Put Your Glutes and Abs to the Test With This 15-Minute Pilates Workout

Looking for a solid workout for your glutes and abs? In this episode of Good Moves, East River Pilates instructor Brian Spencer treats viewers to a total core workout—and some "juicy" stretching (in Spencer's words). This 15-minute Pilates workout offers light warm-up stretches, moves that will engage multiple muscle groups at one time, and healthy doses of encouragement.

It's an advanced-level class, so, as Spencer says, "Get ready to move fast and feel a good burn."

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Spencer has you start on the mat—no additional equipment is needed. Once you take a seat with bent knees, you'll rotate your hips side to side, windshield-wiping your knees to your left and right. Next, Spencer has you balance on your hands and feet with your hips up, stomach facing the ceiling—similar to crab-walking you may have done in gym class growing up—to fire up that gluteus maximus.

Clamshells follow to hit the gluteus medius muscles on either side of your buns. "She's cute, but she hurts," jokes Spencer. Soon he adds in an upper body rotation for a full-body (and brain) challenge.

From there, you'll move into the heart of the workout, which involves engaging your core muscles and committing to proper form in positions that, admittedly, might feel uncomfortable. Eventually, Spencer has you push yourself up into a half-side plank and reach your arm to the sky, bring it back down and repeat.

If this sounds intense, don't worry. Spencer uses transitional stretches like downward dog, lunges, and cat-and-cow to move between different exercises that engage your core and glutes. This offers a much-needed break in between each segment of the workout.

With these stretch breaks, you might not notice how challenging the workout is until you’re almost done. Still, you can rest assured that you’re in good, enthusiastic hands—Spencer leads you through the workout every step of the way. Ready for a good sweat? Hit that mat and press play.

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