Classical Stretch Cardio StretchShelly McDonald, Miranda Esmonde-White
Year Released: 2006
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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Beth's already described the cardio and stretch portions of this workout so I won't repeat! I've done the cardio several times though it's been a year or so since the last time. When I've been 'on the exercise wagon' I enjoy this one in my rotation of Leslie Sansone on/off the rebounder, George Foreman and Petra Kolber, and other assorted cardios. The time is good -approx 30 minutes. I love Miranda's chatter with Shelley in this..she seems so 'cute' I guess is how I'd describe her; esp when she almost takes a dip in the pool!
I've done the classical stretch once and really enjoyed it though my abs are in pitiful condition and I had to quickly see her modification and do that for most of the workout! She talks quite a bit but doesn't explain a whole lot of detail - I think you sorta catch on after doing it a few times. I almost stopped when she started talking about golf but I have to admit those moves felt nice! I decided to stick with it and am glad I did. I will probably do this one several times though I just received a couple of tv seasons from Classical Stretch so I'll have to see if I like any of those better. Nice length too - just under 30 min seems like.
Shelley and Miranda chatter back and forth in the cardio though it's mostly Miranda chattering and Shelley trying to cue! I enjoyed it though and like both these instructors. Shelley seemed to 'soften' Miranda a bit..she seems so serious in the few other Classical Stretchs I've done but not in the cardio portion of this. Miranda leads the stretch portion by herself(I'd hoped to see Shelley in this one!)and seemed typical of the other Classical Stretch portions. There's a lot of talk but not much detailed instruction though after doing it a few times I'll probably be grateful for that fact!
This video is part of Miranda Esmonde-White's Cardio Stretch series. Unlike the other videos in this series, however, this one features two separate workouts, a cardio component led by Shelly McDonald of "Caribbean Workout" fame, plus the stretch workout in Miranda's usual style. The main menu of the DVD offers four options: Basics of Classical Stretch (an 8.5 minute instructional overview by Miranda), Cardio Workout, Stretch Workout, and Special Thanks.
The cardio workout is about 28 minutes long. Shelly and Miranda are poolside, with Shelly lead the workout and Miranda modifying. I believe that the overall format is fairly similar to Shelly's Caribbean Workout series. It begins with a 6-minute warm-up consisting of basic moves such as marches, side-steps, and grapevine; Shelly mixes things up a little with directional changes at times. Next comes a fairly traditional 6-minute segment of hi-low aerobics. Moves here include chasse, mambo, v-steps, and forward hops (Miranda keeps these low), which Shelly puts together to form a short combination. Another 6-minute segment follows, this time involving kickboxing. Again, Shelly puts together simple combinations of moves such as side jab, hooks, uppercuts, and knee raises; she also includes a series of front/back kicks as well as side blocks/strikes. The final cardio segments is 5 minutes of intervals work. The "intervals" are not very intense; basically, Shelly moves from a low-impact move like marching to a higher-impact one like jogging, staying there for about 10 seconds and doing a total of three cycles. (Miranda keeps her moves low-impact but quickens her pace.) Other moves in this segment include side hops, cross-country skiers, and football drills. The cardio portion ends with a 5-minute cool-down which includes a few stretches. Overall, the cardio portion was fairly light but enough to keep me in my target HR zone for about 20 minutes.
Miranda leads the stretch portion alone; it's about 24 minutes, and I believe it is taken from one of her TV episodes. The location is a golf course, and she frequently makes references to how the various moves might help your golf game. The first half of the workout is standing and includes Miranda's standard tough arm work, hip loosening moves, plie work, full-body push/pull movements, windmill, side stretches, and swan/reverse swan. The second half of the workout consists of floor work. Miranda begins with PNF stretches for the hips, hamstrings, and glutes. Next comes a brief but challenging series of abs moves, such as toe dips and leg lifts. Finally, Miranda spends the last few minutes stretching the abs and back in a seated position.
Overall, I liked this workout. I enjoyed the cardio portion more than I thought I would, and I like that the stretching was a bit shorter (although also somewhat less intense) than the workouts on her Express DVD, which are 30 minutes each. I can see using either portion when I want to squeeze in quick cardio/quick stretch or the entire workout on a light day.
I think Miranda might be an acquired taste, but I like her! She is definitely a talker--in fact, during the cardio portion, she sometimes prevents Shelly from transition to the next move because she is talking through it--but I find her to be sweet, especially given that she is always smiling and seems to get so much joy from what she is doing. She can be a little hard to follow, as she doesn't always cue upcoming move changes, so you have to watch her carefully rather than just listen. Shelly is more serious and matter-of-fact; she does a good job cueing the cardio portion, including making up for Miranda's extensive talking.