Barlates: Loop Extreme is another collection of workouts by Linda Wooldridge that all, you guessed it, use a loop. There are 4 workouts on this DVD and if you use them all, you will hit your lower body from every angle plus get some intense core work. The titles of the workouts are Inner Thighs, Outer Thighs, Quads & Glutes and Abs. And each workout uses one loop to work the titled muscle group. These are advanced workouts. However, you can make these workouts grow with you. Since they are all high rep, you could start using no loop then use a light loop and then keep progressing to heavier loops. Then, if you’re really a glutton for punishment, buy Linda’s next level workout: Double Loop Series which hits all the same muscle groups using two loops (but I’m sure she uses different exercises). No thank you, Linda. One loop was plenty challenging for me! Unless you are crazy advanced with mat work (like Linda is), I would suggest having loops of multiple strengths. I used 3 different loops when doing these workouts–a light one, a medium one and a heavy one.
And as an FYI, all of the lower body workouts are also available on YouTube for free. The Abs one probably is, too, but I didn’t search for it. I am not linking to the free versions, but just giving an FYI that they exist.
Outer Thigh is 36:30 minutes long w/ a 30 second intro, 4 minute warm up and 4 minute stretch. This was an excellent and very painful workout! Linda burned out my outer thighs repeatedly. And they felt weak for a good 30 minutes afterward. And Linda is a machine! She never stopped or paused even when she said it hurt. However, at the end of the workout, during the final hip raises/bridges, she said she could keep going, that it wasn’t “that hard,” but she would stop for us! Ha! Like I said–a machine! Because I was dying and and making all manner of pain noises. My husband heard what she said and kept mocking me as I whimpered in pain–saying, “Come on! She said it wasn’t that hard!” I suggested he do the workout, but he, of course, declined.
Everything except the stretch uses the loop, including the warm up. For every single exercise in this workout there will always be tension on the loop–so you never allow the loop to become loose. This is a very high rep workout. And it burns. For the warm up the loop is around thighs, just above the knees. The warm up is all standing exercises. When the warm up is over you go to the mat for the actual workout.
- Loop still above knees; lay on back, legs raised to ceiling and straight, open legs in a V until there is tension then open them wider (so rather than open and close, open wider then less wide)
- Legs still in a V, lower one leg so it is a few inches off the floor and circle top leg
- Still on back, legs still raised in a V but loop is now around ankles, pulse legs open; changes to pulsing 3x then bending knees to tap toes on ground
- Lay on side, legs straight, loop still around ankles; circle top leg; changes to keeping leg straight, tap toe in front of other foot then behind other foot; changes to pulsing top straight leg forward; changes to pulsing straight leg behind you
- Raise band to above knees and lay on side again; bend top knee, bringing it in to chest then pushing it out straight; next, bend both knees in front of you and raise and lower top leg; changes to circling top leg (both legs still bent in front of you); changes to bending and straightening top leg (kicking it in front of you)
- Repeat 4 & 5 on other leg
- Lay on back, loop above knees, feet on ground and knees wide; raise and lower hips; changes to keeping hips raised while opening and closing knees; next combine the two moves–raise hips, open knees, lower hips
- Same position as #7 but slide feet out a little farther, knees a bit wider apart and raise up on heels–repeat all the moves in #7; the workout ends with hips raised and just holding.
Quads & Glutes is 40 minutes long w/ a one minute intro, no warm up and 4 minute stretch. You need a chair and a loop. I actually had to use 2 loops for this workout (not at the same time!); a heavier one for glute work and a lighter one for quad work. This workout is tough and painful. Linda was even in pain. The workout starts sitting in the chair with the loop around your ankles. The loop remains around your ankles for the entire workout, taking it off only for the stretch at the end. You are doing the same 3 basic moves but you change position 4 times–however, due to the positions you are in (and the direction you lift your leg), you alternate working your quads and your glutes. Linda does a lot of workouts barefoot, which usually isn’t possible for me (plates and screws in heels) but I previewed this workout before I did it and it looked like I would have no problem doing this entire workout in my bare feet. This was a big deal for me (bad feet, always-always-always have to wear shoes) so I was pretty excited but, unfortunately, it did not work out for me. And not for the expected reason (pain in heels). For some of the moves the placement of the band was awkward, making an already challenging workout unpleasant as you struggle to not only do the moves with proper form when your muscles want to fail but to also keep the band in place. It is definitely an effective workout but I was very frustrated sometimes trying to keep that band in the proper position. I do think had I worn shoes like I usually do, that would have easily corrected the problem–the band would have caught on my shoes rather than sliding off/around on smooth skin. When I do this workout again with my shoes on, I will report back here and update the review (if I remember to, that is!). BTW–I expected some serious DOMS from this workout, but oddly I had none.
- Lift and lower one straight leg; changes to circling leg right then left; changes to bending and straightening knee; combine these three moves into a circuit and keep repeating the circuit (repeat on other leg)
- Stand next to the chair and hinge forward, placing one hand on chair seat and raising one leg straight behind you; lift and lower leg; changes to circling right then left (still behind you); changes to bending and straightening leg, pushing foot out behind you; combine these three moves into a circuit and keep repeating the circuit (repeat on other leg)
- Sit on the floor, legs extended straight in front of you and raise and lower one straight leg; changes to circling leg to the right then the left; raise leg a bit then bend and straighten knee, tapping toe to ground; combine these three moves into a circuit and keep repeating the circuit (repeat on other leg)
- Get on hands and knees and extend on leg out straight behind you, raise and lower leg; changes to circling leg right then left; changes to bending knee, pushing leg in and out; combine these three moves into a circuit and keep repeating the circuit (repeat on other leg)
Inner Thighs is 32 minutes long. Nearly 1 minute of intro, no warm up and 3 minute stretch. All you need for this workout is a mat and a loop. This workout was hard and painful. A million reps plus Linda did not work both sides of the body evenly (see #4 below). So if you do this workout frequently, make sure you start on a different leg each time to even things out. My legs did not feel normal for hours afterward. Tho it hit my inner thighs hard, it also worked my hips, glutes, outer thighs, quads and abs. So it hit my entire lower body–but the inner thighs were hit the hardest. Very painful–and effective–workout.
- Lay on side w/ loop around bottom leg just above knee, bottom leg is straight and top leg is bent w/ foot on ground; hold loop end of loop to ground with hand; raise and lower straight leg; changes to bending and pressing working leg
- (Loop still in same position) Still laying on side, lean on bottom elbow and grip loop with that hand, raise top leg straight to ceiling and hold ankle/calf with top hand; raise bottom straight leg to meet top straight leg and lower to floor; changes to circling bottom straight leg (big circles)
- (Loop still in same position) Still laying on side, lower down to forearm, resting head in hand, raise top leg (but not as high as #2) and open and close legs in this position (moving both legs open and closed); bend top knee and place foot on ground behind you and circle straight bottom leg
- Repeat #1- 2 on other leg; at the end of #2, add bending and pressing working leg while other leg is still raised to ceiling. For #3 you do not do the first move (opening and closing legs while laying on side) but you do the rest of #3.
- Put loop around feet and lay on back, raise straight legs to ceiling, heels close, toes pointed out; grab the middle of the loop in both hands–plié legs then push heels up (so bend knees to frog legs then push feel up, straightening legs); changes so toes are pointed and still facing out, keep legs straight, and open and close legs, first fast then you do the same movement but slower and open legs even wider; holding legs in same position, circle one leg while other is stationary
Abs is 39 minutes long. Disclaimer–I hate long abdominal/core workouts. I like my core workouts to be 10 minutes that is added onto the end of a longer workout. Unless there is some standing and/or weighted core work. Then I’m willing to do a longer one–but not 40 minutes. Yuck. This is 40 minutes of straight mat abdominal work. It is advanced and it is miserable. This is not a criticism of Linda. She put together a very effective and difficult core workout. It is very good if you are into long, painful, very challenging core workouts. But it was not for me. The only reason I did it was because I paid for the DVD so I wanted to do all 4 workouts at least once. You never know–it could surprise me. But it didn’t. It was unpleasant and I will never return to it. There is no warm up–you just go straight into the core work. There is a 2:30 minute stretch at the end. There are a million reps of every exercise–never-ending reps, or that is how it felt to me. And you do work your hip flexors a lot in this workout. Even your legs get some work.
- Start with band around thighs just above knees, sit on bottom, knees bent, feet on floor and torso leaned back, weight resting on hands behind you; raise and lower legs, bringing chest toward knees as you raise them while keeping tension on band.
- Same position as #2 but alternate raising and lowering one knee.
- Combine 1 & 2–alternate 4x then raise both legs 2x.
- Lower loop to ankles, lay on back and raise straight legs to ceiling; wide scissor legs.
- In same position as #4, pulse straight legs out in a V 4x then bend knees and tap toes to floor.
- Combine 4 & 5–4 reps of each
- Reverse crunches–loop still around ankles, knees bent, do one reverse crunch then tap toes to floor.
- Reverse crunches just like #7 except you pivot-lift your hips to each side before tapping toes to floor.
- Reverse crunches (loop still around ankles) but this time you raise and lower straight legs.
- Reverse crunches just like #7 except you pivot-lift your hips to each side.
- Sit up w/ loop still around ankles, bring soles of feet close together but wide enough so that there is tension on loop and open knees, lean torso back into C curve; raise feet/legs and tap fingers to inside of feet then lower feet and bring knees in, raise feet/legs and tap fingers to outside of feet; keep alternating these two moves.
- Sit up with legs to side in a pretzel form w/ loop around front ankle and above the back knee, front heel and back knee are level; in this position, raise and lower back leg while bringing same side elbow to thigh.
- In the same position as #12, straighten back leg–raise and lower straight leg while tapping straight arm to calf.
- Combine 12 & 14, 2 reps of each; ends w/ 16 pulsing reps of each.
- Repeat #12-14 on other side.
- Loop still around ankles, lay on side of hip, leaning on elbow with straight legs angled slightly in front of you and raise both legs of floor (bottom leg is only a few inches off floor), keeping tension on loop; in this position, bend knees, bringing them into chest then straightening them.
- In same position, raise and lower legs, keeping both legs straight (jackknife).
- Combine #16 & 17, 2 reps of each + 4 pulsing lifts w/ legs straight and a few inches off floor.
- Repeat #16-18 on other side.
- Lay on back w/ knees bent and feet on floor, loop around wrists; do a full sit up with arms straight and overhead, at top of sit up, twist torso to side; alternate sides.
- In C-sit with knees bent, feet on floor and loop still around wrists, arms straight; twist torso to each side, bringing hands to floor on each side of body (like a Russian twist); add leg raise as you twist toward leg (only raise the leg you are twisting toward); ends by keeping one leg straight and twisting only toward that side, lifting leg with each twist.
- Grip loop in both hands, lay on back w/ knees bent and feet on ground; sit up and raise one leg, pressing band against thigh just below knee; alternate sides; rather than doing sit ups, remain in C-sit and alternate raising knees, still pressing band against thighs.