ICE: To the Mat: Legs & Glutes

ICETTMTo the Mat: Legs & Glutes is part of Cathe‘s ICE (Intermediate Conditioning Extreme) program. It is very different from her other lower body workouts. She frequently includes mat work in her lower body workouts, but she has never had an entire workout devoted to nothing but mat work. And it was painful. I am still confused about the “intermediate” aspect of these workouts. Mat work always burns my lower body out quickly, and 49 minutes of it is painful. Painful in a good way–my legs and glutes feel thoroughly worked. Just FYI–the first time I did this workout I did premix #1 that includes Icy Core #2 and I only burned 99 calories in 63 minutes (according to my Fitbit). The second time I did premix #2 that includes Muscle Meltdown/Shoulders and only burned 164 calories in 65 minutes. So…. don’t look for some massive calorie burn! But that isn’t the purpose of mat work anyway. The purpose is to fry your legs and it does that splendidly!

The warm up for this workout is different from any of Cathe’s other workouts, too. You immediately start sitting on the mat and it consists of dynamic stretching. Parts of this workout would function very well as an add on or a doubles workout. And, of course, Cathe has packaged this nicely in the timesaver premixes which range anywhere from 19 minutes to 37 minutes. As a note, there are several ways to make this workout more challenging if you find it too easy. The first is ankle weights. The second is to use the chapter function, and by that I don’t mean necessarily to go to the chapter menu. Let me explain. Cathe chapters her workouts very well. For the ICE workouts (and the majority of her workouts in the past few years) she chapters by exercise. So, the first time I did this workout I felt that most of the exercises repped me out and I was close to muscle failure by the end of the exercise. But a few I was surprised we stopped when we did and I felt I could have gone on longer. One of these exercises is the hydrant. What I did the second time through this workout is when she changed to the other leg, I stayed on the same leg and did the whole hydrant cycle again on the same leg. Then, I hit the chapter back button on my DVD remote and did the whole hydrant cycle on the other leg. I think when I do the workout again, I will do that with the calf work as well.

Because this is part of the ICE program, this DVD also includes a Muscle Meltdown for shoulders and Icy Core #2. This is the same Muscle Meltdown: Shoulders that is included on the other ICE lower body workout Chiseled Lower Body Blast.

To the Mat: Legs & Glutes is 49 minutes long; 4 minute warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. Equipment needed: mat, stability ball, firewalker, flat resistance band and one dumbbell.

  1. Roll ins w/ stability ball (lay on back, heels on ball, raise hops and roll ball in and out)
  2. Frog roll ins (same as #1 but w/ toes turned out)
  3. Side leaning outer thigh (lean on the ball and lift leg)
  4. Ball toss (lay on back, legs raised to ceiling and open in V; toss ball and catch between ankles/feet)
  5. Ball knee squeeze (sit up and place ball between knees; squeeze knees against ball)
  6. Leg lift pulses (lean back against ball, hips raised, feet flat on ground and fingertips on ground; lift one leg straight in front of you and pulse)
  7. (set ball aside) Outer thigh press (place firewalker around ankles, lay on back, feet raised to ceiling and pulse legs open)
  8. (remove firewalker from ankles and set aside; grab flat resistance band) Glute squeezes/bridges (lay on back, knees bent and place band over hips, holding on ground beside hips w/ hands; raise and lower hips)
  9. Single leg hips lifts (still on back w/ knees bent and feet on floor, raise one bent leg and place band over shin, still anchoring band at hips; raise and lower hips)
  10. Marching planks (place firewalker around ankles and come into elbow plank; walk feet out and in)
  11. Hydrants (keep firewalker around ankles, get on all 4s and cross ankles then raise top bent leg behind you to hip level and raise and lower leg)
  12. (remove firewalker and grab flat resistance band) Calf press (place band around top sole of one foot; straighten leg and point and flex toe)
  13. Side plank w/ hip and leg lift
  14. Inner thigh lift (lay on side and raise and lower bottom leg)
  15. Glute hamstring squeezes (grab oneDB, lay on back and bring DB close to bottom; place one heel on bar of DB and raise one heel to ceiling, lift hips and pulse)
  16. Pivoting child’s pose planks (get into straight arm plank but with butt raised slightly; rotate and come down, bringing outside of opposite knee to mat; alternate sides)
  17. L position leg lifts (lay on side and bend at waist w/ legs straight (so body is on L shape); raise and lower leg)
  18. Knee to toe rotations (still laying side, bend knees and raise top leg, tap knee to bottom knee, then raise and tap toe to bottom toe)
  19. Downward facing dog planks (get into elbow plank; walk feet in 4 steps then raise right leg, then left leg, walk feet back out)
  20. Flutter kicks (lay on stomach and pretend to swim, legs and arms raise off floor)

Muscle Meltdown/Shoulders (15:30 minutes): One round = 5 exercises listed below; do the round 3 times total; do each exercise 12 reps. Equipment needed is a stability ball and a variety of dumbbells. Cathe used 5 and 10 pound dumbbells and I used heavier–15, 8 and 7 pound dumbbells. Use the weight that challenges you. My shoulders were burning by the final round. I was eyeing that 5 pound dumbbell for the rear delt raises! But I stuck w/ my 7 and pushed through.

  1. Overhead press
  2. Upright row
  3. Standing side lateral raise
  4. Front raise (using one dumbbell held in both hands)
  5. Rear delt raise on stability ball

Icy Core #2 (14 minutes) For this you need a dumbbell (Cathe uses a 5# DB) and a flat resistance band. This was more challenging than Icy Core #1. Another excellent core bonus and harder than I was expecting it to be for an “intermediate” workout!

  1. Weighted V-sits (lay on back, legs straight and raised to ceiling; reach DB toward toes) (Cathe uses 5# DB, I used 8# DB)
  2. Pullover heel tap/extensions (bring the dumbbell overhead in a pullover while tapping heels to mat then extended arms overhead and legs straight (a few inches from the ground); alternate these two moves) (Cathe uses a 5# DB, I used an 8# DB)
  3. 45 degree toe to heel taps (still on back, raise straight legs to ceiling; lower one leg to 45 degrees then raise it to tap the straight leg heel)
  4. Side oblique reaches (still on back, hands behind head; raise shoulders/head and reach one arm toward same side heel; alternate sides)
  5. C curve crunches (wrap flat resistance band around base of feet, cross band and hold end in each hand; C curve down until back is on floor, then roll up, opening hands/arms)
  6. Saw (pilates move; use flat band held in both hands, about a foot between hands, sitting up, lets in a V; reach hand toward opposite foot)
  7. Side to side oblique twist (fold band in half and hold an end in each hand; sit up with legs extended in front of you, extend arms in front of you, raise one leg and twist band/torso toward raised leg)
  8. Side plank clam extension
  9. Rotating side to side plank (in elbow plank)
  10. Prone plank/marching plank
Basic Premixes
  • #1 Warm Up + Main Routine + Icy Core 2 + Stretch – 62:45
  • #2 Warm Up + Main Routine + Muscle Meltdown – Shoulders + Stretch – 64:39
  • #3 Warm Up + Main Routine + Muscle Meltdown – Shoulders + Icy Core 2 + Stretch – 77:32
  • #4 Muscle Meltdown – 4 Rounds: Muscle Meltdown – Shoulders Rounds 1-3 + Round 3 Repeated + Stretch – 23:00
Timesaver Premixes
  • #1 Warm Up + Muscle Meltdown + Stretch – 22:30
  • #2 No Stability Ball: Only bands and floor work exercises. – 35:02
  • #3 No Bands: Only stability ball and floor work exercises. – 37:11
  • #4 No Floor Work: Only stability ball and band exercises. – 32:40
  • #5 All Ball: You will only do stability ball exercises. – 20:50
  • #6 All Bands: You will only do band exercises. – 18:42
  • #7 All Floor Work: You will only do floor work exercises. – 23:12
MishMosh Premixes
  • Scrambled #1 Floor Work First – 49:01
  • Scrambled #2 Bands First – 49:01
  • Scrambled #3 Mixes the main workout exercises in a different way. – 50:53
  • Scrambled #4 Mixes all 3 Muscle Meltdown – Shoulders rounds throughout the main workout. – 64:39
  • Scrambled #5 Mixes abs from Icy Core 2 throughout the main workout. – 62:45
  • Double It Warm Up + Main Routine + Main Routine + Stretch – 91:09

16 thoughts on “ICE: To the Mat: Legs & Glutes

  1. I have been trying to return to running after many years away, and I am really trying to incorporate more of this type of training/stretching. I am amazed how tight my hips are, and this workout really provides the emphasis where I need it. I hope someday to do those side leg lifts on the ball without an unscheduled break!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cathe can really burn your legs out with some of her mat work! I’m glad you and another commenter made me remember this workout. I am so limited in what I can do lately, but I should be able to do this workout without any problem since there is no cardio factor and no heavy dumbbells.


  2. I will be doing this for the first time tomorrow, and curious how I will react. My very least favorite Cathe video of all is X Train Legs, because I find it all pain and not much fun (compared to Cardio Leg Blast, which is challenging, but tons of fun). However. I am always glad I did it when it is over, and really grateful that Cathe inspires me to do workouts that I would otherwise avoid. Mat work always strikes me that way.


    1. What did you think? I am the same way. I do not really enjoy matte and barre work as much as I like other types of lower body work but I do it because I know it is effective and rounds out my lower body work. I am never sorry I did it, but sometimes there is some dread factor! In fact, the workout I did today (Cathe Live All About Legs) fried my legs during the mat work!


      1. OK, so I just did this for the second time, and hoping I am better able to go down the stairs tomorrow than I was after the first time I did it! I think the exercise that did me in before was the side leaning leg lifts on the ball (especially those door knob circle things!), so I took a break between legs and walked around for a bit this time. But I am trying to get back to running, and feel that the hip strengthening of these types of moves is very important for runners who are in their mid-50’s, like I am, so I appreciate the pain.

        Once I am done with this ICE Level 3 rotation, I am going to try to do this at least once per week. Maybe some day I will be able to lift my top leg while in the side plank, instead of doing all hip lifts. 🙂


      2. Floor work is killer! It never seems to get any easier. The DOMS isn’t as bad the more frequently you do floor work, but for me, the actual exercises still hurt every time! The good hurt tho–the kind that lets you know it is hitting new muscles and in new and different ways than just heavy lifting does. I always try to do floor or barre work every week. I do feel like it makes for more well rounded lower body work.


  3. I did the premix #3 No Bands: Only stability ball and floor work exercises before a little Ice skating & whoa that was not easy for the next three days let me tell you!!
    Thanks, as always, for you very detailed review. I think intermediate is relative! lol. and this one is not for me.


    1. I like the idea of To the Mat, but I’m not sure how often I will return to the workout as a whole. It’s just not fun to fry my legs in that way for nearly an hour. Odd because I have no problem frying my legs with plyo and weights. I like mat workout better in smaller increments. I will probably use the premixes as addons and doubles workouts more than I will ever do the entire workout.


      1. Yep. I’m exactly like this. That’s why I know pilates is good for me, but any more than 25 mins of it and I start hating that I started! lol. I think I will use this one quite a bit myself as I already do add ons, but like you, probably not on it’s own that much.


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