Liquid GroovesPetra Kolber
Year Released: 2012
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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LIQUID GROOVES is led by veteran fitness instructor Petra Kobler. She describes it as not being a workout but rather simply enjoying movement. The routine combines elements of Tai Chi and simple dance-like movements for a relaxing workout with very mild aerobic benefits.
The Main Menu offers options for Awakening - Sequence One - Sequence Two - Moving Meditation - Credits. Kobler instructs live in a light, airy studio with wood floors, and she is accompanied by two background exercisers, Illyse and Alex. No equipment is needed for this routine. I have described the various segments below, offering approximate times.
Awakening (4 mins.)
This is a gentle warm-up. Kobler focuses on the breathing while engaging the body in large, flowing movements.
Sequence One (14.5 mins.)
For this sequence, Kobler teaches a move, practices it a few times, adds on another move, practices it until it is learned, and then adds the two moves together. She continues to add additional moves using the same "take it from the top" (TIFTT) method, each time running through all of the moves from the beginning in sequence. The first move is a side step/reach overhead, moving in a quick-quick-slow pattern. This is followed by a chair squat and then step outs to the side and rear Next is the dragon move, again in a quick-quick-slow pattern, and then arm sweeps with a side step followed by cloud arms. After gathering chi, Kobler performs angel arms and then an arms series which includes side-to-side arms overhead, arms pull to chest, "beat the drum" (arms to shoulders), and Figure 8 arms. This series concludes with a forward arm half moon move and then a squat sit to the back. Once the entire sequence is learned, Kobler TIFTT several times.
Sequence Two (22 minutes)
This series begins with with Kobler calls chair pose, or mini squats with Figure 8 arms. This is followed by a small lunge to the front with arm push. One-arm sweeps move into a leg balance, leg circle, and then a push-pull. Next, Kobler circles the shoulders, elbows, and arms, finishing with a move stepping forward and back. As before, she teaches the moves and then TIFTT several times. However, for the final nine minutes of this routine, she repeats Sequence One AND Sequence Two back-to-back several times. (For this reason, you could NOT do Sequence Two as a stand-alone workout unless you have already learned Sequence One.) There is about a minute of breathing and brief flowing moves to conclude this segment. If you finish your workout here, you will have reached just over the 50-minute mark.
Moving Meditation (4.5 mins)
In this segment, Kobler and crew perform a flowing series of movements to music. There was NO cuing or any other type of instruction from Kobler here. The moves appeared to be similar to those included in the main workout, but not exactly the same. Personally, I did not like this segment.
I was somewhat disappointed in this DVD. Kobler is very likable, and she instructs well. However, I found some of the footwork in Sequence Two to be quite tricky--definitely NOT what I want from a relaxing workout! I was also bored by the endless repetition; I don't mind SOME TIFTTing in a routine, but I much prefer to learn a series, repeat a few times, then move on to the next series. I just can't imagine wanting to do this routine on a regular basis. I would recommend this DVD mainly those who actually ENJOY TIFTTing and who don't might fusion workouts without a particular focus.
I do like Petra as an instructor, although I haven't really clicked with any of her workouts (perhaps because she often uses a lot of TIFTTing!). She does do a nice job here, including mirror cuing.
Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.
When I first heard about this workout, I was intrigued. It sounded like a neat premise, even though I didn't totally understand what "it" was. Then, I saw the clip and was further interested. When Collage offered me the opportunity to try it, I grabbed it.
I really like this workout; although I hesitate to put that term on it - "workout" - because it's more moving for the fun of it. In her introduction, Petra says that she dosn't want you to work out, but rather celebrate movement. That's a pretty good summary of the vibe of this DVD. I ended up feeling rejuvenated and rested.
It is a blend of tai chi, yoga and dance in a combination of moves that is simple, yet fun. It's not a walking workout, but it reminds me of that level of exertion. It's not an Ellen Barrett workout and is pure cardio rather than fusion of strength and cardio and yoga, but it reminds me of that feel of an alternative workout. It's also a barefoot workout like Ellen's workouts. It's a cardio workout, but it's not intense and blends in a few common cardio elements into a an unusual combination of moves.
Petra leads the workout with two back-up exercisers. The set is light and airy. The music was obviously designed for this workout and it adds a lot of motivation and movement to the workout for me. It's instrumental, but not your typical "just keep the beat" techno music. The menu gives you access to a warm up, two sequences, and a moving meditation. The warm up is pretty simple. The two sequences are 20-25 minutes apiece. The moving meditation is simple movements without any speaking at all (it's pretty neat to me). Petra cues well in describing what she wants you to do, but encourages you to do what feels good for your body. She does use what I think are tai chi terms (cloud hands?) and doesn't describe them, but they are simple moves that you can get by just watching what they do. There is a lot (hear me - A LOT)of TIFTing, Taking It From The Top. She does a move or two and then goes back to the beginning and repeats. Then, she keeps adding on more moves in that way. At the end, she repeats the entire routine several times.
If you don't have time for the entire worout, there seem to be two stand-alone workouts on it. You can do the Awakening sequence (warm up) through Sequence 1. Then, you can start with Sequence 2 through the moving meditation. I am guessing each of those is 25-30 minutes.
This is definitely a different type of workout, which is one of the reasons why it is hard to describe. I really enjoy it. Some people won't. I'm glad that Petra is willing to try different things in her workouts.
She is encouraging and motivating in this workout.