XTrain - Legs

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Ballet/Barre, Gliding Disks, Lower Body Strength

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This is a very non-traditional Cathe lower body workout: not a heavy dumbbell, barbell or High Step in sight and no endless squats or "low end" pulses. Instead, Cathe mixes up slightly-aerobic standing work using lighter weights, chair/barre exercises and floor work to challenge the legs in a different way. The set is the stripped-down gym, music is recognizable pop/top 40 instrumentals, and the background crew is a large one (Cedie, Jai, Amanda, Brenda and Marlo). Each segment is well chaptered and the premixes allow you to do as little or as much of the workout as you want to. There's a lot of equipment: light dumbbells (Cathe uses 5s, 8s and 10s), stability ball, chair, gliding discs, mat, Dixie cups and firewalker loop. The cups and loop are each used once only, so are VERY optional.

After a dynamic - and poorly-cued - warmup that will certainly get your hip flexors warm (SO MANY leg lifts from different angles, why?), Cathe tackles the standing section: examples of exercises are walking lunges, side-to-side walks with the band, forward lunges with the Dixie cups, and a lot of single-leg sliding disc moves. It's a moderate- to high-rep workout and Cathe works your legs to the end. By the time the last set of 8 was rolling around on most of the exercises, I was ready for it to be over with.

The barre section works one leg completely and than the other. Cathe could have done more form pointers here: cues like "extend your leg to the side" aren't helpful when you see some backgrounders have their legs straight to the side and some are back on an angle.

After that Cathe moves to the floor for stability-ball work for hamstrings, glutes and inner thighs; chair work (heels on chair) for more glute and hamstring work, and no-equipment floor work with both lying exercises like inner-thigh lifts, and hands-and-knees exercises like leg lifts with both bent and straight knees.

There is a fair amount of stretching between exercises, especially when you get to the floorwork and need to give your hip muscles a rest between exercises. There is also a very good end-of-workout stretch for all leg muscles.

This is one of the few Cathe leg workouts where I wasn't dripping with sweat by the end. None of the sections is impossibly hard - well, except those killer stability-ball roll-ins! - but I feel well worked at the end. Because the chaptering is so good, this workout's sections could be done as add-ons after another leg workout.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is professional, clear and demonstrates good form. She could cue the warmup a LOT better and offer more form pointers in the barre section.