Alexz's top 10 low-impact exercises to bring the burn
You haven’t truly met the Centr’s newest trainer, Alexz Parvi, until you’ve tried her signature low-impact exercises.
Alexz’s Bodyweight HILIT workouts are a new kind of challenge, designed to create maximum burn to shape, define and tone your body. While you might recognize the influence of Pilates, HIIT and functional training in her sessions, Alexz’s variations and low-impact modifications make her training style unique.
“You’re probably going to do exercises you’ve never heard of before with me, and that’s because I like to make it interesting,” Alexz says.
“I like to be creative, and I love to give you a whole bunch of variety because I know sometimes exercise isn’t always encouraging. It’s okay if you try and fail – I fall over too! We’ll have a giggle, try something new, and keep stringing it all together until we get results.”
So how does she deliver that total-body burn? With signature moves like this…
1. Lateral Squat Swings
Alexz has dubbed this exercise the “glute shaper”, and when you feel the glute of your kicking leg burning, you’ll know why! As well as powering up each glute, the dynamic side-to-side squat and swinging motion will get your inner thighs firing and heart thumping.
How to do it: Standing upright, keep your left foot anchored as you step out with your right foot and drop into a lateral squat. As you rise out of the squat, swing your right foot out to the opposite side of your body, then swing it back and drop into a lateral squat again. Repeat on your left side. For optimal burn, try to complete your set reps on each side before switching to your opposite leg.
2. Walking Hover
Alexz loves to draw from different training modalities for her workouts, and you may spot some Da Rulk-style functional inspiration in this one. You might go full beast mode with bear crawls, but keep this walking movement slow and controlled to work your core, legs and arms.
How to do it: Drop onto all fours, then lift your knees so they’re hovering over the mat, making sure they stay hip-distance apart. On your toes, slowly walk one hand forward, followed by the opposite back leg. Repeat on the other side and then reverse the movement. Keep your core tight, back flat and chin up.
3. Plank Pushbacks
Looking for a core crusher with the added spice of some shoulder burn? Alexz has the answer: “I love planks. Plank, plank, plank.” This particular plank variety is a bit more dynamic – think an Olympic sprinter setting up on the blocks.
How to do it: Set up in plank position. Keeping your core tight throughout, press your palms into the mat and push your butt back, then return to plank position. Your arms should be fully extended when you push back, but not locked out, so you can rock back and forth fluidly.
4. Plank Knee Pedal
Alexz has a reputation for simple and effective core moves, and this is one of our favorites. A bit like low-impact mountain climbers, where your feet never leave the ground, it will get your core burning and deliver a steady cardio workout.
How to do it: Set up in plank position. Now drop one knee after the other toward the mat in a constant pedaling motion. Your core should be engaged throughout, your back straight and eyes looking directly ahead.
5. Crunch Punch
How do you get more from a crunch? Alexz adds punches. Throwing punches at the top of the crunch movement helps with momentum and brings a dynamic element to get you sweating.
How to do it: Lay down with your feet on the floor and knees bent. Engage your core and bring your fists together above your chest. As you rise up into a crunch, throw a punch with each hand and exhale deeply, then lower your torso back down. Keep your core tight and control your breath as you move.
6. C-shape Roll
Alexz puts a reverse spin on crunches with this exercise that will challenge your control over the movement. As well as firing your core, this motion is good for mobility, as it flexes your lumbar spine (lower back) which is often stiff thanks to all the sitting we do.
How to do it: Sit with your feet on the floor, knees bent, back straight and arms extended out over your knees. Using your core, roll back until your upper back touches the floor, then crunch forward again. Try not to completely stop at the bottom of the movement.
7. C-shape Shoulder Press
Core had enough yet? Not on Alexz’s watch! She’ll continue to stoke the fire with this move which recruits your arms to force your core to work harder for stability and hits those abs from different angles.
How to do it: Sit with your feet on the floor, knees bent and legs hip-distance apart. Lean back to create a ‘C’ shape with your spine. Raise your arms up with your elbows bent, as if you’re doing a shoulder press. Push those imaginary weights up above your head, then back down again so your elbows dip just below shoulder height. Keep pushing while keeping your core tight. The more you flex and engage those arm muscles the more heat you’ll build in your core.
8. Knee Tap Hover
Get set for another dynamic exercise that will challenge your core to stay strong and stable through movement. Alexz’s big tip: your glutes drive this movement, NOT your lower back. Oh, and your quads may catch fire, too.
How to do it: Set up on all fours, with hands directly beneath your shoulders, back flat and core tight. Engage your glutes and use them to lift your knees off the mat until your shins are parallel with the floor, then lower them back down, and continue in a bouncing motion. If your knees touch the mat with each drop, make sure it’s a light tap, not a big bang.
9. V Squat
If you’ve never felt the famous Alexz shakes before, you’re about to. This barre-inspired exercise will ignite a mega burn in your inner thighs and outer glutes. Alexz warns that the guys will find it even tougher than the ladies! V squats are great for increasing mobility through your hips and ankles.
How to do it: Standing tall, bring your heels together so your feet fan out to make a V shape. Squat down and up at a steady pace, making sure your heels stay together. Keep your core activated and torso upright as you squat.
10. Frog Squat
Alexz is big on time under tension to earn that burn and improve muscle strength and endurance. That’s exactly what she’ll be giving your glutes, quads and hamstrings in this exercise.
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then lower into a squat position with elbows on your knees and hands pointing up toward your face. Now picture your elbows pushing your knees back so your legs (almost) straighten out while your face and hands dip toward your feet. Find a steady up-down rhythm.
Pocket rocket Alexz Parvi’s bodyweight HILIT circuits will make you sweat and shake to shape, define and tone. Certified personal trainer and founder of cult fitness studio Hustl in Australia’s Byron Bay and Gold Coast, she’s also a certified teacher of barre, and mat and reformer Pilates.
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