5 Moves, 5 Minutes, 1 Crazy Body Burn
Need an ultrafast workout that lengthens, strengthens, leans, and tones — all in 5 minutes? Use this exclusive workout from Club Pilates with off-the-reformer Pilates moves you can do anywhere, no matter where you are. They made this workout just for POPSUGAR so you can work on arms, abs, legs, and booty on the fly . . . no equipment necessary!
"Swimming is good for you on land, too!" said Club Pilates Franchise director of education, Vanessa Huffman. "This is a tried-and-true exercise for keeping strength in the backside of the body."
- Start on your stomach, with your arms extended overhead in front of you
- Keep the arms and legs long as they hover over the ground and lift up and down. Be sure to keep your core engaged to protect your back.
- Start slow for 10 seconds, then speed up for 10 seconds, and finish off by going as fast as you can for the final 10 seconds. This completes one 30-second rep. Do two reps to complete a set, with a brief break in between reps.
Rachel Pena, Club Pilates instructor in Carlsbad, CA, gave a great modification for this move if you have tight shoulders: "Try moving your arms in a goal post position; shoulder blades squeezing tight to your spine."
"This is a full-body variation masked in ab work," said Huffman. The upper and lower half of the body are meant to stay in flexion while they cross back and forth and the center stays glued to the mat. Being careful not to wobble in the belly as you move back and forth five times on each side."
- Start with knees to your chest, head lifted, and hands behind your head, with your upper back off the mat.
- Engage your abs, and use them to draw your right shoulder towards your left knee as you twist slightly to the left.
- As you twist, extend your right leg out at an angle.
- Switch sides as you breathe, reaching your left shoulder toward your right knee as you twist to the right and extend your left leg.
- Repeat for 60 seconds.
"Want more of a challenge?" said Pena. "Try with straight legs!"
Kneeling Side Kick
Huffman says "This move combines balance and strength, and creates a great booty burn. Make sure to maintain the stable position of the upper half of your body while the leg follows a precise path, sweeping forward and back, never letting any bumps or dips take over the precise path that leg your travels."
- From a kneeling position, tip yourself to the left and allow your left hand to securely land on the floor, directly under the shoulder.
- Extend your right leg to hip height, ensuring that the leg is parallel to the floor. Sweep the leg forward and back 10 times, up and down 10 times, and circle 10 times in each direction. This is one cycle.
- Repeat for three cycles. Switch legs, and repeat for three cycles on the other side.
Don't forget your abs! Pena reminds you to "consciously draw your core in when sweeping your leg back and forth."
Leg Pull Front
Huffman also told us that this is "a favorite variation to add in as soon as you are ready to elevate your plank practice."
- Start in high plank position on your palms.
- Lift up one leg without letting your hip dip or hike up, and shift your weight forward and then back.
- Make sure to maintain the same shape of your lower back and shoulders the entire time.
- Lower that leg, then lift the other.
- Continue for 60 seconds, alternating legs.
"Try stepping your feet out wider if you find it challenging to stabilize your hips while extending your leg," said Pena. "Remember to keep your head in line with your spine by gazing slightly forward of your fingertips. The more you keep your navel drawn in to your spine, the easier it will be to stabilize while alternating legs!"
"Control Balance is appropriately named," said Huffman. "Once you have conquered the stability and back strength required in spinal articulation movements, it's time to try Control Balance. First try what we are doing here by separating your legs and then move onto bringing the separated foot all the wall to the ground by taking your hands around the calf."
- Start on your back with your hands at your side.
- Extend both legs toward the ceiling, keeping the legs straight.
- Bring your right leg toward the wall behind you, keeping the left leg straight up. Moving with control, switch legs.
- Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.
"Avoid putting any unnecessary pressure in your cervical spine," said Pena. "Keeping your core engaged is a must; move slowly and mindfully."