Your personal trainer’s favorite exercises and why!

We love the monthly mastermind sessions with the Dream Team of personal trainers working at Hyatt Training. Our June session was especially fun as each trainer shared their system for creating smart programs for their clients, as well as their favorite two or three exercises to deliver maximum benefit to their clients.

As personal trainers, our number one job is to share our expertise and passion. We hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards of continuing education, and with a talented team of trainers right here at the studio, we often learn some of the best lessons from each other. We strive to stay on top of the the latest trends and research to always be at our best. We’re dedicated to educating our clients in each and every session.

Favorite personal trainer exercises

One of the best parts about working with a personal trainer is guidance to make sure your time spent on exercise is as effective and efficient as possible. So what’s on that list for our Dream Team? Hint: these may seem pretty familiar to our clients! See some new terms below? Ask your trainer to share what it’s all about!

Trap Bar Deadlift: This exercise hits everything from head to toe. Trap bar deadlifts are shown to involve a high percentage of muscle groups in one exercise making it a great addition to any plan.

Planks and breathing: Using breath counts for planks instead of time helps for two reasons. The focused breathing really helps to engage the core and there’s no need to have a watch or crane your neck to see the clock.

Single arm press on a stability ball: Using the single arm really involves the hips and core into the exercise, and asymmetric exercises really help to light up muscles other than just the primary movers. The ball is pretty comfortable, and also works on a bench.

Body saw: This is a great anti-extension exercise. Basically it’s a dynamic plank so you’re having to hold the core braced while moving through space. Try it with sliders or a TRX

Goblet squat to a box: Goblet squats are generally gentler on the spine because of the front loaded position of the weight. Adding the box gives the squatter a good end-range target and generally allows for a more vertical position throughout.

Single leg glute bridge: Anything single leg is good for helping develop good balance between sides and not letting dominant areas remain that way. Pulling the knee towards chest in a single leg bridge also helps put pelvis in a good position to activate the glutes instead of quads / hamstrings

Split squats: Split squats provide great single leg focus and while removing the balance factor. They can be even more challenging in a rear-foot elevated position.

Dead lift: The deadlift is full body work, and head to toe strength development. There’s a huge range of options on the deadlift from kettlebell straight legs deadlifts, to dumbbell variations, trap bars and barbell deadlifts from the floor.

Back lunge: The back lunge is another example of great single leg work. Lunges are knee dominant and help the same muscles that are active in hiking, cycling, walking and performing so many regular daily activities.

Suitcase carry: Loaded carries primarily focus on stabilizing muscles and, again, develop full body strength starting with good grip strength. Asymmetric carries like the suitcase variation really work the core to maintain posture under uneven loads.

Pallof press: Done with a cable or super band the pallof press works anti-rotation, meaning the muscles in the core that aid (or prevent) twisting. Very low impact on spine (compared to planks), this variation is great to help create a strong core in all directions.

Kettlebell swings: Basically a very ballistic deadlift, swings are great for strength and cardiovascular development. Good swings help develop coordination, timing, breathing mechanics, grip strength and proper hip extension and leave you gassed for breath!

Turkish get-ups: The get-up is one of the most complete exercises out there. A little tricky to get right, the Turkish get-up involves elements of all three planes of motion and the ability to move your body through space under load with great mechanics. It’s definitely worth the time to learn.

Landmine meadow’s row: The meadow’s row changes the grip position and lever arm by using the landmine attachment with a barbell and utilizing a neutral grip with no rotation at the forearm.

Landmine split stance deadlift: Again, this is a single leg focus without the reliance on good balance. It allows user to load up a little more and eliminate the balance element that sometimes prohibits proper movement and activation.


Hyatt Training is a collective of certified, enthusiastic and innovative personal trainers in Portland, Oregon. Our core values are the heart, soul and guiding principals for every decision day in and day out. Staying true to a steady set of values ensures our clients receive consistent results for their entire personal training experience. Belief in education for our clients, ourselves and the community at large is a huge part of who we are.

While we take what we do very seriously, we refuse to take ourselves too seriously. Having fun along the way is important to us. We promise our clients they’ve never had so much fun working so hard! To learn more about our personal trainers, or to set up a free consultation to see how they could help you, email us at Go@HyattTraining.com.

By |2018-07-10T14:27:51+00:00July 10th, 2018|Fitness, News, Personal trainer tips|