Instagram is a great fitness resource
Even if you’ve been going to the gym for years, it can be an intimidating place where everyone looks like they know what they’re doing. But thanks to Instagram, you can now walk in with a solid idea of what routine or machine to try (without having to ask people for help).
Thousands of trainers and fitness enthusiasts have begun to use Instagram, not only to document their own journeys, but also to inspire others with new ways to keep fit.
One of those trainers is Lorraine Bradley of Cat Bradley Yoga.
“I joined Instagram three years ago purely to follow my yoga idol, Kino MacGregor,” she admits. “I had no idea what I would find once I joined Instagram, but it opened a whole new world to me regarding fitness.”
Bradley decided to share her knowledge and journey after being frustrated with the lack of information (specifically on yoga) that she found on Instagram. She now has 197k followers and hopes people are inspired to try something new, no matter their age.
“I'm almost 40 years old now and I’m stronger now than I have ever been,” she adds.
Whether you’re new to the gym or stuck in an old routine, we rounded up seven different fitness routines from some of the best trainers on Instagram that will make you look — and feel — like a pro during your next workout.
Target your core with an ab routine
Grab a mat and move to the open space in the gym. You can also practice this at home until you know the routine by heart so that you can have more confidence at the gym.
The routine by Fit With El
- Modified v-up (3 sets of 10 reps)
- Vertical heel touch and leg drop (3 sets of 10 reps)
- Reverse crunch extension (3 sets of 15 reps)
- High bicycle (3 sets of 30 reps)
You can also do this as a circuit (go through 10 reps once and repeat 4 times). For a longer workout, combine it with a leg or arm routine below.
Strengthen your legs with some weights
You’ll need a weight bench, kettlebell, and resistance band for this workout. If you prefer to perfect this at home first, you can use your body weight (or a light hand weight, such a water bottle filled with sand) and a chair.
The routine by Whitney Simmons of Get Fit With Whit
- Single-leg stiff leg deadlift with squat to curtsy lunge and back to squat (3 sets of 10 reps each leg)
- Three-quarter squat to a complete sit on bench with resistance band (4 sets of 15 reps)
- Three-quarter banded squat with pulses with resistance band (4 sets of 15 reps)
Not only will this workout keep your legs strong, but it’ll also burn your booty into shape. For an extra glutes lift, finish this workout with 30 pulsed squats.
Push and lift for impressive arms
Grab a dumbbell and find a weight bench to tackle this sequence. Start off with a 5-pound dumbbell and track your progress as you move up in weight.
The routine by Madly Mish
- Single-arm dumbbell overhead extension (3 sets of 10 reps each arm)
- Seated hammer curls (as many reps as possible)
- Standing hammer curls (as many reps as possible)
Give yourself a time limit for the hammer curls so that you don’t push yourself too far.
Sweat it out with your whole body
If you're not crazy about complicated equipment and toting around workout gear, you can still get a killer workout with just your body weight, an exercise ball, and the floor. Try this routine at the gym or at home on your yoga mat. Your entire body will be hurting so good.
The routine by James Elvis Lynn III, co-founder of TXFit
- Slam ball burpees (4 sets of 15)
- Pushup oblique twists (3 sets of 10)
- Jumping jacks (4 sets of 25 )
- Plank shoulder taps (3 sets of 12)
Increase the intensity in 20 minutes
For this circuit, you’ll just need a large plyo box or mat. If you’re a beginner, you can swap the box jumps for step-ups, do the tricep dips as shown below, and do every other move on the floor.
The routine by Amanda Bisk
- Box jumps (15 reps)
- Tricep dips (15 reps)
- Plank to downward dog (15 reps)
- Split squats (15 reps each leg)
- Crunches (30 reps)
- Knee-to-elbow plank (30 reps)
Repeat this circuit 3 times.
Relax and let your body loose
This can be done at home on your carpet after a long day in front of a computer or at the gym as a cool-down on a mat. No equipment needed!
The routine by Cat Bradley Yoga
- Shoulder roll: Lay on your belly and take one arm 90 degrees, keeping your elbow in line with your shoulder. Gently roll out onto that side. Repeat on the other side.
- Puppy stretch: Lower your chest towards the floor and raise your butt into the air, keeping hips as close as you can in line with your legs.
- Modified puppy stretch: From puppy stretch, take one arm all the way out in the opposite direction and gently lower your chest.
- Seated overhead hand clasp.
- Seated eagle arms.
- Full body stretch: Lay on your belly and lengthen both arms, trying not to lift your chest.
Get to know machines with ease
We also have a routine for people who want to tackle machines but aren’t sure how. Shoulders and back are a great place to start. If you’re a beginner, just do as many sets as you can within 30 minutes and slowly work up to the recommended 3 sets.
The routine by Sarah Ackman
- Seated underhand lat pulldowns (3 sets of 10 reps)
- High cable wide grip rows (3 sets of 10 reps)
- Seated cable rear delt rows (3 sets of 10 reps)
- Superset: stabilized cable rows and low cable rows (3 sets of 10 reps)
Keep your focus on you!
Remember, you’ll have the best workout if you set your ego aside. Worrying about what you look like — aside from making sure you have proper form — will only keep you from reaching your full potential. If you stay focused without fear of being “good enough” (who decides what good enough is, anyway?) you’ll find that moving your body opens doors to a whole new set of challenges and achievements.
Need help keeping your mind off what others are doing? Check out the playlist of catchy songs from the trainers above in the Spotify playlist:
Ashley Lauretta is a freelance journalist based in Austin, Texas. She is assistant editor for LAVA Magazine and contributing editor for Women's Running. Additionally, her byline appears in The Atlantic, ELLE, Men’s Journal, espnW, GOOD Sports, and more. Find her online at ashleylauretta.com and on Twitter @ashley_lauretta.