Get The Best Of Both Worlds With This Pilates-Inspired HIIT Workout (Video)

September 9, 2019

Pilates is a great low impact, body-balancing and strengthening form of exercise, but can lack the heart pumping, high intensity feel that many people crave in a workout session. As a Pilates instructor trained in both traditional and modern, athletic styles, I like to incorporate the best of both worlds into my classes. I’ve found that combining HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with Pilates is the most effective way to keep your heart rate up and burn fat while still receiving all the benefits of Pilates. HIIT combines quick bursts of intense exercise with recovery periods of full rest or less intense movement. This method of training will give you a slim, trim and sculpted physique. Here is a no-equipment, Pilates-inspired HIIT workout you can do anywhere. Do each exercise with full exertion for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the entire circuit 3X.

Leg Lifts into High Knees– Stand with your legs in parallel and arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Keep your abs engaged and back straight as you lift one knee up at a time. Try to touch each knee to each elbow without allowing your arms to drop. Pick up the pace and add a hop to each leg lift to turn it into High Knees for more intensity.

Hundreds with Leg Lowers– Start lying down on your back with your legs at table top. Curl your head neck and shoulders off the floor using your abs and reach your arms forward next to your hips. Straighten your legs out at 45 degrees. Squeeze your inner thighs together and turn your legs out slightly. Inhale for 5 counts as you pump your arms vigorously up and down several inches and then exhale for the next 5 counts. Add in the leg lowers by lowering both legs down to the ground as you inhale for 5 and lifting them back up as you exhale for 5. Keep your lower back down on the floor at all times. If your back is lifting then your legs are going too low.

Leg Pull Burpees– Stand with your legs hip distance apart. Drop down, placing your hands on the ground in front of your feet, shoulder width apart. Jump your legs back into a pushup position. Do one pushup as you lift the right leg up to hip height and lower back down. Repeat with the left leg. Jump both legs back in towards your hands. Transfer your weight to your feet again and jump straight up as you reach your arms overhead. When you land, fall back down into a squat position with your hands on the floor and jump your legs back into your pushup position to repeat.

Alternating Side Plank Hip Dips– Get into a side plank on your left forearm and place your right leg in front of your left (right inside edge of foot and left outside edge of foot on the ground.) With your right hand on your hip, dip your left hip down towards the ground without sinking into your left shoulder blade. To transition to the other side, place your right forearm on the ground in front of your left as you rotate your body into a forward plank position on the balls of both feet. Do not allow your hips to drop. Lay your feet down (left foot inside edge and right foot outside edge) as you rotate your body to the left and support yourself with your right forearm. Repeat the hip dip on your right side.

Reverse Lunges with Hop– Stand with your feet in parallel hip distance apart. Bring your right arm forward and left arm back like when running, as you step your right foot back into a deep lunge. Transfer all your weight forward on your left leg as you switch arms and hop on the left leg while pulling your right knee in and up to hip height. Transition directly into your lunge back as you switch your arms again. If you need to modify this to help with balance, place your right foot down next to your left before lunging back. Do this for 30 seconds before resting and repeating on the left leg.

Have you ever done a Pilates inspired HIIT workout?

Also by Crystal: Try Margot Robbie’s Fav Pilates Workout For “Strong Abs, Elongated Muscles”

These 5 Pilates Dumbbell Exercises Give You A Sculpted, Elegant Upper Bod

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Video: Crystal Chin

Crystal Chin
Crystal is a professional dancer, writer and certified Pilates instructor based in Los Angeles. She inspires people to dance their true colors in life, never compromising their own self worth for any person, job or societal standard. She teaches her students about mindful movement and healthy living. When not writing, teaching, or dancing, she is learning all the beautiful life lessons her two dogs teach her just by their existence--forgiveness, being present and how to be unapologetically herself. Check out Crystal's blog at and follow her on Instagram crystalannchin, Twitter @CrystalAnnChin and Facebook.


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