I Tried Olivia Rodrigo's Favorite Pilates Workout

My abs are still sore.

An honest review of Speir Pilates, Olivia Rodrigo's favorite workout studio.

Practically every time I hear a celebrity spill their favorite workout, it’s Pilates. These days, you’re bound to see candid photos of A-listers leaving a Reformer studio or a photo of them moving through the stretchy workout on social media — and it seems like the key to their unending energy, which I could definitely use more of myself.

While Pilates has been around for decades, it’s officially become the go-to workout for anyone who wants a comprehensive routine that’s easy on the body. Not only have we collectively realized that it works every muscle, but it also improves your flexibility, fixes your posture, and leaves you feeling refreshed and renewed. Olivia Rodrigo, Chrissy Teigen, Shay Mitchell, Elle Fanning, and Zooey Deschanel are all fans of Speir Pilates, in particular, so I wanted to see what secrets it had in store.

According to Andrea Speir, the studio’s co-founder, people have been moving away from aesthetic-driven workouts and closer to what she calls “wellness workouts” — aka exercise that helps you feel good physically and mentally, which is something she keeps in mind when designing her routines.

I decided to try her classes for a week — keep scrolling for my honest review of the celeb-loved Speir Pilates workouts.

Speir Pilates Workouts

Speir founded her namesake Pilates studio in 2015 alongside Liz Polk. They currently have two locations in Los Angeles where they offer upbeat, music-based workouts on Pilates Reformer machines, as well as Power Pilates options. If you aren’t in the area, there’s also the on-demand platform which has over 350 workouts that you can do at home using a mat, your own Reformer, or Pilates tools. Unlike the studio, a digital membership grants you access to Reformer workouts, mat Pilates, barre, and strength training to ensure a well-rounded regimen.

Speir originally trained in classic Pilates before she began collecting other certifications in dance cardio, ballet barre, personal training, and spin. When it came time to create her own studio, she took all her favorite elements from each workout style and fused them together. Think muscle-isolating barre moves, a peppy instruction style, and dumbbell-focused strength routines.

While the in-person workouts last 50 minutes, the on-demand sessions run anywhere from five to 60 minutes. Speir says the online platform features different routines with specific goals in mind, so there are videos that’ll help you strengthen your core or glutes, improve your flexibility, or boost your energy — and new workouts drop every Sunday.

The program can be streamed online or via the app on your iPhone, Android, Apple TV, or Roku. The on-demand platform is $30 a month, and if you want to incorporate some equipment, you can pick up some Pilates tools on the Speir website, including weights, bands, and bungees.

My Experience

Since I’m not in LA, I opted to try the on-demand classes from the comfort of my apartment, and I was so surprised by how much was offered. I scrolled through a wide variety of workout options like an 11-minute Dumbbell Arm Sculpt video and a 45-minute Pilates and Barre, until my eyes rested upon the 20-minute Glute workout — my fave muscles to target.

This class featured one banded booty-burning move after another. We started with rounds of glute bridges that, in true Pilates style, featured lots of quick up-and-down pulses. After doing the classic bridge, I adjusted my feet to target other glute muscles, and continued to pulse — all without a break. I was then instructed to move into tabletop pose and do lots and lots of leg kicks, leg circles, and even more pulses. I felt quite the burn.

Throughout the workout, Speir reminded me to do a quick body scan to ensure my posture was on point so that I could make the most of each move. I was mega-slouching most of the time, so it was nice to be reminded about proper form.

She also gave helpful tips, like reaching an arm high up to the ceiling whenever I needed to pull myself out of said slump as a way to readjust my energy and posture.

For my next workout, I went for the 50-Minute Band Tone, which was a full-body workout using a looped resistance band. Speir brought me through a series of banded crab walks and other lower body moves, as well as rows and more upper-body exercises. Using a band was a good way to simulate the deep stretches and muscle activation that happens on a Reformer.

If you’ve ever wondered whether mat Pilates is worth it, here’s the deal: According to Speir, doing Pilates exercises on the floor versus the Reformer is actually more challenging. “[On the mat] you don’t have the Reformer to guide and distract your mind from the burn, so you really feel that work,” she says.

On another day, I wanted to try a non-Pilates class, so I landed on a dance-y, barre-inspired workout that was taught by three other instructors at Speir. We pumped our arms and bounced around in a way that got my heart rate up, and it felt difficult but fun at the same time — and offered a nice change from the glute and ab-burning work I was doing on the mat.

The Verdict

If I’m ever in LA, I’d definitely pop into a Speir studio. But with the online workouts, I don’t even need to. I can totally see why everyone’s drawn to these routines — they’re fun and effective, and Speir herself is so welcoming as an instructor.

I also love how you can feel all of the tiny muscles working in your body, which is ultimately what makes Pilates practitioners so strong. Whether you’re on a mat or a Reformer, Pilates is all about consistency; once you stick with it, you start to understand the hype.

Studies referenced:

Kim, BI. (2014). An Analysis of Muscle Activities of Healthy Women during Pilates Exercises in a Prone Position. J Phys Ther Sci. doi: 10.1589/jpts.26.77.

Lopes, JSS. (2019). Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis. SAGE Open Med. doi: 10.1177/2050312119831116.

Metz, VR. (2021). Effects of pilates on physical-functional performance, quality of life and mood in older adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Bodyw Mov Ther. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2021.06.005.