We're all about finding a workout that fits—whether that's rowing, lifting kettlebells, or mastering Pilates. Andrea Speir, Pilates instructor and Women's Health's Next Fitness Star finalist, believes the same thing.
"You have to do something that is fun for you—something you love," Speir says.
Growing up as a competitive dancer, Speir first tried Pilates as physical therapy after a knee injury sidelined her. "It was always the method that got me feeling great again, and I really enjoyed it because it made me so much stronger," she says.
Today Speir fuses her dance background with Pilates and adds bursts of cardio for a total-body workout. Grab a mat and try your hand at four of her favorite moves.
How to use this list
Do each move below in order for the indicated number of reps. Do the entire circuit once, 3 to 4 times per week.
1. Dancing Triceps
Sit with knees bent, feet flat on mat, palms on mat behind you, fingers facing feet. Lift hips toward ceiling to come into a reverse table-top position, supporting weight on hands and feet. Straighten left leg, point toes, and as you lift left leg toward ceiling, bend elbows to do a tricep dip. Press to straighten arms as you lower leg toward ground. Do 10 reps and then repeat on the other side.
2. Twisted Teaser
Lie on left side with legs straight and on an angle from hips. Prop torso up on left forearm (think mermaid). Extend right arm overhead. In one movement, engage core, raise legs, and bring right arm up to tap toes, performing a V-up on your left side. You will raise up off left forearm but use abs to lift (don't push off forearm). Lower to return to starting position. Do 10 reps and then repeat on the other side.
3. Hot Potato
From the same side position, rest head in hand and place right hand on ground in front of torso for balance. Tap right foot (the top leg) 3 times directly in front of left foot. Then kick right foot toward ceiling as high as you can and immediately bring it down to tap 3 times directly behind left foot. Do 10 reps and then repeat on the other side.
Note: Keep taps light and quick, and directly in front of or behind the bottom foot. Do not kick leg far out in front of body or far back behind you.
4. Surfer Up-Down
Think of this as a graceful burpee. Start by jumping up once, lower hands to mat, and jump feet back to high plank position. Jump forward, landing with left foot in front of right, and immediately stand tall, squeezing glutes at top. Place hands on ground and repeat move, this time jumping right foot in front of left as you stand. Repeat for 30 seconds.