Shape's April cover star, Olivia Wilde, reveals her favorite adrenaline-infused dance moves for a totally fun, fat-burning home workout
Olivia Wilde's Crazy-Fun Dance Workout
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“Woman Can Dance!” That’s what Olivia Wilde’s dance teacher (and sister of her fiancé, Jason), Kristin Sudeikis has to say. Sudeikis, a choreographer and fitness instructor who studied exercise physiology in college, teaches dance cardio classes (from ‘90s hip-hop to street jazz) throughout New York City, and says that Wilde has rocked all of them. “Kristin has found a way to take the fear out of choreographed precision and replace it with the pure-adrenaline-infused joy that occurs when we set our minds and bodies free on the dance floor,” Wilde says. (Read what else Wilde has to say in her April cover story.)
Science backs her: “Dance releases endorphins which interact with serotonin and dopamine, chemicals that have the power to instantly boost your mood,” Sudeikis explains. Aside from making you happy, dance is a full-body fat-burner—you work all your large and small muscle groups at once, sculpting toned arms, a slimmer waist, and sexy, strong legs. Of Sudeikis’ classes, one of Wilde’s go-tos is called 2Fly. “It’s inspired by the early ‘90s Fly Girls (J.Lo’s original claim to fame), and blends fat-melting aerobics with serious attitude that makes you feel, well, pretty damn fly,” says Wilde. The class is taught at Crunch gyms, and thanks to this special mix of moves by Sudeikis, now you can try it on your own. A quick confidence-booster Sudeikis says if you can nod your head to the beat, you can dance. So turn the lights down and the music up.
How it Works: Make a playlist with your seven favorite songs. Press play, then do the first move for 1 minute. Then do the second move for 1 minute. Then do the first move again, then the second move, and then the third for 1 minute each. Start over and do the first four moves for 1 minute each. Then the first five. Continue with this cycle of adding a move on each round until you’ve done all seven moves. If you’re really feeling it, repeat the entire thing. Do this routine 3 or 4 times a week on alternate days.
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Works: shoulders, back, triceps, butt, quads
A Stand with feet wide, arms at sides. Pivot on left foot and bend both knees, turning body to the right and swinging arms back.
B Immediately shift weight to the left leg as you stand, pivoting on right foot and turning to the left to clap hands overhead. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.
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Works: abs, butt, outer and inner thighs, calves
A Slide to the right with right elbow bent and left arm reaching left at shoulder height, stepping feet together at end.
B Slide to the left. Turn in a full circle over your right shoulder.
C Clap hands together twice overhead at the end of the turn. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating sides.
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Works: abs, butt, and quads
A Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms at sides. Drop into a half-squat facing left, pop butt and swing arms back, then scoop hips and sing arms forward to cross at chest. Without standing, repeat. Then stand on right leg and pivot over right shoulder 180 degrees, left knee comes up to hip level, elbows bend and arms go wide like a goal post.
B Land in a half-squat facing right and repeat booty pops, then stand on left leg and turn over left shoulder 180 degrees. Continue alternating sides.
Clear the Floor
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Works: back, abs, butt, quads
A Stand with feet together, knees bent, and wrists crossed at chest to start.
B Step left foot forward, turning body to the right, and bend knees to sweep the floor with your left hand, right hand reaches back and up. Return to starting position. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating sides.
Throw It Down
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Works: back, abs, obliques, butt
Stand with feet together and arms at sides to start. Forcefully draw right knee toward chest as you throw arms forward and down toward the right, elbows bent, as if doing a powerful standing crunch. Return to starting position. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating sides.
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Works: abs, butt, calves
A Stand facing left with feet together and arms at sides. Step left foot forward as you scoop eight arm around to turn 180 degrees to face right.
B Step left foot to meet right, rising onto the balls of your feet and pulling arms toward chest with elbows bent. Lower to standing position. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating sides.
Bring It Up
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Works: biceps, abs, quads, hamstrings
A Stand with feet together, knees bent, and arms crossed overhead to start.
B Step right foot forward to turn body to the left, swinging arms back and up. Return to starting position. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating sides.