Boost your heart rate and tone head-to-toe with a take-anywhere workout from Courtney Corbeille.
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. 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:Courtney Corbeille, professional dancer for the NHL’s Dallas Stars, former Broadway performer, certified group fitness instructor (Smart Barre, Zumba and Power Pilates), Schwinn-certified indoor cycling instructor
The Workout: “This condensed version of a barre class is perfect for holiday travelers or people who don’t want to venture out into the cold, but still want a really good total-body workout,” says Corbeille. All you need is a towel and a chair, which are both optional, so you can basically do this anytime, anywhere, to target everything—your abs, arms, legs and butt—fast.
WARM-UP (Minutes 1-3)
1. High knees: Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and arms extended overhead, shoulders down. Lift right knee to chest; switch legs and repeat. Continue alternating sides for 30 seconds with arms lifted, then swing arms (like you’re running) as you march in place for another 30 seconds.
2. Plank holds: Get into plank (elbows under shoulders, forearms on floor, legs extended behind you, abs engaged, back flat) and hold for 30 seconds. Hold another 30 seconds, pulsing heels back and forth. Then alternate dipping right/left hip to floor for 30 seconds.
3. Push-ups: Push up into full plank, then lower yourself toward the ground; repeat for 30 seconds.
ARMS (Minutes 3-6)
1. Triceps dips: Sit with knees bent, feet flat on floor, hands by hips, fingers pointed forward. Lift hips, straightening elbows, and perform triceps dips for 30 seconds. Pulse, going half-way down (then back up), for 30 seconds; perform full dips for 30 seconds, and then pulse, going half-way up (then back down), for 30 seconds.
2. Presses: Lie facedown on floor, make a triangle with hands and place under sternum. Squeezing elbows in to sides, press hands into floor and lift chest; lower back down to hover. Repeat for 30 seconds, then do 1-inch up/down pulses for 30 seconds.
CALVES/THIGHS (Minutes 6-11)
1. Calf raises: Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and rise onto tiptoes (you can put hands on hips or on the back of a chair to balance), lifting heels off floor; lower heels. Repeat for 30 seconds, and then speed up your calf raises for 30 more seconds.
2. Plié squats: Stand with feet more than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out to sides, and squat, keeping knees in line with ankles. Do 32 small pulses up and down. Lift right heel; do 32 pulses. Lift left heel; do 32 pulses. Lift both heels; do 32 pulses.
3. Wall sit: Squat with back flat against a wall, knees bent above ankles, arms extended at shoulder level in front of you; hold for 30 seconds. Hold another 30 seconds, alternating right/left heel lifts.
CARDIO (Minutes 11-12)
1. Plank hops: Start in plank position, then jump feet in and out for 30 seconds. Do 30 seconds of mountain climbers.
GLUTES/HAMSTRINGS (Minutes 12-16)
1. Kick-backs: Stand with feet/legs together, hands on hips or on the back of a chair for balance. Shift weight to left leg, then lift right leg behind you and kick straight back with flexed right foot. Do 32 reps; switch legs and repeat.
2. Hip circles: Get on all fours. Lift right knee out to side at hip-level and draw 16 small circles, clockwise. Switch directions; repeat. Switch legs and repeat.
ABS (Minutes 16-18)
1. Leg lifts: Lie faceup on floor, squeezing a rolled-up towel between calves. Extend legs above hips, arms out to sides at shoulder level. Engage abs and slowly lower legs toward floor; lift. Continue for 1 minute, inhaling on the way down and exhaling on the way up.
2. Bicycle crunches: Do bicycle crunches (one leg extended; one knee pulled into chest, rotating opposite shoulder to knee) for 1 minute, going faster for the second half.
COOL-DOWN (Minutes 12-20)
1. Figure 4 stretch: Do a Figure 4 stretch with right leg, taking several deep breaths; switch sides and repeat.
2. Hamstring stretch: Place towel around bottom of right foot, holding an end in each hand, and extend right leg toward ceiling. Hold for a few deep breaths; switch sides and repeat.
3. Sit and reach: Roll up to seated position, legs extended in front of you. Inhale as you reach arms overhead, exhale as you fold upper body over legs, reaching toward toes. Roll up slowly.