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The Killer Flow Workout for Total-Body Strengthening

When Marlo Fisken, a trainer and professional dancer, couldn’t find a routine that combined the liquid patterns of dance, yoga, and acrobatics, she created Flow Movement, a workout style that fuses—and reimagines—the best out-of-the-box moves from each. The toning exercises transition from standing to slinking around on the floor, so mobility training is built right in. In a word, it’s beautiful. And her endlessly creative movements will firm your entire body, especially hard-to-reach spots. Not to mention the calories you’ll burn and the flexibility you’ll gain without even thinking about it.

In a Flow Movement workout, your body weight provides your resistance. The floor is your equipment—you roll around on it a lot. Just go with it. Fisken says she emphasizes floor exercises because the floor is where we start moving in life and they’re a good way to reconnect with those building-block basics. “When you move across the floor—rolling, changing positions, getting up and down—you force your deepest core muscles to engage,” she explains.

Expect to squat, lunge, push, pull, twist, bend, walk, run, and jump, only not as you do in a boot camp class. In Flow Movement, it’s all about keeping those transitions fluid. Each exercise moves your joints through their full range of motion, so you strengthen more muscle fibers while stretching your whole body, Fisken says. (Runners, cyclists, CrossFitters: This will feel particularly amazing to you, because these exercises align and open your entire body, releasing knotted up tension.)

Fisken, who has several new workout videos coming out this month on Flowmovement.net, created this special seven-move workout to firm you up and let you loose. Some parts may feel familiar; others will be wildly new. Don’t be afraid to get a little lost in the shapes and make the exercises your own.

How it works: Do each of the seven moves below in order, trying to seamlessly connect them without pausing in between. Complete the sequence two or three times. Because the routine is mobility based and not geared toward muscular burn-out, you can do it from three to seven days a week—and even before or after other workouts. Then, once you’ve got the hang of the movements, mix it up. Try two reps of an exercise, then switch to any other. Before you know it, you’ll have created something unique, Fisken says.

Total Time: up to 30 minutes

You will need: Mat

1. Leg-Swing Bridge

A.

Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat, and arms extended slightly below shoulder height with palms down to start. Tip both knees to the left, keeping shoulders and toes grounded, and swing right leg around and just above left hand.

B.

With momentum, swing right leg back to start, then press hips up so body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower to start. Switch sides; repeat.

Reps:

8 to 10

2. Crab Rock

A.

Sit with knees bent, feet flat and hip-width apart, and palms on floor next to hips. Press into palms to lift hips so that body comes into a tabletop. Shift weight into left hand and stack right shoulder over left to start. Keep hips higher than thighs and rock forward until heels lift.

B.

Then rock back until toes lift, driving hips higher. Switch sides; repeat.

Reps:

8 to 10

3. Butt Spin

A.

Sit on floor with legs forward and bent slightly to the right, hands on floor by hips. Lift both legs and (temporarily picking up left palm out of the way) powerfully swing them to the left, leaning forward as they come directly behind you.

B.

Then fluidly split legs to bend left knee as you reach left toes toward right elbow, bending arms deeper. Quickly push off floor and join legs to spin on butt to other side.

Reps:

6 to 8

4. Shoulder Stand V-Up

A.

Sit with legs together and long, arms by sides. Rock back onto shoulder blades, bringing arms onto floor over head and squeezing glutes to lift legs up and slightly back.

B.

Reverse move, rising to sitting position on tailbone with legs extended, arms reaching up, and thumbs pressed together behind head

Reps:

8 to 10

5. Scorpion Side Kick

A.

Get on all fours. Extend right leg to side at hip height and flex foot to start.

B.

Keeping leg at hip height, bend right knee to sweep leg around back and point toe toward left shoulder; look back at foot. Reverse movement. Switch sides; repeat.

Reps:

8 to 10

6. V-Leg Whip

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart and fold forward to plant hands on floor in front of feet so body forms an inverted V (downward dog). Lift left leg back and up in line with hip to start. Keeping leg straight, make a big circle toward left shoulder. Switch direction of circle and repeat. Switch sides; repeat.

Reps:

4 to 6

7. Pike Wheel

A.

Stand with legs wide and arms by sides. Squat, rotating torso toward right to place right hand on floor with fingertips pointing behind you, then left hand.

B.

Push into floor and with straight legs jump right foot to outside of right hand, followed by left foot.

C.

Land in a squat facing forward, then jump up, raising arms overhead and pointing toes. Land in a squat and immediately switch sides; repeat.

Reps:

4 to 6

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