Cathe’s Perfect30 Review - Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength & Flexibility
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Cathe’s Perfect30 Review - Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength & Flexibility
Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength & Flexibility is really nice flowing yoga routine to stretch and strengthen the body. This workout is part of the Perfect Flow DVD, which consists of two 30 minute active yoga-based routines – one focused on mobility training and one on strength and flexibility.
Perfect Flow is part of Cathe Friedrich’s new PERFECT30 series that consists of six workouts on three DVDs plus a number of bonus add-ons and premixes. The series is aimed at advanced exercisers and is perfect for when you are tight on time but still want a solid, intense workout. Each DVD contains two 30 minute workouts, which focus on the main elements necessary for a well-balanced fitness routine: strength conditioning, cardio endurance and balance / flexibility. For more details on the PERFECT30 program, click HERE or check out my blog post – Your Ultimate Guide to Cathe’s New PERFECT30 Series.
As Cathe states, the aim for this routine is to “promote flexibility, joint mobility, balance and body awareness, while improving core and overall strength. It is also a great workout for recovery days and helping to manage stress levels”. I really enjoyed this routine and it does exactly what it is intended to do, as I got a little bit of strength and core work along with feeling much more relaxed and stretched out afterwards.
The workout starts with a quick warm-up then moves through a number of different poses that incorporate both strength moves, such as lunges, with more stretch moves, such as downward dog or cobra. Some of the exercises are sequences of different moves, put together in a little combo, which you then flow through a number of times. You don’t repeat any of the moves for too many sets through – generally between two and four times. There were some different variations to moves I have seen before and so you have to pay attention to make sure you really feel each move and get the most out of them. The first time through, some of the moves, felt a little awkward but I think with practice and knowing what is coming next, this will get easier. Even after the first time, I felt more comfortable knowing where my legs or arms were supposed to go! For me, the plank crossover move was the most difficult to get the hang of, particularly when your back is facing the TV screen on the second side!
This is definitely a more active stretch than the other routine on this DVD – Mobility Basics - and as mentioned you are getting more strength work, both in terms of exercises and also just holding your body in some of the positions. For me, the lunge sequence and tricep push-up with leg lift, on the toes, were the most challenging but you don’t hold the positions too long and the reps are not too high so it’s not really too bad. Overall, it is not a challenging strength workout and although I was definitely warm, I wasn’t sweating with this one, even though Cathe suggested we would be. All of the moves are done at a nice and controlled pace so you do have time to feel the work / stretch in each one.
The workout starts standing, as you move through sun salutations and balance moves before progressing into warrior lunge sequences. You then move down to the floor for hip openers and some core and strength work in plank before moving into more stretching type moves. The routine then ends in corpse pose – lying on your back and relaxing.
If you are looking for a little more core work, there is a premix that combines the Bonus Core routine with this one and I really liked that option. Also it gives you the option to substitute the core focused moves, from the yoga routine, for those of the Bonus Core add-on to give you a little more variety. You can also combine both the Perfect Flow routine and the Bonus Core routine for a much longer and more comprehensive stretching and strengthening session (72 minutes). For me, though that was little too much and I would probably, in future, use this either on its own or with just the Bonus Core added on.
Overall, a fun yoga style routine consisting of strength, core and balance challenges that will also lengthen out those hard working muscles.
The Workout – Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength and Flexibility
Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength and Flexibility is an active yoga- based routine that works on strength, flexibility and balance challenges for the entire body.
This DVD also includes Perfect Flow: Mobility Basics (review HERE) and a Core Bonus Routine (Bonus Core).
What You Need to Know
(The information below is based on the main workout (Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength and Flexibility) not including any of the bonus add-ons).
(Rating scale – 1= lowest & 5 = highest).
Perfect Flow: Yoga Strength and Flexibility is 32 minutes long. The workout starts with a 5 minute warm-up before moving into the first move. The main moves are shown below but you often repeat each for a number of sets.
Sun salutations (start standing, inhale arms up; forward fold; lunge; downward dog; plank; lower down & push up into upward dog / cobra; step in; chair pose & baby back bend)
Rear lunge & deep sumo squat (back lunge; open to sumo squat, back to lunge & stand)
Standing balance (feet closer together; lift arms overhead; squat & raise onto toes; straighten legs w/ arms out in airplane to side & lean flat back over; hold)
Standing strength (downward dog; 3 leg dog (lifting 1 leg); sweep foot through to warrior 2; lift back heel to lunge then lean forward; hold; keep front leg bent; bring arms up; open arms & clasp hands behind back (chest / shoulder stretch); deepen lunge & hold; downward dog; pump heels; same leg lifts up again – 3 leg dog; step through to hand, lean over into triangle; reverse warrior; C-shape lunge; shift to wide leg side lunge; creep hands across floor from 1 side to other)
Seated figure 4 stretch (1 foot crossed over other leg)
Modified half lotus (from previous position tip legs over following the foot w/ 1 bent leg crossed over other; twist to side & then bend over to other side; reaching arm up)
Reverse tabletop (on hands & feet)
Forward fold (straight legs out in front & reach over towards toes)
Partial tricep push-ups w/ leg lift (starts on knees then moves to toes)
Crossback side plank (start in straight arm plank; cross front leg over the other leg & roll back on to back leg; lift front leg; roll back into plank & lift opposite leg straight up behind you)
Wrist stretches (in tabletop)
Tuck to extension / crunch (lying on back; tuck arms & legs into body then extend out; sweeping arms around; then lower legs w/ knees bent & crunch up)
Forward bends & twists (sitting up w/ 1 leg straight out; bring other foot across top leg w/ opposite arm reaching across & twist torso in other direction; then 1 leg out straight & other leg bent w/ foot against the knee or thigh; reach for toes on straight leg)
Straight leg stretch
Wide leg straddle stretch
Knees to chest / happy baby (reaching for bottom of feet)
Bonus Core is also included on this DVD. This bonus core section is 9:17 minutes long and does not include a warm-up (as Cathe is assuming you are adding it on to another workout) but does include a very quick stretch at the end. You will need a mat, if you are on a hard surface, for this core bonus.
This is an interesting and rather unique abs bonus. The routine includes a number of different moves that are yoga and mobility inspired, which work your core from all angles and in slightly different ways. The aim is to engage all of the core muscles from the thoracic region to the hip flexors and glutes. This is what makes it more challenging, as you are often extending or balancing in the moves and, therefore, having to maintain a greater level of stability through the whole core region.
This bonus consists of five different moves, including variations, such as, side plank angle extensions and rotating piston planks. The routine is a mix of easier and slightly harder moves and I actually often felt more work in my upper body (e.g. T-raise supermans) and glutes rather than my core. I am not quite sure what to make of this routine, as I didn’t feel that my core was actually worked that hard. The only two moves that I really felt the work for my core was in the first and fourth exercise. One is a version of a banana hold and the other was the glute bridge leg drops, as you are really having to stabilise the core area when you drop the leg out to the side. This is also where I felt the work in my lower body too. The reps are not too high and there are breaks in between each move so it is not a very intense routine. I was definitely expecting something much harder given the short timeframe and how much Cathe packed into some of the main routines. Therefore, I am not sure I would return to it that often, as I just didn’t feel that it really worked my core very effectively. Although, I do think it worked well added to the Mobility Basics routine, as it is very much in the same style as that workout.
Overall, a short and different core bonus.
Banana hold into opposite hand to foot (lying on back; lift arms & legs in hollow hold then reach 1 hand to opposite foot) – mat – 6 sets
Rotating piston planks (start in straight arm plank; push hips back to one side then straighten & over to other side) – mat – 4 sets (2x slow & 4x fast)
T-raise superman (lying on stomach w/ hands out in a T-position; raise & lower arms while keeping feet on floor) – mat – 2 sets (2x slow & 4x fast) & 3 sets (1x slow & 2x fast)
Glute bridge leg drops (raise into 1 leg glute bridge & slowly lower top leg straight out to side & back in) – mat – 8 reps each side
Side Plank Angle Extension (in a side plank w/ lower knee on the floor; reach top arm / leg out & in) – mat – 8 reps each side
The routine ends with a 20 second stretch.
Perfect Flow has 14 premixes on the dvd.
(Premixes are extra bonus workouts included on the dvds that use the main workout as the backbone and then add, remove or change the order of elements to create a new routine. The premixes are also available on Cathe's On Demand streaming service). Basic Premixes
Yoga Strength & Flexibility + Core Bonus - 41:12 mins
Mobility Basics + Core Bonus - 40:22 mins
Yoga Strength & Flexibility + Mobility Basics + Core Bonus - 72:16 mins
Mobility Basics Strength - 10:46 mins
Mobility Basics Stretch - 20:40 mins
Yoga Strength & Flexibility Strength + Core Bonus - 25:54 mins
Yoga Strength & Flexibility Stretch - 20:08 mins
Yoga Strength & Flexibility + Mobility Basics Express #1 - 33:22 mins
Yoga Strength & Flexibility + Mobility Basics Express #2 - 35:51 mins
Yoga Strength & Flexibility Core Focus - 24:30 mins
Mobility Basics Core Focus - 14:47 mins
Mish Mosh Premixes
Yoga Strength & Flexibility + Mobility Basics Core Focus - 29:59 mins
Yoga Strength & Flexibility - Core Work Replaced with Core Bonus - 35:13 mins
Mobility Basics Core - 33:54 mins
These workouts are available as a bundle or individually on DVD, download or through Cathe’s On Demand streaming service ($19.99 per month, which also includes access to all of the Cathe Live archived classes).
Check out my reviews of each of the other workouts in this series by visiting my Cathe DVD Reviews page HERE.
If you liked this workout, check out my review of Cathe Live: All Core On The Floor (#307) – HERE.
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