Barlates: Fusion Flow/Mat

Fusion Flow: Mat is one of Linda Wooldridge’s flowing dynamic stretch/strengthening workouts. This one was mostly a feel good workout that worked me well but wasn’t challenging like some of her others. Until you get to #10 (below), that is–that exercise started to burn me out after all that came before it (plus, I had just completed Dynamic Flow: Lengthen before doing this workout). But over all it was a very nice dynamic flexibility + strength workout that felt good and worked me well. I used it in combination with Dynamic Flow: Lengthen for an hour long dynamic strength/flexibility workout.

Linda has 3 of these types of series that are all available for free on YouTube or you can buy each series individually on DVD (Dynamic Flow, Fusion Flow and Energy Flow), or you can get all 3 series (12 workouts) together in a box set called Fusion Flow.

Fusion Flow: Mat is 29 minutes; 40 minute intro. Equipment: a fitness mat. Linda calls this “stretch sculpting to the max.”

  1. Kneeling squats (kneel on your mat, knees about shoulder width apart, raise and lower glutes to heels); add swinging arms overhead when glutes tap heels and down to sides at top of squat
  2. Still kneeling, bring knees together, do a kneeling squat then bring one foot in front of you into kneeling lunge stretch, pushing hips forward, return to kneeling and do a squat, alternate sides with the lunge
  3. Still kneeling with knees together, lower glutes to mat beside heels, raise hips/glutes back up in line with knees then lower glutes to mat beside heels but on the other side of the body, continue alternating sides, you are also arcing arms in a big circle overhead and to the floor, changing the direction of the circle each time you alternate sides
  4. Repeat #2 but this time when you lunge, you will bring your leg out to the side in a diagonal kneeling lunge stretch, push straight arms behind you as you lunge
  5. Sit on bottom and open legs wide (legs are straight), reach one hand toward opposite foot, alternate sides; changes to reaching the same side arm toward foot while doing a side bend and reaching other arm overhead, continue alternating sides; changes to alternating pushing hands in front of you but on a diagonal
  6. Still sitting on bottom, bend knees into a Z or pretzel position (one leg bent in front of you and one leg bent behind you), place one hand on floor beside front leg and lift hips, reaching other arm overhead and to the side, continue flowing in and out of this position; legs still in a Z, lean elbow onto mat beside front leg and lift back leg straight up to ceiling, flow between sitting in Z and raising back leg to ceiling; alternate these two movements
  7. Lay on one hip, upper body is leaning on elbow, bottom leg is bent, top leg is extended straight in line with hip and torso, lift top leg straight to ceiling lower then swing straight leg in front of you; changes to holding leg isometrically with hand behind knee when pointed at ceiling and when you swing it straight in front of you, pulse the leg 2x
  8. Repeat #6 & 7 on other side of body
  9. Start in down dog position but with heels together and toes turned out, bend knees, lowering glutes into a sort of squat (hands are still on floor) then flow forward into up dog, continue flowing between these positions
  10. Get on all 4s then shift your weight into one knee and same side hand, extend other leg out straight and use just the fingertips of your other hand for balance, kick straight leg up to the side while in this position; lower onto elbow and continue kicking leg up but now it also comes partially in front of you at the top of the kick (leg remains straight throughout)
  11. Repeat #9 but this time you just flow into straight arm plank, not up dog
  12. Repeat #10 on other leg
  13. Raise into down dog and pedal feet
  14. In straight arm plank, alternate tapping knees to floor
  15. Sit cross-leg and sweep arms side to side, while also doing alternating side bends; changes to hinging forward while continuing to sweep arms side to side (no longer side bending, but your torso is still flowing side to side with your arms)
  16. Still sitting cross-leg, roll shoulders forward and back
  17. Cat/cow stretch
  18. Sit cross-leg again and hinge torso forward over legs, reaching arms in front of you, hands on ground, to stretch the glutes

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

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