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What is the LE SSERAFIM workout? The intense K-Pop workout going viral for helping people get abs

The K-Pop group LE SSERAFIM shared their workout routine on TikTok — and it’s going viral for helping people get abs.
LE SSERAFIM performing
LE SSERAFIM performing on February 19, 2024 in Seoul, South Korea.The Chosunilbo JNS / Getty Images

Being able to belt out a song while performing strenuous choreography requires strength, stamina and lots and lots of practice. So it’s no surprise that we’re all curious to know which workouts pop stars use to prepare for a performance. One of the latest routines getting some attention??The LE SSERAFIM workout.

No one knows the physical feat of being a pop star better than the ladies that make up LE SSERAFIM — a South Korean girl group known for their upbeat pop sound and perfectly synced choreography. Recently, the group of five shared how they build up the endurance to nail these dance numbers and the workout routine that got them there is no joke.

Since the group shared the LE SSERAFIM workout on TikTok, plenty of others have followed the intense regimen and shared their results, ranging from significant weight loss to defined abs. Intrigued? Here’s everything you need to know about the trending LE SSERAFIM workout.

Who is LE SSERAFIM?

LE SSERAFIM is a South Korean girl group made up of five members: Chaewon, Sakura, Huh Yunjin, Kazuha and Hong Eunchae. The group debuted in 2022, with their single, “Fearless,” hitting number one on the iTunes Top Album charts in 13 countries. LE SSERAFIM’s name is an anagram: I’m Fearless, spelled backward. With more than 13 million monthly listeners on Spotify; the group has captured listeners’ attention worldwide with its catchy beats and girl-power lyrics.???

What is the LE SSERAFIM workout?

In a TikTok video, LE SSERAFIM described the workout routine they use to train for group performances. “It was a workout we did while preparing for the group. It was like our training workout. It was very strenuous. It was 100 jumping jacks as a warmup, 100 burpees, and then three sets of four different plank exercises with 25 reps," says Huh YunJin. "It was very intense. And we did that, like, for two hours, twice a day. But, it helped us build stamina for our choreo.”

The exercise routine consists of:

  • 100 jumping jacks
  • 100 burpees
  • Two sets of 10 jump squats
  • Plank crawls (for the duration of the song “I’m Fearless”)
  • Two sets of 10 plank up and downs
  • Two sets of 10 plank twists
  • Three sets of 25 crunches

Is the LE SSERAFIM workout effective?

Can the LE SSERAFIM workout give you abs like TikTok users claim? Julia Iafrate, sports medicine physician at NYU Langone, says the workout could help you see more defined abs if you already have a fairly low body-fat percentage and your fat distribution favors a slimmer waist.

“There is a component of this workout geared toward strengthening and building muscles,” she explains. “The jump squats, burpees and plank crawls, for example, all involve using your body weight as resistance to help build muscle mass, to improve metabolism and overall strength.” Additionally, the cardiovascular movements in the workout (jumping jacks, jump squats, burpees) are good calorie-burners. “Any workout you do that allows you to burn more calories than you take in is going to lead to weight loss,” Iafrate explains.

Unlike some social media trends, the workout actually can be an effective way to improve your health and fitness. “If done correctly and keeping in mind one’s initial fitness ability, it has the potential to really improve cardiovascular health as well as muscle strength,” says Iafrate. “This will lead to defined muscles, increased stamina, and likely weight loss (or at least improved weight distribution).”

Who is the LE SSERAFIM workout good for?

“The great thing about this workout is it can be as hard or as easy as you need it to be,” says Iafrate. “You can make it lower impact by replacing jumping jacks with toe taps, and full planks with knee planks, or make it more difficult by adding a weighted vest to planks and burpees.”

A major pro of the LE SSERAFIM workout is that it can be done in the comfort of your home. “This would be a great workout for people that don’t have access to a gym — think new moms just getting back to working out, busy individuals (as it can be broken up into segments and done at different times throughout the day), people that travel a lot (no equipment needed), people that do well with structure, or people that don’t know their way around gym equipment,” says Iafrate.

The workout can also be easily modified for beginners. “As long as an individual can perform the exercises with proper form, then it could certainly be safe for beginners,” says Iafrate, as long as they don’t overdo it and approach the workout with realistic goals. “Most fit people can’t even do 100 burpees in a row, so a beginner might want to do 5 or 10 at a time and cycle through all the exercises more frequently,” Iafrate recommends. She also suggests beginners start by doing the workout once per day rather than twice and build up to a second time as their endurance improves.?

Is the LE SSERAFIM workout safe?

Proper form is key for doing the LE SSERAFIM workout safely. “If someone is using poor form to do this workout, they could certainly get injured,” Iafrate cautions. “Also, with exercises that are this repetitive, there is always a risk of overuse injuries.” If you have a history of cardiovascular issues, Iafrate suggests consulting a doctor before starting this workout since your heart rate will jump quickly when performing these exercises.

If you have the stamina to tolerate the LE SSERAFIM workout, Iafrate says it’s safe to try as long as you go at your own pace.

“Most of these exercises involve using multiple muscles at a time, also known as compound exercises (using several muscle groups to perform a movement collaboratively), so it’s more of a whole-body workout, which means you’re probably less likely to injure a specific muscle group,” she explains.

That said, if you do attempt this workout, listen to your body. “If an individual finds it too difficult to get through the list of exercises in the two hours or starts to notice pain or changes in their form, it may require them to break up the exercises into a few different times within a day or only to do one workout daily,” says Iafrate.

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