Classical Stretch Core Workout

Miranda Esmonde-White
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Athletic Stretch

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Classical Stretch Core workout is my favorite CS workout to date. It's a total body workout with an emphasis on posture. It's relatively easier compared to other CS total body workout but here are the reasons why i love this:
1. It works on the spine a lot (e.g. Caribbean spine series) and it leaves me a sweaty mess.
2. Works on the posture and unkinks back tensions and aches (at least for me). After doing this I feel taller and more relaxed.
3. Miranda is relatively more focused so she is able to provide better cuing with fairly even counts throughout.
4. This is a good 'primer' for Season 7 since S7 uses Caribbean spine exercises a lot. So even if Miranda doesn't cue or teach those moves in S7, you know cause you've done them in the Core workout.

I usually skip the short floor segement where she works the abs. There are some crunches and a some moves for the lower ab.

The last section is the 'chair' work. It strengthens and stretches the lower body. It's kind of good too. Releases tension and elongates the muscles.

Instructor Comments:
As I mentioned, Miranda is more focused here although she still chats a bit. I don't really mind Miranda's chatting as long as she can keep her counts even.



I had been curious about this workout for a long time, and I am indebted to VFer Jackie for loaning it to me so that I could finally try it out! This DVD seems somewhat mistitled; I think that instructor Miranda Esmonde-White may have had better luck if she had called it called it "Classical Stretch Full Body Workout Volume 3" or even "Classical Stretch Posture Primer." As she notes in her introduction, the Core Workout IS a full-body routine a which focuses on the posture. Where the "core" comes into it is not the modern idea of core as being the abs, but the classic Pilates definition of core as involving not just the abdominals but rather ALL of the muscles that surround the spine. To work these muscles, Miranda notes that she will be including a lot of rotational moves in the routine.

The Main Menu appears as follows:
*Introduction to Workout, 3 Minutes
*Classical Stretch Core Workout, 55 Minutes
*Iberostar Hotels and Resorts

Miranda is working out alone on a bright sandy beach in Jamaica. During the introduction, she provides a brief tutorial for one of the moves that is used throughout the workout, the Caribbean spine (a c-curve movement). The warm-up is just under 3 minutes long, and it consists of many of Miranda's typical moves, including side steps, taps, hamstring curls, knee ups, twists, and arm swings. Following the warm-up, Miranda immediately flows into full-body stretches. She intersperses her usual side-to-side lunges, which include plenty of shoulder rotations, with the Caribbean spine. The final time through, she adds in some variations to the Caribbean spine, performing this move to either side and with bent then straight arms.

Next, Miranda does some calf raises, moving into 1-legged balance work. She also performs the clock, a move that she has included in some of her other DVDs, but she does a unique version here, opening the arms to stretch the chest. This is followed by an airplane sequence. Miranda then performs a series of side-to-side leg kicks, ending with rear leg kicks to work the glutes. After the leg work, she moves directly into arms work. Again, these moves are similar to what Miranda has offered in her other workouts, including shoulder rotations, rear presses, and shoulder circles, but again, Miranda offers a few unique twists, such as doing shoulder rotations on the diagonal. This 3.5 minute segment also includes some of the Caribbean spine work. The standing work concludes with a short plie segment which includes plies with rotation, bow and arrow, and a wipe the table move.

The floor work begins at about 32 minutes into the workout. Miranda begins here with a 4.5 minutes situps section (not very long, but remember, "core" does not necessarily mean abs!). This segment is a bit tougher than her usual abs work. She starts with some fairly basic crunches, adding in pelvic lifts and then hip tucks. However, she then performs a more challenging combination that moves from a hip tuck to a scissors to a leg flutter and then a side scissor, with everything repeated several times. She concludes the abs work with a few stretches lying face down on the stomach. From this position, Miranda also performs a few brief back extensions/leg lifts. She then pushes back into child's pose and does a few additional stretches both in this position and on all fours.

The final 16.5 minutes of the workout consists of barre work (using a sturdy chair is fine). First, Miranda simply uses the chair for balance while she does calf raises for the calves/ankles. Next, she places one foot on the seat of the chair to perform various stretches for the quads, calves, and psoas. Finally, she places a foot on the arm of the chair for a series of hamstring stretches. The last 3.5 minutes consists of side stretching, with Miranda standing to either side of the chair and then bending towards the chair to stretch the side and back. This brings the total time for this workout in at 56.5 minutes.

I really enjoyed this workout! I was genuinely surprised and impressed by how much the full body stretches both targeted and opened my upper back, an area of particular tightness for me. Although the rest of the routine felt similar to other Classical Stretch workouts that I've tried, the standing segment was quite unique and different, and I think it makes this DVD a worthwhile purchase. Definitely recommended!

Instructor Comments:
I don't think Miranda talks as much here as she does in some of her other workouts, but that might just be because I am used to her quirkiness, and I don't mind her one bit. :)

Beth C (aka toaster)