Classical Stretch: Aging Backwards (or Age Reversing Workouts)

This is my first Classical Stretch review but Classical Stretch isn’t new to me. I read about it a lot on fitness forums but was never really that interested in checking it out. Then I had a major surgery where I was very limited in what I could do. All I could really do was walk and some range of motion exercises. I was at the library, looking at the workout DVDs, and saw a 4 disk collection of Classical Stretch workouts. It had thirty 23 minute workouts on it! It was called Season 8: Age Defying Series. So I checked it out and had my first introduction to Miranda Esmonde-White–an incredible woman! I found out that she has a PBS show that’s been on the air for 18 years doing her Classical Stretch technique! Plus she has a website where she sells and streams workouts.

I started doing her Season 8 workouts, one a day, every day after my daily walks. And it was not easy like I expected it to be. Sometimes I was even sore from it. Classical Stretch workouts are fusion bodyweight strength workouts that are done primarily standing (no plank-based moves). There is some flexibility but it is mostly range of motion exercises. And at 23 minutes they were perfect for my recovery/rehab. I did not create a blog post on Season 8 (at least not yet–more on that in a moment) because it was too early in my recovery to be worrying about blog posts plus I was also spending time updating my blog to it’s new format. Recently, I was at Goodwill and found Classical Stretch: Aging Backwards for $2–a lot cheaper than what her DVD workouts are sold for on Amazon or her website. So I bought it and I am finally reviewing Classical Stretch.

I went to Miranda’s Essentrics/Classical Stretch site and discovered she is also a breast cancer survivor and has dealt with loss of upper body range of motion because of treatment. To me, this made her workouts make so much more sense to me. She was diagnosed after she signed her first contract to do Classical Stretch–and look at the resulting workouts! I wish I had checked out her DVDs from the library sooner because it seems I found the perfect trainer to help me rehabilitate from breast cancer treatment. She also offers free workouts for breast cancer survivors on her website. I plan do do those soon. I found a great description of Miranda’s method on Wikipedia, which I am pasting here: “Esmonde-White combined her own movements and elements of ballet, pilates, tai chi, yoga, and physiotherapy. Classical Stretch was designed to relieve pain, increase athletes’ speed, and lengthen the muscles of the full body. The technique is continuous movement, usually standing. … Esmonde-White’s technique includes no weight-bearing exercises that can stress the wrist like yoga.”

I checked out one of Miranda’s books from the library: Aging Backwards. I wanted to know more about her method. I may review the book on my blog when I am finished with it, but for now, I want to note that what it seems to me, from reading her book, is that she based her Classical Stretch method on Tai Chi. She talks a lot about the benefits of Tai Chi and how she models her moves after Tai Chi but makes them easier/more accessible to the home exerciser.

BTW–Miranda is 70 years old; she was 65 when this collection was filmed. I would never have guessed–she looks a very fit fiftyish. Miranda is a rock-star. Both her and Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG is my hero) are examples of how impressive and functional you can be when you just take care of yourself.

There will be more Classical Stretch reviews. I checked Season 8 out again from the library. July 1 (tomorrow), I start Mark Lauren‘s 90 Day Challenge Program. The early days of it will be full of approx 30 minute workouts so I will finish his workouts out with Season 8 Classical Stretch workouts. So I will be reviewing Season 8 at some point. And if I do get the results I am hoping for with my shoulders, then I may start streaming Essentric/Classical Stretch workouts so I can continue doing them. I have also checked out two more of her Classical Stretch workouts from the library I plan to do and review.

**Note–this 2 DVD set has two titles: Age Reversing Workouts and Aging Backwards, but they are both the same thing.

Aging Backwards contains 5 workouts. 4 approximately 30 minute workouts and one hour long workout. These workouts are actually very difficult to break down due to the flowing movements of Miranda’s workouts that change constantly. However, it is important to note that these are not like some Tracy Anderson workouts where her movements change so rapidly you cannot follow her. You can follow Miranda’s movements (or at least, I can).

Zero Impact Cardio Workout is 62:30 minutes. Equipment: chair. The first half of the workout is set to classical music then it changes to some easy listening music, some of it with monkish chanting. A true breakdown of Miranda’s workouts is impossible due to the flowing and frequently changing movements that make up her workouts. This isn’t really a cardio workout. I haven’t done everything Miranda has created, but after doing Season 8, this is just a very long version of one of her 23 minute workouts. In this workout she does some low impact cardio to warm you up then moves into her flowing, fusion body weight strength/flexibility moves then moves on to barre work and ends with dynamic stretching. She recommends doing this workout 2-3 times a week.

An excellent workout–just like Season 8. In this workout, Miranda took me through full range of motion, stretching out and working every muscle in my body–including hands and feet! I broke a mild sweat in the beginning but then the remainder of the workout just kept me warm. I doubt this workout will give me any soreness, especially since I have been doing a lot of Barlates, Tracy Anderson workouts, and Cathe‘s Fit Tower: Legs, Glutes & Core, but I will mention that when I did Season 8 (and nothing else except long walks in my neighborhood), her workouts sometimes left me sore. So it does all depend on your fitness level. I think this workout is appropriate for all fitness levels. Even if you are an advanced exerciser, you need these types of workouts–and you have the capability to use a bigger range of motion and go deeper in the moves. But if you are a beginner, you just do what you can. Today is my yoga day and I found this worked very well for my yoga workout–even though it’s not yoga, it still gives me all the benefits of yoga plus more.

  1. Step side to side; add swinging arms side to side while also lowering into a shallow squat as you step
  2. Stand with legs wide and do a shallow squat while twisting torso to reach arms side to side (she changes the levels you are reaching)
  3. Step side to side with various arm movements; continue stepping side to side but tap foot out across other side of body; changes to kicking leg out across other leg; changes to hamstring curls (you continue doing various range of motion arm movements with all of the lower body steps)
  4. Standing stationary, she has you swaying side to side and rounding the spine, then arching the spine while extending arms overhead; you continue doing various side to side swaying movements for the spine while also doing slow resistance type movements with arms
  5. Continue doing more stationary range of movement exercises but now you will lean into a side lunge while reaching arms overhead then pulling elbow down to thigh then sweeping it around while squatting; continue doing range of motion exercises with upper body while shifting in and out of side lunge
  6. More stationary range of motion exercises doing what she calls windmills–you will pivot into a lunge to the side while hinging torso forward and reaching arms then flowing/pivoting back to center so you are in a wide plie squat with torso rounded forward
  7. More range of motion exercises with the arms and spine while facing forward
  8. Next she has you doing foot exercises, pushing one foot up onto the toes then raising knee with toe pointed and pushing ball of foot into the ground, lowering foot flat on the ground then pushing heel into ground with knee still bent; next balance on one foot, raise other leg and point and flex toes
  9. Lower into a side lunge then push out of it, lifting leg off the ground and pointing toe (you will do this to different tempos)
  10. In wide plie squat, shift side to side; add side bends while reaching arm overhead/to side; changes to hinging forward while reaching arms to side; she continues to add different range of motion arm movements to the plie shifts
  11. Come into a lunge with back leg straight, point back foot, raising heel, then lower heel to ground; while keeping heel on ground, hinge forward and do flowing range of motion movements with arms and spine
  12. Place one foot in front of you and raise toes so only heel is pressing into ground, turn foot side to side; raise foot off ground and continue moving foot in a figure 8 pattern while balancing on other leg; changes to a crescent leg landing in a side lunge; changes to a side leg lift, landing in a side lunge
  13. Still standing stationary, squeeze hands into fists then open hands wide, extending fingers; continue doing this while extending arm straight out to side; start wiggling fingers while extending arms out to side of body, in front of body and overhead
  14. While standing stationary, she has you doing range of motion/strength movements for upper body
  15. Keeping feet stationary, shift weight side to side, bending knees and flowing arms side to side
  16. Push one arm out across the body while slightly lunging then pull arm back to shoulder; changes to pushing arm overhead to side w/ slight side bend while also lunging into leg, then pull arm down, bringing elbow into side; changes to pushing arm down but still pulling back to shoulder
  17. Repeat #15
  18. Stationary lunge side to side while pushing one arm overhead/to side then pulling elbow down to thigh; changes to pushing and pulling both arms out to side then pulling them back in while legs are still stationary but not facing the side and moving in and out of a lunge
  19. Still shifting side to side in stationary lunges with more range of motion arm and spine movements
  20. Balance on one leg with the other leg raised and extended straight in front of you, draw the alphabet with extended leg, first with toe pointed then repeat with foot flexed but when you repeat you don’t go through the entire alphabet–only to letter G
  21. Wide plie squats; remain in plie squat and do heel raises; still holding wide plie squat, heels down now, shift hips side to side with a plie squat between each shift
  22. Still in wide plie squat, do a side bend, reaching arm over to head then bring elbow down to touch same side thigh, then reach hand down to touch floor beside same side heel
  23. Still in wide plie squat with hands starting at shoulder level, alternate reaching one arm overhead then bringing elbow down to same side hip
  24. Holding onto chair back, legs together, raise onto toes, bend the knees lowering into a straight back squat, lower heels then straighten legs; continue same move but do it with one leg (other leg is bent and raised off ground)
  25. Standing with toes turned out, raise and lower heels; changes to doing the same move but on one foot; add a single leg squat then raise onto toe
  26. Side kicks
  27. Straight leg side raises w/ foot flexed; pulse at top of lift
  28. Raise one knee then kick leg out in front of you (chamber into front kick)
  29. Lift straight leg behind you but on a diagonal with flexed foot; changes to lifting the leg directly behind you; bend knee, raising foot directly behind you and continue pulsing back
  30. Repeat #26
  31. Place one foot on chair seat with knee bent and push knee out/open then push it across body (dynamic hip stretching); add tilting hips forward then pushing them back
  32. Stand facing chair seat, place one foot on chair seat, raise heel of foot of floor then shift weight forward, bending and straightening back leg
  33. Standing diagonal to chair seat, place straight leg on chair seat, flex foot and bend standing leg, pushing hips back then flex toes and tuck hips under, rounding spine; changes to reaching arms forward and back as you hinge forward over straight leg; changes to folding forward completely over straight leg on chair, chest to knee while reaching outside arm to floor (other hand is holding chair back); raise torso upright with straight spine (leg still straight on chair) and reach outside arm out to side and behind you, twisting spine
  34. Stand behind chair with hands on chair back, round spine and shift hips and spine side to side; move beside chair with hands still on chair back and shift into a side lunge, torso folding toward chair back (spine stretch but from a different angle)
  35. Still behind chair, hands still on chair back, stand with feet/legs wide and hinge forward (you are far enough back so that arms are straight); shift shoulders side to side in this position; in this position, alternate side lunges; round and arch spine (cat/cow)
  36. Standing straight again, do neck stretches

Posture is 33:30 minutes; 4:30 intro. Equipment: a fitness mat and I had to use a chair for balance on some of the moves due to my bad feet (metal in heels). During the long intro Miranda talks about the importance of posture and how this workout can correct it. She continues talking about it throughout the workout, giving you lots of information and sometimes she takes extra time to demonstrate proper form and alignment. She promises miraculous results if you do this workout every day. She discusses muscle atrophy from poor posture and claims if you do this workout every day you can reverse it in as little as a few days (though she also says it could take weeks or months). Once your atrophy is reversed, you need to continue doing this workout once a week. Like all of Miranda’s workouts, this workout is hard to breakdown since she goes through so many different flowing motions. I have chronic shoulder pain, plus my shoulder range of motion has been reduced from cancer treatment (mastectomies, chemo port, and reconstruction), so Miranda’s workouts are very necessary for me. She hits the shoulders in all of her workouts that I’ve done and, in this one, she hits them especially hard. My shoulders started aching during it.

  1. With one foot in front of you, raise the heel of that foot, putting pressure into the toe/ball of foot then press heel to floor
  2. With feet hip width apart, shift hips side to side
  3. Stand with feet wider than hip width and, starting w/ your head, twist your torso/spine all the way around so you are looking behind you
  4. Repeat #2 but with feet wider and go deeper, shifting into side lunge as you move hips
  5. With feet and legs together, place one heel on floor in front of you and shift hips back to stretch calf, raise and lower toe and shift foot out to side
  6. Circle shoulders, rounding back; add circling arms
  7. Flowing rotations of shoulder/arm, stretching chest and shoulders (lots of different varieties , rounding and arching spine–this section goes on for a while)
  8. Return to #1 but after you push your foot back into the floor, you kick foot/leg up and lower it to the ground–do this in a clockwork fashion
  9. With all of your weight on one leg, extend other leg straight in front of you with toe on floor and raise and lower straight leg (standing knee is slightly bent); continue movement but faster; continue movement but flex foot
  10. With all of your weight on one leg, do a figure 8 movement from the front of body to the back, bending knee and opening hip
  11. Repeat #9 but this time alternate pointing and flexing as you lift and lower leg; changes to circling leg
  12. Stand with legs wide and arms extended straight out to sides of body at shoulder height, squeeze hands into fists and tense up shoulders then relax shoulders, opening hands and extending arms out straight again, pull arms back behind you, arching spine and stretching chest and shoulders; with arms extended out straight and pulled back as far behind you as the can go, shift side to side into side lunges; add flowing arms up and back as you continue shifting side to side; add hinging forward and reaching arm as you shift side to side
  13. Stand in split stance, but knees bent and pelvis pushing forward, lowering back heel, straightening leg to stretch the hip flexor then bend back knee again and lower knee into a lunge, continuing to stretching quad and hip flexor, continue flowing in and out of these two stretches
  14. Standing with legs wider than hip width, shift hips side to side into a lunge with one leg straight to stretch inner thighs
  15. Lay on your back on a mat with knees bent and feet on floor, extend one leg straight to ceiling and flex foot and rotate foot side to side; cross the leg over the other bent leg then pull that bent/crossed leg into your chest and move it side to side (rotating hip joint); release leg so it is crossed over other leg again, lift other foot off floor and grab a shin in each hand (hands are holding opposite shin) and rock hips side to side
  16. Still laying on back, one knee bent with foot on floor, other knee is bent but hands are on shin, pulling knee into chest; extend leg straight and pull knee toward face; push leg against hands then relax, pulling leg in toward face again
  17. Sit on bottom, knees bent and feet on floor in front of you, wrap arms under thighs and arch back, stretching spine; arch spine forward; neck stretches

Weight Loss is 33 minutes; 2:30 minute intro in which Miranda talks about how this workout helps with weight loss and also tells you that true weight loss happens in the kitchen–stop eating junk food and control your portions. Like all of Miranda’s workouts, this workout is hard to breakdown since she goes through so many different flowing motions. No equipment is needed but I had to use a chair for some of the balance moves at the end. I really liked this workout a lot. I burned barely any calories during the course of it, so it will definitely not do a lot to help you lose weight, but, like all of her workouts, this has bodyweight strength moves and range of motion moves–and that is what I love about it. It was actually starting to fatigue my arms at one point.

  1. Stand with legs wider than hip width and shift side to side while also doing side bends as you shift; add sweeping arm movements; changes to large arm circles (still shifting side to side with torso and legs, coming in and out of plie squats as you circle arms); movement changes slightly so you are  twisting the spine to side while doing large arm circles
  2. Stationary side lunges–shift side to side 2x and then do a crescent leg lift
  3. Stand with legs about hip width apart and bend knees, tucking hips and rounding back, lift arms straight behind you (shoulder level) then bring straight arms out to side then to front (still shoulder level), clasp hands and pull them into chest as you straighten legs and spine, hands still clasped at chest level round spine and pull hands away from each other to stretch upper back
  4. Standing straight, reach arms overhead, alternating which arm is lifting higher and, when it is lifted higher, push it back behind you; changes to pulling arms down and back behind you; continue doing flowing range of motion arm movements that work the shoulders and spine while shifting hips side to side
  5. Come into wide plie squat and stretch arms overhead and to side while shifting hips in opposite direction from arms ; straighten (legs still wider than hip width) and do side bends with arms overhead, then bring arms center (still overhead) and round spine, tilting hips forward; continue circling torso/spine around in this manner (back, side, front–arms remain extended overhead and you lean/squat deeper each time) (she wants you to focus on your ribs during this exercise)
  6. Lower into a deep warrior lunge facing the side and reaching one arm out in front of you while twisting other arm behind you
  7. With legs wide, shift side to side into side lunge while reaching one arm overhead and to the side while doing a deep side bend in the direction you are lunging; changes to hinging body forward on a diagonal as you lunge while reaching one arm out on a diagonal; continue various lunges while also doing deep side/spine stretches with large arm range of motion moves
  8. Lower into wide plie squat; add raising and lowering heels quickly; keeping heels on ground do 3 quick pulses then lower deeper into plie squat; changes to doing a side bend (legs still in wide plie stance) and reaching overhead/to side then lowering into deep plie squat while bringing elbow down to tap same side thigh
  9. 3 steps + one front kick; changes to cross-front kick
  10. Hamstring curls but she does them in a sort of kickback fashion with arm pulls
  11. Repeat #9 but add arm reaches
  12. Repeat #10
  13. Repeat #11
  14. Stand with legs wider than hip width and extend arms out straight to sides at shoulder level, raise arms about ear level then press arms back down to about rib level, continue raising and pushing arms down; changes to arm circles first small circles then big circles; hold arms straight down at sides, circle shoulders then press arms straight back behind you, raising them higher with each press/pulse until arms are overhead (but behind you) then press/pulse them back down in the same manner; hold arms at shoulder level again, bend elbows bringing hands (in fists) at shoulders and push elbow back behind you then open arms out straight and pulse arms back 2x; do the same movement but now you are pulling elbows down from overhead before pumping out to sides 2x
  15. Balance on one leg and extend other leg in front of you with toe pointed, raise and lower leg quickly; continue raising and lowering but with foot flexed; keep foot flexed but turn toes out to side as you raise and lower leg; turn toes inward and continue raising and lowering leg
  16. Lift and lower leg out straight to side of body with toe pointed; continue lifting leg to side but with foot flexed
  17. Clock lifts: raise and lower leg quickly starting at the front of body then rotating it around to side and to back, moving a little bit each time you lift and lower–do this with foot pointed until you reaching behind you then return leg to the front in the same manner but this time with foot flexed
  18. Still balancing on one leg (or using a chair like me) lift straight leg w/ pointed toe from front to side and back; changes to lifting leg from side to back and back to side
  19. Legs wide, do deep side lunges, straightening one leg to stretch inner thigh while pushing other hip out to back/side, slowly shift side to side
  20. Legs are about hip width, toes turned out but torso is facing side as you round spine and hinge forward while squatting down then roll up straight, raising arms overhead; repeat this several times facing front then repeat several times w/ torso facing other side
  21. More stationary side lunges, side to side with deep side bends and arms reached overhead
  22. Standing straight again, give yourself a hug, hands on opposite shoulder, tuck pelvis and round back; in this position, sway torso side to side with spine rounded and legs shifting side to side in lunge; continue the side to side lunges with spine and shoulder stretches

Body Shape is 34:30 minutes; 1:30 minute intro. Equipment: resistance band for last stretch. Like all of Miranda’s workouts, this workout is hard to breakdown since she goes through so many different flowing range of motion moves. She recommends doing this workout every day, first thing in the morning. This was another excellent flexibility and range of motion workout. I didn’t feel the strength aspect of it as much as Miranda promised but I also workout a lot. Like her other workouts, she made all sorts of promises if you do this daily, including dropping several pants sizes. I find that hard to believe without doing major work in the kitchen, too, but workouts like this will do good things for your body. I know I love them!

  1. Stand with legs a bit wider than hip width and shift side to side, bending knees into stationary alternating side lunges; fling hands/arms low then keep flinging them higher until you are doing it overhead then fling them back down again (Miranda says it is like flinging water off your hands)
  2. Wide steps side to side, doing a partial squat each time you step
  3. Wide squat taps, alternate reaching arms side to side
  4. Repeat #2 but this time extend arms out to side then bring them in with each step; changes to reaching arms overhead then pulling them down
  5. Alternate front cross kicks
  6. Hamstring curls while rowing arms front and back
  7. Squat taps
  8. Forward fold with rounded back then roll up back to standing, stretching arms overhead; squeeze hands into fists, release fists then slowly lower arms out while pushing arms/shoulders behind you; make fists and slowly push arms out to side of body then open hands and push arms out to side of body again; continue to do slow range of motion arm movements
  9. Side lunge with a side bend, reaching arm overhead and to side, shift over into a lunge on other side, without the side bend, but you are now reaching same side arm out to side; repeat this move but this time you circle arm overhead, in front of you and to the side, lowering into a plie squat as you shift to the other side
  10. Lunge to side, pushing arms in front of you, then round back as you pull arms back, face forward while pulling arms behind you and lower into plie squat as you bring arms down behind you/to sides, straighten legs while stretching arms overhead then bring arms back down behind/to side as you lower into a squat while also folding torso forward and lowering arms to ground then roll back up, pulling arms upward in an upright row
  11. Slowly shift side to side into side bend/side lunge while stretching arms overhead and to side then pulling arms back as you change sides; arms start overhead then central then lower
  12. Wide plie squats, at bottom of squat, push hands against knees, stretching inner thighs; add raising and lowering one heel; changes to doing a wide figure 8 motion with one arm so that you are twisting your spine and reaching behind you and hinging forward to bring your hand near your foot
  13. Shift side to side in stationary side lunge; add stretching one arm overhead with a side bend as you lunge; you will remain lunged to the side/in side bend longer as she has you do more range of motion arm movements in this position
  14. Do faster stationary side lunges while pushing one arm out to side at shoulder level toward the side you are lunging
  15. Stand with legs wide and arms extended out to sides of body in a T, pulse arms up; add a side lunge and pulse straight arms back; standing straight again, reach straight arms behind you and pulse them back; continue pulsing straight arms back but slowly raise them overhead as you pulse then lower them back down
  16. Stand in narrow split stance (big toe of back foot is only a few inches from heel of front foot), raise onto toes, then lower heels and do a shallow squat; bring back foot further back (now there is about 2 feet between feet) and raise and lower onto back toe (front foot stays flat)
  17. Narrow side lunge, pushing hip out to side and stretching inner thigh
  18. Lay on your side on a mat, bottom arm is extended straight and under head, hips and legs are stacked and kept together, raise and lower both legs, keeping them pressed together; add lifting head/shoulders as you lift legs (adding in a side crunch)
  19. Still laying on side, bend top leg and place knee on floor in front of you, flex bottom foot and raise and lower bottom leg
  20. Still laying on side, bend bottom knee and pull it in front of you, extend top leg straight and push torso up so you are leaning on bottom elbow, raise and lower top straight leg; changes to circling the leg; continue raising and lowering but foot is flexed and heel faces ground when you lower then rotate ankle so heel faces ceiling when you raise the leg
  21. Repeat 18-19 on other leg
  22. Sit on bottom with legs extended straight in front of you, bend one knee and cross it the other leg so that the foot is beside the knee of the straight leg, grab the bent knee in both hands and pull it in towards your chest; wrap one arm around bent knee and twist spine and look behind you; slide foot of bent leg so that it is beside the ankle of the straight leg (it is still crossed over straight leg), reach opposite arm across bent knee and twist spine again
  23. Still sitting on bottom, both legs extended straight in front of you again, stretch arms overhead then pull arms down, elbows bent and pulled behind you, extend arms straight in front of you and fold forward over legs then roll back up
  24. Still sitting on bottom, both legs extended straight in front of you, wrap a resistance band around one foot, pull back on band while leaning torso forward and also twisting spine to side

Pain Relief is 34 minutes; 2 intro. Equipment: chair. In the intro, Miranda explains that one of the causes of pain in many people is a lack of mobility. She designed this workout to correct that and increase your mobility. Like all of Miranda’s workouts, this workout is hard to breakdown since she goes through so many different flowing range of motion moves. She recommends doing this workout every day to help with pain–even doing it twice a day (morning and evening). During the workout, she tells stories about curing peoples’ pain rapidly–even reversing arthritis. She tells one story is of a man who came to her using two canes and in just one week he could walk without any canes. I found this a very gentle mobility and flexibility workout. She definitely makes sure she hits every joint and muscle in the body in some fashion and without any stress or pain on the body.

  1. She has you start pressing one foot into the floor, then lifting the heel high and pressing it back down
  2. Bend and straighten knees
  3. Shift hips side to side
  4. Round shoulders; add large arm circles
  5. Twist torso side to side, wrapping arms around the body as you rotate the spine
  6. Hang torso forward, arms and head handing down like a rag doll, slowly roll up and stretch arms overhead
  7. Take deep controlled breaths; add stretching arms overhead when inhaling and lower arms slowly when exhaling; continue to inhale and exhale, but she now has you lowering into wide plie squat while doing large arm movements, reaching one arm overhead and to side while doing a side bend
  8. Shift side to side in side lunge while flowing one arm side to side
  9. Stand with legs wider than hip width, raise one arm w/ elbow bent and touch hand to shoulder, walk hand around neck to front of same side shoulder, then (holding hand there, elbow still bent and out to side) twist elbow back behind you
  10. Extend arm out to side and do large arm circles, rounding spine as you reach arm over to other side of body then overhead and behind you and back to side
  11. Still standing with legs wider than hip width, do more large arm/shoulder mobility movements while doing shallow squats and rounding the spine, then shifting side to side in side lunge
  12. Finger exercises to help with arthritis
  13. Stand with legs about hip width apart, imagine a beach ball between your legs and squeeze the beach ball then relax and bend knees, squatting
  14. Wide plie squats; while in plie squat, shift hips side to side; while in plie squat, alternate lifting heels
  15. Stand with legs together and lift one heel up high, putting weight into toes to stretch toes
  16. Stand in split stance but with feet close together and bend knees then straighten and raise onto toes
  17. Widen split stance and shift hips back, bending back leg and straightening front leg; shift weight forward, straightening back leg and bending front leg
  18. (she has you get a sturdy chair) Stand with one heel on a chair seat, the knee is bent with foot flexed, turn foot side to side, rotating knee out and in as you turn foot; keep foot stationary and turn hips side to side; tuck hip under then push hips behind you; jump supporting foot back and straighten supporting leg, leaning weight into leg that is on chair and bending that knee more then pushing hips back, bending back knee and straightening leg on chair
  19. Stand in front of chair seat and place one foot on chair seat and place hands on chair somewhere for support (Miranda’s chair has arms but mine doesn’t) and raise onto toe of foot on floor, bend that knee and rock body forward so thigh is close to chair seat; straighten supporting leg and place heel on floor
  20. Still facing chair seat, one straight leg is on chair seat, extend one arm overhead, push hips back and fold torso and arm over straight leg, continue to flow in and out of this position
  21. Stand beside seat of chair and place foot on chair seat, leg straight, bend supporting leg and push hip away from leg on chair; turn so that you are now facing the chair and turn flexed foot out to side, leg still straight, torso hinged forward over leg (this is an uncomfortable but effective IT band stretch)
  22. Stand behind chair with hands on chair back and legs wider than hip width, bend knees and round the back, shifting hips side to side and lifting elbows as you shift; walk feet further back and straighten legs, hinging torso forward with hands still on chair back, stretching everything then relax and round back; still in same position, shift side to side, bending knees so you are pushing hips out to one side while also stretching inner thighs

2 thoughts on “Classical Stretch: Aging Backwards (or Age Reversing Workouts)

  1. I’m SO glad you’re reviewing these! I ended up subscribing to the streaming Essentrics/Classical Stretch and I’m loving it. It has all of the Classical Stretch seasons plus all of the Essentrics. I remember when Classical Stretch was on Public Television, I thought Miranda was a weirdo. (I was young and stupid). Now I think she’s absolutely amazing and just what I need.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I bet I would have thought the same thing if I had seen her PBS show when I was younger. Just a few years ago I would have thought her workouts were beneath me, fitness-wise. But life has changed me and my body and I love these workouts now! They are perfect for what I am going through.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s