If you think of slow, quiet, no-sweat sessions on a Reformer when you think of Pilates, you haven’t yet encountered Cassey Ho.
The bubbly, inspiring fitness instructor is the founder of Blogilates, Youtube’s number one female fitness channel (with two million subscribers!). And her personal, modern take on the workout, called POP Pilates, is all about body-sculpting—and sweat.
Now, Ho’s released her first book, Hot Body Year Round, and it’s packed with all the elements that make up her method, including 20 full-length workouts, more than 120 total-body exercises, recipes and meal plans, and motivational advice. “I wanted to give readers the official Blogilates bible,” Ho says. “It’s all there. We really spent a lot of time and energy and put a lot of thought and into the book.” As in, every recipe is brand-new and all of her popular exercises are included.
Plus, she racked up some frequent flier miles shooting the workouts across the seasons, in stunning locations, to fit the year-round workout theme—from Utah’s Salt Flats during winter to the beach in Malibu during summer.
And while your own living room probably isn’t quite as exciting, Hot Body Year Round has everything you need to get in great shape without leaving home.
“Pilates is to me the number one core-strengthening workout and the number one body-weight workout,” she says. “All you need is a mat and to know how to use your body.” Did we mention it’s not slow and quiet, at all, like you might have imagined?
“You will be sweating during, and you will be sore after,” Ho says, of the many amped-up moves she’s created. “It’s exciting and young and fun. It’s not your grandmother’s Pilates.”
To give you a taste, she shared 6 of her transformational Pilates exercises that you can do at home, from Hot Body Year Round’s Spring Leaning Slim-Down workout.
Runaway Abs (20 reps)
A. Place your hands long behind you, arms right by your head. Then, lift yourself into a boat-like position, head, neck, and shoulders up, hamstrings and legs off the mat straight in front of you. Your lower back should be pressed into the mat.
B. Flutter your legs up and down, keeping your legs straight. Tighten your core and keep your arms behind you.
The Wiggle (20 reps)
A. Bring your hands behind the nape of your neck, elbows wide. Then, bring your toes together, knees wide. Lift yourself up into Pilates Stance, meaning your head, neck, and shoulders should be lifted, eyes looking forward.
B. Bring your right elbow to your right knee, then bring your left elbow to your left knee.
Leg-out (20 reps)
Works: Lower abs, quads
A. Bring your hands in front of you and clasp them together, elbows in a straight line. Balance yourself on your tailbone, knees together, feet together off the mat, back straight and tall. Beginners, you can leave your feet on the mat.
B. Push your legs out in front of you, toes pointed, and exhale. Inhale as you bring your knees back in front of you. Beginners, you may push one leg out at a time with the other foot resting on the mat.
Squatting Rollover (12 reps)
Works: Core, glutes, quads
A. Lie with your back flat on the mat. Press your palms into the mat, press your heels together, point your toes, and tighten your abs as you lift your legs above your head. Beginners, you may use your hands to assist your lower back to get into the rollover position.
B. Swiftly bring your legs forward in one sweeping motion, then hop your feet beside your hips, and position yourself in a squat. Beginners, you may simply land in a sitting position, feet right beside your body; then use your hands to assist yourself up into a squat.
Saddlebag Shave (12 reps on each side)
Works: Triceps, chest, outer thighs
A. Begin with your chest down on the mat, hands by your shoulders, elbows into your rib cage, left knee bent on the mat, and right leg extended long above you.
B. Exhale and extend your arms until they are straight while bringing your right knee into your right elbow. Inhale and return to start.
Burpee Kick (15 reps)
Works: Total body, cardio
A. Stand tall on the edge of your mat and perform a Burpee: jump high, then come into plank as you land with your hands underneath your shoulders and your legs straight behind you. Make sure your lower back is flat and your hips don’t sink! Do one push-up, then jump your feet in as close to your hands as possible and jump back up.
B. Kick your right leg forward as powerfully as you can. Then kick your left leg. Start over!
For more information, check out Hot Body Year Round
(Photos: Crown Publishing)
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