Ruah Mind Body Movement WarriorSuzanne Bowen, Leah Sarago
Year Released: 2009
Categories: Ballet/Barre, Pilates/Core Strength , Total Body Workouts, Yoga
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Ruah Warrior is the 2nd workout brought to us by fitness leads, Suzanne Bowen and Leah Sarago. Suzanne provides all the modifications throughout (as she is pregnant in the workout). Continuing to fuse dynamic postural movements and isometric holds with traditional toning type exercises, you'll focus mainly on the lower body in this workout.
The workout contains 3 chapters:
Lower Body (Standing Work): 30 minutes
Upper Body & Core (Floor Work): 13 minutes
Stretching and Relaxation: 10 minutes
You can choose to do all or any one segment based on your time or needs. (for example the stretching segment is perfect for tacking on after a run or after a full body strength workout)
Beginning with high knees to warm the body, you will then position yourself in chair pose. You'll lift one heel, then the other, then both to balance. Turn legs out into wide plie and perform arrow arm movements, going right then to left as you continue to do a plie motion. This move also works the shoulders. Next you'll remain in the wide plie but reach the right arm down and the left one up and over, repeating this side to side in a fluid motion. After this you'll turn to the right in a lunge with an alternating arm lift. Next you'll remain in the lunge but bring the rear lunge leg forward then back. (using arms for added intensity if desired) Spear head lunge sequence to left. The next move you'll turn and face parallel with legs wide. Then you'll perform a side lunge to a knee lift balance, repeating in a flow. Stop and perform a bent over row with right arm then both arms, adding a deep knee bend. Repeat this to opposite side. Deep plie squats with optional toe lifts are next. The adding of the arm motions throughout these leg movements increases heart rate for added calorie burn. Walk it in and step right leg back, front lunge sequence. Next you'll add a rear leg extension (great balance move and also great conditioning for non working leg since it is handling all the weight) and one legged squats. Repeat other leg. This finishes all the exercises you'll be doing in the standing segment, however you are not done! You will now "take it from the top" and do all the above exercises one more time!
Full plank begins this segment. Child pose then plank one more time. Next move is a power row while in a modified plank (or opt to just hold the plank). Rest in child pose then move onto triceps pushups. Repeat this 2 more times. Quad pose on hands and knees follows. Down dog into plank follows. Spider pushups, starting the set with one arm and then you'll do it again with other arm. Side plank follows which is a great oblique move. Mermaid stretch then side plank opposite side. Reverse plank--you'll keep one heel elevated while lifting and lowering into the position. Repeat this with other heel lifted. Oblique knee twist follows. You'll extend the legs to make it harder. Next is little knee lifts still working the abs. Moving onto all 4's, you'll vacuum in the abs and round the back and hold it. A forearm plank is next. You'll drop the chest and then lift it while in this position. Next you'll add an alternating leg lift. Rest and you are done.
Pigeon pose really opens the hip. You'll then reach back and grab the rear ankle and stretch the quads. One legged forward fold continues to stretch the hamstrings and calves. Next you'll draw the knee up and into chest to release hip and then perform a gentle twist. Triangle stretch (seated) follows and continues to work into tight hips. Repeat this entire sequence of stretches with the opposite leg. Next up is butterfly pose followed by a deep lunge stretch, alternating legs. While seated you'll finish this segment with a triceps stretch and a few gentle neck stretches. You will then sit for relaxation time (if you so choose).
Ruah Mind Body Movement Warrior is demonstrated by Suzanne Bowen and Leah Sarago, though Leah does the "front and center" while Suzanne shows the modifications (she is visibly pregnant in this video). This video is done in a voice-over.
Here is a basic breakdown for Warrior:
30 minutes standing work (lower body)
13 minutes mat work (core and upper body)
10 minutes stretching
10 minutes relaxation (blank screen, music playing)
For me, Ruah workouts are defined by the controlled, sharp movements, the muscle control, the flow. These workouts are like a happy marriage between pilates, yoga and barre. I do not find them slow-moving at all. The standing work is a good mix of balance and pulsing moves...isometrics and more extension-type ("dynamic postural") moves. Very little holding of poses that I can remember. I found they had more of a pilates *feel*, for the most part (crisp, controlled movements), though there are some yoga moves (several of the standing moves stem from a beginning chair pose, etc).
The lower body/standing portion includes coordinating, unweighted arm movements, which remind me of Ellen Barrett or Classical Stretch. I would classify this workout as total body toning (with a cardio effect). The core work (during the mat segment) is mainly C-curve and plenty of plank/pushups.
To compare Release & Warrior:
Warrior gives me serious glute DOMS (Release does also, but not as intense). I did feel that the standing work in Warrior was more intense, though maybe because it was just lengthier. I broke a baby sweat with Release--I worked up a Papa Bear sweat in Warrior. But the movements themselves are very similar. I feel that the Ruah workouts can be a tad repetitive (if you have both Warrior & Release, especially so). Warrior's lower body sequence is series of movements and then a repeat of the same sequence with the other leg as lead.
The voice-over voice is pleasant and clear. I feel that there is some expectation that you know what you are doing; the actual instruction on form is minimal and the cueing leans toward "less-is-more".