Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout is another excellent Physique 57 workout. I wasn’t expecting this one to hit my lower body as hard as Thigh & Seat Booster, but it did! It fried my lower body! It isn’t really the total body workout it claims to be tho. It does hit your core nicely and you do 30 push ups total, but other than that you only get some minor tricep work and the rest of the workout is lower body focused. But that is ok with me! When I buy a barre workout that is what I am buying it for anyway–the lower body work. This workout was actually a Christmas stocking stuffer. I will probably get a few more Physique 57 workouts. I really enjoy them and they do the job.
This one was led by Tanya Becker, the creator of the Physique 57 technique. She did a great job leading the workout but her personality got a little weird and over the top at times. This DVD contains not just the main 30 minute workout but it has a bonus! A 4 minutes lower body blast. Two moves–curtsy lunge pulses and “swivel chair” pulses. You do a ton of reps on each side (well about 2 minutes on each side) to add some extra burn to your workout. I loved it! I added it on to the end of the main workout, but it would work nicely after any lower body workout to polish you off.
The main workout is 30 minutes long, but the first minute is Tanya’s intro and her telling you what equipment you need: a barre or a chair, a playground or pilates ball, a mat and a pillow or thick towels. So the actual workout is 29 minutes long; 3 minute warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. The warm up itself has a lot of exercises in it: the normal barre warm up of knee raises, 15 push ups, side plank holds, forearm plank knee taps and tricep dips. There is both a beginner modifier and an advanced modifier in this workout.
The workout starts behind the barre/chair w/ the pilates ball between your thighs, heels together and raised up onto toes. Bend knees and start pulsing. Squeeze and release ball. Continue squeezing and releasing the ball w/ thighs while slowly lowering and raising (squatting on toes w/ heels still touching). Pulse low. Shift hips side to side, slow then fast. Add a raise and lower while shifting hips fast. Pulse again. Squat low and raise. Remove ball from between thighs and hold in both hands. Separate feet more than shoulder distance and hold ball in front of you; squat and pulse. Continue but bring ball into chest and press both hands into it. Alternate raising heels (while still pulsing in a squat). Set the ball aside but remain in same position, just place hands on barre/chair. Shift hips side to side. Continue but raise onto toes and shift hips faster. Bring legs/heels together, still raised onto toes and pulse. Continue but lean slightly forward. Raise and lower (deep squat so bottom is near ground). Next is “thigh dancing.” Come down onto knees on the mat. Do a punching down move with hands, one hand punching down in front of you and one in back; alternate hands. Add hips/glutes by raising bottom off heels and pushing hips forward and back with each punch. Change hands to overhead punches but hip/glute movement stays the same. 15 push ups. Stretch lower body.
Return to barre/chair and stand behind it, legs/feet together and lean forward, arms folded over back of chair/barre. Bend left leg up behind you and pulse pointed toe towards ceiling. The pulse changes to 3 pulsing raises. Flex foot and continue pressing up. Change to the 3 pulsing raises but w/ foot flexed. Bring knee into chest then press up behind you. Hold bent leg up behind you, but turn knee to side so it is in hydrant position, and pulse. Continue but raise upper body off back of chair/barre (but still holding onto it, just not leaning on it anymore) and pulse hydrant leg to side of body then back behind body. Flex foot and turn knee again so it faces the floor and bring knee in then press foot up behind you towards ceiling. Continue movement but faster. Continue this movement but instead of raising bent leg behind you, kick it out straight behind you (so bring knee in then kick out straight behind you). Hold leg out straight behind you, point toe and pulse. Change to lowering straight leg to ground and raising up behind you. Hold leg up behind you and pulse. Continue pulsing but flex foot. Bend knee and press foot in and out behind you. Stretch and repeat on right leg.
The workout ends with the core section. Put your barre/chair away and lay your mat on the floor. Place your pillow/towels under the back end of your mat to support your back. You also need your pilates ball. Sit on the mat, your low back leaned against the raised pillow/towel section of mat. Place ball underneath feet and lean back (spine in C curve) and hold onto back of thighs, elbows out to side. Lift and lower torso. Remove hands from thighs, arms straight out along sides of body, and pulse up. In same position, slow down and raise and lower torso. Straighten and bend legs, rolling ball in and out w/ feet (torso is still raised but in C curve w/ hands straight beside legs). Continue this movement but add raising and lowering torso. Hold legs out straight, heels resting on ball, torso raised slightly off mat and shimmy shoulders side to side. Sit up and hold ball in both hands in front of you, knees are bent. Draw a figure 8 w/ ball. Continue figure 8 but lower torso so back is a few inches off mat. Place ball between knees and press feet together; squeeze and release ball between knees while lowering torso so back is a few inches off floor. Hold hands together and press hands up above the ball as you pulse up. Continue movement but raise arms overhead as you press. Sit up, legs straight and place ball on abdomen. Place elbows on ball and lace fingers together. Raise end lower torso in this position. Final stretch.