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The Ultimate Lean Routine: Yoga Boot Camp to Firm, Burn, and Balance

Get bendy and say hello to a firm, lean body.

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Woman holding forearm hand stand yoga pose
Scott McDermott
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About This Workout

Just when you thought you had seen every twist on yoga, here's a high-octane hybrid that firms, burns, balances, and stretches like nothing else. "This workout is a one-stop shop," says Loren Bassett, the creator of the sweaty mix that makes up the Pure PXT class at Pure Yoga in New York City. Start this mini session with a few sun salutations to limber up, then get cranking. Alternate doing one-minute intervals of the sliding exercises at top speed with a minute of slow and steady dumbbell moves. Do the circuit two to three times then, er, curl up in a ball: Happy baby pose (faceup, grasping your feet, knees at armpits) should bring you om again.

What you'll need: Besides your yoga mat, grab a pair of gliding disks (try Valslide, $30) -- or, in a pinch, a hand towel -- and a set of 3- to 8-pound hand weights.

Rock. It. Out. After a few chants and chimes, you'll need some driving beats for this mat session. Get the playlist from PXT and start sweating!

Watch this video

Refresh Your Sun Salutations

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Badass Crawl

Targets shoulders, chest, arms, and abs

  • Start on floor in full plank position, palms on one end of mat, forefeet on gliding disks.
  • Keeping legs steady, walk hands forward on mat until palms near other end.
  • Lower onto forearms, one arm at a time, then crawl backward on forearms toward opposite end of mat, legs steady.
  • Once you reach end of mat, return to full plank (rising onto palms); repeat. Continue for 1 minute.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Start in modified push-up position with knees rather than feet on disks.

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Skull Crusher with Scissors

Targets triceps and abs

  • Lie faceup on mat, a dumbbell in each hand, with arms and legs extended toward ceiling, palms facing each other.
  • Keeping upper arms fixed in place, bend elbows to lower dumbbells by ears as you lower left leg toward mat (without touching it down).
  • Straighten arms as you switch leg positions. Continue for 1 minute, alternating legs.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Keep legs extended up throughout.

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CrissCross

Targets shoulders, abs, obliques, and legs

  • Start on floor in full plank position, palms on end of mat, forefeet on gliding disks.
  • Keeping upper body steady, bring right knee toward left elbow by sliding right foot under body.
  • Slide right foot back to start, then quickly switch sides and repeat. Continue alternating for 1 minute.

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Flye Warrior

Targets shoulders, back, butt, and quads

  • Stand with right foot staggered in front of left, holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms out to sides at shoulder level and elbows bent 90 degrees (like goalposts), palms facing forward.
  • Lower into a lunge position, bending right knee 90 degrees and bringing left knee toward floor, as you bring bent arms together in front of you. (If right knee juts past toes, start with feet farther apart.)
  • Return to start. Continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

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Warrior 3 Dead Lift

Targets butt and hamstrings

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides, a dumbbell in each hand; place right foot behind you slightly, toes on mat.
  • Standing on left leg, knee slightly bent, hinge forward from hips as you raise right leg behind you until body is parallel to floor, arms hanging down.
  • Hold for 1 count, then return to start, tapping right foot down. Continue for 30 seconds; switch legs and repeat.

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Forearm Plank to Pike

Targets shoulders, abs, and legs

  • Start on floor in plank position, forearms on mat and forefeet on gliding disks.
  • Engage abs and, keeping legs straight, pull feet forward toward nose until body forms an inverted V (pike position).
  • Slide feet back to start. Continue for 1 minute.
  • MAKE IT EASIER: Bring knees in toward chest rather than piking up.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Slide feet out to sides, then back in, after each rep.

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Baddha Konasana Sit-Up

Targets arms and abs

  • Lie faceup on mat with knees bent out to sides, soles of feet together, and hold ends of a single dumbbell in hands, arms extended behind head at a 45-degree angle from floor.
  • Engage abs and, keeping arms extended, sit up tall (straight spine) as you reach arms diagonally forward toward ceiling.
  • Lower to start, repeat.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

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Skater

Targets butt, quads, and inner thighs

  • Stand with left foot on one end of mat, right forefoot on gliding disk, arms bent in runners position with right arm up and left arm back.
  • Bend left knee 90 degrees as you slide straight right leg behind you, extending right arm back and pumping left arm forward.
  • Quickly return to start and continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Put more weight on the foot on the glider and slide leg directly out to side to target inner thighs.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2014.

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