Fashion #Fitspo: Get Toned With a Towel

Meet the Towel of Terror.
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Meet the Towel of Terror.

Fitness is definitely having a moment in fashion. Since many of us here at Fashionista are also fitness buffs, this suits us just fine. Every Friday all summer long we'll be featuring different trainers who will showcase their signature workout moves via GIF. Best of all, we're dressing them in some of our favorite activewear brands -- both well-known and up-and-coming -- to provide a double dose of inspiration. Welcome to Fashion #Fitspo

Anna's hair was particularly amazing on the day of the shoot. Photo: Nina Frazier Hansen/Fashionista

Anna's hair was particularly amazing on the day of the shoot. Photo: Nina Frazier Hansen/Fashionista

The studio/trainer: Anna Kaiser, a former professional choreographer and dancer, opened AKT in Motion in NYC last year, and I can guarantee the workout is like nothing you've ever tried before. The dance interval classes are 60 to 90 minutes long and are broken up into segments alternating dancing and various toning exercises including yoga poses, plyometrics and traditional strength training, all with an AKT spin. (Kaiser trains Shakira, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kelly Ripa, in case you're wondering what the results look like.) I walked out of there completely depleted of sweat and unable to walk, turn, cough or laugh for two days thanks to muscle soreness -- this is the highest praise I can heap on a class. 

The moves: "How hard can lifting a towel be?" you ask. Muahahahaha! The key here is to hold the towel taut  between your two arms. This causes all your muscles to engage, which is what makes the magic happen. Kaiser recommends doing 15 reps of each exercise -- repeat for three sets. You'll work your arms, back, core, and shoulders.

Back Drop:

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• Start with your feet hip-distance apart and under your shoulders. Bend your knees and hinge over at the waist, keeping your back straight. Make sure your weight is in your heels. 

• Hold the towel taut, lift your arms to chest level, and pull your navel into your spine.

• Consciously use your muscles to lift the towel to ear height -- don't let momentum take over. 

Towel Pull:

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Kneel down and  pull navel in to spine, while holding towel taut at shoulder height. 

• Pull the towel into your chest -- you should feel this working your mid-back. Extend arms out straight. Again, do it without using momentum. 

Towel Ab Twist: 

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• Sit down on the floor and bend your knees, holding the towel taut. Lift it above your head. 

• Rotate to one side while lifting the same-side knee off the floor and extending the leg straight. Engage abs during the entire movement.

• Repeat all reps on one side, then switch and do the same thing on the other side. 

The clothes: Sweaty Betty, a recent U.S. activewear import from the UK, is known for its crazy prints and use of color. We all loved this body-con, marled neon top. Kaiser is wearing: Athlete Workout Tank, $55 (color shown is sold out); and Shakedown Shorts, $75.

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Last week: Work your arms and abs without ever leaving the floor

Photos/GIF's: Nina Frazier Hansen/Fashionista