American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

Whether they’re training a client, teaching a group fitness class or working out, fitness professionals’ lives tend to revolve around exercise. They know which exercises are the most effective for burning calories, strengthening and toning your muscles, and even improving your balance and stability. To give you the inside scoop on what the experts do during their own workouts, we asked some of our top ACE pros to share their all-time favorite exercises.

BOSU Burpee With a Push-up for Good Measure

BOSU Burpee

BOSU Burpee

Platform side up. Legs wide. Squat down and place hands on top of BOSU. Jump back to plank. Push up. Legs jump back out and stand up. Bring BOSU with you as you stand or press over head as you stand for an extra bonus! 
-Shannon Fable, ACE PT, GFI, Health Coach

The Deadlift


The deadlift trains a foundational skill of picking up heavy stuff and putting it back down again. And if you can do this well with a reasonably challenging amount of weight, it is a good indicator of general physical ability.
-Jonathan Ross, ACE PT

TRX Lunges

TRX Lunges

Hands down, TRX Lunges are my favorite exercise. This exercise provides the benefits of double hip extension (as in a squat), but also improves balance, unilateral strength, and hip and knee stability. Once the basic TRX lunge is mastered, it can be progressed to be more specific exercises by implementing kettlebells, bands, medicine balls, hops and more!
-Shana Verstegen, ACE PT

Alternating Single-arm SandBell Swings

Alternating Single-arm Sandbell Swings

This is one of my all-time favorite exercises, because it's a great move that works the entire body and burns some major calories, all while using one of my favorite pieces of equipment—the SandBell.
Stand with feet hip-width distance apart while holding a SandBell in the right hand with an overhand grip. Hinge at the hips, drawing the SandBell back between the legs, then thrust the hips forward, generating power from the lower body to raise the SandBell to shoulder height. Once at shoulder height, release the SandBell momentarily mid-air, switching hands so the Sandbell is now in the left hand. Continue alternating hands.
-Jessica Matthews, ACE PT, GFI, Health Coach

Turkish Get-ups

Turkish Get-up

If I was told I could only do one exercise for the rest of my life it would be Turkish Get-ups. This exercise involves a number of muscles, making it energy expensive (burn a lot of calories) and it improves coordination and movement efficiency.
-Pete McCall, ACE PT, GFI

Bar Slider Bridge

Bar Slider Bridge

I love this move because it hits all angles of the hamstrings with glutes. Probably the best single exercise everyone can use because many of us are sitting on it for six or more hours a day. Plus everyone loves a boosted bottom line!

Start lying down on floor with knees bent and a rolling bar under your feet. Lift the hips from the floor and tilt the pelvis toward the ribcage and keep them lifted. Slide the feet away from the body and then towards together. The heels should be the press point on the plate with toes slightly flexed. Perform 10 repetitions with knees and feet together; 10 repetitions with feet together and knees open; and 10 repetitions with feet shoulder-width apart and knees touching.
-Andrea Metcalf, ACE Health Coach