Energy Flow: Functional is a tough workout! Possibly the most advanced of all of Linda @ Barlates new flow workouts. My legs felt weak afterwards. I even used some of her modifications and it still wore me out! I did another short lower body workout afterwards that was much easier, but it still challenged me because this workout tore my legs up! This is the last of her flow series–I have now done them all. Now I am going back and doing them all again!
In this workout, Linda really wants you to do a handstand. She does offer modifications and she also mentions that she has a handstand tutorial and a tutorial showing you how to modify some of the more advanced moves in her workouts. But she stresses continuing to try to do a handstand so your fitness level grows. And I do understand that. You do need to continue to challenge yourself. It may be a goal for me one day but it isn’t now. I am only focusing on one goal at a time and right now it is regaining my strength and doing push ups on my toes again. But one day I may decide to quit doing Linda’s handstand modifications and try to do the actual handstand. But I am not there yet. (As a side note, I have done handstands in the past when I did Black Fire–but that was years ago and before cancer treatment. This is not the same body.)
This and all of the Energy Flow workouts are free on YouTube. You can also purchase the Energy Flow Series DVD which contains 4 workouts or purchase it via download from Linda’s website. And finally, you can buy it as part of a collection called Fusion Flow, which contains 3 DVDs/12 workouts (Dynamic Flow, Fusion Flowand Energy Flow)–which is what I did. Excellent collection and, once I complete them all, I will post a review of the Fusion Flow DVD that collects all of the workouts together–just for reference.
Energy Flow: Functional is 38:30 minutes; 1:30 minute intro and 4 minute stretch. Equipment: chair for balance and light hand weights (Linda is using .5kg or 1 pound hand weights, I used both 2 and 3 pound dumbbells). There are handstands in this workout but Linda shows a modification if you do not want to do handstands–I did not want to do handstands, so I modified.
- Holding DBs, legs are slightly wider than hip width, squat and when you raise out of squat, straighten legs and hinge torso forward, reaching one arm/DB to the ground and other to ceiling behind you, alternate sides (2# DBs)
- Alternating stationary side lunges with arms/DBs extended to side in a T, bend one elbow, bringing DB to chest as you lunge, alternate arms (2# DBs)
- Legs are wide, do a squat and when you raise out of squat, straighten legs and hinge torso forward, reaching one arm to the ground and other to ceiling behind you, when you come out of this move, flow into a side lunge with bow and arrow arms, remain on one side of the body for this combo (2# DBs)
- Alternating low crescent legs w/ knees slightly bent
- (set DBs aside) Stand beside chair with one hand on chair back for balance, swing your leg in a straight leg crescent kick with foot ending in a cross-back position behind other leg then bring the leg back in a crescent kick but in the opposite direction but when your leg is in front of you, swing it behind you in a straight leg lunge, the arm that is not holding the chair is rotating in large circles with the leg crescents
- Turn chair around so that the chair seat is beside you, one hand is on the chair seat for balance, swing your leg in a straight leg crescent kick with foot ending in a cross-back position behind other leg but lower deeper than you did in #5, placing other hand on floor and holding this position for a few seconds then bring the leg back in a crescent kick but in the opposite direction and when your leg is in front of you, swing it straight behind you in a deep lunge with other hand on ground in front of you and hold for a few seconds, continue alternating between these two leg sweeps and lunges
- Repeat #5 & 6 on other side of body
- (set chair aside) Stand with legs wide, squat and lower hands to floor, jump feet out to plank, jump feet back in and raise one knee, chopping arms down beside leg as it raises, repeat but raise other knee and chop arms to that side, continue this combo alternating legs
- Stand with legs wide and holding DBs again, do alternating knee raises while chopping/sweeping arms/DBs down by leg that raises; stay on one side of the body, lowering into a side lunge and when you come out of side lunge, raise the knee that was lunging, figure 8 the arms/DBs (2# DBs)
- (set DBs aside) Stand with legs about hip width apart, squat and when you stand, lift one leg behind you on a diagonal, raise straight arms overhead when you raise leg; add stepping leg that just raised forward, lowering hands to ground and doing a handstand (she shows an option of just raising one leg instead of doing a handstand); put all of your weight on one leg, torso hinged forward slightly, and raise and lower the other leg behind you (arms are extended straight overhead)
- Hold DBs while in straight arm plank, walk feet up beside hands then straighten legs while still folded forward at waist with hands/DBs on floor, bend knees again so you are in a squat, lift torso (partially straightening legs) and open arms/DBs wide to the side in a T, close arms, lower arms/DBs to ground and jump feet back into plank (3# DBs)
- In down dog, lift one leg up while angled out to the side then step it forward into a lunge then jump into a handstand; hold down dog and just raise and lower the leg
- Lay flat on back with legs extended straight and arms reached overhead, do a full sit up, bending knees and placing feet on ground, place one hand on floor behind you, push hips up (3 leg crab) and reach other arm across body and over head, repeat this combo alternating arms; the combo changes–you no longer do a sit up, instead you start in plank, jump feet in to hands then lean back into the 3 leg crab reach, still alternating arms; remain in the 3 leg crab, lower glutes to floor while bringing elbow to opposite knee, push up into 3 leg crab, reaching arm across body and over head (20 reps each side)
- Lay on back with legs extended straight and arms raised overhead, sit up into a full boat pose or pilates teaser, hold for a few seconds and return to laying on back with arms and legs extended (Linda shows several modifications); ends holding boat pose isometrically