Torch Calories with a Real Housewife: Kristen Taekman’s 20-Minute Workout

05/21/2014 at 10:49 AM ET

Jay Cardiello and Kristen Taekman's Body Back DVD
Courtesy Jay Cardiello

Real Housewives of New York fans have probably spent some time admiring Kristen Taekman’s pretty face (especially during #lipgate) and her supermodel figure.

How does she stay in such great shape? Surprisingly, her daily workout is only 20 minutes — and now you can try it, too.

The reality star has teamed up with celebrity trainer and JCORE founder Jay Cardiello on new fitness DVD Body Back, a realistic cardio and strength-training program for any type of exerciser. No equipment or weights are needed, and it can be done in as small as a 4’x4′ space (ideal for Taekman’s fellow New Yorkers!).

“I said in the beginning I’m not a gym person. I walk into the gym and don’t know what to do with myself and I’m too embarrassed to ask,” Taekman tells PEOPLE. “Like I literally walk around and pretend I know what I’m doing when I really don’t. So it’s awesome that I can just watch this video, and I have everything I need right there.”

The fact that it only takes 20 minutes “is huge,” she continues. “I will tell my friends about JCORE Body Back and they say they don’t have time for that, and I’m like, ‘No you don’t understand. You start at 7:10 and you’re done at 7:30.’ Everyone has 20 minutes.”

But just because the workout’s short, don’t think you’re not going to sweat. Rapid 30-second strengthening and stabilizing movements, like the “Rockin Kicks,” in the video below, have you working hard. Our core was burning after the first few kicks!

“When we first started this whole process I was so winded — 7 minutes in and I felt like I couldn’t get through it,” Taekman shares. “I kept saying to Jay, ‘I feel like I’m fit, but you obviously know how to help me tighten and strengthen.’ My goal was to not feel winded and I’m finally there, which is great.”

—Brittany Talarico


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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