Classical Stretch Season 4Miranda Esmonde-White
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Athletic Stretch
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
All episodes from this season feature Miranda alone. As opposed to latter seasons (e.g., 2008 & 2009), Miranda gives longer introductions at the start of each episode here; she explains in detail the purpose of each workout. During the workout itself, she also refers to "Chapter ___ in your manual." These references are to her book, which serves as a companion to this series.
There are 3 discs to this season. I have broken down down each episode on each disc below. Please note that each workout, with introduction, is about 23-24 minutes long.
401, Deep Muscular Stretch
Miranda works out here poolside, and she states in her intro that she will be teaching you how to stretch. The warm-up includes toe taps, kickbacks, and arm circles. There is a brief plie segment followed by whole body stretches which emphasize making a c-curve with the back and stretching the joints. With 12 minutes left, Miranda moves to the floor for side-lying work for both the inner & outer thigh, and she finishes in a seated position for hip, back, & groin stretches.
402, Toning & Slenderizing
This workout, which takes place by a miniature pool, is designed to focus on eccentric elongation. In the warm-up, Miranda performs big arm swings, shakes, plus front & side leg kicks with balance. The standing stretch includes both front & side lunges and pulling moves. At the 12 minute point, Miranda moves to the floor for about 6 minutes of side leg lifts, 3 minutes of abs work, and then 3 minutes of seated full body stretches (including leg lifts).
403, Muscular Tension Release
Here Miranda states that the emphasis will be on stretching effectively using PNF (contracting & releasing of muscles); she is on an outdoor path for this workout. The warm-up includes joint & waist rotations, throws, little kicks, & curls; this is followed by a brief segment of arms work. Miranda next focuses on using PNF for the back & hips, then moves into full-body stretches which continue to use tensing & releasing. With 11.5 minutes to go, she transitions to the floor for lying hips and hamstring work. She finishes with seated groin stretches & additional PNF work, including the neck.
404, Pain Relief
This workout is performed on a balcony overlooking a pool. Miranda states that you will be working on straightening out the body's fascia in order to reduce pain. The warm-up (which is performed without music!) includes punches & kicks; it moves abruptly into a brief arms work sequence. A series of gentle full body stretches follows, and then with 12 minutes to go, Miranda begins barre work, stretching the hips, hamstrings, psoas, and quads. At the 5.5 minute mark, Miranda moves to the floor for additional groin, calf, & neck stretches.
405, The Spine
Here Miranda is exercising in an covered hallway outdoors. She begins the warm-up with arm swings plus Frisbee & ball throws, and she moves right into stretches for the hips, psoas, and calves. The standing segment emphasizes use of PNF. At the 12 minute point, Miranda transitions to the floor for work on the stomach, performing locust variations. She then moves to her back for hip & hamstring stretches, followed by about 3 minutes of abs work. The workout concludes with a brief reclined stretch & seated stretches.
406, Muscle Memory
For this workout, Miranda is pondside on a golf course. During the warm-up, she focuses on loosening the hips & includes some brief arms work; a short plie sequence follows. For the standing stretch, Miranda focuses on maximum reaches, windmills, and pulling weeds. With 12 minutes to go, she moves to the floor for hip & hamstring stretches using PNF. After 3 minutes of abs work, Miranda finishes with 3 minutes of seated stretches.
407, Maximum Flexibility
For this workout, which takes place by an outdoor pool, Miranda begins with Figure 8 moves for the arms, circles, and some marches. She performs plies combined with arms work and then moves into standing stretches which include side lunge & open swan. At the 12.5 minute mark, she comes to a seated position with the legs in front of her for various stretches which target the hips, IT band, & ribs. She continues with back & quad stretches and finishes with stretching the back & neck.
408, Scar Tissue
Miranda states that in order to target the scar tissue, this workout will focus more on the joint and range of motion; it takes place on the beach. The warm-up consists mostly of moves to shake out the joints. Miranda then starts right in with barre work, performing hip cleaners, leg lifts, and rotations. She also performs stretches with the barre, targeting the hips, quad, psoas, and finally the back. At the 11-minute mark, Miranda moves to a side-lying position on the floor for more hip stretches. She comes to seated for quad & calf stretches and finishes with PNF work in a butterfly position.
409, Posture (Pulling Up & Turning Out)
Miranda is again by the mini-pool for this workout. During the warm-up, she includes cross-country skiing, little kicks, and big swings. She follows this with balance work, adding a balance challenge to the standing flow stretches as well. With 11.5 minutes to go, she switches to performing plies and then leg lifts to the side & front with balance. Miranda concludes this workout with additional full-body stretches, including familiar moves such as the table twist, the bell-ringer, and pick a flower.
410, Hip Flexibility
Miranda describes this workout, which is performed on a outdoor patio, as addressing "body awareness.' The warm-up includes shaking plus Frisbee & tennis moves. Following this, Miranda moves into balancing leg lifts to the front, side, and back. With 11.5 minutes left, she moves to seated on the floor with the feet out in front, performing twists for the hips, ribs, and IT band. She also does a pretzel quad stretch and then returns the feet to the front for some seated leg lifts; she finishes with brief neck stretches.
411, Muscular Balance
On an outdoor balcony overlooking a pool, Miranda starts with a warm-up that includes moves for the arms and fingers. She follows this with balancing leg lifts to the front & side; next, the standing stretch emphasizes side lunges and windmills. With 12 minutes to go, Miranda moves to a barre for hip, hamstring, psoas, and quad stretches. At the 6 minute mark, she goes to the floor for 3 minutes of abs work and then finishes with 3 minutes of seated stretches focused on the abs.
Here, Miranda states that the focus will be on both alignment & application; she works out on an outdoor covered patio. The warm-up includes shaking for the hands, shoulders, and feet. This is followed by aligning the feet with lunges and then full body stretches with side, front, & back lunges plus airplane. After a rather lengthy add for vacationing in Cancun(!), the floorwork begins at 9 minutes left with 3 minutes of abs work. Miranda concludes with 4 minutes of lying hips stretches and 1 minutes of seated groin work.
413, Opposing Muscle Groups
This workout involves agonist & antagonist work. Because it takes place on a golf course, Miranda incorporates some golf moves as well as wrist stretches & feet articulation into the warm-up (which oddly has no music). She then performs some gentle plie work involving tensing/releasing the quads & hamstrings followed by a standing stretch emphasizing side stretches (and some neck work). With 11 minutes left, Miranda moves to a barre for a long (6 minutes) series of hip stretches; she concludes with some balance calf work & upper body stretches using the chair.
This workout takes place on the beach; Miranda states that it involves eccentric pulling & strengthening. The warm-up is gentle & includes slow Tai Chi-like moves. This is followed by about 2.5 minutes of tough arms work, and then Miranda goes right to the floor for a fairly long (almost 5 minutes) situp sequence. Next come side leg lifts, and Miranda finishes with a long seated stretch (including seated on heels).
415, Posture 2
Miranda states that the goal of this workout is to protect the joints; it takes place poolside. The warm-up includes leg kicks and then is followed by 3 minutes of hand & wrist work. The standing stretch emphasizes washes and includes some shoulder extensions. This is followed by plies and some standing hip work/lunges. With 6 minutes left, Miranda goes to the floor for 3 minutes of situps; she follows this with brief lying hip stretches and then finishes with seated shoulder stretches.
416, Muscle Chains
Miranda performs this workout on an outdoor patio by a small pool. The warm-up includes arms work. Next, Miranda performs moves which she says will help frozen shoulder; this includes cow-face arms plus triceps & shoulder stretches. The standing stretch continues to emphasize the shoulders and includes Figure 8s. With 12 minutes left, Miranda moves to the barre to stretch the calves, back, hips, & psoas; the final 6 minutes are performed on the floor to stretch the hips & hamstrings.
417, Eccentric Stretching
In her long introduction to this workout, Miranda states that the purpose is to use force the muscles to the maximum using PNF to stretch & heal; she is exercising on an outdoor patio. The warm-up starts with toe articulations and includes leg kicks to the front, side, & back. Next come plies with tensing & releasing and then stretches for the hips, calves, and hamstrings. At 10 minutes to go, Miranda moves to the floor for side-lying work; this is followed by prone & child's pose stretches. She concludes seated with the legs in front for back stretches.
Exercising on an outdoor lawn, Miranda explains that the focus of this workout will be on flattening the stomach by keeping it pulled in throughout the workout. During the warm-up, which includes knee lifts & kicks, she emphasizes holding in the stomach. This is followed by balancing leg kicks, keeping the stomach hold in mind; the standing work concludes with the clock (1-way only). With 12 minutes left, Miranda moves to the floor for abs work: she performs 3 minutes of her traditional abs moves & then 3 minutes move of bicycle-like moves. Coming to seated, she does 3 minutes of stretches for the abs, and moving the legs straight out front, she concludes with a final 3 minutes of stretching.
Miranda leads this one on an outdoor patio setting. She explains in the beginning that there are differences between active, passive, and ballistic movements, and in CS, the latter is used only for arms work. The warm-up for this one is more choreographed than we usually see in CS, with knee-ups, Charleston, and some ballistic arms movements. Miranda then goes into a nice long arms segment. The standing section emphasizes washes and twists for the back. With 11 minutes left, Miranda moves to a prone position for cobra moves, then flips onto her back for about 3 minutes of abs work. She concludes with lying hip/hamstring stretches and finishes seated with cobbler's & back stretches.
420, Back Pain Relief
Miranda leads this one in what looks like a covered outdoor hallway. She states that it is a gentle program for when you are in active pain. It begins with about 6 minutes of very gentle standing stretches. Miranda then continues the standing stretches using a chair for additional side & back stretches. With 12 minutes left, she puts one foot on the chair to stretch the psoas as well as the hamstrings & hips. She moves to the floor with 9 minutes left for cobra & child's pose stretches, then flips onto the back for situps, emphasizing the idea of the pelvic tilt. The program ends with an additional few minutes of gentle stretches.
421, Back Pain Prevention
Miranda states that this one is designed to prevent chronic back pain attacks. She suggests that you can just pick & choose exercises which you find helpful from the program and do those only. Miranda starts using a chair in a standing position for about 4 minutes of various pelvic tuck and rotation-type moves. She then places one foot on the chair to stretch the psoas, hamstrings, & hips as well as sits in the chair for additional tucks & rotations. The floorwork starts at about 12 minutes left: first, Miranda performs several variations of child's pose, stretching the back from several different angles; she then does cat/cow as well as additional seated twists & stretches. Moving to lying on the back, she does mini versions of her usual hips & hamstrings stretches, and she concludes with brief seated stretches.
422, Stretching for Cardio
As Miranda explains in her intro, the "Stretching for Cardio" in the title refers to improving circulation, so the purpose of this program is stretching to the maximum, or to the very ends of the limbs. To this end, the warm-up includes a lot of very large arm movements. This is followed by a plie segment which includes held arm moves. The full body stretch includes both airplane & clock. The floorwork (starts w/12 minutes left) consists entirely of stretches: Miranda starts with the legs straight out in front for some upper body, hip, & hamstring stretches, and she concludes with a long sequence of quad stretches, including the calf in this series.
423, Strengthening 2
Miranda states that this program, which takes place on an outdoor patio, focuses on stretching & strengthening to lose weight and so emphasizes more of the cardio aspects of CS. The warm-up incorporates big arm moves and little kicks. This is followed by a short by tough arms work segment. The standing series includes a good deal of pushing a unique side windmill. With 11.5 minutes to go, Miranda moves to the floor for some side extensors work as well as some brief leg lifts. Abs work follows, and then Miranda concludes with hip & hamstring stretches on the back.
424, Anti-Aging 2
For this outdoor workout, Miranda notes that the emphasis is going to be on rotational moves to lubricate the joints and help you to keep moving. The warm-up begins with arm swings and little kicks. Miranda then moves right into stretching, going from stretching the long vs. short muscles for the hips, thighs, and hamstrings and then moving on to stretching the shoulders and the entire body. With 12 minutes left, Miranda moves to the floor for lying hamstring stretches, seated groin (butterfly) stretches, seated quad stretches, and seated leg extensions.
425, Digestive System
Miranda leads this workout in an outdoor grassy area. She reveals during the intro that it is designed to help with an embarrassing problem: constipation. To address this, she incorporates many "twisty" movements immediately into the warm-up; she also includes "fake sports" moves. Next come Tai Chi plies, but Miranda adds rotational hip moves in several different positions. This is followed by what Miranda calls "deep stretches for the entire torso"; I could feel this work in my upper back as well. At the halfway mark, Miranda continues the standing work with calf & inner thigh stretches as well as some quick kicks. Finally, with just 6.5 minutes to go, she moves to the floor for some abs work. She then finishes with some seated twists and a butterfly stretches. On note about this episode: there were several instances where Miranda counted incorrectly.
426, Injury Prevention
This episode takes place in an outdoor grassy pondside setting. Miranda states that in order to prevent injuries, it is important to pay attention to how you are transferring your body weight, so the emphasis of this workout is on transfers. During the warm-up, Miranda is constantly reminding you to keep your stomach in while lifting up and performing various knees up moves. A brief plie segment follows, and then the standing stretch series emphasizes smooth transfers of your weight as you flow from side to side. With 12.5 minutes left, Miranda goes to the floor for a long (about 6 minutes) side-lying legwork series. This is followed by abs work and then some final stretches that felt fairly rushed: Miranda performs a few on the back, then a few more seated.
Miranda can be quite goofy, but I like her! She does miscount at times, and her cuing, while mirrored, isn't always the best; however, these are not overly choreographed workouts that you have to follow along with exactly. Some people find her to be too chatty, but I find her to be very sincere and genuine.