Stretch and Stamina

Ashley Eschler, Josh Smith
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Athletic Stretch

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The workout begins with very graceful, dancer-like stretches: Arm reaches with flat back: center, right, then left. Right away, I noticed the voiceover DOES NOT MIRROR CUE. This really bugs me when I’m in a position where I can’t see the TV screen and am relying entirely on verbal (non-visual) cues. Anyway, after the reaches, we squat down sumo-style and stay there a bit, shifting our weight from side to side before coming back up for a body roll, shoulder stretch, reaching down to the floor and lifting back to releve, then returning to a squat position and coming back up with a flat back. This went a little fast for my taste, but it’s something I can work toward.

For the mat work, we move into runner’s lunge, then straighten the front leg and lunge again, lifting the torso into a high lunge. We turn out our feet into a side lunge, then move back into a high lunge. From this position, we lean to one side, circling our arm gracefully around and returning to a high lunge. As we begin to stand, we lift one leg up into a sort of downward dog split, then pulse the lifted leg, then do push-ups in this position. Next we lower the leg to the floor and do a spinal rollup to a standing position. We repeat this whole sequence on the other side. (YOWSA!)

Next up is the seated work: First an easy butterfly stretch, then legs are stretched in front of the torso for a forward bend. Roll up one vertebrae at a time, then repeat forward bend. After again rolling up, we do a sort of C-curve/scoop roll, then sit up straight for saw twists. This is followed by a forward stretch (then right leg, then left leg) with wide legs. Finally we lie on our backs and bring knees into chest. There is some weird music playing in the background.

There is a nice variety of ab work (crunches, single-leg stretches, frog-leg stretches) and back work (cobra, swimming, airplane) before a short vinyasa of childs pose, plank, push-ups, and back to childs pose. Next is downward dog with your choice of downward dog to plank and return, or downward dog to “divebomber” pushups and return. Tough choice!! This is followed by different variations of pelvic tilts, roll-ups, and pigeon.

The barre work begins at about the 35-minute mark. They used a band around a wall-mounted barre, but I used 4-pound weights and that seemed to work just fine. I really enjoyed this section, but then I like workouts with low weights and high repetitions.

The workout was done entirely in voiceover with two exercisers doing different levels of the exercise. I’ve read some negative comments about the size of the room, but I didn’t really notice it much, perhaps because they weren’t moving around a lot. There were a lot more “STAMINA” moves than there were “STRETCH” moves. Overall, I enjoyed the stretches, except I felt they were a little rushed, especially the beginning body rolls to shoulder stretches. I went at my own pace and was just fine, except that I missed a few of the moves, oh well.

Debbie J