Powerhouse workouts refer to two kinds of exercises. It can refer to Pilates exercises focused on the body’s “powerhouse”, which is the part of the core just below the ribs to the hips and around to the back and buttocks. Powerhouse exercises also refer to exercises that engage multiple groups of muscles at the same time through strength training and cardio. A complete workout will work all major muscle groups. By placing your muscles under stress, you make your muscles work and adapt. This makes them stronger, and you get fitter. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy gyms to get a powerhouse workout because you can learn how to do powerhouse exercises at home.
Method One of Four:
Performing Pilates Powerhouse Workouts
1Do a plank. Planks are one of the best powerhouse exercises. Not only do they work the abs, but they also work the legs, buttocks, and shoulders. This exercise can help strengthen your lower back and protect it from injury.
- Lie face down on the floor. Push yourself slowly onto your elbows and toes. Pull your core in tightly.
- Make sure to keep your neck and head in line with your back. Your shoulders should be right above your elbows. Keep your hips down.
- Hold for 20 seconds. Try for two repetitions.
- To modify, drop your knees to the floor.
2Do in-and-outs. In-and-outs are abdominal exercises that focus on the rectus abdominis, which are the muscles that run down the front of the torso.
- Sit on the floor. Pull your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around your legs. Lift your feet.
- Tighten your core while opening your arms wide and pushing your legs straight out in front of you. Don’t let your feet touch the floor.
- Pull your knees back into your chest and wrap your arms around your knees.
- Do three sets of 20 reps.
3Perform Russian twists. Russian twists work on the external obliques. These are the largest oblique muscles and help with the rotation of the body. This exercise also works the transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis.
- Sit with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lean back halfway, so that your body is at an angle.
- Twist to the right as much as you can. Make sure the angle of your torso doesn’t change. Rotate to the left as much as you can. Repeat.
- You can hold a hand weight or medicine ball in your hand to add an extra challenge.
- As you get stronger, lift your feet off the floor for an added challenge.
4Try leg raises. Leg raises are a great workout for the transverse abdominis. They help you strengthen the lower back.
- Lie flat on the floor. Keep your head, legs, and buttocks on the floor.
- Lift your legs slowly, until they reach a 90 degree angle. Try to keep your legs straight.
- Lower your legs to the floor.
- You can perform this on a bench or the floor.
- If you have lower back pain, limit your range of motion (ROM) to a level that is pain free by not going all the way down with your legs. You can also address back pain by placing a towel under the lower back or pressing your back into the mat by tightening your core while you perform the exercise, which is called imprinting.
5Try a pelvic tilt. The pelvic tilt helps strengthen your abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your ab muscles and lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Do three sets of 10 reps.
6Perform hip circles. Lie on your back. Inhale, then exhale as you use your ab muscles to bring your legs up to your chest. Your legs should be at a 90 degree angle, your shins parallel to the floor. Rotate your legs to the to the right. When they go as far to the side as they can, pull your legs into your chest as you circle them towards the left. Push them out when they get as far to the left as you can, then sweep them out towards the right.
- Make 10 rotations.
Method Two of Four:
Working On Your Legs
1Do squat jumps. Update your regular squat by upgrading to a squat jump. This combines quad exercises with cardio, giving you a more intense workout.
- Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and your spine neutral, lower yourself into a squat by pushing your hips back. Make sure to watch your knees to ensure that they don’t extend beyond your toes. Your knees should stay in line with your feet.
- When you come back up, engage your core and jump up with as much strength as you can. Land on your feet with control. Then lower back into the squat.
2Try lunges. are a great fat-burning and strengthening workout.  You do these with or without a weight.
- To perform a lunge, take an extra long step forward. Bend down until both knees are at 90 degree angles. Make sure your front knee is directly over your foot, not extending beyond it. Powerfully push your front leg off of the ground through the heel to return to your original position. Step back to your original standing position. Do the same with the other leg.
- To increase the intensity, you can hold hand weights beside you, or curl hand weights towards your chest as you lunge.
3Do leg lift extensions. Leg lift extensions work your core and leg muscles. Bend forward and brace yourself on something low, like hand weights or a low bench. Make sure your upper body is parallel to the floor.
- Lift one leg straight out and hold it there. Engage your body so that all your muscles are working.
- Pull your leg in, bending it so your knee is drawn to your chest. Then push your leg back out straight.
- To make it more challenging, don’t hold on to anything, and balance yourself on one leg.
4Perform skater slides. Skater slides work your lower body and gets your heart rate up. Start with your left leg slightly bent, the right foot behind the opposite ankle. Lower into a squat position. Hold your left arm out with your right arm held in front of your hips.
- Jump to your right foot. Make sure to jump with force. Bring the left foot behind the right ankle, and swing your arms in the opposite direction.
- Continue jumping back and forth. One rep is jumping to both sides.
Method Three of Four:
Performing Full Body Workouts
1Do a burpee. are a great overall body workout. They work multiple arm, leg, and core groups. Use variations to modify the burpee for your fitness level, and work up to more challenging ones.
- To perform a burpee, start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat, and bend down to place your hands flat on the floor. Kick your legs back until you are holding yourself up in a . Jump both of your feet back towards your core and raise up back into a squat. Jump up with your hands above your arms.
- If you are more advanced, add a push up into the burpee. The push up will be performed after you are in the plank position.
- If you are a beginner, you can extend your legs behind you and pull them back in one at a time.
2Perform a weighted squat press. A good way to engage multiple muscle groups is a weighted squat press. This exercise combines a traditional squat followed by a shoulder press. The exercise combines both the major leg, arm, and core muscles. This exercise requires hand weights.
- Start by performing a squat. As you straighten up, lift your arms above your head as you hold a weight. Ten-pound weights are good to start. If you don’t have one ten-pound weight, hold five-pound weights in your hands. Adjust the weight as needed by decreasing and increasing.
- If you don’t have any weights, try filling a bag with objects until you find your desired weight. Press that over your head.
3Perform a plank row. Another way to engage your entire body at once is to perform a plank row. This exercise engages your core, your arms, and your legs. For this exercise, you need hand weights.
- Push yourself up into a plank, with your hands wrapped around the hand weights on the ground. Pull your arm back, bringing your elbow towards the ceiling. Lift the hand weight to chest height. Then lower and repeat with the other arm.
- Try to keep everything stable. Only your arms should be moving.
4Do a side lunge with a chest press. A side lunge works your lower body and core while the chest press works your arms. You should use hand weights for this exercise.
- Hold a hand weight at your chest. To perform a , step out to the right and lower into a lunge. Your knee should be at a 90 degree angle, with your hips pushed back, and your knees directly over your foot.
- Push off from your foot with force, and bring your right leg up to balance on your left leg. As you come up, push the hand weight away from your chest. Bring your leg and the weight back to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
5Try a walking pushup. A walking pushup takes a normal pushup and modifies it into a full body workout. Start by standing up. Bend down until your hands are flat on the floor. Walk your arms out until you are in plank position. Lower yourself into a pushup, then return to plank position. Use your hands to walk yourself back into a standing position.
- If you cannot do a full pushup, drop your knees and do a modified pushup.
Method Four of Four:
Putting Together A Workout Regimen
1Perform an adequate number of reps. Reps are the number of single exercises you perform at one time. Start with five to seven reps per side if the exercise requires you to switch sides. If you don’t have to switch sides, start with 10 reps.
- The number of reps may increase as you become stronger.
2Decide on the number of sets. A set is the number of times you work through each exercise. Generally, performing three to five sets of an exercise makes a good routine.
- Your total reps for a single exercise in your workout should range from fifteen to forty in all.
3Determine the number of exercises in your workout. You should choose exercises that work your entire body. This means exercises which work varying muscle groups. For example, you want to focus on your core, glutes, back, chest, quads, hamstrings, shoulder, biceps/triceps, abs, and calves.
- Make sure you have a minimum of three exercises to start. You can add more as you see fit.
4Try a timed workout. If you would rather limit your workout, set a timer. Perform a predetermined number of reps and exercises for as many sets as you can complete until the timer runs out.
- For example, you can do 20 reps of each exercise, then 10, then five, and repeat. You can do that for five minutes, 10 minutes, or longer.