Whether you’re going to classes multiple times a week or you’re just beginning to dabble in fitness, pilates is a physical activity for anyone wanting to tone and gain strength quickly. If you’ve never tried it, pilates is a mix between yoga, stretching, and aerobics; it focuses on flexibility, strength, and mental awareness.

But what is “spicy pilates?” That’s a term we picked up from Elaine Hayes, founder of MNTSTUDIO in San Francisco. MNT has a classical approach to pilates, but what turns up the intensity is their incorporation of athletic techniques. Hayes claims this approach produces more noticeable, faster results. Instead of sitting up and letting that core burn, add some strengthening reps and get sweatier results.

Ready for some heat? Mix these five spicy pilates moves into your daily life, and Hayes says you’ll see results within 30 days, if not sooner. Try doing 12 reps of each of the following movements every day and feel yourself getting stronger, better, and happier.

1. Charlie’s Angels: Sit in a C curve, legs bent and feet planted, arms reaching forward and hands clasped in a “Charlie’s Angels” position. Inhale while rolling back to your shoulder blades, exhale while rolling up to the C curve. For an added challenge, add some twists: While staying in a C curve, draw an arc from side to side, twisting from your waist.

Pilates Move

2. Saucy Teapot: Come into a kneeling position and bring arms into a T. Now, extend your left leg to the side, and bring your left hand to your left hip. Tip over like a “teapot,” balancing on your right hand and right knee. Inhale while kicking the left leg forward, exhale while bringing the leg back, then hold your leg in line with hip as you pulse up. Return to the kneeling position by “untipping” the teapot and coming up the same way you came down. Repeat on the right side.

Pilates Move

3. Cliff Diving: Lie on your right side with your knees bent and your feet in line with your sit bones. Wrap your right arm around your waist, and place your left hand on the floor in line with your chest. Push up off the ground with your left hand. While pushing, bend your arm to dip down almost all the way, imagine like you’re looking over the edge of a cliff. Exhale while pressing back up again. Add some pulses mid-way for extra burn.


4. Booty Lifter: Lie on your belly with your knees wide and bent, and heels together. Hands are stacked under your forehead like a pillow. Press your pelvis into the floor as you lift your thighs up and pulse up towards the ceiling.


5. Skydiver: Lie on your belly with your arms stretched forward and your legs stretched back. Press your pelvis into the floor as you lift your arms and legs. Now open and close the arms and legs.

Feeling the burn? Ready to get to the next level? If you’re ever in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood, check out Hayes at MNTSTUDIO on 766 Brannan Street. Her studio is the most beautiful space to sweat in. Plus, she’s set up the cutest corner for childcare while you work out.

What’s your favorite quick workout? Share it with us @BritandCo.

(GIFs and photos via Cody Towner)