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Fitness Review: Lisa Corsello on PopSugar Fitness

This week I tried the Cardio Pilates Total Body Workout with Lisa Corsello, owner and founder of Burn Pilates. Lisa has a fitness playlist on YouTube through PopSugar Fitness. PopSugar Fitness is a health and wellness website that shares fitness and nutrition advice for women.

Lisa is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor who is a featured fitness expert on the KPIX Weekend Morning Show in San Francisco, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Cosmopolitan, among others. She has adapted her methods to meet various clients’ individual needs and capabilities, including pregnancy and post-natal workouts. 


The Workout

The Cardio Pilates Total Body Workout is a 45-minute session available on PopSugar Fitness on YouTube. Most pilates classes focus on low-impact flexibility, strength, and endurance moves. While there was no shortage of those moves, Lisa’s class was unique because it was punctuated with short bursts of cardio that kept the heart rate up. 

Materials needed for the class were minimal:

  • Two sets of weights (I used five pounds and threes);
  • a mat.

Five-minute warm-up

The warm-up consisted of plank walk-outs, chair pose squats, and cross-body mountain climbers. Two versions were demonstrated; Lisa demonstrated the regular option up front and a modified version was presented in the back. 

After the warm-up I was already sweating! I followed Lisa’s model and found that they don’t call it “total body” for nothing. The chair pose squats in particular were challenging… Usually when I practice chair pose in yoga it’s a stationary pose. Keeping my arms extended while pulsing burned! 

It’s a good thing the warm-up was challenging, because it prepared me for what was to come.

The Killer Workout

Next came leg lifts to work the obliques on either side, with tons of ab work in between, including bicycle crunches, double leg-stretches, V-sits, and scissor kicks. A cardio set of ski lunges followed. 

The next round consisted of combination upper- and lower-body strength moves using weights. We worked biceps, triceps, outer thighs, and glutes. The shoulder set was particularly challenging, but functional. Lisa mentioned that she was inspired to add a shoulder set when she was dusting her house in hard-to-reach places. 

By the next cardio set I had to modify! Instead of a plie squat jump, I stayed grounded and kept it low-impact. A final ab set followed, which included the dreaded One Hundred. If you’re a pilates regular, you know what I’m talking about. 

The One Hundred is a classic pilates exercise. You lie face-up, lift both legs at a 45 degree angle, curl your head up, and pulse your arms 100 times as you inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts. I definitely earned my five-minute stretch and cool down. 

As a workout class veteran who enjoys trying different workouts, I found Lisa’s class to be the perfect level of challenge and variety.

If you’re not as experienced, no problem; the modified workout is a good place to start. I found myself opting for the modified version here and there throughout the course of my workout, and it provided another level of accessibility. 


You can access Lisa Corsello’s PopSugar Fitness Cardio Pilates workout here. 

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Elizabeth DiPietro

Liz DiPietro has been a staff writer for In The Zone since 2011. She is a New York City public school teacher working at a middle school in Brooklyn, NY. Liz has a Master's of Creative Writing from Queens College and a Master's of Special Education from the College of Staten Island. She is a diehard Yankees, Knicks, and Jets fan and exercise enthusiast. Liz lives in Staten Island, NY with her husband Dave and 2-year-old son Christopher.
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