Muscle & Grace Stretching

Margaret Richard
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Athletic Stretch

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Workout Type: Muscle Sculpting (Upper and Lower body)

Workout Length: Upper Body Sculpting : Warm up - 3.15min., Upper Body Weightwork - 19 min., cooldown - 2.30min. = 28min. Lower Body Sculpting : Warmup - 3min., Abwork - 3.15 min. Lower Body Weightwork - 19min. Stretches - 3 min. = 28min. Total time between both - 56min.

Fitness Level: This tape is tough enough for advanced, since you just add more weights, and perfect for beginners due to all the form pointers.

Equipment: all optional depending on your level - Hand Weights, or Body Bar, Leg weights, mat, towel, chair or bench if you want to sit during upper body work.

Set: 3 large French windows with louvers, 4 groups of 3 large potted plants. (soothing look, not too busy looking)

Effectiveness: will depend on how much weight you use. I am sore all over after this workout.

Music: Jazzy style, smooth and soothing for warmups and cooldowns , it is upbeat for the warmup in the 2nd one .

Presentation: Personally I found this tape challenging. Time seems to fly and sets seem to go by quickly.

Attire: 1st. half - all outfits made of lycra, Margaret has orange top and purple pants, Donna purple top with orange bike shorts. Jean(man) black tank top with purple bike shorts.
2nd half - Margaret - lime color top and blue pants, Donna pink top and pink bike shorts, Jean(man) Red tank top and blue bike shorts.

Options: She emphasizes options options options. She says this is "so you can grow". In almost every muscle group one person is using a body bar, while the other two use hand weights, She is encouraging use handweights or body bar or barbell, use chair or step or stand ,,, just about every time she does a different muscle group she offers different ways to work the muscle.

Warmup : 3.15 min.

The Upper Body workout: 19min.
Pushups - 28x then 4 with back stretch in between.
Pec Flies - 8x then 22 with pulses
Triceps - 20 reps then 8 2-count then 6 pulses.
Triceps Dips - 24x
Bicep Curls - 24 full range
then top to middle 8x
then Concentration Curls 16x first arm 12x second arm... (yes, a mistake!)
then both arms 5x with pulse at top.
Frontal lifts - 8x
Uprights alternating with Frontals 4x
Upright lifts then elbows out 4x then
bent over Rows or butterflies 7x
sit up tall then pull arms from front to back 16x then angle change then low military bend

Cooldown: 2.30 min.

2nd half:
Warmup : 3 min.

The Lower Body workout: 19min.
Abwork - Donna has body bar behind knees, Jean has feet on step, Margaret on floor.
Outer thighs - leg weights above knees, Donna uses body bar, Jean doesn't use anything
Inner Thighs - Donna puts non-working leg on step, Jean puts non-working leg on towel.
Bridgework - Margaret puts weight on stomach, Donna uses chair at feet.
Squats - holding Body bar in front or holding chair in front, (I put body bar on shoulders)
Calf Pumps - either using chair for balance, or standing off step, or while sitting just lift heels.
later combine with toe lifts.
Stretches: 3min.

Total Rating: Excellent Body Sculpting it is what it advertises itself to be, it does not suggest cardio, for what it is, it achieves it's goal.. my opinion it's a 10 out of possible 10 points. I really like Margaret.It is also a flexible video because you can do upper body one day and lower on another since each section is complete.

Instructor Comments:
Instruction: Calm and soothing form pointers throughout. Margaret continually emphasises form, form, form. She encourages you to "heavy up" at one point tells you "if you are using heavier weights then slow down the movement." Many times she smiles happily, you can see she is enjoying herself, and it is contagious.

Lucy aka Sunshine


This is a 30 minute video, that can also be divided into six 5 minute segments. I personally wouldn't recommend that, because not all body parts are done, in the 5 minute segments. If you do the whole tape, in its entirety, you'll get a great stretch & feel relaxed. The video is filmed outside in Acapulco, Mexico. The view is pretty, except that often with the floor stretching, you can't see past the shrubery. One section is filmed inside, but the other 5 are outside. The music is a light jazz, with some piano, too.

The first and last sections are focused on the upper body & neck. The rest are focused on the lower body & back. The back section feels good, like after doing yoga, but without the posture holding & balance focusing. I think yoga feels better, for my back, but this is good for when I'm too tired for yoga. The neck has only side stretches, but it is still pretty good. There are a couple versions of hamstring stretches, but only one quad stretch. The calves are stretched, too. Many other basic stretches are done, and a few have rythmic arm flowing moves inbetween. Not too many, or I wouldn't have liked it! All In all, a good overall stretch tape in 30 minutes.

The only complaint I have, is that a few times, Margaret would move to the other side to do the same stretch, and not say so. Most of the time her cues are there, but others you can't get into the proper stretch position, if you have to keep your head turned at the TV, to see when she'll change. If you can estimate how long she holds them, then you'll do fine. Everything seemed to be very even.

If you can get the tape on the exchange, like I did, I'd recommend it. But for $30, not including Body Electric's $6 shipping costs, I'd suggest Kathy Smith's Instant Workout's stretch segment, or Jane Fonda's Low Impact & Stress Release's stretching segment, instead. I'd still rate it an A-.

Lorrie Gigler