Gentle Workouts to Build Strength & Mobility

New or returning to exercise? Recovering from illness or injury? Beginner Essentrics workouts too fast or too long?

These two gentle workouts are designed to meet you where you are and help you build strength and mobility.

Try one per day. When you are ready, do one in the morning and one in the evening.

Click photo for this workout. Get blood pumping. Stretch fingers and toes. Strengthen your legs.
Click photo for this workout. Hopefully, you’ll feel energized after this workout to open your chest, relax your shoulders and restore mobility in your feet!

Both workouts are included in a section of the Essentrics streaming service called “Workout Level & Components.” Click on “Workout Level & Components” or use the right arrow to scroll to “Standing & Seated” to find these workouts.

When you are ready to try longer videos (when these two feel easy) simply click the “Beginner ” option on the Essentrics streaming site for a list of videos, or drag your cursor over a video to read which level it is, which looks like this:

Essentrics streaming service is $15/month & has a free-trial!

30-Day Essentrics Wellness Challenge

“This 30-day workout plan was specifically designed to take care of you while you’re staying home. Supporting our health through movement is more important than ever before. Stream our daily AM and PM health-focused workouts for a month of wellness and movement on Essentrics TV. Starts Wednesday, April 22nd!

” This challenge, which is being hosted on our streaming site, will be an AM/PM concept with two 23-minute workouts a day. We have chosen low intensity stretch workouts that focus on your joints, muscles and connective tissue. They also focus on improving posture. Good posture creates more space for our lungs – we need maximum lung capacity to survive the Coronavirus. These exercises will open your chest and strengthen your lungs capacity to expand. Interestingly enough, gentle exercises are known to more effectively support the immune system than strenuous exercise – all topics we will be discussing in blog posts to come during this Wellness Challenge.” – Essentrics Team

Morning Essentrics workouts help set your alignment, energy & focus for the day.
Evening ones to relax & release tension from your muscles for a good night’s sleep.

What You May Need:

This challenge resonates with me, because exercising with Classical Stretch videos 1 or 2 times daily is what got me hooked on this program of dynamic stretching and strengthening.

As many people do, I started practicing Essentrics as a way to stretch. I was traveling weekly and sprint triathlon training and needed something to rebalance my body from those activities.

A few “Aging Backwards” benefits from my first summer of Essentrics:

  • Ankle strength & stability! Prior to Essentrics, I’d walk down the stairs sideways, one at a time, holding on to the banister because my feet and ankles were so tight first thing in the morning. Now, I walk forwards, often carrying items or my cat.
  • Speed. I had my fastest 5K that fall!
  • Overall Strength. This aspect surprised me and is part of what sparked my interest in learning more about Essentrics. Workouts felt easy to me and there is no delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). I don’t lift weights, and I was getting noticeably stronger.
  • Comfort in my body. Pre-Essentrics, driving was very painful for me. Immediately, this was alleviated.
  • Agility. Essentrics restored my trust in my body and my freedom of movement.
  • Posture! Every Essentrics workout is a posture workout.
  • Pain relief and strength in my hands.
  • Balanced Mood and Energy.

I continue to experience improvements to my health and well-being. Sharing these and other benefits with you is why I decided to become an instructor!

I hope you will consider this 30-day challenge. Take note of how you feel before: aches, pains, mood, stiffness, energy, digestion, sleep. Does it improve? Changes you didn’t anticipate? Feel free to let me know!

14-days = 30 workouts = Free!

30 days = 60 workouts = $15!

Classical Stretch on Facebook plans to continue releasing free, 10-minute videos daily. You could do that video once in the morning and once in the evening if you do not wish to sign up for Essentrics streaming.

Getting the Best from Your Essentrics® Workout: Balance

Listening to your body is essential for a safe and effective class. Our ability to balance can vary person to person and day to day. Sometimes we balance well and other times need a support because we are tired, need to reawaken balance reflexes, our muscles are overworked or we need to strengthen the muscles involved. Using a wall or chair for support can help to build balance and strength over time while maintaining the good alignment needed to protect our joints and recruit all of the potential muscles involved in a movement.

Feeling wobbly:

  • use a chair or wall for support
  • take a break
  • do fewer repetitions
  • keep your foot closer to the ground

“Use it or lose it” applies to your balance reflexes as much as it does to strength and range of motion, and we need to challenge those reflexes to maintain this vital neurological connection. Falling off balance slightly helps to stimulate balance reflexes. You want to be safe, of course, and it can be helpful to use a support for some or all of the sequences that challenge your balance. Week to week, try to rely on a support a little bit less each class.

Additional Objectives of Balance Exercises:

  • strengthening the core
  • decompressing joints
  • improving mobility
  • strengthening the standing leg

In Essentrics® while we focus on one aspect of an exercise, there are other areas of attention as well. This is true of the balance exercises. While you are exercising one foot as in the photo above, you are also challenging your standing leg and your core. With good alignment and “pulling up” you are decompressing the joints of one leg as you work through range of motion with the other.

Recently, I had an opportunity to take a class with one of the instructors from the Essentrics® office. We did a bicycle sequence, which we’ll do in the fall classes, and I could not hold my balance on my left leg. I slid over to rest a hand on nearby spin bike for that sequence. This morning, I was able to do that sequence without needing support. Prioritize posture and alignment and from there decide what you need that day.

Can Essentrics Make You Faster?

We think it does! Before my husband Garth’s 5K on Saturday we did a 30-minute Essentrics fascia release workout. He normally runs about a 6:45 minute mile and in that race he averaged 6:10 miles finishing 8th overall (out of about 1,000) and first in his age group. He averages three Essentrics workouts of varying lengths each week

Dynamic stretching is an excellent warm-up that can increase power, speed, and agility before an activity*. You may have heard not to stretch before a workout and that is true for static stretching. Static stretching, or holding a stretch, weakens muscles when done as a warm-up**.

Essentrics is a form of dynamic stretching that has been practiced, and evolved, since 1997. Essentrics simultaneously stretches and strengthens all 650 muscles for balanced flexibility and strength. Stand-alone workouts may also be used as a warm-up helping to relax and lubricate joints, increase heart rate to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the muscles, and move your body through its range of motion.

The workout we did pre-race is called “Rebalance Your Connective Tissue.” It’s an Aging Backwards Connective Tissue workout on ETV at I like this one in the morning because it leaves me energized and has a segment for hip mobility, which is handy for runners.

*Why Pre-Workout Stretching is Actually Dangerous” by Brock Armstrong

**”Stretching: The Truth” by Gretchen Reynolds