Classical Stretch 2009 TV Series (Season 6)

Miranda Esmonde-White
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Total Body Workouts



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Beth has done such a wonderful job of providing short reviews of episodes contained in three of the four DVDs comprising Classical Stretch Season 6 (to which I refer to all the time) I thought I would finish up the series with reviews of Part 2, Disc 1.

All CS episodes are 23 to 24 minutes in length. A nice feature of the Season 6 episodes is that some of them have chapter points at the natural “break point” when the viewer is cued to get a chair or a mat, so once you are familiar with the episodes you can make use of the chapter points to create longer sessions. It is also worth noting that although individual episodes might focus on a particular area of the body, all of the episodes work the entire body.

Season 6, Part 2, Disk 1

616 Full Body Stretch:
Miranda alone in a garden setting. Warmup features arm circles, which segues into a set of arm exercises. Next is a long series of side to side stretches, adding on more moves each time, TIFT style (really works the core!). Gentler standing low back and hamstring stretches follow. Chapter point at 11:02. Barre work using a chair (note that Miranda uses both the seat and the back of the chair in this one). Deep quad, groin and hamstring stretches, then standing leg lifts to the front, side and back. Miranda sits in the chair for the final stretches.

617 Strengthen & Slenderize:
Miranda alone on a balcony overlooking trees and the ocean. The warmup includes side to side lunges, adding in figure 8 arms. After standing leg and calf stretches, Miranda moves into “eccentric” strengthening of the core, followed by gentler stretches. Next is a killer second position plie sequence (only about three minutes but it felt much, much longer to me!). Chapter point at 15:49. Barre work (Miranda uses the balcony railing) includes standing seat work, and hip cleaners, and concludes with barre stretches for the hips and hamstrings.

618 Strengthen Feet & Body:
Miranda alone, dockside. Warmups feature side touch variations, then adding in arms. A flowing stretch sequence is next (I found this particular sequence a little hard to follow). Balance is challenged during an alphabet sequence (standing on one leg, drawing out the alphabet with the lifted leg). Chapter point at 11:35. Barre work (Miranda using a railing) begins with hip, quad and hamstring stretches. Heel and toe raises (on both feet, then just one foot) to strengthen the calves, shins and feet. Deep side stretches complete the workout.

619 Lower Ab & Core:
Miranda is on the beach with Brendan and Sahra (there’s lots of wind noise in Miranda’s microphone). Warmup leads directly into arm exercises. Standing leg raises to the front and side also challenge balance. A flowing stretch sequence also works the core. Next are “squash lunges” which turn into “clock lunges” as Miranda moves in a circular direction. Deep calf stretches are followed by a flowing stretch sequence.

620 Upper Body:
Miranda is on a dirt road near the beach. Warmup features figure-8 moves with the arms, followed by hip circles. Next is a long plie sequence. After a flowing stretch to loosen the upper back Miranda segues to side-to-side lunges, adding in reaches (which work the back and core). Arm exercises follow, then forward lunge stretches incorporating twists.

621 Slenderize your Waist/Floor Workout:
This episode is titled Slenderize Your Waist on the DVD cover, but on the DVD itself it is labeled Floor Workout. In fact, the entire routine is done seated/lying on the floor (my cats love this one!). Miranda is solo near the beach. After seated warmup stretches, the workout begins with foot articulations and groin stretches, then seated spinal twists. A crunch sequence follows, which begins with regular crunches and adds in leg movements. After supine hip and hamstring stretches we do side-lying leg lifts, then the workout concludes with seated forward bends (at the end of which she sneaks in a couple of seated quad lifts).

622 Legs & Hips:
Miranda is on a deck near the ocean with Brendan and Sahra. Warmup features plie squats, side-to-side touches and kicks. Miranda begins with held plies, adding in arm movements (to distract you LOL!), followed by a flowing spinal stretch that transitions into some front lunges and waist rotations. Chapter point at 11:51. We move to the floor for seated quad lifts/stretches, then a long crunch sequence (Sahra demonstrates some less intense variations here). Supine hip and hamstring stretches conclude this episode.

623 Shoulders & Upper Back:
Miranda is near the beach with Brendan and Sahra. Warmup features arm rotations and circles, then some plies. Standing side and front kicks challenge balance and work the core. A flowing stretch loosens the upper back, then we transition to a lunge sequence that combines both strengthening and stretch. Next is an arm exercise sequence, followed by deep stretches for the hamstring and adductor muscles. Miranda concludes with nice upper back and shoulder stretches.

Instructor Comments:
Miranda still has a quirky presence, but is noticeably more polished in her presentation in Season 6.

JustSandra

12/02/2010

Note: This review is only for PART 2, DISC 2 of the 2009 series, which includes Episodes 9-15. Another VFer gave me her damaged copy when she received a replacement copy; after cleaning the disc, I was able to get all but the first half of one episode to play in my DVD player.

Although I've tried and liked various Classical Stretch DVDs, Season 6 (2009) is the first TV series that I've owned. Overall, I've liked the option to have workouts that are a bit shorter, although they also work well back-to-back when I'm looking for something longer. I've found the music in these episodes to be much more upbeat and not traditionally classical as with Miranda's other DVDs. Also, the pace is generally faster--Miranda pretty much moves non-stop from segment to segment--and a bit more intense than some of her other work. The only thing that I did NOT like about this series doesn't relate to the workouts themselves, it's how they are filmed: they are filmed in "letterbox" style, like a movie would be. I guess this is to accommodate the newer HD TVs, but I just have smaller, older TV in my workout room, and so with the new format, Miranda appears quite tiny on my screen!

I have broken down each episode and provided a brief description below.

Season 6, Part 2, Disc 2

624: Legs Workout (23m)
Miranda works out alone inside a hotel lobby, using a chaise lounge for the lying portions. The warm-up includes arm and ankle rotations as well as little kicks. Next comes balance work on the toes, including plies. The active standing stretch includes pulling of the arms and windmills. With 10 minutes left, Miranda moves to lying for both outer and inner thigh work. The episode concludes with reclined leg and hip stretches.

625: Abs, Butt, & Back (24m) tough lower body workout!
This episode features Miranda exercising at ocean’s edge. She begins with a warm-up which includes spinal twists and then moves into an extra-long plie segment which includes hand/arms movements. This is followed by another strong standing stretch segment emphasizing the back, chest, and shoulders. With 12 minutes left, Miranda moves to the floor for abs work. Following this, she stretches the abs & back in a prone position and then finishes with brief kneeling and extended seated stretches for the back.

626: Shins, Calves, & Posture (23.5m)
Here Miranda is on an oceanside dock in the early a.m.; she starts with a warm-up that includes arm throws. Next comes articulation of the feet with kicks plus a brief side lunge series; this is followed by the standing flow segment. With 13 minutes to go, Miranda transitions to barre work, beginning with balance moves and toe ups. She then performs stretches for the calves and quads. She works the hips with cleaners and kicks, and she concludes the episode with a spinal twist.

627: Scar Tissue & Fascia (23.5m) uses a barre (chair) throughout
In this workout, Miranda is poolside with Greek-like columns behind her. There is no real warm-up; instead, she starts right in on feet articulation work and calf raises. She then performs hip cleaners and twists before moving into a standing series stretches for the back using the chair. This is followed by movements on the toes to stretch the shins and then more traditional stretches for the hands, triceps, and shoulders. Miranda concludes this episode with hip and hamstring stretches using the arm of the chair.

628: Hips, Feet, & Range of Motion Note: Review is of second half of episode only.
For this episode, Miranda is alone on a veranda with the ocean in the distance. The second half of the workout begins with barre work. Miranda starts with stretches for the hips, quads, and soaz before moving on to work for the feet and ankles. She then performs three sets of triceps dips, combining this with some light arms/shoulders work.

629: Hamstring & Hip (23.5m) entire workout is performed standing
For this workout, Miranda is on the beach, where she is joined by Sahra and Brendan. The warm-up includes arm circles and the moves right into arms work. Next comes a kick series which includes side leg lifts and which gradually picks up the pace. The standing stretch segment is brief, and it is followed by plie work in which the plie position is held at length while arm movements are performed. Miranda states that “essentrics” are coming next; what follows are side lunges with torso twists. The episode concludes with standing calf and hamstring stretches.

630: Posture (23.5m)

Instructor Comments:
Miranda again appears with Sahra and Brendan on the beach. The short warm-up includes leg pumps and hips cleaners and ends with a held plie. Next comes the draw the alphabet move for each leg, then a stretch. This is followed by the standing stretch segment which includes side lunges and active pulling on the arms. At this point, Miranda performs arms work which is a bit longer than her usual sequence and which ends with a cow-face arms (from yoga) stretch. This is followed by some additional standing stretches, including washes, clock, and airplane. Miranda is quite quirky--she talks quite a bit, often saying "whoops" when she loses her balance, miscounts, or otherwise screws up. I can see why some people might find her annoying, but I think she's kind of endearing. ;) She does mirror-cue, although her cueing is pretty loose. :p

Beth C (aka toaster)

07/03/2009

 

NOTE: I am reviewing only PART 1 of the 2009 series, which includes Episodes 1-15

Although I've tried and liked various Classical Stretch DVDs, Season 6 (2009) is the first TV series that I've owned. Overall, I've liked the option to have workouts that are a bit shorter, although they also work well back-to-back when I'm looking for something longer. I've found the music in these episodes to be much more upbeat and not traditionally classical as with Miranda's other DVDs. Also, the pace is generally faster--Miranda pretty much moves non-stop from segment to segment--and a bit more intense than some of her other work. The only thing that I did NOT like about this series doesn't relate to the workouts themselves, it's how they are filmed: they are filmed in "letterbox" style, like a movie would be. I guess this is to accommodate the newer HD TVs, but I just have smaller, older TV in my workout room, and so with the new format, Miranda appears quite tiny on my screen!

I have broken down each episode and provided a brief description below.

*DISC 1*

601: Arms & Posture (23.5m)
This first episode features Miranda alone at the ocean’s edge. The warm-up includes shaking out the arms and little kicks. Next comes an extra-long, intense sequence of arms work; this is followed by Miranda’s usual standing stretch series, here emphasizing the shoulders. With 10.5 minutes left, the workout moves to the floor. Seated quad stretches/pigeon pose are followed by some brief leg strengthening work in a seated position. Miranda then moves into about 3 minutes of abs work, lying face-down after to stretch the abs and back and then coming back to seated for a brief final stretch to finish.

602: Leg Sculpting (23m)
Here Miranda is working out alone on the beach. She begins with an easy warm-up that includes arm throws and torso twists. This is followed by a tough, slightly longer-than-usual plie a sequence. The standing stretch sequence which follows really stretches out the entire middle and upper back. With 11.5 minutes to go, Miranda transitions to the floor, beginning in a side-lying position for some side extensor work and then some rare inner thigh work. The 3-minute abs sequences starts with toe touches before moving into the standard crunches. Miranda concludes this workout with lying hip/hamstring stretches and then brief seated leg strengthening work and additional stretches.

603: Lose a Pant Size (23m)
This episode is filmed indoors, with Miranda standing in front of a large chaise lounge. The brief warm-up includes shoulder rotations, and it is followed by an intense kicking series (both side and front) that really works the hips. During the standing stretch sequence, Miranda has you actively pull on your arms to stretch both your arms and back; she includes waist rotations as well. With 11.5 minutes left, Miranda moves to the floor for a short (2 minutes) abs series. The entire remainder of this episode is devoted to stretching. First, Miranda performs hip/hamstring stretches in a lying position; next, she does seated quad/pigeon stretch; and finally, she concludes the workout in a seated position with back and neck stretches.

604: Hips & Groin (23m)
Here Miranda works out with Sahra and Brendan on a deck overlooking the beach. She starts the warm-up with knee bends, figure 8s for the arms, and stretches for the calves and thighs. The following segment includes both plies (including some on toes) and squats. The standing stretch sequence is very gentle. With 10 minutes to go, the workout transitions to the floor for work on the side extensors and both the inner and outer thighs; Miranda concludes in a seated position for a quad stretch. This was one of the few episodes that I didn’t enjoy—there just didn’t seem to be enough of any one thing, and it wasn’t very intense overall.

605: Fantastic Core (23.5m)
Miranda performs this workout alone at ocean’s edge. During the warm-up, she performs arm, wrist, and shoulder circles as well as hip sweeps and leg pumps. Next comes a 3-minute arms work series and then a very active standing stretch sequence which includes pulling work. With 11 minutes left, the workout transitions to the floor, starting with seated groin and quad stretches. The 3-minutes of abs work includes bicycles, and the episode concludes with abs and back stretches.

606: Full Body Workout (23.5)
Miranda is exercising alone on a dock. During the warm-up, she performs arm and shoulder rotations. She follows this an extended plie sequence that includes side bending. The standing stretch series includes the airplane stretch for the hamstrings. With 13 minutes left, Miranda begins barre work, starting with the feet and toes, then using a lower barre height for hip stretches. She follows this with a brief sequence of kicks interspersed with additional stretches, ending with a side stretch and forward bend.

607: Workout at the Office (23.5)
This episode takes its name from the fact that Miranda uses a chair (or barre) throughout the entire workout, although she is actually on an outdoor balcony overlooking the ocean. She begins with a warm-up emphasizing the feet as well as hip stretches. Next, she performs a leg kick series targeting mainly the hips but also the buttocks. Using the seated of the chair, Miranda performs a lengthy series of stretches; again, she focuses mainly on the hips but also targets the calves and quads. Coming to seated on the chair, she performs two sets of triceps dips (tough!), and then concludes the workout with seated stretches for the back and neck.

608: Balance and Feet (23.5)
Here Miranda is exercising alone on an outdoor patio. The warm-up includes little kicks to stretch both the kicks and the spine (adding a twist). She then moves right into the standing stretch sequence, emphasizing opening the shoulders and upper back. Next comes balance work which involves pointing and flexing each foot in turn, then adding leg lifts to the front and to the side. With 12 minutes left, Miranda begins barre work. She starts with a low barre for hip stretches, moves on to working on the feet and toes, and finishes the workout with back and side stretches using the barre. Overall, this episode felt less intense.

*DISC 2*

609: Shoulder & Stress Relief (24m)
Miranda works out alone in front of Greek-style columns. The warm-up includes taps and knee lifts and moves right into kicks. This is followed by a tough arms work series as well as shoulder stretches; more gentle washes come next. Miranda then does some balance work on the toes and standing on one leg; she also performs plies and calf stretches. The workout concludes with additional shoulder stretches.

610: Full Body Workout (23.5m)
This workout features Miranda with Sahra and Brendan on the beach. There is a brief warm-up focused on the hips and then a few plies before Miranda moves into drawing the alphabet with each leg. Next comes standing stretches for the upper and lower body, including front lunges with arms work; these moves are intense, and Miranda moves through them very quickly. However, she follows with more gentle washes and the clock stretch, finishing with the airplane stretch for the hamstrings. This workout is mainly upper body focused!

611: Core & Hips (23.5m)
Miranda is again working out with Sahra and Brendan on the beach. The warm-up includes arm circles and targets the feet as well. Next comes a very brief plie sequence and some short hands and arms work. The standing stretches are intense: similar to Episode 610, they include side lunges with shoulder work. At the 10-minute mark, Miranda moves to the floor for seated hip stretches, including pigeon and cobbler’s pose. Then there is about 2.5 minutes of abs work—although this is short, it is quite challenging, although Miranda has Sahra and Brendan show different levels. The workout concludes with abs and back stretches in a prone position.

612: Sculpt Your Legs (23m) [Note: this is the name from the DVD menu; the workout is mislabeled on the outside of the DVD case as “Abdominal Workout.]
Miranda works out alone in a garden setting. A quick-moving warm-up targets the entire body, including the hips and the calves. This is followed by some intense moves to open up the hips, including some that are a bit different than Miranda’s usual kicks. This is followed by a flowing standing stretch similar to Episode 611. The matwork begins at the 10-minute mark, starting with side-lying leg kicks for the hips and buttocks. The final 5 minutes of the workout are devoted to stretching, first in a lying position for the hips and hamstrings, then seated to target the back and the neck.

613: Core & Quads (23m)
Once again Miranda is on the beach with Sahra and Brendan. The brief warm-up emphasizes the hips, and the kicks which follow more intensely target the hips. Next comes a series of standing stretches including the clock. The floorwork starts at the 11-minute mark with about 4 minutes of abs work followed by abs and back stretches in a prone position. The final 5 minutes of the workout are performed in a seated position to stretch the hips, hamstrings, and back.

614: Butt & Posture (23m)
This workout features Miranda alone on the beach. The warm-up focuses on the arms and shoulders and is followed by a plie series. Next comes a sequence of standing upper body stretching which includes front lunges. The floorwork includes side-lying work for the hips and butt, and then the workout concludes with a series of stretches performed lying on the back.

615: Stretch & Strengthening (24m)
Here Miranda works out alone in a garden setting. The warm-up includes side lunges. This is followed by a deep plie series and then upper body stretching which includes a bow and arrow stretch. The floorwook begins with about 3 minutes of crunches for the abs, and then the workout concludes with seated stretches, including some focused on the torso in particular.

Instructor Comments:
Miranda is quite quirky--she talks quite a bit, often saying "whoops" when she loses her balance, miscounts, or otherwise screws up. I can see why some people might find her annoying, but I think she's kind of endearing. ;) She does mirror-cue, although her cueing is pretty loose. :p

Beth C (aka toaster)

06/28/2009