Plyometrics and Pilates are two complete opposites on the fitness spectrum: alone, they are effective in their own unique ways, but combine them in a time-saving routine, and the results will blow you out of the water.
Follow the order of the exercises, which alternate between plyo and Pilates moves. Perform this routine one to two times per week, leaving 48 to 72 hours of rest between workouts.
Burpee with push-up
How to: Squat down and place your hands on the ground [A]. Jump your legs back [B].
Burpee with push-up, part 2
Perform a push-up [C]. Hop your legs back towards your hands, then jump into the air [D]. Land softly and sink into another squat.
Repeat for two sets of 15 reps, resting 30 seconds between sets.
Make it easier: Take out the jump and/or push-up.
How to: Lie on your back on the floor, with a stability ball held between your feet. Curl your head and shoulders up from the floor, extend your arms along your sides, palms facing down, and raise your legs about 45 degrees to the floor. Inhale, pumping your arms up and down for a count of five, then exhale and pump for five counts. Repeat for a total of 100 pumps.
Make it easier: Remove the ball, bring your legs together and bend your knees.
One-legged square jump
How to: Stand on one leg. Imagine there is a square on the floor and you are standing on one corner of it. Jump as quickly as possible around the four corners of the box, for 15 seconds in one direction, then 15 more in the other direction. When you are through, rest for 30 seconds, stand on your other leg and repeat.
Make it easier: Instead of jumping in a square, jump from side to side for 30 seconds.
Stability-ball bridge with leg circle
How to: Lie face up on the floor with your heels on a stability ball. Lift your hips from the floor. As you inhale, raise your left leg to point your foot towards the ceiling and, keeping your toes pointed, exhale as you draw a six-inch circle in the air with your foot; inhale as you draw the next circle. Complete 10 circles total, then repeat for 10 more in the other direction. Lower your leg, lift your opposite leg and repeat.
Make it easier: Ditch the ball, keep one leg bent (foot flat on the floor), lift your hips and point your circling leg towards the ceiling.
Frog jump with pulse
How to: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Squat down and touch your fingertips to the floor. Rise one-third of the way up to a standing position, then squat and touch the floor again. Next, jump as high into the air as you can and land with soft knees. That’s one rep. Repeat for two to three sets of 15 reps, resting 30 seconds between sets.
Make it easier: Stand instead of jumping.
Side plank on ball with arm extension
How to: Place one elbow on a stability ball and lift your hips to come into a side plank; keep your top leg staggered in front of the other for support. Exhale as you reach your top arm overhead, then inhale and place your hand on your hip. Repeat for a total of 20 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Make it easier: Do the move on the floor instead of on a ball.
Lunge jump with pulse
How to: Begin in a lunge position. Rise one-third of the way up to a standing position, then lower back down until your rear knee is about an inch from the ground. Jump up into the air and land with soft knees, sinking back down into a lunge. Repeat 15 times, rest for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Make it easier: Do peppy stationary lunges instead.
Teaser with stability ball
How to: Lie face up on the floor with your feet resting on a stability ball, your legs straight and your arms extended overhead. Inhale and gently roll your spine up until your body forms a V, stretching your arms towards the ceiling. Exhale as you begin to roll your torso back down, vertebrae by vertebrae. (Your upper arms should stay beside your ears.) Repeat 10 times.
Make it easier: Remove the ball and bend your knees to 90-degree angles (calves parallel to the floor), or place your feet flat on the ground.