Mix & Match Lower contains 4 short lower body workouts from Linda @ Barlates. Unlike many of Linda’s other workouts, these are not available for free on YouTube. It is available on DVD or you can purchase the downloads from Linda’s website. This DVD was actually given to me by a reader of this blog–so thank you very much, Marissa! Sorry it took me so long to get to it.
These were all tough but excellent lower body workouts. I love the lengths because you can add them on to the end of other workouts (which is how I used them). Or you can string several together to really fry your lower body. Two of the workouts (Lower 40/20 & Lower 50/20) are done entirely on the floor using a resistance loop. So, even tho both workouts fry your legs, you won’t burn many calories. The other two workouts (60/10 & 80/10) are a different story. They are both done standing and will get your heart rate elevated while frying your legs. Between all 4 of the workouts you are probably hitting every muscle in your lower body. I would also say that they are probably all advanced workouts but Linda does offer modifications to most of the hardest moves.
Lower 40/20 is 21:30 minutes; 1 minute intro, another minute to explain form for the first exercise and 4 minute stretch. Equipment: resistance loop. Here is a short video clip of this workout. Unfortunately, the “20” in the title of this workout is not referring to a rest period as I had hoped. You are doing 40 seconds of a large movement and 20 seconds of a micro movement. You get zero breaks or rests–it moves non-stop. Excruciating. I was seriously crying out in agony several times. Even Linda acknowledged it was excruciating but you could never tell from her facial expression. Serene as ever. And she continued each exercise for the full amount of time with perfect form. Myself? I had to take several breaks to thaw my legs out so I could continue. You have the loop around your legs the entire time and there is always tension on it–so the pain is literally unending. It was bad enough on the first leg, but when we swapped to the second leg, it was even more painful. Somehow, just laying there while the other leg worked pre-fatigued the second leg! Now, this is specifically for the outer thigh exercises (#1-4). I felt all of the other exercises doing their job but I was able to do all of them without taking mini-breaks.
- (loop is around both legs, just above the knees) Lay on side with legs stacked on top of each other, leg extended in front of you so your body is in a L position, raise and lower top leg for 40 seconds; keep leg raised and do tiny pulses for 20 seconds
- Same position as #1, raise and lower top leg but also do a small figure 8 movement with the leg–do this for 40 seconds; keep leg raised with top knee bent and pointed downward, foot/ankle raised higher, do small pulses for 20 seconds
- Still in same position as #1, bring top knee to floor in front of bottom leg then push leg out behind you diagonally for 40 seconds; keep top leg raised and extended out straight behind on a diagonal and pulse for 20 seconds
- Still in same position as #1, keep top leg straight and circle it for 40 seconds; keep leg raised and do tiny circles for 20 seconds
- Still laying on side, bend both knees, press the big toes together, bottom knee remains on floor but bottom foot raises, holding both toes together and keeping bottom feet raised off floor, open and close knees for 40 seconds; hold legs in same position but with knees open wide for 20 seconds (she says you can do small pulses if you want but she can’t because she is in too much pain just holding isometrically)
- Repeat #1-5 on other side of body
- (quickly change the position of the loop so that it is wrapped around one ankle and under the bottom of the other foot) Lay on side, bottom leg is extended straight (loop is around this ankle) and place the other foot on the floor behind you (loop is under this foot), raise and lower bottom straight leg for 40 seconds; hold at top of lift and do tiny pulses for 20 seconds
- Same position as #7, lift bottom straight leg off floor and and extend it in front of you so there is tension on band, bend and extend knee for 40 seconds; keep leg extended out and just do tiny bend/pulses for 20 seconds
- Repeat #7 & 8 on other leg
- (quickly move band around both legs again so it is above your knees) Lay on your back with legs raised, knees bent and big toes pressed together, open and close knees, keeping toes pressed together for 40 seconds; keep knees open and do tiny pulses in this position for 20 seconds
Lower 50/20 is 22 minutes; 1 minute intro and 2:30 minute stretch. Equipment: fitness loop. Here is a short video clip of this workout. Though just as excruciating as 40/20, this a bit different. She calls this a micro/iso split workout. So 50 seconds of a micro movement (like the 20 seconds in 40/20 Lower) and 20 seconds of an isometric hold. Just like 40/20 there are no breaks in this workout. It moves non-stop. It hurts, too. Between 40/20 and 50/20 you will work your entire lower body. 40/20 focuses on inner and outer thighs. This workout hits the glutes and hamstrings hard–but mostly the glutes. I really liked all of the bridge work and even when my glutes were screaming, I was able to keep going, but once we got on hands and knees it all fell apart. The blubbering started along with the short breaks to thaw my legs out. But nevertheless, it is an excellent glute workout. The fitness loop was really curling up during the exercises where you are on all 4s. Linda did a review of Enriq fabric resistance loops. I was intrigued when I watched her review but this workout prompted me to order a set. Hoping they make using resistance loops more comfortable.
- (loop is around both legs, just above the knees) Lay on back with knees bent and feet on floor about hip width apart, raise and lower hips (only lower the hips halfway before raising again) for 50 seconds; keep hips raised at top of lift and hold for 20 seconds
- Same position as #1, keep hips raised at top of lift and open and close knees for 50 seconds; press knees together and hold for 20 seconds
- Same starting position as #1, but move feet out further away from you and lift toes so heels are pressing into floor, raise and lower hips for 50 seconds; hold at top of lift for 20 seconds
- (lower loop so it is around one ankle and the sole of the other foot) On all 4s, lift one bent knee behind you, pressing the sole of your foot (with the band around it) up to the ceiling; hold leg at top of move for 20 seconds
- In same position as #4, keep leg raised and bend and extend leg with band around sole for 50 seconds; keep leg extended and hold for 20 seconds
- Repeat 4 & 5 on other leg
- (raise loop so it is just above both knees again) On all 4s, lift one bent leg out to side and do hydrants for 50 seconds; hold leg at top of hydrant for 20 seconds
- Continue doing hydrants but move leg behind you more so ankles cross when you lift and lower (do this for 50 seconds); hold at top of hydrant for 20 seconds
- Repeat #7 & 8 on other leg
- (lower loop to just around both ankles) Lay on stomach and raised and lower one leg for 50 seconds; hold leg at top of lift for 20 seconds
- In same position as #10, keep leg lifted and bend and straighten knee for 50 seconds; keep leg raised with knee bent and hold for 20 seconds
- Repeat #10 & 11 on other leg
Lower 60/10 is 22 minutes; 1 minute intro and 2:30 minute stretch. Here is a short video clip of this workout. Equipment: light dumbbells. Linda is using 1kg hand weights which is 2 pounds and I used 3 pound dumbbells for the exercises in which you are actually using the dumbbells to increase cardio intensity. On some of the exercises one end of the dumbbells is placed on the floor and you hold onto the other end while you are hinged forward, working your lower body. For those exercises I used 10 pound dumbbells because they are longer than my 3 pound dumbbells. There are 15 exercises in this workout. Each exercise is done for 60 seconds then you get 10 seconds of rest before moving on to the next exercise. I was glad to get a 10 second break finally! This was a tough workout! It started out fairly easy but quickly progressed to leg burn out. It is a fast paced workout so you get some cardio, too. There are some mild balance challenges (for me at least) but nothing that I needed a chair for.
- Squat w/ hamstring curl, alternate legs, you also row DBs back with each hamstring curl
- Squat + hamstring curl + curtsy lunge + hamstring curl, still rowing DBs (stay on one side of the body the entire 60 seconds)
- Repeat #2 on other side of body
- Stand with feet close together, do a small squat then kick one bent leg behind you while pushing DBs up from sides of body with bent arms (she calls this arm movement “presenting”) (remain on same side of of body the entire 60 seconds)
- Hinge forward, placing one end of the DBs on the floor and holding the other end in your hands, put all of your weight on one leg, squat down in supporting leg and push other leg out behind you, and when you squat down again, you bend the leg and bring the calf across other calf (stay on one side of the body the entire 60 seconds)
- Still hinged forward in same position as #5, kick one straight leg up behind you and when you lower it, bring to to ground crossing it behind stationary leg (on a diagonal), kick leg up again and lower it to floor straight behind you (stay on one side of the body the entire 60 seconds)
- (Linda starts this exercise without any DBs) Start in a pike position but with knees slightly bent, pull one knee into chest, then step it back into a lunge (bending other knee) (as the workout progresses, Linda grabs her DBs and holds them just like she does in #5 & 6) (stay on one side of the body the entire 60 seconds)
- Stand with legs close together, squat + back kick w/ a tricep kickback + squat + side hydrant w/ bent arm side raise (stay on one side of the body the entire 60 seconds)
- Repeat #4-8 on other side of body
- Stand with feet close together, squat + side hydrant + curtsy lunge + knee raise (stay on one side of the body the entire 60 seconds)
- Repeat #10 on other side of body
Lower 80/10 is 29:30 minutes; 1:45 minute intro and 4:30 minute stretch. Here is a short video clip of this workout. Equipment: light dumbbells. Linda is using 1kg hand weights which is 2 pounds and I used 3 pound dumbbells. I also had to use a chair for balance on two of the exercises. Each exercise is done for 80 seconds then you get 10 seconds of rest before moving on to the next exercise. This one was definitely the most advanced of the 4 workouts. Lots of handstand moves. I did get a good workout but I had to modify several of the moves. I am not in a place, fitness-wise, where I want to do handstands, so I modified every handstand and I used the chair for balance on two of the moves. But other than that I did the workout as presented. It worked me hard and gave me some good cardio, too!
- With legs hip width apart, squats with hammer curls; changes to wide squats; changes to wide plie squats; changes to narrow squats
- Start in narrow squat, kick one leg back while also doing a tricep kickback then swing the same leg in front of you and end in narrow squat (I used the chair for balance–I held both DBs in one hand and the chair back in the other)
- With feet in ballet 3rd position, do 4 squats, arcing DBs from in front of you, out to side of body and overhead then place ends of DBs on floor in front of you and do 4 squats–continue alternating 4 reps of these 2 plie squat versions
- Feet are still in 3rd position, do a squat then step out into wide plie squat then step back into 3rd position but this time the foot that was in front is in back, do a squat in this position then step back into wide plie squat–keep alternating foot position with a wide plie squat in between, throughout it all you are scooping the DBs forward
- Hinge forward, placing one end of the DBs on the floor and holding the other end in your hands, lift and lower one leg out to side
- Curtsy lunge into a handstand
- In down dog, raise one leg behind you to ceiling then step it forward up beside same side hand into a lunge then kick up into a handstand
- Side lunge and when you come out of the lunge, kick the leg that was bent out across other leg then sweep it around behind the other leg into curtsy lunge then kick the leg straight in front of you (used a chair for balance)
- Repeat #2-8 on other side of body