Kayla Itsines' 12-Minute Full Body Workout

Kayla Itsines’ 12-Minute Total Body Workout

by | Aug 27, 2020

Got a mat and two resistance bands? Good stuff. Sweat powerhouse and star trainer Kayla Itsines has designed a deceptively simple workout that will leave you burning.

Each of these six exercises targets a different muscle group, so you’re in for an awesome full-body workout. Keep an eye on your technique and pick up the pace as you get acquainted with the moves. Do the specified reps for all six moves, then go back to the start.

See how many laps of the circuit you can get through in 12 mins. Aaaaand, go!

1. Reverse Lunge and Knee-Up

16 reps (8 per side)

(a) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Inhale, then take a big step backwards with your right foot, landing with both knees at 90 degrees. (b) Exhale, transfer your weight onto your left foot and then bring your right knee to your chest. (c) Inhale and lower your right leg to return to the starting position (without resting your foot on the mat if you want even more of a challenge). That’s one rep. Keep going.

2. Seated Row

12 reps

(a) Sit up tall with legs extended and a band around flexed feet. Holding the ends of the band with an overhand grip, extend your arms in front of you. (b) Using the muscles in your shoulders and back, bend your elbows outwards and back to increase the tension in the band. (c) Inhale and extend your elbows to return to the starting position. That’s one rep.

3. Lay-Down Push-Up

10 reps

(a) Start in a high plank position. Inhale and lower your torso to the mat. (b) Extend arms out in front of you, then bring them back in towards your body and place them on either side of your chest. (c) Exhale as you push through your chest and extend elbows to lift your body back into the starting position. That’s one rep.

4. Heel Taps

20 reps (10 per side)

(a) Lie on your back, arms by your sides. Bend your knees with feet hip-width apart. Slowly lift your head, shoulder blades and arms off the floor, and draw your belly in towards your spine. (b) Bend your torso to the left to touch your left ankle with your left hand. Return to starting position and do the other side. Alternate for 20 reps, inhaling for four reps and exhaling for four.

5. Front and Side Raise

10 reps

(a) With your feet in the band loops, hold a handle in each hand with an overhand grip, arms extended. Inhale, then while exhaling, gently raise the handles up to chin height. (b) Inhale as you slowly lower the handles back to the starting position. (c) While exhaling, bring the handles to the sides of your body. Raise the handles outwards and upwards to shoulder height, drawing your shoulder blades down and back. Inhale, then lower the handles to return to the starting position. Alternate between front and side raises for the reps.

6. Pop Squat

10 reps

(a) Stand with both feet together. Inhale, then exhale and hop up. Land softly in a sumo squat position with your feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart.

(b) Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Inhale, then push through your heels and hop, landing in the starting position. That’s one rep. 

RELATEDKayla Itsines’ Postpartum Return To Fitness Was Nothing Like She Expected

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?