the leg extension, the Physique 57 and Shadowbox instructor recruits muscles from her core to swing her legs up and fully extend them. You can modify by doing a tricep dip and then finishing with the tuck (no leg extension).
Take your squat thrust to new heights with this amped up variation that adds on box jumps. Watch how Forzaglia makes sure both feet land on the box and his legs fully extend before hopping back down to do a burpee. Start small by using a shorter step, then progress by adding a taller one. Stepping up (instead of jumping) is also an option to reduce impact. Be sure to keep your chest high and your core engaged — and remember, timing is everything!
Inversions and balancing poses can be intimidating, but this yoga flow is the perfect inspiration to finally master that handstand (check out our beginner’s guide here). The Eka pada koundinyasana in yoga is all about arm balance and engaging your chest and shoulders. Pressing your thigh into your chest will help give you momentum to lift your lower body and move into a split. As you transition to a handstand, recruit your glutes to help you move upward. The groundwork for a solid handstand is grip strength and stability, so if that’s something you’re working on, practice planks, push-ups and crow pose.
Dara Theodore and Jenna Wolfe
We can’t get enough of this dynamic duo, who seem to move with telekinetic power. Wolfe and Daily Burn trainer Theodore perform two one-arm dumbbell snatches — one on each side — and then hop over to the bar, where they do two hanging V-ups. Not able to go toes to bar like these champs? Bring knees to chest for a more beginner-friendly modification.
Don’t own a sandbag or medicine ball? Jen Widerstrom encourages you to improvise with a furry friend! In this fun video, the celebrity trainer and powerlifter sprints holding her dog, Hanky, for one minute, then slows her heart rate with walking lunges (pup in the front rack position) for another minute. Your pup will either love or hate it — but that’s what doggie treats are for.