It’s not always easy to make exercise a priority, but sometimes, it’s a matter of training smarter, not harder. If you’re looking for a workout that’ll blast your entire body in a short amount of time, I’ve found it — this Pamela Reif full-body workout has 49 million views, so I unrolled my exercise mat to find out more.
If you’re new to vlogger and fitness model Pamela Reif, get ready to work hard. Reif has amassed a huge amount of followers on Instagram and YouTube for her workout videos, and you can read what happened when I tried her six-pack ab workout, or her lower ab workout.
Like a lot of Pamela’s workouts, the format of the class was 30-seconds on each exercise, with two one-minute breaks staggered throughout the class. Ready to give it a go? Read on to find out what to expect.
Where can you find the Pamela Reif 20-minute full-body workout?
Pamela Reif’s full-body workout is available for free on her YouTube channel. You don’t need any equipment to take part, but it’s worth having an exercise mat nearby, as you’ll spend some time doing planks and push-ups. If you haven’t got an exercise mat, we’ve hand-picked the best yoga mats that double as exercise mats here.
You’ll perform each exercise for 30-seconds, and some of the more brutal ones will come around twice (jump squats, I’m looking at you). If you like to prepare yourself, here are a few of the exercises that feature in the workout:
Squat with side leg lift: For this exercise, you’ll perform a normal bodyweight squat, but as you rise up out of the squat, you’ll extend one leg out to the side, before lowering it back hip-width apart, squatting, and raising the opposite leg. Looking for more squat motivation? Here’s how to do a squat with the correct form, and how to add resistance bands to your squats.
Side plank with leg pull: This exercise targets your oblique muscles, that run along the side of your stomach. Start by getting into a side plank, with your weight on your elbow and your hips stacked. Pamela performs the exercise with her legs outstretched and one foot stacked on top of the other, but if you need a modification, you can keep your lower leg bent, with your knee resting on the floor for balance.
Raise your outstretched top leg up, and your top arm out over your head, creating a straight line from your fingers to your toes. Engaging your core, crunch your elbow into your knee, before straightening your arm and leg again.
Superman: This is one of the best exercises for strengthening your lower back, as it targets the back extensors, which run alongside the spine, and helps with good posture and pelvic support. To do a superman, lie on your belly on your exercise mat, stretching both arms and legs out from your body. Engage your glutes and raise both arms and legs off the floor, aiming for about six inches. You should feel a stretch in your lower back.
T-rotation: This is another plank modification that really works on your stability. Starting from a forearm plank, raise one arm up to the sky, twisting your torso, before lowering it back down to the ground and repeating on the other side. Move slowly and with control.
Glute bridge: Glute bridges target all three muscles in the glutes — the maximus, medius, and minimus. Like squats, they also work the backs of your legs, so your hamstrings will feel the burn too, as well as your core and abductor muscles. To do a glute bridge, you’ll need to start by lying on your back on an exercise mat, with your feet pressed into the floor about hip-width apart.
Engage your core (think about sucking your belly button into your spine) and squeeze your glutes together as you raise your hips and pelvis to the sky. Squeeze your glutes at the top, before slowly lowering your hips back to their starting position. Read more on how to do a glute bridge with the correct form here.
I tried the 20-minute Pamela Reif full-body workout — here’s what happened
Man did I feel this workout. Starting with jump squats was tough, and the momentum didn’t seem to slow throughout the class, with the 30-second exercises passing quickly. By the time we got to the first break, I felt like I needed a breather.
That said, once I’d warmed up and got into the class, I found that unlike a HIIT workout designed to torch calories, this one was forcing me to engage all of the different muscle groups in the body. The T-rotations made me slow down, as I found moving too quickly made me feel unbalanced, or as if I was rocking my hips during the movement.
For beginners, it might be worth pausing to check your form during this workout, as Reif doesn’t offer modifications for some of the more challenging exercises, like the side planks with leg pulls. It’s important to get your form right, and even I felt like I was having to slow my pace down, rather than keep up with Reif.
All in all, it’s a great workout if you want to challenge your entire body. It’s also one I’ll definitely do again, to see how I’ve improved. Like a lot of Reif’s exercise videos, the fact you can do this using zero equipment, from just about anywhere is a huge plus, plus, if you really want to challenge yourself, you could always add one of her ab exercises to the end of this as a finisher.
If you're looking for more workout ideas, I also found some of the best ab workouts you can do from just about anywhere, and the exercise that is better than sit-ups and crunches for blasting your core.