The best workouts don’t just tone and sculpt different parts of the body; they leave you with that post-workout glow. One workout that did just that is YouTuber Pamela Reif’s (yes, the same Pamela Reif who set my abs on fire with this brutal six minute abs workout) last Pilates workout.
Anyone who has followed my fitness exploits will know that I am a big fan of Pilates. In addition to targeting the abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks, studies have shown that regular practice of Pilates can improve muscle tone, posture, balance and joint mobility. As a low-impact exercise, Pilates is suitable for almost all fitness levels, although pregnant women should consult their doctor before practicing Pilates during pregnancy. Do you want to try? Take a look at these Pilates exercises that target your core for the ultimate burn.
Famous for her ab workouts, Reif recently uploaded a 15-minute full-body Pilates class designed for “slow, full-body toning.” As Reif describes in his description, the workout targets “abs, booty, outer thighs, and arms, with no squats, jumps, or mountain climbers.” I couldn’t wait to try the new workout, so I rolled out my exercise mat (Looking for a new mat for your home workouts? We found the best yoga mats here), and I tried. Read on to find out what happened next.
What is Pamela Reif’s 15 Minute Pilates Workout?
Not sure what to expect? If you’ve ever watched Reif’s videos, chances are you’ll recognize a few of the exercises, but if you’re new to Pilates, here are some of the moves you should expect during training.
Table legumes: To do this exercise, start on all fours. Engage your core, raise your right arm and left leg toward the ceiling, keeping both straight, and swing them up and down. The movement should be small but controlled. Beat the same arm and leg for 30 seconds.
Plank and pike: For this exercise, you will go from a plank position, the trunk engaged and the palms resting on the ground, to a pike position, the hips bent towards the ceiling, but the legs still straight (remember to do a V position with your body). Move between the two exercises.
Ab lean back and butterfly: For this exercise, you will get into a V-stand position. To do this, begin to sit on your sit bones on your mat and lean your torso back until you feel your core begin to sink. ‘to hire. From there, open your arms to the side. As you bring them together, bring your torso back to a seated position. Keep moving forward and backward into the V hold position as you open and close your arms.
Side plank and knee opener: This move appears to combine two different Pilates exercises – the side plank, which works the core and oblique muscles, and the clam, which targets the glutes. To do this, get into a side plank with your hips stacked and your knees bent, with your lower knee resting on the floor. From there, lift your bent upper knee off the lower knee, then slowly bring them back together.
I Tried Pamela Reif’s 15 Minute Pilates Workout – Here’s What Happened
First of all, I loved the intensity of this workout. Like most Pilates classes, it was a slow burner. It didn’t leave me sweating too much or exhausted like I would after a run or HIIT class, but gave me that sore glow that only Pilates enthusiasts will understand. With Pilates, you don’t often feel the effects of the class when you get off the mat, but a few hours later you’ll likely feel it in your core and lower body.
Like all of Pamela Reif’s YouTube workouts, the playlist was on point for this class. I also loved that Pamela didn’t spend time between exercises talking about it, although beginners will want to pay close attention to her form to make sure they’ve got the right technique down.
Like a traditional Pilates class on the mat, Pamela has added moments of breathing, stretching or gentler movement to allow you to breathe and refocus. This is another major selling point of Pilates for me – a good Pilates class can be as mentally restorative as yoga, something we all seem to need in mid-January when the shame of diet and fitness is commonplace.
If you’re doing a workout this week, do this one. It won’t let you wipe the sweat off your forehead (hell, I was just pretending to be tanned before doing this and managed to get no sweat patches), but it will leave you with that Pilates feeling. happy and relaxed that if I could I would bottle and sell.
Looking for more workout inspiration? Check best ab workouts you can do for free, plus the exercise that is better than sit-ups for sculpting your abs.