This is my first 30 minute workout by Popsugar and I didn’t know what to expect. I was intrigued by the title and the little bit of it I watched. A sort of cardio-pilates workout. And I will be honest, I did not expect this to be super hard. Well–it was! This was a very challenging workout! First, the circumstances. I am doing a Cathe Live rotation and I am using Popsugar and other YouTube workouts to finish off my Cathe Live workouts. On Saturday mornings I always workout for longer than I do Monday-Friday mornings since I don’t have to go into work. My Cathe Live this morning was Strong Total Body which is only 47 minutes long. So I decided to add some cardio to the end of it. I chose Popsugar’s Fat Burning Pilates, thinking it would give me a good (but not too challenging) cardio finisher. That is not the way it played out at all. This workout hurt! Big time! My upper back and hips ached for hours afterward! Not sure if I can attribute it totally to this workout or the combination of Cathe Live followed immediately by Fat Burning Pilates, but either way, I felt it. Severely!
This workout isn’t structured as I expected either. The first 15 minutes are the cardio and the final 15 minutes are mat pilates. You use 3 pound dumbbells. I had 5 pounds nearby, thinking 3 pounds would be too light. I was wrong! 3 pounds burned my shoulders out big time! I did use one 5 pound dumbbell for the mat pilates work tho. This is an excellent workout–cardio, bodyweight strength and pilates core work. All in 30 minutes.
Anna Renderer is present in this workout but she is not the trainer who leads the workout. I have noticed in some of the other Popsugar workouts I’ve saved (and will eventually be reviewed here) that she sometimes has guest trainers come and lead a workout. This is one of those times. The guest trainer is Kit Rich. Kit created a very tough, excellent workout.
Fat Burning Pilates is 30 minutes long, 1:30 minute warm up and 2 minute stretch. I felt like the stretch at the end of this workout was inadequate. The time used for the stretch could have been better spent with more effective stretches–primarily for my hips and back! If you have time, I recommend adding on Popsugar’s 10 minute Full Body Stretching to the end of this. Equipment needed is 3 pound dumbbells and a mat. You might also want a heavier dumbbell for the mat leg work near the end. I used a 5 pound dumbbell because it was handy but an 8 or 10 pound dumbbell would probably work better. Finally, there is a 3rd person doing the workout w/ Anna and Kit. A modifier who uses no weights and does easier versions of every move if it is too advanced for you.
On the Cardio Series, unless otherwise indicated, you will do each exercise for 60 seconds the first time through. After the Twisted Plank Series you will repeat the entire Cardio series but this time do each exercise for 30 seconds unless otherwise indicated.
- Start holding handweights straight out in front of you; squat then stand and raise one knee while opening arms wide; alternate legs
- Start with legs wide, straddling mat and arms/handweights extended overhead in a V; plie squat then stand while bringing one knee up (and still out to side since you are in wide plie) while bringing arms down into goal post so raised knee touches same side elbow; alternate knee raises
- Start in a narrow squat; side step (while remaining in squat the entire time) side to side while pressing handweights overhead
- Start standing beside mat; side leap over mat into deep curtsy lunge, touching handweight to ground in front of foot; alternate sides
- High knee run for 30 seconds just holding handweights
Twisted Plank Series (place handweights on floor for this):
- Start at back of mat and turn to the side, crossing right foot in front of left (so feet are in a straight line, right heel in front of left toe); bend at the waist, touching hands to floor then walk hands to outside of right leg; keeping legs in this position, walk hands out so you are in a “twisted” plank; walk hands back to feet then back out to twisted plank; keep repeating the walking in and out w/ hands
- You will end the previous move in twisted plank and hold; raise and lower hips in this position
- Still holding twisted plank bring your bottom (right) knee in to your elbow 10x
- While still in twisted plank, lower to elbows and hold; rotate to standard elbow plank, raise to straight arm plank, then walk hands back to feet
- Grab handweights while still bent over and come up into chair pose holding arms/handweights straight overhead
- While still in chair pose do tricep kickbacks
Repeat Cardio Series as mentioned above, doing each move for 30 seconds this time except for #5. High knee run which you will do for 15 seconds. Then you repeat the Twisted Plank Series on other side of body–except this time you will not do #5 and #6–Twisted Plank Series will end at #4.
- Start on knees and bring one leg out straight to side and place hands behind head; bend torso to side and straighten
- You will continue doing #1, the only difference is when you bend to side, you twist torso toward ceiling, then back to side and straighten
- Repeat 1 & 2 on other side of body
- Pilates 100s
- Lay on back, legs straight, arms behind head and raise both feet a few inches off floor; raise one leg to ceiling and do little circles with raised leg in this position (do on both legs)
- Pilates roll ups holding handweights; first you will just do standard roll ups then it changes to rolling down in segments and holding isometrically for a few seconds; next it changes to rolling down in segments then pumping the arms/handweights 3x while holding at each segment isometrically; the final change is to continue rolling down in segments and holding isometrically but this time while holding you will open and close straight arms/handweights like a chest fly
- Pilates criss-cross (similar to bicycle maneuver)
- Outer thigh work: lay on side, legs straight, and place one handweight on top of outer thigh; sweep top leg forward in front of body then back behind body; this changes to big circles w/ leg; this changes to pulsing leg up (repeat on other leg)
For more info on Popsugar and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.