I really wanted to try Physique 57 workouts after doing Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled because it was recommended to me as being similar. I loved Xtend Barre and was very disappointed to discover there were no more by the trainer and that it wasn’t a series. I was disappointed that my public library did not offer Physique 57 workouts so I decided to just buy one to try it out. Since my interest in barre workouts is primarily lower body I chose Thigh & Seat Booster. Initial consensus is thumbs up! I really liked it. However, other than the barre aspect, I didn’t find it similar to Xtend Barre. So far, Xtend Barre is just one of those workouts (for me at least) that is one of a kind. But Physique 57: Thigh & Seat Booster is an excellent lower body workout that I am still feeling in my hips and thighs, so no buyers remorse! I will be returning to it! I especially like the length–30 minutes. It is fast paced and tho by the end your lower body muscles will be burned out, the exercises change pretty quickly so the burn doesn’t occur as quickly as it does in other barre workouts I’ve done. I did notice that near the end of the workout my standing leg (which had already been worked pretty hard) was burning out just supporting me while I worked the other leg.
This workout is led by trainer Shelly Knight. She is a pilates instructor with a background in dance and gymnastics. The DVD has a 4:30 minute intro that breaks down the Physique 57 technique. According to the intro, the technique combines isotonic and isometric exercises into bodyweight interval training that they call “interval overload.” The intro ends with Shelly demonstrating a few of the moves from the workout. This workout has a modifier as well as someone doing more advanced versions of the exercises.
Thigh & Seat Booster is 31 minutes long; warm up is a little less than a minute–I think. I’m actually not certain on the length of the warm up. The push ups could be part of the warm up, but then you go directly into leg work on one side of the body and repeat the push ups when you move to the other side of the body–so I am assuming the warm up ends right before the push ups. The stretch at the end is 1:30 minutes. For this workout you need a chair and a pilates or playground ball. During he intro, when Shelly is demonstrating a few of the moves, she has a chair w/ two dumbbells sitting on it. Now, you don’t use dumbbells in the workout, but words appear at the bottom of the screen recommending you place dumbbells on it to make the chair more stable. This is actually a great idea. Now that I do barre workouts it does help to have something weighing your chair down sometimes.
Round 1: The workout starts with push ups. After push ups, remain in plank and raise one leg and pulse it. Bend the knee, flex the foot and press it to the ceiling. Point your toe and bring your knee underneath body toward nose 2x, then to elbow outside of body 2x, then to opposite elbow underneath body 2x. Walk hands into feet and come into a lunge position and do a static lunge that turns into a pulse lunge. Remain in lunge but hinge forward over front thigh and static lunge again; pulse lunge. Bring back foot into curtsy lunge position and do static curtsy lunges that turn into pulse lunges. Raise back leg so you are in a warrior 3 position (the modifier holds the chair for balance) and raise and lower raised leg about an inch. Then bend and straighten standing leg while still in warrior 3. Stand, bringing back leg up and bent in front of you; bend and straighten leg. Hold leg straight and do small lifts. Lift and lower leg to ground. Hold leg out straight and high, flex foot and bend knee then push foot out. Continue doing this move while lowering and raising leg. Hold flexed foot out straight and do small lifts. Keep doing this move but turn toe out to side. Repeat entire round on other leg.
Round 2: Stand w/ feet wide, feet parallel and do squats. This changes to pulsing in squat position. Continue this move while alternating raising heels. Turn toes out into plie position while continuing to do low-end squats (heels are down now). Hold in low plie position and tuck hips in and out; continue doing this move while raising and lowering into plie squat. This changes to plie squats while alternating raising and lowering heels. Lower to floor so you are on your knees, knees are hip distance apart, tops of feet flat on ground and lower bottom so it hovers a few inches above heels. Tuck hips in and out in this position. Continue doing this tuck but do 4x to one side, then 4x to the other, this decreases to 2x to each side. Then you “shake” hips side to side while alternating pressing arms overhead. Circle hips while circling arms overhead. Tuck hips in and out again, raising and lowering arms overhead. Note--these exercises are your knees are harder than they sound; the key is keeping your bottom a few inches off your heels throughout the entire segment; trust me, you will feel it. If you lift bottom up too high, or sit bottom on your heels you will not get the same workout.
Round 3: Stand behind your chair with your pilates ball. Place ball behind right leg, bending it so ball is held in place, flex foot, turning knee in toward other knee and flexed foot out. In this position, push foot out and in; the pace quickens to pulsing; next this changes to small pulses that bring foot/knee up higher to count of 3. Keeping knee bent with ball behind knee, open knee to side (hydrant position) and raise and lower leg/knee. Flex foot and press foot back. Combine the last two moves–raise knee/leg then press foot back. Just lift to side. Remove ball and straighten leg behind you but to the side (diagonal) and continue raising and lowering while also coming up on toe of standing leg; raise higher to count of 3. Return to pulsing leg. Lower heel of standing leg, lay forearm on back of chair, bring leg behind you and make sure hips are parallel to floor; lower foot to ground then raise to nearly hip height. Hold leg at top and do small lifts. Flex foot and press heel in and out. Keep doing this move but turn toes out to side of body. Straighten leg (toe still out to side) and raise and lower about an inch; changes to pulsing in this position. Bend knee to hydrant and bring to side of body, continuing small lifts. While still lifting/lowering w/ leg in hydrant position, move leg behind you, then back to side of body. Bring leg to side, straighten leg and flex foot; push heel in and out. Continue this move while raising leg from hip height to near the floor. Hold leg straight to side with foot still flexed and do small lifts.
Round 4: Still standing behind chair, both feet on the ground, come up on toes, bend knees, bring knees together (both feet are hip distance apart); while this position (already squatting), squat lower and return to higher squat position (you will continue squatting this way–at different tempos, with different foot positions–throughout this entire round, never standing up straight). Speed up the tempo of squat. Open and close knees while continuing this low squat. Keep knees apart, continue squatting and alternate raising and lowering heels. Continue but now raise and lower both heels at the same time. Keep heels raised but now squat very low, so bottom is close to floor then raise to starting squat position (you will do this to various tempos). Continue this move but bring feet/legs together and lower heels to ground. Next is what she calls the “twizzler.” Cross right knee over left while continuing the pulsing squat, bring right leg behind you bent in “attitude” while continuing the pulsing squat. Alternate 4 counts with right leg crossed in front and 4 counts in attitude behind you. It changes to alternating for 2 counts. Put both feet on the ground, still in squat and continue pulsing while alternating raising heels. Pulse w/ both heels down. Do twizzler series on other leg. Ending pulsing with both feet on the ground, heels raised.
Finish workout by repeating Round 3 on other leg.