power yoga

20-Minute Workout: Power Yoga

A yoga-inspired combo of strength, flexibility and high-intensity interval training, from Mike Sherbakov.

While you can carve a tantalizingly toned body in less than a half hour, we’re here to tell you what you already know: To reap the rewards—increased calorie burn, strength, power, blissful endorphin high—truncated workouts must be insanely intense. So we asked a team of Equinox trainers and group fitness instructors what they would do if they were given just 20 minutes to have at it. Here is the latest in the series:

The Pro: Mike Sherbakov, CSCS, a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor

The Club: La Costa in San Diego, California

The Workout: To say that yoga, in general, provides a multitude of physical and mental benefits would be an understatement—it can better your balance, increase total body strength, reduce stress and improve posture, to name a few. Put your practice in the hands of an instructor who also happens to be a U.S. Marine, like Mike Sherbakov, and everything’s taken up a notch (or three). “This workout will get you stronger and leaner (and more flexible) in less time than ever before,” he says. “Each yoga-inspired move hits multiple joints and targets opposing muscle groups, working to increase your lean muscle mass and decrease body fat.”

Warm up with 5 minutes of cardio (incline treadmill, rower, Jacob’s Ladder, jump rope or jog) at a hard effort (80 percent of max heart rate). Then perform each superset three times, moving quickly from one exercise to the next, using appropriately-sized weights. Finish with a quick, 3-minute high-intensity interval training session on the treadmill. For best results, complete this workout 3 to 4 times each week.

SUPERSET 1: Do 8 to 12 reps of each exercise (per side where appropriate), and repeat superset three times.

Downward-Facing Dog/Plank: Start in down dog position (body forms an inverted V with palms and feet flat on floor, hips raised toward ceiling). Shift body forward into high plank, then lower forearms onto floor, into modified plank. Return to high plank, then shift back into down dog. Repeat series.

Crescent Lunge Curl: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides. Lunge left leg straight back, bending right knee 90 degrees, with feet facing forward, left heel lifted. Bend elbows by sides, curling dumbbells up to shoulder level; lower. Do 8 to 12 curls; switch legs and repeat.

Burpee to Upward-Facing Dog: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides. Lie facedown with elbows bent by sides, palms under shoulders. Press into hands, extending arms, as you lift upper body and legs off floor, going into upward dog position. Lower back down. Jump feet up to hands, then jump straight up, clapping hands over head. Repeat.

SUPERSET 2: Do 8 to 12 reps of each exercise (per side where appropriate), and repeat superset three times.

Ardha Uttanasana (Bent-Over Flat Back) Reverse Fly: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended in front of thighs, palms facing each other. Bend over, reaching hands toward feet (forward fold), and then lift upper body until back is parallel to floor, abs engaged. Keeping elbows slightly bent, lift dumbbells out to sides at shoulder level, squeezing shoulder blades together; lower. Repeat.

Crescent Lunge Press: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides. Lunge left leg straight back, bending right knee 90 degrees, with feet facing forward, left heel lifted. Bend elbows by sides, lifting dumbbells up to shoulder level, palms facing out. Keeping shoulders down, press arms straight overhead; lower. Do 8 to 12 reps; switch legs and repeat.

Downward-Facing Dog Hop Up: Start in down dog position (body forms an inverted V with palms and feet flat on floor, hips raised toward ceiling). Gently jump feet up in between hands, and then jump back to start. Repeat.

HIIT FINISHER: Perform sprints on a treadmill set at an incline (the higher the better): Run hard for 30 seconds; walk or jog to recover for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.