Barlates: Feel Good Series

As soon as I saw the trailers for Linda Wooldridge‘s Feel Good Series, I had to have it. The workouts looked very similar to several of her other series that have come out at the same time (Fusion Flow Series, Dynamic Flow Series and Energy Flow Series) and have been reviewed here. The Feel Good Series workouts, however, are not available for free on YouTube. The Feel Good Series DVD contains 4 workouts. I did the first 3 workouts pretty quickly, but unfortunately I was not able to post this review until I did the final workout, Dynamic Flow. I had to put off doing that one until I was cleared by my surgeon to do plank based moves because, obviously, Dynamic Flow has plank based moves in it.

These were all great workouts. The idea of them being “feel good” workouts is a little deceiving because every one of them worked me well, though some worked me harder than others. In fact, they are reviewed in their order of intensity–not necessarily cardiovascular intensity but their difficulty. None of them are advanced level workouts. Cardio Sculpt was the easiest of the 4 workouts and Cardio Stretch and Dynamic Flow were the most challenging. However, every single one of them gave me a very good workout. Definitely not a waste of a recovery day. In fact, they were perfect for my situation. I did the first 3 while on medical restrictions and they worked me very well but fell within the parameters of what my doctor allowed me to do. They are all fusion workouts that incorporate cardio, dynamic flexibility and bodyweight training. Another excellent series from Linda!

Cardio Sculpt is 42 minutes; 2:30 minute stretch. No equipment needed but I did need a chair for balance purposes on a few of the exercises. This was a great Feel Good workout. It did work me though. I was sweating and I felt the work though there was never any burn out. But I did feel certain muscle groups getting some work. This is a great recovery day workout because it is a more low key workout but it also makes you feel like you are doing something for your body–some body weight strength work, some light cardio and some dynamic stretching. Great workout!

  1. Legs are wider than hip width apart, alternate tapping feet behind you with a little squat between taps (keeping legs wide) and raising and lowering arms; start angling arms to side; instead of tapping toe, lift leg out to side
  2. Wide stationary plie squats, raising arms out to side and overhead as you squat; add side bends as you squat
  3. Wide plie squat and when you stand, slide foot in to other foot, still raising arms out to side and overhead, and bending slightly to the side when arms are overhead; instead of sliding foot in to other foot after plie squat, sweep the leg across the other leg into a diagonal raise after each plie squat (arms are just reaching out to sides now with each leg lift); balance on one leg, other leg is pointed across standing leg, raise and lower leg w/ knee slightly bend and insole/inner thigh turned to face the ceiling
  4. Legs are wider than hip width apart, alternate tapping feet behind you with a little squat between taps (keeping legs wide) and raising and lowering arms; arms change so that they are raising and lowering in opposition; keep one foot stationary and tap the other foot back and front (continuing the opposition arm movement); front tap changes to leg lift; lift and lower one leg behind you, torso hinged forward slightly, raising and lowering both arms to side and overhead
  5. Step side to side, tapping toe across/in front of other foot while sweeping arms side to side
  6. Step out to side then step one foot out in front of the other, step foot back to side then step foot behind other foot (only one foot is doing all of the stepping, like a mambo step) while sweeping arms in a chopping motion; stand in split stance with one foot across the other (shallow front curtsy) and just chop the arms across body; add lifting front (straight) leg as you chop arms
  7. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width, squat while hinging forward and swinging arms in front of you then stand, pushing arms/palms behind you; pulse squat while pulsing arms/palms behind you; raising up and down on toes as you pulse
  8. Alternating step cross (stepping one foot back behind other foot) while pressing arms/palms behind you; arms change to flowing them out to side at shoulder level then bringing them in front of you with elbows bent
  9. Balance on one leg, hinge forward slightly and raise other leg straight behind you, bring knee in to side of body then extend it out behind you, same arm as stationary leg is extended overhead and other arm extends in front of you when leg extends behind you then hand touches knee when knee pulls in to side of body; add kicking leg out in front of you after knee is pulled in to side of body
  10. Low alternating crescent legs
  11. Stand with legs wider than shoulder width, hinge forward with straight legs and flat back, touching hands to floor then stand, bringing one foot beside other foot and raising both arms straight overhead, alternate sides; changes to raising knee when you stand; knee raise changes to a straight leg cross body kick and arms change to flowing up and to the side in opposition
  12. Stand with feet hip width apart, hands on hips and rotate hips
  13. Wide steps side to side, each side you turn to face the side and do a narrow single leg squat (one leg only has toe touching floor); each time you squat, lower hands to ground and stretch one leg back so you are in runners lunge (leg that only had toe on the floor), step foot back in, raise to squat and wide step to other side
  14. Hold runners lunge; lower back knee to ground so you are in kneeling lunge and press hips down to stretch hip flexor then shift hips back and straighten front leg so you are stretching hamstring/calf–flow between these two positions–kneeling lunge and hamstring/calf stretch; in kneeling lunge, lower forearms to ground and hold deep stretch
  15. Deep inner thigh stretch: one foot on ground, knee bent and bottom near ground, other leg extended straight out to side and hands on floor in front of you; changes to shifting side to side into a deep side lunge w/ hands still on ground and legs wide
  16. Kneel on floor with legs/knees together and hands on floor in front of you, pike glutes up keeping tops of toes/foot on floor so you are stretching the shins (the majority of your weight is supported by your hands), flow in and out of this position
  17. Still kneeling with legs/knees together, rotate torso to side, placing one hand on floor and lifting glutes while reaching other arm over across body to side then lower glutes to heels while torso faces forward again, alternate sides
  18. Cat/cow stretch on all 4s

Fusion Flow is 46 minutes; 30 second intro, 1 minute warm up and 3:30 minute stretch. No equipment is needed but I had to use a chair for balance on a few moves and if your floor is hard you will need a mat for the floor work at the end. I found this workout a bit more intense in parts than Cardio Sculpt. My shoulders actually started to ache more than once in the course of this workout! Just like Cardio Sculpt (above) this is a body weight strength + dynamic flexibility workout. Not as much of a cardio element as Cardio Sculpt either. And it didn’t feel as good as Cardio Sculpt, but it is still appropriate for a recovery day workout.

  1. Squat + side bend, alternate sides (reaching one arm overhead for side bend)
  2. Side lunge halfway, then all the way, touching opposite hand to ground near foot and raising other hand to ceiling
  3. Wide plie squats; add half circle arms (swing them overhead when standing them chop them across when squatting)
  4. Narrow squat with arms in front of you and when you stand, you pivot a quarter turn and step wide out to side, extending arms out to side, alternate sides w/ a squat between each pivot; arm movement changes when you step out–raise arms overhead while arching back
  5. Stand with legs about hip width apart and one leg extended to side with toe pointed, do side bends to same side as leg that is extended, reaching arm overhead when bending and extending arms out straight to both sides (in a T) when you straighten torso; add a side bend to the other side, reaching both arms overhead (leg positions do not change); add side leg lift when leaning to second side (you are lifting leg that has the pointed toe when you are side bending away from it)
  6. Stand with weight on one leg and arms overhead in goal post, raise other knee out to side of body while bringing same side elbow down to top of thigh; changes to 3 reps of this move then hold knee up with elbow bent toward it and pulse 3x in this position
  7. Circle the torso, hinging at the waist with legs straight, sweeping one arm to ground, side, overhead, other side as you circle the torso
  8. Repeat 5-7 on other side of body
  9. Narrow squats with arms overhead, as you squat, do an overhead tricep extension w/ fingertips pressed together (French press motion); stop squatting and do hamstring curls with one leg (arm motion does not change)
  10. Narrow squats with arms overhead, as you squat you pull arms down from overhead to shoulder level while pushing elbows behind you; stop squatting and do hamstring curls with one leg (opposite leg from #9) (arm motion does not change)
  11. Tap toes to side while doing wide alternating arm circles
  12. Stand with feet about hip width apart, squat down, touching finger tips to floor then stand, stretching arms overhead
  13. Do 3 reps of #12 then squat with a different arm motion, bringing arms from overhead and pulling down so hands are at shoulder level with elbows pushing behind you
  14. Swan dives into forward fold
  15. Lateral skaters, sweeping arms forward and back; changes to holding in a sort of cross back/curtsy lunge position w/ on hand on the floor and doing one knee pull with back leg, then “skating” to other side and repeating (lateral skaters w/ a knee pull); hold in cross back position with back leg extended far back and hip pushed out, one hand still on floor, raise the other arm to ceiling and hold (stretching); shift into runners lunge and hold stretch; raise up onto one straight leg, hands still on floor and torso completely hinged forward, raise other leg straight into air (pointing to ceiling)
  16. Child’s pose
  17. Kneel with legs/knees together, rotate torso to side, placing one hand on floor and lifting glutes while reaching other arm over across body to side then lower glutes to heels while torso faces forward again, lowering forearm to the ground in front of you
  18. Lay on your stomach with one forearm in front of you, the other is braced beside you to help you push your torso up, legs are extended straight out behind you, push up with braced hand while bending same side knee so you are now on your hip, leg with bent knee opens and you tap that toe behind other leg (dynamic modified scorpion stretch); move changes–arm that was folded in front of you now extends along side of body and when you push up onto your hip, still tap the toe behind other leg but then extend it straight to ceiling, lower toe back to floor and continue with the move; move changes again–go back to the first version (do not extend leg to ceiling), the basic dynamic scorpion stretch then place both hands under shoulders and push back into child’s pose
  19. Lay on belly, legs straight and open in a V, arms are in front of you w/ elbows bent, raise arms/head/chest and legs off ground, do a breast stroke with arms and when arms are back at start position, lower arms/head/chest and legs back to floor; changes to doing the breast stroke with one arm while raising same side leg, alternate sides

Cardio Stretch is 36:30 minutes; 30 second intro; 2 minute stretch. No equipment needed but I had to use a chair for some of the balance moves. Though this is part of a “feel good” series, meant for recovery days, even Linda acknowledges this is not an easy workout. I did a 30 minute cardio walk wearing a weighted vest and gloves before this, so I was already warmed up, but this felt like it worked me harder (cardiovascularly) than the cardio walk, though my Fitbit says different. But I am sure it did work my muscles a lot more. A few of these moves burned my legs out. This is another great recovery day workout that still left me feeling well worked by the end.

  1. Squat, swing arms down + side bend, reaching one arm overhead and reaching other arm toward the floor, alternate sides
  2. Stand with legs wider then hip width, toes turned out and knees slightly bent, hinge forward, flowing arms down toward the floor and when you stand open arms out to sides and back w/ elbows bent while also arching back to stretch chest (you are doing a shallow plie squat with this movement)
  3. Narrow squat, raising arms overhead + reverse lunge, pulling elbows back to side at shoulder level when lunging, alternate legs
  4. Alternating wide arm circles, twisting torso/shoulders toward side you are circling, alternate tapping toes with each arm circle; arm movements change to a chopping figure 8 while shifting hips side to side; add raising one knee when arm chops toward leg and doing a side lunge on the other side of body
  5. Wide plie squats, reaching arms overhead at top of squat and bringing elbows down into sides when squatting; changes to alternating arms while raising opposite heel; return to raising and lowering both arms at the same time, but this time raise both heels at bottom of squat; changes to combining both versions of move in a single, single, double pattern
  6. Stationary toe taps while swinging arms side to side; toe taps change to a small hop/lift while slightly twisting torso/arms to the side you are hopping; changes to a single, single, double pattern, on the “double” you don’t hop, you balance on one leg while raising the other leg to side/back and floating arms like wings
  7. Heel digs on a diagonal w/ figure 8 arms
  8. Stand with legs close together, hinge forward bringing one arm down and touching floor on outside of opposite foot while raising other arm to ceiling then stand and reach both arms overhead while arching back, alternate sides (legs are kept slightly bent); add stepping one leg back in a shallow reverse lunge at top of move when arms are reaching overhead, alternate legs
  9. In split stance/lunge position, wood chop straight arms, hinging forward slightly when arms sweep across front leg
  10. Step forward w/ a knee pull then take one step back while raising arms overhead and pulling elbows down; continue this move but open knee out to side of body when doing the knee pull; put all of your weight on one leg and continue just doing the knee pulls (no step back), one arm continues to reach forward and pull back to raising knee
  11. Alternate sweeping/lifting leg with opposition reaching arms and a little lift/hop when sweeping leg; changes to stepping out w/ one leg then sweeping/lifting that leg out across other leg (inner thigh/insole face the ceiling) (no change in arms); remove the tap–just sweep leg side to side, balancing on other leg
  12. In down dog position, raise and lower heels; changes to stepping one foot forward next to same side hand into a deep lunge then returning to down dog, alternate sides
  13. Hold kneeling lunge; raise knee off ground, straightening back leg (runner’s lunge), and shift forward and back, raising and lowering back heel; changes to raising up front runner’s lunge to standing with knee raise (the back leg) then returning to runner’s lunge; after knee raise, remain standing on one leg and extend leg straight in front of you, then straight back behind you, return to knee raise in front of you then lower back into runner’s lunge (the entire time you are balanced on one leg–I needed a chair for balance)
  14. In down dog position, pedal the feet
  15. Repeat #13 on other leg
  16. With legs straight and wider than hip width, lower into forward fold, touching hands to ground then stand; hold forward fold with both hands holding one ankle while bending and straightening opposite leg
  17. Child’s pose
  18. Cat/cow
  19. Sit on bottom, legs extended straight in front of you and open in a V, extend arms out straight to sides in a T then reach one hand across outside of opposite toe, alternate sides; sweep straight arms in a figure 8 while lifting and lowering one straight leg as hands sweep across leg
  20. Still sitting on bottom, both legs are extended straight in front of you (close together) sweep arms open as you lean torso back then together bringing arm together in front of you as you lean forward while pulling one knee into chest
  21. Still sitting on bottom, lean torso back and brace hands behind you, bend knees and bring toes together so knees are open and legs make a diamond shape, alternate extending one leg straight then returning to starting position
  22. Repeat #20 on other leg
  23. Lay on back, arms extended straight out to sides on floor in a T, legs are bent and feet raised off ground, rotate knees/legs side to side

Dynamic Flow is 45 minutes; 30 second intro and 3:30 minute stretch. Another great, flowing, feel good workout. Linda starts you out with some standing easy cardio then you do a yoga flow sequence then you move to the floor for some active dynamic flexibility. I put this one off until last due to the chatarrungas in the yoga flow portion. This was not a difficult or terribly challenging workout though I did feel like it worked me nicely. Perfect for a recovery day–and I needed one today! Yesterday I started Mark Lauren‘s 90 Day Challenge and my quads are in excruciating pain! I couldn’t handle anything too intense this morning. So this was perfect.

  1. Alternate tapping toes to side while also doing alternating floating swan arms; changes to doing the same motion but do it 2x before changing to the other side; changes to a wide plie squat-tap while alternating reaching arms overhead/to side; changes to doing the same motion, but 2x before changing to other side
  2. In wide plie squat, shift side to side (alternating side lunges) while also flowing/swaying arms side to side
  3. Stand with legs wider than shoulder width, hinge forward at waist and touch fingertips to ground, bend knees then straighten legs while rotating torso to ceiling and also reaching same side arm to ceiling, bend knees and return fingertips to ground, alternate sides
  4. Stand with legs wide and toes turned out, turn torso slightly to side and do large arm circles with one arm while also doing squats (however, all of your weight is on one foot and at top of squat, the other heel raises off ground); changes to same move but alternating sides
  5. Bring legs together and “bounce” (alternate lifting heels) while alternating pushing palms down to floor; changes to single-single-double pattern
  6. Legs/feet together, hop/twist hips/feet side to side, arms are extended out to side and alternate bending elbow and bringing hand toward chest as you hop; changes to single-single-double pattern
  7. Alternating insole taps in front of you; changes to alternating heel taps behind you; changes to alternating front insole taps with back heel taps; remain on one side of body doing insole & heel taps while doing a shallow plie squat between each tap and flowing arms overhead after each tap
  8. Shuffle/chasse to side and step back, alternate sides while flowing arms out to side (she wants heel to touch the floor when you are stepping back)
  9.  Shallow curtsy lunges to one side of body while tapping toe in front of you at top of lunge, arms are flowing in a figure 8 (when “lunging” your back leg is actually straight and heel presses to ground); tap to side changes to a front kick while swinging arms in opposition
  10. Youga flow: Swan dive forward into forward fold and hold stretch for a few seconds with hands on shins then walk out into down dog pose then flow forward into a chattarunga and end in up dog pose, hold up dog for a few seconds then push back into down dog and step back foot up between hands, raise up into crescent pose (she calls it Warrior 1, but it’s not) then open into a Warrior 2 then lean into right angle pose then into reverse Warrior then return to down dog, walk hands to feet and roll back up to standing–you will repeat this flow 6 times (3 times on each side, you alternate sides each time); after final flow, remain in forward fold with hands gripping opposite elbow and hold this pose
  11. Forward fold with knees slightly bent and do flowing swan arms 3x while folded forward, bouncing through the knees each time and rising higher each time then after 3rd, stand and open arms wide to side; continue this move but leaning to side, alternate sides; return to original move but this time you do it faster and never stand, you just keep squatting/bouncing while doing the flowing swan arms; continue this move but alternate leaning to side
  12. Get on all 4s, circle on bent knee (hip rotation) then sit glutes back on heels, placing one hand on ground behind you, raise hips while circling other arm around (large shoulder rotation), continue alternating these two moves (she also show more advanced versions of the move by raising onto toe when circling other leg and straightening the circling leg)
  13. Alternating scorpion taps (lay on stomach, arms on floor in front of you in goal post and legs straight, alternate bending one knee and tapping to the floor on the outside of the opposite leg)
  14. Do a scorpion tap (#13) on one side of the body, return to laying on stomach then roll onto one hip, raise straight leg while pushing up on hand and reaching other hand toward raised leg–alternate these two moves, staying on one side of the body
  15. Lay on one hip, resting on elbow/forearm, legs stacked and extended straight, bend top knee, drawing toe up inside of leg until you get to the knee, then straighten leg to ceiling (it remains straight when lowering it back to starting position)
  16. Repeat #14 & 15 on other side of body
  17. Sit on bottom, torso leaned back and hands on floor behind you to support torso, twist hips to one side, bending top knee and trying to touch it to floor on outside of bottom leg, alternate sides–when you change sides, you will straight both legs and raise them off the ground; changes to circling top leg instead of tapping knee to floor, also add circling opposite arm while circling leg
  18. Lay on back with knees bent and feet raised off ground, hold thighs under knees and rock in this position, massaging the spine; straighten legs and move hands to calves and continue rocking

2 thoughts on “Barlates: Feel Good Series

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