Sculpture: Lower Body

Margaret Richard
Year Released: 1997

Categories: Lower Body Strength

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Sculpture Lower Body is a 50 minute workout led by Margaret Richard, host of the PBS exercise show Body Electric. As the name implies, the focus is on the upper body—quadriceps (front of thighs), hamstrings (back of thighs), gluteals (buttocks), outer thighs, inner thighs, calves, and abdominals. You will need a chair and a mat (if on a hard surface). Ankle weights can also be used to increase intensity, but I felt the burn just fine without them!

If you’ve never done Margaret’s workouts, her workouts use light weights and high repetitions. She doesn’t count reps, but works the muscle to fatigue in a time frame of about three to three-and-a-half minutes per muscle group. A variety of rep patterns and tempos are utilized for each section, including singles, “power pulse” (pulse twice while in the contraction), pulses, and slow rep speeds (up 2, down 2; up 3, down 1, etc.). All lower body muscles are worked once, with the gluteals being worked twice (with body standing and floor work).

The workout is as follows:
-Warmup (nice graceful movements)
-Calves (standing heel raises holding onto a chair for balance)
-Quadriceps (plie squat and stationary lunge variations)
-Outer thighs (floorwork: side leg lift variations)
-Inner thighs (floorwork: leg lift variations)

At this point, you can “Break here for a shorter workout”, or continue on work the rest of the lower body: gluteals (buttocks), hamstrings (back of thighs), and abdominals.

-Gluteals (standing squat variations)
-Gluteals II (floorwork: gluteal tucks with feet on the seat of a chair)
-Hamstrings (all fours position on the floor: straight and bent leg lifts, hamstring curls)
-Abdominals (crunch variations)
-Cool down

This is a very tough workout. Although the exercises are fairly standard, the high repetitions, various rep patterns, and Margaret’s twist on some of the exercises will make your muscles burn. Ankle weights can be used to increase intensity, but I felt the burn even without them! The setting is a non-descript living room, and the music is a pleasant, jazzy mix. The only thing I didn’t like was the abdominal work; it was too crunch-heavy and focused primarily on the upper abs. I prefer Pilates or other non crunch-heavy abdominal workouts. This workout is great for all levels, and I recommend it for those looking for a change of pace from traditional heavy weighted lower body workouts.

Instructor Comments:
Margaret is a very pleasant, low-key instructor. Her form pointers are excellent, and she has a nice sense of humor that I like.

Garrie A


Sculpture Lower Body is an excellent workout for any level of exerciser. It will FRY your lower body, your butt, inner thighs, outer thighs, quadriceps, butt, hamstrings and calves!

What is so great about this workout, and all of Margaret's strength tapes, is that it works every fiber of the muscles to total fatigue, yet you feel energized afterward rather than exhausted. Margaret uses a wide variety of exercises for each muscle group. She focuses on one bodypart at a time, using low or no weights (although you can use hand and ankle weights if you want to really intensify it). The workout consists of standing calf raises, with the feet in various positions, variations of squats and lunges, and a wonderful floorwork section for the inner and outer thighs, glutes and hamstrings. Margaret varies the rhythm of the movements, changes the movements, all without pausing.

There is no doubt that doing this workout 2 or 3 times a week would be very effective in toning up the lower body. It's a nice change from heavy weight work. The music is instrumental, nice and not distracting. Margaret's form is always perfect, and she gives great instruction.

I highly recommend this tape! AAA+++

Instructor Comments:
Margaret Richard is one of my favorite instructors. She looks great, has an appealing demeanor and really knows her stuff. She has her own distinct style which has obviously worked for her, and which works for me, too.



Sculpture Lower Body with Margaret Richard
Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:55 am

Workout Type: Lower Body Standing and Floorwork

Workout Length: warmup - 3.45 min . Lower Body work 23 min + 14min. + Abs 4 min. + cooldown 4min. = Total 49 min.
After 27 min. a sign comes up on your tv screen and says "Break Here for a Shorter Workout"

Fitness Level: Advanced, Intermediate or Beginners... Her moves are slow enough to allow Beginners to keep up, Intermediate and Advanced can add leg weights to add intensity.

Equipment: chair, leg weights (if desired), mat

The Set: 3 Louver windows, 4 large potted plants, Looks like a room. Blue carpet.

Attire: One piece black leotard with strings at shoulders.

Cast: Margaret that is, one on one!

Effectiveness: I enjoyed her style. and my muscles felt it afterwards... but then I heavied up, (I used my 5lb ankleweights)

Music: Jazzy with a beat.

Presentation: This workout flows, she doesn't rush you from one move to the next but it progresses well.
She also adds quick stretches here and there after the different muscle groups.

Warm up: 3.45 min.

The Workout:
Calves - Standing next to a chair or something for balance.
calf lifts 8x
then 2-count 8x
feet forward 2-count 12x
feet back 8x
back parallel to floor 8x
bend knees 8x

quick stretch

at 7.50 min. Quads. Standing
pliees 8x
then 2-count 4x
then alternating heel lift 4x
lunges 3-count down 4x
then body up 4x
then 3-count pliees 4x
then with heel lift 3x

quick stretch

other leg

On fours: Outer thighs Lift 2-count 4x
straight leg 2-count 8x
straight leg forward 4x
atlrernating bend knee then up and down 8x
heel up leg fwd 10
pulse ups 40
at 15 min. other leg

quick stretch

at 19.30 min. inner thighs
straight leg lift 10x
2-count 10x
up and forward 6x
straight leg lift 8x
2-count 5x
up and forward 4x
pulses 18

quick stretch.

at 23 min. other leg

quick stretch

Break Here for a Shorter Workout

at 27min.
squats 2-count 7x
single squats 8x
2-count on bottom 4x
one heel up 8x
other heel up 4x
both heels 4x
fast speed 7x

at 30 min. Bridgework with chair or step under feet.

at 33min. Hams on fours
one leg straight rear lifts and lower 14x
then 2-count pulse at top 8x
bend and straighten 10x
bent leg lift and lower 6x
pulses 24
lift and lower 4x
bend and straighten 6x
pulses 24x

at 37min. other leg

at 41min. Abs (starts with crunches with feet on chair)

at 45 min. Cooldown

at 49min. END

Total Rating: As a workout it is a terrific workout. and depending on whether you choose to use weights on shoulders for standing work and weights on legs for floorwork how tough or easy this tape will be.
I have to rate it 9 1/2 of 10 (because She does not do the exact same number of reps on one leg as she does on the other leg.... She says it doesn't matter so long as the intensity is up there. it no longer bothers me because I realise if she doesn't lift it one way for that rep, she lifts it in another way. The total workout time is the identical same amount per leg.... other than that.. I enjoyed the tape.)

Instructor Comments:
Instruction: Margaret wears her hair straight and short in this one. Her usual charismatic smile (well, I like it!)