The Exercises Celebrity Trainers Say Aren’t Worth Your Time Will Make You Question Everything

Imagine having the responsibility of keeping Hollywood’s A-list fit or whipping famous actors into shape for a film. Even for a highly respected personal trainer, that’s a lot of pressure — and since celebs are often short on time, that means there’s not a moment to waste.

While every body is different, none of us want to waste our time doing exercises that aren’t effective. And celebrity trainers definitely have opinions on those.

Remember, always find what works for you and stick to it

A woman stretches in her bedroom.

You know your body better than anyone. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus

To find the right exercise for you, consider your personality. If you’re social or enjoy a group environment, consider classes like Zumba for your fitness needs. If you’re more introverted, a traditional gym membership or one-on-one training might suit you best.

That being said, if you’re not seeing results or you’re concerned about the exercises you’re doing, read on for the moves celebrity trainers aren’t fond of.


Woman doing abdominal exercise on a pink mat.

Pilates might not get you sculpted quickly. | Undrey/iStock/Getty Images

Danny Musico, who has trained Leonardo DiCaprio and Jessica Simpson, is no fan of Pilates. In his opinion, the moves do not help build strength. He claims that 99% of “Pilates peeps” wouldn’t last 30 seconds in one of his workouts.


A man in a group spin class.

You’ll work up a sweat, but this workout might be too much for your joints. | Yellowdog

Anyone who has ever attended the fast-paced indoor cycling class known as spinning knows that it’s very intense. And many people have lost weight and gotten into shape this way. But at least two celebrity trainers are adamantly opposed to it.

Sebastien Lagree, who has trained Sofia Vergara and Nicole Kidman and founded the Lagree Fitness Method, thinks spinning is too hard on the joints and connective tissue, not to mention painful and repetitive.

Lauren Boggi, who has worked with Lauren Graham and Carla Gugino, agrees. She prefers full body movement and strength training, claiming that indoor cycling overworks her quads and ignores her glutes.

 The elliptical machine

People at gym on elliptical machines.

You won’t catch Jillian Michaels using the elliptical to work up a sweat. | MaxRiesgo/iStock/Getty Images

Jillian Michaels is one of the most well-known trainers in the country, both for her role on The Biggest Loser and her highly effective (and brutal) workouts. She never pulls punches when it comes to diet and fitness, and she believes the elliptical to be a waste of time.

Many people stay on the elliptical for 40 minutes to an hour, thus repeating the same mediocre movements and not doing much else. This doesn’t burn enough calories for effective weight loss. Michaels believes high intensity moves that combine cardio and strength are the way to go.

Abdominal crunches

women performing crunches in gym class

Tracy Anderson wants you to ditch the gym class-era crunches. | Antonio Diaz/iStock/Getty Images Plus

We’ve heard conflicting information on the effectiveness of crunches for years. But according to Tracy Anderson, who founded the Tracy Anderson Method (which Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow swear by), they’re not worth the effort. Moves like crunches, traditional sit-ups and even push-ups, are based around repetition and too focused on one area. This creates imbalance in the body and encourages bulk.

Instead, she says, focus on all-over workouts tailored to your body type and goals. This will require your brain to stay connected to your body and engage more muscles.

Hot yoga

A group of people in a Bikram class.

This popular studio class isn’t always worth the time and money. | Matt Cardy/Getty Images

You’ll find plenty of celebrities (and trainers) who love the intensity of a hot yoga class, and many people do see great results from it. But many celebrity trainers are also opposed, such as Harley Pasternak, trainer to Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian.

Pasternak says that people tend to assume they burn a lot of fat if they’re working out in a hot room, but excess sweat doesn’t mean you’re burning extra calories. He also claims people actually burn more fat when they’re in a cold environment rather than a hot one. Plus, he personally thinks the hot rooms smell like old socks.

Power lifting

Couple in fitness gym lifting weights.

Power lifting could cause serious injuries. | Kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

Anna Kaiser, Sarah Jessica Parker’s trainer, really doesn’t care for power lifting. She finds it to be too intense for most people, and she also claims that it doesn’t support the movements of everyday life. Plus, it puts a lot of stress on the spine, something that no exercise is worth risking.

So which exercises do celebrity trainers recommend?

Man in sportswear doing a squat.

Squats are the timeless workout move that experts still believe in. | G-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images

Since no approach to fitness is one-size-fits-all, trainers’ advice on what does and doesn’t work will always vary. However, even trainers have their personal favorites. According to Glamour Magazine, HIIT-inspired moves like plank jacks, lunges and squats, dead lifts, and traditional planks are popular picks for the moves celebrity trainers can’t live without.