As with Arms and Abs, this video does not include a warmup. A brief introduction from Miranda, then we jump right in.
First up is floorwork. This is painful. Many of the movements from the Full Body tape and she throws in a few more: Top leg at a right angle to the body as it moves up and down and in a circle, leg out to the side and then lifting on a 1-2-3 count, and then lifting up with an accent on the down. I had to catch my breath the first two times I did this sequence. As with the Full Body tape, leg is extended out of the hip socket.
Next is standing barre work (a chair is recommended, but I use a dowel and a piano bench). Legs are lifted out to the side, heels turned out and in, very similar to the Full Body. Here she also includes a sequence where your heel is lifting to the back, with the heel turned in and out. Interesting: she says that you’ll feel like you’re doing something with the heel out but not with it turned in, but the in is actually lifting what she calls “saggy bum”.
General Comments: This is literally a breath-taking tape, but she does a good job stretching us out in each section that I don’t feel wasted when it’s over.
Please see comments from Full Body 1 Hour tape.
Deb (aka dnk)
Classical Stretch is a program developed by Miranda Esmonde-White. Don't let the "stretch" part of the title fool you, however--this video will really work you as well! Here Miranda focuses on the Legs & Butt, especially the outer hip/thigh ("saddlebag") area, the outer glutes, and the hamstrings.
The most challenging part of the program is the first 10 minutes. Miranda has you start lying on your side for a series of exercises (leg lifts, leg circles, etc.) to work the outer hip/thigh. After completing this series on both legs, she continues the side-lying work, but this time with one leg out in front, perpendicular to your body, to focus the work more in the glutes. Following these challenging sequences, she nicely stretches out the hips with about 3 minutes of seated forward bends, performing these in both cross-legged and cobbler's positions. Continuing in a seated position but with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, Miranda performs just a few additional leg lifts, circles, and stretches (4 minutes).
Next Miranda moves to a standing position and instructs you to get a barre, although she herself uses a chair. The support is actually not really needed at all for the first 4-minute segment, which consists of leg lifts to the side, front, and back. Following these, there is a 3-minute plie series that is mainly focused on stretching (ie, it's not nearly as challenging as the plie work in some of Miranda's other workouts). The final 4minutes of the workout consists of additional stretches, this time with one foot at a time placed on a bar; Miranda further stretches out the hips as well as nicely stretches out the hamstrings here, and she finishes with a final quad stretch. The entire workout time came in right around 27.5 minutes.
Classical Stretch definitely isn't for everyone, but I enjoy it as an occasional alternative to yoga or other stretching work. This program in particular was a very nice balanced blend of strength work and stretching, and I would recommended it to anyone who is interested in non-traditional toning for their lower body.
I like Miranda--I find her to be very genuine and sweet--but she is very chatty, and some may find her to be annoying. She does mirror cue, but sometimes she winds up working one side slightly differently from the other, and her counting is a little iffy. ;)
Beth C (aka toaster)
September 22, 2007