Tone your core and burn fat in just 30 minutes with this equipment-free workout

This no-equipment routine fits Pilates-based exercises into short intervals to build core strength and aid weight loss

Man trains his core at home
(Image credit: Getty)

When you think of a fat-burning workout you probably envisage a lot of jumping around at a fast pace. But this isn’t the only way to get your heart rate up through exercise; this Pilates-inspired workout uses longer periods of exercise mixed with shorter rest periods to burn fat as well as strengthen muscle, including your core.

Pilates is a style of workout that uses some of the top core strengthening exercises to work on creating muscle definition in this area as well as the upper and lower body. It also is well known for improving posture and flexibility with regular practice.

Personal trainer Heather Robertson has built in various Pilates-inspired exercises to this 30-minute, no-equipment workout to build strength all over with low-impact movement. The strength-building moves will engage your upper body, lower body, and core and you won’t need any weight for this. But you will benefit from placing one of the best yoga mats underneath you as you complete the workout.

Robertson will lead you through a warm up to ensure the muscles being targeted are fully activated before heading into the exercises. Each move is performed for 30 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest and you should aim to complete two rounds of the routine.

Watch Heather Robertson’s 30-Minute No-Equipment Workout

If you are looking for ways to burn fat but don’t like the look of some HIIT workouts for fat loss, this routine will be better suited to you. It uses the same format as HIIT-style training with longer active periods and shorter rests, but avoids any fast jumping around or any burpee variations.

HIIT typically incorporates larger muscles all over the body and gets the heart rate raised through interval work. Meanwhile, Pilates has a real focus on engaging the core so when you combine the two exercise methods you are helping your body to burn calories and use up energy from fat as well as build strength and muscle endurance all over.

Although research now suggests that HIIT training and moderate-intensity exercise can achieve the same weight loss results for people, HIIT is a much quicker way to achieve your fitness goals.

Not everyone has time to sit on one of the best exercise bikes for a long session or head out to an hour-long Pilates class. This is where a short 30-minute routine, that you can pretty much do anywhere, is extremely useful when you want to lose some weight and build strength and muscle via Pilates inspired moves.

If you haven’t tried Pilates exercises before now, then you may find some moves quite challenging on your core or feel like you can’t hold them for as long as you would like to. This doesn’t mean you are unfit or not suited to this style of core training, it just means this area of your body could do with some more attention.

Some of the best workouts for abs are super quick to complete at the end of a gym or home workout session. Or you can use one of the best ab rollers, which is a small piece of equipment designed to help you build a stronger abdominal and core muscle area.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.