Skogg System FlowMichael Skogg
Year Released: 2011
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Equipment: kettlebell (one bell)
Set: gym w/ various bells, balls, plyo boxes in the back & side of room w/ grey flooring, white walls & lighting focused on Michael & crew.
Cast: two background exercisers (one female, one male), everyone works at their own pace, completing the reps that work for them. Michael & crew wear full coverage gloves for the workouts. Same two for all videos, they have great form, work hard & exchange comfortable/natural banter w/ Michael (and each other) in the workouts (doesn’t seem scripted).
Music: Full audio (music & cues) or voice only. I don’t notice the music much, when I get into the workouts (it’s there but not distracting or adding to the mood/feel of workouts).
This is the 4th DVD in the Skogg System set, and supposed to be the most challenging of them all. There are 4 levels/workouts for this DVD, progressions from beginner to advanced levels (level 1/beginner, level 2/intermediate, level 3/advanced, level 4/warrior), and the workouts are based on rep numbers (complete at own pace) for ladder sequences that follow a flow pattern. The ladders are a specific number of sets (rungs of a ladder) that start w/ 1 rep per exercise in a set, and for each subsequent set another rep is added to the set for ascending sequence or reduced by 1 rep for descending sequence. Start w/ an ascending ladder, first level is a 1 to 3 rep scheme, then reverses for a descending ladder, 3-to 1 rep scheme (w/ each level, another set/rung of ladder is added). The “Flow” pattern is that one arm completes a sequence of exercises for the specified rep numbers, then the other arm reverses the order of exercises w/ the same rep numbers (opposite arm starts w/ the last exercise that the other arm ended with, ends w/ the first exercise that the other arm started with).
The entire video seems to be a seamless workout that was shot once, but edited so that it has the different rounds in it for each of the levels (same for other Skogg workouts on other DVDs). The same warm-up & cool-down is used for each workout in this DVD, and the workouts are chaptered by warm-up, work portion & cool-down (exercises are chaptered in the work portion). The exercise sequence is displayed on screen during the workouts, w/ highlighting of each exercise performed at that specific time. Michael does provide clear cuing & motivation to keep users on track (not much form pointers in this DVD, like in the previous). There are very brief rests (few seconds) in between each set/rung completion, so one is working most of the time (one side recovers while the other is performing the sequence of exercises).
This workout definitely has a fluid feel to it (flow pattern is new to me, but enjoyable), w/ the sequence of exercises (doesn’t feel off, each exercise transitions easily into the next), and the time goes by quickly. And because all of the reps are completed on one side before moving on, this contributed to the fluid feel (Skogg Ladders has a similar ladder/rep scheme & exercise sequence but it alternates sides and did not have the same seamless flow as this workout). This is likely one of my favorite of the Skogg DVDs, and one of the few KB DVDs that I know of that incorporate ladders in it (and the flow pattern). I have completed the level 1 & 2 workouts, and liked them a lot (move quickly) but a few spots on the palms of my hands (below fingers) were feeling it a bit (constant change of exercises, need to adapt to the gripping the bell in the sequences).
I kind of wished that Michael had created another warm-up that used KBs or joint mobility focused, this one had bodyweight exercises but not joint mobility (only first DVD, Roots, has bell exercises incorporated into the warm-up). I don’t tend to perform Divebombers as a warm-up (my shoulders need more prep before jumping into those), so I did a few minutes of joint mobility exercises before working on the warm-up. I do like the cool-down stretches (also used in Skogg Roots).
Warm-up (5: 28 min.) alternate 2 exercises, 30 seconds each for a total of 3 min.
Divebomber push-ups (actually Hindu push-ups, arms don’t bend on the reverse motion/ one does not go back “under the gate” like in a Divebomber)
Hand touch: in plank position, alternate tapping hand to opposite hand (entire body moves to side w/ hand movement).
Workouts: “Flow” is composed of one arm completing all reps for each exercise, then other arm completes reps for each exercise in reverse order/sequence. W/ each level, another rep is added to each set (rung of ladder). It has the same ladder sequence/rep scheme (Level 1 starts w/1/2/3 ladder, reverse 3/2/1 sequence, Level 4 starts w/ 1/2/3/4/5/6, reverse 6/5/4/3/2/1) & sequence of exercises in the Skogg Ladders video (Snatch> High Pull> Clean> Squat> Clean & Press> 1-arm Swing).
Level 1 (8:54 min.) Ascending ladder for both arms, complete all reps for exercises on one side before moving on to the other side. Start w/ 1 rep per exercise each arm>2 reps>3 reps for one arm, then reverse ladder for both arms, 3 reps>2 reps> 1 rep w/ same sequence of exercises.
Exercise sequence: Snatch> High Pull> Clean> Squat> Clean & Press> Swing (1-arm)
Reverse sequence of exercises for other arm: 1-arm Swing> Clean & Press> Squat> Clean> High Pull> Snatch.
Level 2 (13:15 min.) Ascending ladder/rep scheme 1/2/3/4 for both arms, then reverse ladder/rep scheme 4/3/2/1 w/ same sequence of exercises for both arms (complete all reps for exercises on one side before moving on to the other side, one arm performs reverse order of other).
Level 3 (18:26 min.) Ascending ladder/rep scheme 1/2/3/4/5 for both arms, then reverse ladder/rep scheme 5/4/3/2/1 w/ same sequence of exercises for both arms (complete all reps for exercises on one side before moving on to the other side, one arm performs reverse order of other).
Level 4 (25: 10 min.) Ascending ladder/rep scheme for both arms 1/2/3/4/5/6, then reverse ladder/rep scheme 6/5/4/3/2/1 w/ same sequence of exercises for both arms(complete all reps for exercises on one side before moving on to the other side, one arm performs reverse order of other).
Cool-down (9:25 min.) same cool-down from Skogg Roots
Diva pose (looks like Hip extensor/abductor stretch w/ front foot flush against the back knee: legs both bent to 90 degrees, one if front/outside of leg in floor, other in back/inside of leg on floor, front foot is right next to back knee): hinge forward over front knee & walk upper body over to center (bent arms rest on floor), hold> same side arm as leg in front is bent & on floor, body leans to the back, opposite arm to front leg reaches overhead to the side (of the front leg) & hold> repeat on other side.
Glute stretch: seated position w/ one leg straight, other has bent knee that crosses over leg> knee is hugged/held into body w/ both arms> Spinal twist: from previous position, rotate upper body to side & rest elbow on knee> repeat on other side.
Chest/arm stretch: seated w/ bent knees, feet on floor, hands in back of body (heel of hand faces back)> move lower body forward & hold (should feel in arms & chest).
Shoulder stretch: Seated w/ 1 leg extended in front of body, the other has a bent knee & is turned out> place one hand in small of back (w/ bent elbows), and place/hook elbow of that arm on inside of bent knee & hold, repeat on other side.
Hip (opener) stretch: lie prone on elbows, abs on floor & bent knees (lower leg extended in air), wide stance> bring soles of feet together & bring the lower body back (to the heels, but it stays lifted in air, not seated on heels), the arms straighten & hold> reverse motion, widen stance more, bring feet together and lower body back into the hold.
Forearm stretch: start in tabletop (quadruped position), and rotate hands to place fingertips close to knees> lower butt onto heels & hold> rotate elbows away from body & hold (deeper stretch).
Cat/Cow: rotate elbows outward w/ cat. Straighten legs, move hands to meet feet & hold Ragdoll pose> place weight in heels (more hamstring focus)>roll up to standing position, roll shoulders back & open arms.