Barlates: Stretch Sculpt Lower

Wow! What a workout! I didn’t know what to expect from the title Stretch Sculpt Lower but from past experience of doing Linda‘s workouts, I suspected it would not be a gentle stretching routine. And it wasn’t! Linda describes it as “lengthening and strengthening” your lower body. I’ll be honest, I didn’t see any real “stretching” in this workout except the fact you move your legs and hips through full broad ranges of motion. It is an intense endurance barre and mat style workout. BTW–I loved it. This is my absolute favorite type of barre and mat work. And the barre work especially is done at such a brisk (but controlled) pace and you are using such full and broad ranges of motion that your heart rate remains elevated throughout this entire workout–I was even sweating a lot in the floor mat work! I really loved how in the barre portion, nearly every move worked both legs. When you are working one leg through all of the different lifts your supporting leg is constantly doing curtsy lunges so your glutes are completely fried by the end of it. And I love frying my glutes. This workout hits everything–glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips and inner thighs. An all around excellent lower body workout. I hope I can walk tomorrow. This is such a great workout that I have this sudden urge to redo my October rotation calendar so I am doing this workout at least once a week! I do feel like doing this workout frequently would really give me some amazing results. And I will do that, but I am restraining myself from redoing my rotation calendar. I have too many other new-to-me workouts I plan to try to scrap my rotation calendar. But I do plan to incorporate this workout every week starting in November or December (November is already sketched out…). And maybe finish it off with Linda’s 100 Rep Squat & Kick to really finish my legs off completely.

Stretch Sculpt Lower is 42 minutes long; warm up is 4:30 minutes (and consists of #1 & 2 below) and stretch is 2 minutes. All you need for this workout is a chair and a mat.

  1. Plie squats; add pivoting to side and lunging (alternate sides); add single leg deadlift/hinge raising back leg up straight behind you after the lunge
  2. Alternating front straight leg kicks; changes to angling the kicks diagonally to side
  3. Holding chair back, swing one leg forward and back; changes to swinging leg up to side then swinging across in front of other leg
  4. Still holding chair back, do a curtsy lunge then extend leg in front of you (front leg raise) (on the curtsy lunge Linda reaches her hand down almost to the floor–I actually touched the floor w/ each curtsy lunge and by the end of working each leg, my glutes were seriously burning); changes to curtsy lunge then raise bent knee out to side (hydrant); hydrant leg changes to extending leg out straight to side; changes to curtsy lunge then extend leg out straight behind you; changes to curtsy lunge into front leg raise + curtsy lunge into side leg extension; side leg extension changes to back leg extension
  5. Face your chair back and place both hands on chair back, hinge forward at waist and arc leg from side all the way to back; changes to straight leg back kicks; turn to side, still leaning on chair back, and kick straight leg out to side
  6. Repeat #3-5 on other leg
  7. Come down to mat, get on all 4s and extend and lower straight leg behind you; changes to raising leg to side w/ leg bent (hydrant raises); changes to raising bent leg to side in hydrant but at the top, rotate leg around and kick leg out straight behind you; leaning on one elbow now, do hydrant raises again but raise leg/knee even higher; raise back up onto both hands and arc straight leg out to side then to the back; changes to bringing knee in underneath body to forehead then kicking/extending leg up straight behind you
  8. Repeat #7 on other leg
  9. Come onto your bottom, hands behind hips, one leg is bent and the other leg is extended straight in front of you on the mat–lift hips off floor while kicking straight leg up to ceiling (bringing leg as close to face as possible); kick changes to diagonal/side of body
  10. Repeat #9 on other leg

For more info on Barlates and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.





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