Tough on the legs and front-end loaded.
What I mean by front-end loaded is that the Standing Strength, Balance and Hip Openers are all long tracks taking up almost half the class with their intense strength and stretch work.
By contrast the last 4 tracks fly by in just 15 minutes.
Great feedback from participants about this class. People say it flows perfectly from one sequence to the other. Others give the long tracks a big thumbs up and enjoy the challenge.
Let’s have a look at the tracks (You can click on the links to listen to the tracks on Amazon).
A Tai Chi track of many contrasts. Slow, aweeping arm circles and soft synth music bookend more energetic move when the drums kick in. Surprisingly tough on the legs we keep low in the knees.
The so called “Wide Wu Chi Energy Ball Release” reminds me of playing volleyball on a sunny beach jumping into the air to hit the ball. I challenge anyone not to allow a huge beaming smile to spread across their face during this sequence.
Sun Salutations – Follow The Sun – Cool Lads
Gentle acoustic guitar and soft harmonica disguise the fact this Sun Salutations has a fast beat. Each 8 counts shoot by and you can struggle to keep up with the moves. It creates a strange sensation. Music calms you but the beat propels you. Appearing to speed up even more in the fourth round I think this is an illusion created by the vocalist singing more words. We add a lunge twist into the sequence but otherwise it’s a typical routine.
After a few 3 legged-dog knee to nose poses we move into extended warrior and stay for a longtime. Simple arm movements create almost an illusion of movement but our legs stay grounded all the time becoming fatigued as hold the pose. Only a brief shift into sun warrior breaks the flow but were still challenging our legs even then.
A great pop track sampling some synth and lyrics from Toto’s 1980s hit “Africa”. Starting with a repeat of the 3 legged-dog knee to nose poses we move next into standing lunges and finally warrior one. The final squat comes when our legs are burning and screaming for a rest.
The longest ever Balance track tires out our already fatigued legs. Plenty of time to set up, modify and perfect each pose. Flower pose, right angle pose and tree pose all held for many moments.
A challenging sequence but perhaps just a little two long for a Balance track. It’s the only one from this release so far that people have asked me to consider mixing out.
Another long track and another sequence of slow poses with time to savour the deep stretches. Swan pose always takes people to the edge between pleasure and pain. Here we have a an optional splits pose as an extension from the kneeling lunge. Only a couple of people in each class can do this but everyone has increased their range as the weeks pass.
A great piece of music and a great set of moves. The best hips track for a long while.
If your class starts on the hour have a sneak peek at the clock as the Core Abs starts. Is it about twenty to the next hour? That’s how long the first five tracks are. From now on we motor through 4 shorter sequences but the intensity doesn’t let up.
Always Like This makes me smile. A stand out Core Abs track with a punishing set of crunches, cycles and leg extensions. Only 4 minutes long but listen to the sounds of groaning from the people with burning abdominals.
Core Back – Brother – Need To Breathe
A clam start with a baby cobra (or up dog) gives way to a tough side plank and then the intense wild thing pose. Precise cueing required to get people into the correct position. Bridge pose gives us a rest in the middle unless you want to find the full back bend in which casethe pace never lets up.
Finally we start to chill out. Child’s pose thread needle twist. Standing to diver’s pose and forward fold twists then back to the floor. The end is in sight.
A mellow, chilled out version of a Scottish classic pop song, it still took me a while on first listen to work out what it was. So slow compared to the Proclaimer’s original. Slow and delicious forward bends and hamstring stretches and we finish up in happy baby pose. Relaxing and calming after all the hard work.
I’m still tempted to replace this with the up tempo Proclaimer’s version one day to surprise my class. But I think it would ruin the calmness.
A lovely piece of music but short as we have little time left. Could have done with a longer relaxation given the intensity of the first half of the class but these 5 minutes certainly feel deserved.
Overall another solid and challenging release. I’d like to see a return of the more flowing Tai Chi Warm Ups but apart from that a great big thumbs up from me again.
Now it’s your turn:
Do you agree with my review of Les Mills Body Balance release 70? Why not comment below. And do please share using the social media buttons.