The 20 Best Cassey Ho Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
Cassey Ho's best exercises
Social media fitness sensation Cassey Ho has all the right moves to stay toned and strong–her 3.9 million YouTube subscribers are proof. The 30-year-old Blogilates founder, POP Pilates creator, and Health cover model told us it’s important to find an exercise routine that you love so it will be easier to reach your fitness goals. “When you wake up and you cannot wait to get going, that is the workout for you,” Ho said. “You'll stick to it, it won't feel like a chore, and then everything else will fall into place.”
Well, look no further because we’ve rounded up 20 of Ho’s go-to POP Pilates moves. Follow along as she takes you step by step through her favorite exercises that score her those killer abs, defined arms, and strong legs. Mix and match to create the perfect full-body workout routine you can do anywhere.
Scissor Sit Ups
Targets: Core and thighs
Ho loves Scissor Sit Ups because they work the outer thighs, inner thighs, and abs all at the same time. “That one is really fun, it’s killer,” she says in the video above.
How-to: Lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air and your arms extended behind your head. Lift your arms up between your legs as you widen your legs at the same time. Lower your arms back down as you move your legs back together. Do 12 to 15 reps.
According to Ho, all it takes is one set of the Windmill to really work your obliques. “The main thing to remember here is try not to let your upper back lift off of the mat,” she says. “And if you can’t bring your legs all the way down, it’s okay. It comes with strength and flexibility.”
How-to: Lie on your back with your arms spread out to your side, palms facing down, and your legs straight in the air. Keep your toes pointed and your upper body on the mat as you bring both legs down to one side. Use your core strength to then lift your legs back up to center and over to the other side, going down as far as you can. Repeat for one set of 10 taps.
“In POP Pilates, people love this move because it really attacks your obliques and your abs. This is a total core move,” Ho explains.
How-to: Lie on your back with your knees up and wide, with your toes touching, making a diamond shape with your legs. Place both hands behind your neck and lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat. Move your elbow and your knee on the same side toward each other, then alternate to the other side. Do 15 to 20 reps.
Targets: Core and inner thighs
Frogger abs are a combination move for your inner thighs and your core, says Ho. “Try 15 of these and you’re going to be shaking a lot.”
How-to: Lie on your back with your knees up and wide, with your heels together, making a V shape with your feet. Straighten your legs, bringing your knees together while keeping your heels together. To engage your abs, place your hands behind your head and then lift your upper body, raising your arms out in front of you as you push your legs out. Go back to starting position and repeat. Do 15 reps.
Back Behinds are the perfect POP Pilates exercise to tone up your back, Ho says. “Make sure you’re squeezing your shoulder blades together. It really builds up the posture and attacks the whole back.”
How-to: Sit tall in crossed-legged or mermaid position. Raise both arms out to your sides, palms facing down. Open your palms up as you squeeze both elbows in towards your mid-back. Return to starting position and repeat. Do 20 reps.
The Crunch Twist is a POP Pilates go-to because it combines two classic moves into one. “If you’ve tried the trunk twists before and you’ve tried a regular sit up, imagine doing those two at the same time,” Ho says.
How-to: Get in crunch position, but clasp your hands together across your chest with your elbows wide. Slowly raise your upper body, twisting your elbows side to side. Keep twisting as you lower back down. For a modification, you can grab onto the backs of your thighs, lifting and lowering your upper body without doing the twists. Or, you can do the twists without lifting and lowering your body. Do 10 reps.
Not only do T-Stand Pulses work your lower body, they can build up your core strength too. “This move requires a little bit of balance, so if that’s not your strong suit then go ahead and grab onto a wall or chair. It’s okay, balance comes with practice,” Ho explains.
How-to: Slightly bend one leg and place the other leg behind you. Lift both arms out as if you are flying. Raise your back leg up as high you can. Then pulse your leg up and down. To make it easier, start with your leg lower. For a challenge, flex your foot.
Targets: Back and core
The Wing Pulses made Ho’s list of faves because they sculpt your entire back. “If you can’t lift your quads, no worries, just go as high as you can.”
How-to: Lie on your belly and stretch your arms out wide into a T position. Lift your arms, chest, and quads off the floor and hold for a few seconds. Lower everything back down to starting position and repeat. Do 15 to 20 reps.
“This is one of my favorite moves for toning up your legs,” Ho says.
How-to: Widen your legs out past your shoulders and hips with your toes facing outwards. Raise your arms out to your sides. Slowly lower down into a squat position and come back up. For a challenge, start on the balls of your feet or do pulses in squat position. Do 15 to 20 reps.
Criss Cross Scissors
Targets: Inner and outer thighs
“Try 20 of them and you’re going to feel those thighs tone up really quickly,” Ho says. She recommends sucking in your belly-button and pressing your lower back into the mat to make sure that you’re only using your thighs.
How-to: Lie on your back. Place your hands in a triangle underneath your tailbone. Lift your legs straight in the air. Lower your legs down to your sides and raise them back up, crossing them at the center. Do 20 reps.
Targets: Legs and inner thighs
Ho swears by this move because it’s challenging and guarantees results. “It might feel a little bit tricky when you start in the beginning, but try the best that you can and your inner thighs will be on fire,” Ho says.
How-to: Place your hands together in front of your chest and stand with your legs wide. Lunge down on one side, keeping the other leg straight and toes forward. Lift up into a normal standing position, keeping your leg straight. Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.
Targets: Butt and hamstrings
“The reason why we have to work your hamstrings is because your hamstrings are connected to your glutes. If you want to really lift your booty, you have to work all the muscles around it,” says Ho.
How-to: Place your palms, forearms, and knees on the mat. Extend one leg, flexing your foot. Lift extended leg up as high as you can go and lower down to starting position.
Fire Hydrant + Heel Up
The Fire Hydrant is one of Ho’s go-to lower body exercises to lift your booty. “This one is so much fun. If you do this to the beat of a song, it’s even better. Try to finish the whole song.”
How-to: Place palms and knees on the mat. Align your shoulders with your palms and your knees with your hips. Lift your leg outwards to one side (simulating a dog peeing on a fire hydrant) and return to center. Lift the same leg up behind you, keeping your knee bent. Do 15 to 20 on each side.
Cross Butt Kick
You’ll quickly feel the burn with this butt-lifting POP Pilates move. “You will want to try about 15 of these on each side and try to kick as far out as you can,” Ho says.
How-to: Place palms and knees on the mat. Align your shoulders with your palms and your knees with your hips. Cross one knee behind the other knee, then lift that leg up into a fire hydrant and kick your leg out to the side. Do 15 reps on each side.
“This one is in a lot of my workouts because it’s super-effective and it’s super-fun,” says Ho.
How-to: Place your palms and knees on the mat. Extend one leg out behind you. Dip your chin down to the floor, bending your elbows, and extending your leg higher. Press back up to starting position and repeat. Try 10 on each side.
Targets: Butt and thighs
Bridge Butterflies lift your butt and tone up your thighs, Ho says. “By keeping your hips and booty up, you’re really working the whole lower body.”
How-to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms at your sides, palms down. Lift your lower body up, making a bridge with your body. Move your knees out and in. Do 20 reps.
Ho loves this exclusive POP Pilates move because it lifts and strengthens your glutes. “If you can try to do 10 to 12 of these per leg, you’re going to be really golden.”
How-to: Get in downward dog position. Lift one of your legs straight up into three-legged dog position. Drop your toes to one side of your mat. Lift up to starting position and drop your toes down to the other side of your mat. Do 10 to 12 per leg.
Targets: Triceps and butt
“It’s extremely challenging but really fun. You get to work the arms and the booty all in one,” says Ho. “Make sure you pay attention to your form and really squeeze and hold each movement.”
How-to: Lie on your belly with your palms on the floor near your shoulders. With your knees out wide, bring your big toes together, making a diamond shape. Press up into a half-cobra position, keeping your elbow tight to your side. Lower your upper body back down. Squeeze your glutes to lift your quads up, then lower back down. Continue for 12 reps.
Reverse Plank Triceps Dips
Ho recommends the Reverse Plank Triceps Dip move because it has three different variations to target your arms. For each one, “make sure that your palms are right underneath your shoulders and you’re not sinking into your shoulders,” she says.
How-to: Start in tabletop position. Lower your butt down by bending your elbows and press back up. For a challenge, straighten your legs so you're in a full reverse plank. To make it even harder, extend one leg out as you lower your butt down in tabletop position. Do 12 reps.
Targets: Butt and thighs
“The main thing here is try to keep those hips forward, don’t lean back with your leg. That will really attack your thighs and your butt,” Ho explains.
How-to: Lie on your side and rest your head on your arm or prop yourself up with your elbow. Tap your top leg on the ground in front of you two times. Lift your leg as high as you can, then tap the same leg on the ground behind you two times. Do 12 to 15 lifts on each side.