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I've teased the neighbours with my sports bra-less workout before so this time armed with Claudia Schiffer *and* a sports bra I set about teasing them again. Mind you, hubby thinks the only teasing going on is having Claudia and myself doing pelvic tilts... • The mission... Well I've danced with Patsy Palmer and lost some weight, not a lot but some, and now it's time to tone up. Wandering off to my local WHSmiths I found a video with no case for 99p! Dusting off the label on the side I saw that it was "Claudia Schiffer - Perfectly Fit - Lower Body Workout". Well for 99p I can't go wrong surely! So mission completed, I set off back home (walking I may add) ready to tone my body! • Why Claudia Schiffer?... Well I love my Patsy Palmer video because that's great for getting the old heart going and fat burning but I needed something of a more serious work out that would tone the muscles. The video is set in Prague and switches from an island, to a rooftop in Prague, to the studio. This does not make the video look clumsy as you may think, but adds a bit of interesting scenery and is used to show the different ways you can do an exercise. For example you'll see Claudia in the studio doing squats arms outstretched and then on the rooftop with arms on hips. The same applies when using weights. A clever idea that makes the video almost artistic. Oh the other reason is that Claudia Schiffer has the body I want and aim to have... • A summary of "Claudia Schiffer - Perfectly Fit - Lower Body Workout" I don't have the cover to this video but the trailer at the beginning of it claims that the workout will "trim, tone and strengthen your legs, hips and buttocks". Well my buttocks need toning so all good so far. Working with "trainer to the stars" Kathy Kaehler, Claudia shows us an easy and safe way to work all the muscles
in the lower part of our body. Claudia says that it's "...not difficult and very safe..." and that she feels "...much stronger and I have much more energy" since doing this work out. For once I actually believe that the "star" does these exercises. This video is one of two videos. The other works on your upper body so you can do the videos together or just pick out the parts of your body you want to pay specific attention too (now now boys). After the introduction, the video is split into four main sections, the two middle sections I've divided up so you know what exercises you'll be doing! In between each section is a break that has a 20 second out loud countdown so that if like me, you're using that break to swig back the water you'll know when to get back into position. The break is used primarily for Kathy the trainer to show us how to do the following exercises properly. The workout is less than an hour and that's including all breaks... • IMPORTANT NOTE: Although I'm describing the exercises involved in this video, that is for the purpose of those who know their exercises, not so that you can follow them from this opinion. It is just so that you get an idea of what exercises are involved. As the video states, please consult your doctor if you have any health problems. What follows is a breakdown of the sections so you know what you're in for! • Trailer and introduction... The trailer is to let you know all about the two videos, upper and lower, and what muscles each works on. Following the trailer is an introduction, some comments from Claudia and a mix of exercises to let you know what's included. We're told how to isolate muscles and what we'll need. So you know in advance, you'll need a chair, mat, towel, weights (optional) and plenty of water. Now on to the hard bit... • Section 1: WAR
M UP - 7 minutes Starting off with deep breathing we move on to shoulder rolls and stretches. Throughout this Claudia tells us what muscles we are loosening up which makes it seem a bit more worthwhile to those of us who never understood warm ups. The whole warm up consists of stretches, squats and more stretches! • Section 2: PERFECTLY FIT BUNS - A total of 17 minutes (not including each break) This section is devised to get those buns fit and firm! Don't worry about whether you're doing it right or not as Kathy will tell you in each 20 second break exactly how to do it. It's broken down into 6 separate sets of exercises and each set is described below... • Set 1: Lunge squat combo - 2minutes 30 seconds After a 20-second break of instructions on how best to do these we begin. Placing a chair behind you start with two forward lunges, one on each leg. This is followed by four squats, where you tease that chair (and the neighbours) with your bum. This pattern is repeated eight times in total. • Set 2: Plie, combo - 2 minutes You don't need the chair for this set, as it is all squats. Standing centre you squat out to the left eight times, then to the right eight times. Back to the centre and then squat to the left four times and to the right four times. Back to the centre then squat to the left twice and to the right twice. Follow this up by doing a total of eight singular squats, alternating sides. Some squats and stretches and that's done. Easy! • Set 3: Mat exercises - 2 minutes Now I'm not going to lie because I found this bit to be the killer. Kneeling on all fours (yes, down boy!) and starting with the left, raise the leg up, foot flexed. Do this ten times slow and then ten times pulse. Then do it again! Now do the same on the other leg. Sweating yet? Oh yup! When finished we stretch back so we're kneeling
and our head is touching the floor to stretch out those muscles. • Set 4: Mat exercises - 2 minutes Starting off in the same position on all fours we do the same pattern of 10 slow, ten pulse, ten slow, ten pulse on each leg but this time the leg is out stretched. This is finished with the same stretch. By now the heart is racing, the sweat is pouring and you wouldn't think so doing such a simple exercise! • Set 5: Mat exercises, combo - 3 minutes Right now we combine the above two exercises and simply do twenty (yes twenty) on each leg. This is where you really feel the muscles working and it will keep you going. When doing aerobics I just feel puffed out and that doesn't spur me on. THIS does! • Set 6: Pelvic tilts - 5 minutes There is another 20-second break here to explain that you can do these exercises with weights if you choose. I don't and that makes no difference to doing the exercises at all. As usual the screen switches between locations and angles so you can make sure you're doing it right. This section is all pelvic tilts and is great to do after all the hard work of the previous sections. Lying down we start off with three sets of ten slow and ten pulsing, we follow this up with another three sets but with our toes tilted. This makes the exercise more intense. Finish this off with another three sets but with knees together and feet on ground. You can feel this working in your hamstring and with all the buttock clenching you can feel it there too! • End of Perfectly Fit Buns Okay so once you've done that section you can either fast forward on to the cool down or you can move on and do the "Perfectly Fit Legs". I choose to do all of it and what follows again is a break down of the sections... • Section 3: PERFECTLY FIT LEGS - A total of 23 minutes (not including 20 second breaks) This s
ection is devised to get those legs fit and firm! Again don't worry about whether you're doing it right or not as Kathy will tell you in each 20 second break exactly how to do it. It's broken down into 5 separate sets of exercises and each set is described below... • Set 1: Lunge squat combo - 3 minutes Now you'll recognise these exercises from the "Perfectly Fit Buns" section. Don't forget your chair! You only have the chair as a guide as to how far you should squat, but as the video shows Claudia in different locations you'll see she doesn't use the chair all the time because as she says " the exercises can be done anywhere". This time as we're concentrating on legs we do three sets of ten lunges and then ten squats. I found this was so much easier after doing the previous exercises. • Set 2: Hamstring Curls and Calf Raises - 5 minutes This section uses the chair again. Standing behind the chair we do ten hamstring curls on each leg. Then ten calf raises with toes facing out. Ten more hamstring curls on each leg and then a further ten calf raises, toes in. Not finished yet! Ten more hamstring curls on each leg and then ten calf raises feet together and ten pulsed. This section is finished with some stretches on the legs that we've just worked. That was the easy bit... • Set 3: Mat exercises - 3 minutes We're now getting down to the real leg exercises. There is a 30-second break before this section to tell you again how to best do the exercises. I think it's very important to listen to the advice as to avoid injury and to work out more efficiently. The exercises in this section are done lying on our side on the floor. I won't go into detail but don't think because you're lying down that it's easy. You will feel those muscles working..trust me! • Set 4: Mat exercises
, combo - 4 minutes 30 seconds Still working on the same leg this section combines the previous exercises and really works you to the point of burning. Don't worry because that is good! (according to trainer!). I still find this section hard and very nearly give up but everyday it gets easier. • Set 5: Mat exercises, other leg! - 7 minutes 30 seconds This section is merely the previous two together and using the other leg. So now that you've done one side its time to do the other. I personally find this one the easier but maybe one leg is stronger than the other. Because we've done this section before on the other leg, Kathy takes this opportunity to jump in and tell you to isolate muscles, and checks you're doing it okay. Both Kathy and Claudia encourage throughout. That's it! Now time to cool down... • Section 4: COOL DOWN - 2 minutes 30 seconds This section is to cool down and even though you won't be "hot", you're muscles will be. It is a section of stretches and is as an essential part of the workout as the warm up is. This section stretches all those muscles that we've used and ends the workout. So there you go, Claudias video, worked out and broken down so you know exactly what you're purchasing. • Was it worth it?... Definitely. I can feel the muscles aching afterwards and I've noticed a difference with every day of doing it. I no longer scream that "I'm not doing no more" but continue until I've finished. I get a great satisfaction out of doing this video as I can feel the muscles working and can see the difference. I've already got the other video on order so that I can work my upper body too. It will be no good having a fit bum and legs but a wobbly belly..kidding folks..heehee. Claudia and Kathy make this video easy to follow and very safe which is something I f
ind other videos lack. They remind you how to breathe and when to breathe and constantly remind you to stack your hips just when I find I'm slouching! • Conclusion... This video is ideal for those people out there who want to feel a difference and see a difference. It is not an aerobic workout but for toning up those muscles which a lot of videos seem to neglect. The exercises can be done anywhere and that is exactly what I do now. If you need to tone up then this video is ideal. I'll let you know how I get on with the upper body work out as soon as I get it! • To buy this video try: www.amazon.co.uk Their price: £11.99 www.whsmith.co.uk Their price: £11.99 ...But at WHSmith on the high street it's a mere £6.99!!! Now move that body!!! **UPDATE** 20/7/01 I've been using this video for god knows how long now and I'm certainly noticing a difference. When I walk (which I do a lot of in my job) I'm finding my legs don't ache at the end of it. My bum doesn't wobble anymore (waht a thought!)...wahoo!