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Here’s how to turn a treadmill into a Pilates reformer and do Shay Mitchell’s hardcore ab workout


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Photo: Instagram/@shaymitchell
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Pilates devotees, like Shay Mitchell, swear by the reformer for a challenging, slow burn you can usually only get at the studio. But, according to celeb trainer, Kira Stokes, who instructs the Pretty Little Liars actress, you can actually mimic the machine’s toning benefits by using a key piece of equipment that you’ll find at any gym: a treadmill.

“I think that was her first time doing that ever on the treadmill, and she was like holy crap.”

If you’re skeptical, check out the Instagram video Mitchell recently posted of herself executing one of Stokes’ hardcore sequences below. And before you try this at home, you should know that the TV stars’ treadmill was turned to “dynamic mode,” says the New York City based trainer, in order to avoid a Taylor Swift-level gym faux pas. “What that means is you’re basically battling the resistance of the treadmill trying to move it,” explains Stokes. “So the weight of the tread combined with your bodyweight almost turns it into a reformer, like what you would use at SLT or like gliders on the floor. It’s a similar premise.”

Watch Shay @shaymitchell SLAY – a very small snippet of her training session today….level of athleticism 🔝 , focus 👌🏼, strength 👊🏼 – it takes real sweat to be more than a triple threat #thestokedmethod ⭐️the time lapse videos at the end were two of the high intensity cardio intervals I programmed between her #stokedstyle strength/cardio/core circuits. Each high intensity cardio interval was done 2 times through and included jumping rope before and after for 2-3 minutes: ______ 10 double rope slams 10 alternating slams 2 sprints 30 seconds ski erg _______ Prowler/sled push 10 mountain climbers 10 jumping jacks . . #smotd #stoked #stokedfit #strength #sweat #workforit #goals #challenge #hustle #girlpower #strongwomen #friyay #fitnessfriday #trainhardtrainsmart #inspiration #motivation #beastmode

A post shared by Kira Stokes – kirastokes.com (@kirastokesfit) on

Sounds pretty tough, right? It was challenging enough for Mitchell, who according to Stokes, is one of the most-dedicated celebs she trains. “I think that was her first time doing that ever on the treadmill, and she was like holy crap” Stokes says. After seeing the move in action below, can you really blame her?  

Keep reading to find out how to do Shay Mitchell’s core workout, straight from her trainer Kira Stokes.

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Kira Stokes Ab Move

Pike to plank push-ups

“What people need to remember is that this is about going slow and controlled,” says Stokes. “It’s not about ‘let me see how fast I can pull my knees in and push back out’, because going too fast will cause you to only feel it in your hip flexor, but if you can really take the time to tip the hips up, draw the navel in, and round your spine. It should take about 3 seconds to bring the knees in front of your hips if you draw them in, and 3 seconds to push back out.”

1. Turn your treadmill to dynamic mode.

2. Place your hands on the stationary base on either side of the moving belt and assume a plank position keeping your feet hip-width apart for the duration of the sequence.

3. Slowly start to hinge at the hips, lifting your butt into the air and dragging your toes toward your nose into a pike. Keep your abs engaged, navel sucked back toward your spine, and shoulders away from your ears, sliding down your back.

4. Resist the motion of the treadmill belt to slowly return to your starting plank position.

5. Bend at the elbows and do a push-up. Keep your core strong, navel to spine, squeezing your butt, and then when you come out of the push-up, lift your hips slightly higher than shoulder height

6. Repeat for as many reps as you can, aim for 10–12.

For more celeb-workout inspo, try the move that Karlie Kloss swears by for a total-body burn, and this is the app Ellie Goulding uses to workout with when she’s on the road

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