20 minute workout: the ballet burn

A ballerina-turned-Equinox-instructor shares the barre-based toners to do when time is tight.

While you can carve a tantalizingly toned body in less than a half hour, we’re here to tell you what you likely already know: To reap the rewards — increased calorie burn, strength, power, blissful endorphin high — truncated workouts must be insanely intense. But it may be worth the effort, since, according to a recent review of research published in the Journal of Physiology, shorter, more vigorous sessions are not only more effective than endurance training in terms of strength building and calorie burning, but they also may be the most efficient way to train elite athletes. Sold. 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 next in the series. Check back each Wednesday for a new routine:

The Pro: Monica Flores, BFA (Dance), STOTT Certified Pilates Instructor, Equinox Barre Burn instructor
The Club: Dallas
The Workout: Four toning moves that target muscles from every angle.

Standing Crunches
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands behind head. In one motion, lift right knee up toward chest and bring right elbow to touch. Engage abs and hold for 3 counts. Do 25-30 reps, and repeat on opposite side. Do three sets.

Wide-Leg Plies
Stand with legs wider than shoulder-width apart, feet turned out. Slowly lower down into a deep plie, keeping chin up and back straight. Hold for a beat in the low position, then press up back to start. Do five reps slowly, then do ten as fast as possible without sacrificing form. Rest for ten seconds. Do 3 sets.

Hold a set of light dumbbells at sides, then raise arms above head to “V” position. Hold for a beat, then slowly lower your arms into inverted “V” position. Hold for a beat. Do 10-20 reps, rest 10 seconds and repeat. Do 3 sets.

Glute Bridges
Lie on back, knees bent, feet flat in floor. Engage core and lift butt off floor into a bridge, then straighten right leg so thighs are parallel. Hold for 30 seconds. Lower right leg and repeat on left for one rep. Do 5 reps.

Want more? Try this 20-minute superset.