First off it is on an all white set with Charlene and 3 other people. She shows no warm-up. She starts with one-legged squats with her foot against the wall and then with one leg against the wall. Very different and effective. Calf-raises and then hamstrings on the ball. OUCH.
Her ab work is a Killer. At least for me. Alot of planks, called 4 point, 3-point and then side-ways. (ala Cathe) then on to reg. ab work. At this point I had to stop the tape. So this is problerly only a 1/2 a review.
It was different. Had she included a warm-up and edited so the tape was not "choppy" it would have been excellent. It reminded me more of an instructional tape to give ideas for someone who teaches weight training instead of an actual workout. She only does one set per lower body-part and no weight but the man in the tape does use ankle weights.
Charlene gives lots of form pointers. She is also chatty but not excessive.(Something she is known for)
Charlene starts right off the bat with single-leg wall squats. She doesnít mess around. :) The workout also includes some killer plank work, some brief work for the back muscles, and upper body work with weights. She stretches you in between exercises, and the stretches are pretty comprehensive, not superficial as you find in some workouts. I really like this workout, but I usually break it into sections when I do it. The total length is an hour, and I like my strength training in shorter segments. This one has the infamous white set, which is its only drawback. If it had a real set, Iíd give it an A, but because of the set, itís a B+.
This is a workout done in an all white room (which is my major pet peeve). Charlene has three background exercisers, each performing modifications and variations of the moves she teaches.
She doesn't do a specific warm up - it would be a good idea to have a quick warm up before starting.
Here is the sequence of exercises:
(and my thoughts)
WALL SQUAT WITH GLUTE FOCUS _ placing the foot flat on the wall and engaging the glutes works the glutes harder than a normal wall slide which is more quad focussed. Cueing and demonstration of this move was good.
PUSH UPS AGAINST WALL (TRICEP FOCUS) - mentions holding spine in neutral alignment and uses a teaching techniqe called "contrast correction" - show the correct move, incorrect technique and the correct move again - very helpful for visual learners.
GLUTE MEDIUS SQUAT - done against a wall - excellent move for glute stability, focus on keeping spine in neutral during this move! Well done, Charlene.
QUAD STRETCH- no problems , adds a posterior pelvic tilt to further stretch hip flexors.
GLUTE STRETCHES - nice series of glute stretches and variations from background exercisers.
CALF RAISE - offers options and instructs well.
HAMSTRING WORK - On stability ball or off - offers good options and a better speed. I am sure this is due to her body type - long and lanky. One thing to watch - Xanna's one legged technique was spoilt by a ball too big for her. Sometimes a smaller stability ball for this exercise is better.
Good demonstration of hamstring stretches.
CORE STABILITY/ABS - A terrific series of planks, very well explained and executed - Charlene could have stabilised her shoulders more though.
There were two, three and four point variations- I like planks a lot as they work the abs hard in a lengthened position as opposed to crunches which involve contraction. I am definitely going to incorporate some of these into my personal workout.
SIDE PLANK - quadratus lumborum stretching - Charlene surprisingly doesn't explain its purpose which is to strengthen the muscle QL which originates around the rib cage and inserts into the hip.
ABDOMINAL CURL/OBLIQUES - Charlene, God Bless her does these beautifully, in neutral alignment - offers good form pointers, perfect!
BACK EXTENSION - Good form pointers and variations.
ROTATING BICEP CURL (also works brachioradialis which inserts into forearm - nice explanation and technique.
TRICEP KICKBACKS - Shows good variations again - sometimes brings the weight back too close to upper body, this can help to create momentum, so be careful here.
She pauses to give some relevant information about osteoporosis gleaned from a Tufts study - I liked this.
SHOULDER PRESS - a variation of an Arnold press - good variations on the ball.
SUPINE FLYES (CHEST) - Again decent technique and great variations
ONE ARMED ROWS - shows good contrast between scapular retraction(pulling back and up) and protraction. I like her technique in this exercise.
REVERSE FLYES - again good instruction, good technique.
LATERAL RAISE/FRONT RAISE COMBO - good - mentions positioning to avoid shoulder impingement.
PUSH UPS - emphasises pelvis in neutral position, lowers body to a safe level and avoids shoulder hyperextension.
ROTATOR CUFF exercise - nicely done, light weight focus, well done.
First the CONS - the set may bother some people and Charlene's incessant talking may bother some as well. However this can be made into a positive by taking some of the exercises and fitting them into your program as Charlene has provided a great toolbox of exercises to dip into. Some of the background exercisers technique got a little sloppy, so focus on Charlene and the gentleman in the right corner, who was the best of them. I would have preferred to work the larger muscle groups first and done the isolation exercises last.
PROS - It is obvious that Charlene is committed to further education. She is sensible and encouraging, for example, telling us not to sacrifice form for weight or repetitions and reminding us that good technique is crucial.
It is also a good workout to try if you are learning about weight training as Charlene goes into detail about technique.
!I have been fortunate enought to be reviewing an older Charlene and this much newer one.
In this workout Charlene is a good choice for exercisers that are new to strength training as she offers many different variations and options, and explains movement fairly well.
Charlene is warm and friendly in approach and non intimidating.
It is obvious that Charlene is doing continuing education as her technique and alignment are much better than in the other workout I reviewed.
I really appreciate this commitment to staying updated - good one, Charlene
29th November 04