MIRROR Trainer Deja Riley Shares a 10-Minute, Do-Anywhere Bodyweight Circuit
"It's the perfect way to get movement in on the go."
Many people first became familiar with MIRROR from subway ads or Instagram posts from Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The "nearly invisible home gym," which lets you stream workouts through a digital screen — and then doubles as a full-length mirror when not in use — seemed like a luxury reserved for celebs. But then quarantine hit, gyms and boutique studios closed, and MIRROR became something even regular folks started purchasing for their apartments. The brand reported 'explosive demand' — and MIRROR remains a hot commodity even as sweating IRL with other humans becomes a thing again. (It was even the subject of a recent SNL episode.)
A big part of the appeal of the futuristic smart mirror is the group of top trainers that you can have access to in your own living room. Recently joining the MIRROR team is Deja Riley, a global ambassador for Lululemon who spent a decade dancing for artists like Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga. If you follow her on Instagram you'll get a taste of the playful approach she brings to fitness, but as a Black woman in the fitness industry, her mission is also to make fitness accessible to all (which is why she provides free workouts of her DANCE OUT OF THE BOX method on her YouTube channel). Inclusivity also means providing modifications so that people can "start where they are, use what they have, and do what they can," Riley says. "There's nothing like taking a workout at home, or walking into a group fitness space and seeing a move, not being able to do it, and feeling discouraged."
So, we tapped the trainer to share a quick workout similar to the classes she teaches on MIRROR. She alternates between cardiovascular and strength-building moves — and the circuit doesn't require any equipment. "By focusing on bodyweight first, you're able to really focus on form before accelerating the movement or taking it up a notch and adding weights," she explains. "Whether you're nursing an existing injury or are new to the fitness game and need to walk before you run, this is the perfect workout for you." It also means you can get a sweat on anywhere. "It's the perfect way to get movement in on the go if you're on vacation this summer, or also at home with no space/equipment," Riley says.
How it works: Perform each move for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. To turn it up a notch you can work for 45 seconds and rest for 15! Start with a 2-minute warm-up and end with a 2-minute cool-down for a total 10-minute workout. Repeat the entire circuit as many times as you want for a longer workout.
You will need: Just your own bodyweight and a yoga mat.
Small Arm Circles
Hold arms out to form a "T" and make tiny circles. Circle forward for 15 seconds and backward for 15 seconds.
Stretch arm across upper body and hold straight. Grasp elbow with other arm and gently pull towards chest. Hold for 15 seconds then switch arms.
With hands on hips to maintain balance, swing leg forward and back. If extra balance is needed, reset by resting leg in between forward and backward movements. Repeat for 30 seconds on each leg.
1. Alternating Toe Tap Jacks
A. Tap right leg out to the side while swinging right arm overhead. Bring arm down and bring leg in to reset. Make sure to keep your back straight.
B. Repeat on the other side and keep alternating.
2. Tap Back + Knee Drive
A. With right leg firmly planted on the ground with a soft bend in the knee, tap left foot back, then bring left knee up forward into a high knee at a 90-degree angle. Arms can rest on the hips, OR swing opposite arm and leg to maintain balance. Spine should remain completely straight.
B. Bring leg down to a neutral standing position and repeat with the opposite foot.
3. Modified Burpees
A. Come into a squat with weight in heels.
B. Tap each leg straight out behind you.
C. Return to squat and then come to a standing position.
A. Squat, hinge at the hips, and place hands flat on the ground.
B. Step the feet out one at a time to land in a high plank, making sure back is completely flat.
C. Step back into a squat and then come to standing with hands high above the head towards the sky. Repeat the entire movement.
4. Quadruped Tap Backs
Set-up. Quad, as in four, means we're going to get down on all fours! Palms are flat, wrists are aligned with elbows, which are aligned with shoulders. Knees are at a 90-degree angle on the ground, back is completely flat (in a tabletop position), and gaze is forward.
A. From this position, simply tap the legs back one at a time, squeezing the abs and keeping your gaze forward.
5. Modified bicycle crunches
Set-up: Laying on your back with your feet planted firmly on the ground, place your fingertips behind your head (for support).
A. Take your opposite knee to your opposite elbow for a nice soft crunch, working those oblique muscles. Shoulders should lift off the ground.
B. Bring the leg back to the ground and repeat on the other side.
Standing with your feet hip-distance apart, place your right hand at the top of your back then gently apply pressure with your left hand so your right hand travels down the spine. Keep your knees soft, your abdominals tight, and your toes pointing forward throughout the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for 30 seconds on the other arm.
Hold your left foot with your left hand and lift the foot up toward your rear end, keeping your thighs and knees together. You should feel a gentle to moderate stretch in the front of the thigh. For help with balance, hold on to a wall or chair. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat on the right side. Continue alternating for one minute.
HomeBODIES is our new recurring column bringing you beginner-friendly workouts you can do from the comfort of home.