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289 of 297 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, and loved the balance work!
Here is a break out of the DVD:

Warm Up (5:59):
This includes a mix of plie squats (legs hip distance apart), wide second position plies, and first position plies. The plies alternate with pointing the leg out to the side and leg lifts. This includes some plie squats with hands reaching overhead, alternating with lifting the knee forward and reaching the...
Published on February 12, 2011 by Jenny G

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware of your joints!
I began ballet last year (being 23) and I thought this DVD might be a nice cardio-oriented workout which at the same time might allow me to use movements I know. Oh my! I don't have any knee problems and yet, after only 5 minutes, my knees were cracking loudly! Why? Because pliés or reverences are NOT supposed to be fast-paced, it doesn't allow you to concentrate...
Published on July 6, 2012 by LileeD


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289 of 297 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, and loved the balance work!, February 12, 2011
By 
Jenny G (Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
Here is a break out of the DVD:

Warm Up (5:59):
This includes a mix of plie squats (legs hip distance apart), wide second position plies, and first position plies. The plies alternate with pointing the leg out to the side and leg lifts. This includes some plie squats with hands reaching overhead, alternating with lifting the knee forward and reaching the hands under the knee, and then doing leg lifts without the plie but still reaching hands under the knee. This was a nice variation on the traditional march used in many barre DVDs. She also has curtsy squats alternating with tendu and then with passé. There are a variety of hand movements throughout the sequence. The warm up had a nice pace to it - fast but not too fast. There is a modifier showing easier versions throughout.

Upper Body (11:14) (requires 1, 2, or 3 lb weights):
It wasn't a particularly challenging workout but I liked how she took fairly traditional exercises and added ballet inspired twists to them - for example, circular movements with the arms or crossing the arms. She includes bicep and tricep work. She also had a couple variations reaching the arms overhead, including standing on the supporting leg in first position and doing a tendu to the back, side and front. The next segment is done without weights. She starts alternating second position plie with arabesque and then holds the arabesque doing various arm movements to challenge balance. She closes the segment with tricep dips, reverse plank, knee pushups, and plank. This segment was really fun and it felt really good (I had a kink under one shoulder blade prior to this segment that went away after.)

Barre (23:34) (need a chair for support):
o Parallel leg, first position, and wide second position plies - heels down alternating with toe raises, and then pulsing with toes raised
o Alternating between first and second position plie (modifier does these with a jump)
o Front attitude with pulses
o Second position plie alternating with circling the leg to the front
o Parallel leg plie pulses on toes (releve), then repeated with upper body in a c-curve
o Second position plie alternating with rotating to the side and first position plie (the modifier adds jumps to this)
o lunges on toes
o holding high lunge with circular upper body movement, arms reached overhead
o standing quadriceps stretch
o Standing glute work with variety of leg pulses to the side
o Curtsy alternating with passé, and then leg extension. She repeats these taking your hand off the chair to challenge your balance
o Standing glute work pulsing leg to the back. There is an option to remove one hand off the chair to work balance, and then finally holding the back leg extension with both arms off the chair
o Figure-4 standing stretch

Core (9:40):
o Various leg movements with upper body resting on elbows
o High c-curve, one leg raised and extended, rotating to the side
o Lower to mat, legs extended long - curling and twisting the upper body while raising the opposite leg
o Crunch with twist while doing scissor switch with legs
o Roll up with arm movement
o Side lying leg lift, upper body resting on elbow
o Side forearm plank
o Twisting pilates teaser
o Cobra

Cool Down (5:17):
Includes seated stretch variations. From standing there are arabesque variations to challenge the balance. She then does standing stretches for the spine, rolling forward, extending back, and then to the side. The sequence closes with a brief releve.

COMMENTS:

I loved this very fun workout. The exercises are more dance inspired as opposed to lotte berk inspired barre. The pace was nice - mild cardio. It is fast paced, but not as frantic as P57 so easy to keep up with her. This DVD is quite a bit different than my other barre DVDs - Tracey Mallett's Booty Barre is probably the closest comparison. I liked the balance work she included in various sections.

The only complaint I had was that the Play All option under Workout Options played the disclaimer, the Acacia page, her introduction, and the tutorial. It was easy enough to chapter skip but would have been nice if they had an option for Play all Without Introduction as they do on some of the Core Fusion DVDs.
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136 of 144 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a Deep Breath and Jump-, October 22, 2011
By 
Ryle Shermatz (Cedar Rapids, IA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
Xtend Barre Lean & Chiseled was (and is) something entirely new for me, a style of exercise I have never attempted before. So for that reason I thought it would be a useful new selection to alternate with other favorite exercise DVD's presently in "heavy rotation" in my basement workout space. (A few of which I've reviewed separately on Amazon.)

My reaction--I like it! But before I expand let me fill in some blanks. Surely unlike 98% of the other users, I am male and probably also unlike many other Xtend Barre users, I'm well into middle age, having just turned the calendar on 54 years. Though I would NOT call myself a "gym rat" I have certainly been a relentlessly faithful exercise devotee since age 25 when I realized to my alarm that metabolism alone would not keep me lean. Decades of aerobics classes followed, regular "land" aerobics as well as step, along with various toning classes, and since '06 I've been wringing myself into a puddle of sweat at the company gym (stairclimber--NEVER gets easy), and at home exploring the under-appreciated wonderland of exercise DVD. In addition to conventional abs and toning workouts, I've diversified with yoga and pilates which have both proven to be challenging and beneficial. So I think I can claim that I'm an experienced fitness person with some credibility.

So with that in mind, I want to observe first that "Xtend Barre" is NOT appropriate for beginners. If you are only now getting off your sofa to begin your fitness quest, this is NOT the place to start. I would classify Xtend Barre certainly as an intermediate (possibly advanced) level class which will very quickly intimidate and overwhelm a beginner. Do NOT let this stop you--there are scores of DVD's targeted directly at beginners and you should have NO hesitation at starting at an appropriate level. I promise a beginner program will quickly let you see improvement, however if you try to bite off "Xtend Barre" to start, your aspirations will quickly be dashed.

Trying something new in a fitness routine is NECESSARY but also humbling, as "Xtend Barre" quickly reminded me. Because it's based on ballet stances and moves, the emphasis and orientation is considerably different from most familiar aerobics routines. BALANCE, control and precision are required here to a degree not demanded by other cardio/toning programs. For those (like me) with no background in ballet it's a bit of a shock to see how clumsy and awkward my early attempts at this material were (and still are, though I AM acclimating). But here's the unassailable truth we must not flinch from: fitness (like life itself) demands that we be fearless in advancing ourselves; inertia and allowing ourselves to stick with the "same old same old" will lead us only to stagnation and decline. NO I'll never make the US Olympic team, but neither can I be satisfied that grinding out 25 push ups every morning is sufficient to keep me fit as the years pile up. Beginners take heed! Once your introductory workout starts to seem tolerable, you have to switch and challenge yourself anew!

Xtend Barre trainer Andrea Rogers is EXTREMELY competent in her cueing and (as we would expect) in her mastery of the material and her direction of the workout segments. I especially admired how smoothly the barre section of the workout alternated sides of the body then added new moves to build and extend the routine. Throughout Andrea maintained steady cues and encouragement with changes vocally telegraphed in advance VERY effectively so home users can be ready for transitions without losing track. Of course I also have to mention as someone who has been a male for a long time, Andrea and her raven-tressed workout partners (demonstrating the high and low intensity modifications) are all sleek beauties, and YES denounce me if you must but that's always an extra sprinkle of motivation for us XY gender users...

Again--this workout will challenge you, and here I redeploy my ironclad law of video workouts: you are NOT allowed to abandon any routine/instructor until you've done the entire workout four or five times. ANYTHING new you try--especially a higher level workout like Xtend Barre--is going to make unfamiliar and taxing demands on you. Realize that this is part of the reason why you do it--and understand that you will need a few repetitions to "get" the instructors' style and material. The blessing and curse of video workouts is that they're ALWAYS the same--over time you will learn the routine with some swagger, and then it's time to pick up something new. Let me just admit here that I'll be working months to bring myself to that point of familiarity with "Xtend Barre". Let me also point out that Andrea & her producers (mercifully and wisely I think) made the barre segment accessible by using a chair for balance throughout. Clearly, Andrea and her helpers could do the routine with NO support; thankfully they understood that most of us will never gain that degree of mastery (though it's certainly something to shoot for over time), and chose to do the barre routine using chairs so we can keep ourselves vertical as they lead us through this demanding sequence.

"Sweat like a pig" is an indelicate but accurate description of my experience running through the entire 50-some minutes of this routine. You can certainly break it up and do one segment daily (the 23 minute barre routine is the longest-and most difficult). I prefer to get the full routine in if possible, so my use so far has been confined (mostly) to weekends. However in my short exposure so far, I feel I AM catching on and indeed, following their demonstration with increased snap and vigor.

Of course the question is fairly asked: does "Xtend Barre" truly deliver the "dancer's body you've always wanted" (as the box claims)? My direct answer is YES with the qualification that YOU are obliged to work it so it will work for you, AND recognize that one DVD workout alone can never span the entire continuum of what is necessary for optimal fitness and good looks. Now let me hasten to add that NO, after only a months' (somewhat limited) use of Xtend Barre I do not have a "dancer's body". Given my fitness background however I'm firm in my conviction that my years of work have been indisputably beneficial and exercise should be something EVERYONE with a body does.

I'm not going the full 5 stars for "Xtend Barre" because it's too high of a hill for beginners to climb, but exercise veterans looking for something adventurous and different should DEFINITELY add this to their library and rotation.

Amazon friends, there is NO silver bullet! I like and recommend this DVD but be aware that it could be more than you can handle right now. Let's not kid ourselves that establishing and maintaining a commitment to fitness is easy, ESPECIALLY if parenting, work, or possibly an unsympathetic spouse actively or passively try to discourage you. You must not let those things get between your aspirations and actions. This after all is YOUR life! As so many have sagely reminded us in other contexts, let's not die full of regrets for the things we were too timid to attempt. "Better to do it WHILE YOU'RE ALIVE!"
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, February 7, 2011
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This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
I LOVE this DVD! I have tried both Pure Barre and The Bar Method and this is by far my favorite! The other DVDs are great as far as toning goes, but this one I felt like has a much better cardiovascular workout along with toning. I also love how the workout is broken up into sections: Warm up, Arms, Legs/seat, and Core, you can choose individual workouts or do the whole thing. Andrea is a great instructor, gives great ques, and not too peppy. I love this work out!
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66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun barre-style workotut with a strong cardio effect, March 12, 2011
This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
This DVD is led by Andrea Rodgers, a Pilates instructor and founder of the Xtend program. In her Introduction to this DVD, Rodgers explains that she created this workout based on principles of Pilates and dance. She teaches live in a bright studio with two background exercisers, Sharon, who modifies many of the moves, and Kamil, who performs some more advanced versions, including ballet jumps. The only prop necessary is a sturdy chair, although I also found it helpful to use a mat. (Note: Rodgers and crew are wearing socks with non-skid bottoms; I performed the workout barefoot on a mat.)

The Main Menu of the DVD offers the following options (I've added some times/descriptions in parentheses): Introduction (1m)--Tutorial (3.5m)--Workout Options--Bonus Features--Also from Acacia (trailers of 4 other Acacia DVDs)--Credits. In the Tutorial, Rodgers briefly reviews the ballet terms and corresponding exercises that are used in the workout; although I have had some experience with barre-type workouts, I still found this to be helpful. The Bonus Features include biographical information for Rodgers and then two short clips from other Acacia workouts, one from Shiva Rea's Creative Core Abs and one from Exhale: Thighs & Glutes (Parallel Thigh).

If you select Workout Options, you are taken to a submenu offering the following options: Play All (55m)--Warm-Up (6m)--Upper Body (11m)--Barre (23m)--Core (10m)--Cool-Down (5m). Unfortunately, the "Play All" option plays not just the workout segments but also the Introduction and Tutorial, although you can skip through these segments. I have broken down each section in greater detail below.

Warm-Up (6m)
Rodgers moves FAST here and starts raising the heart rate immediately. Instead of just doing the traditional knees up/arms up that are the norm for many barre workouts, Rodgers does knee raises with balance holds all on one side before switching to the other and finally alternating knees. She also performs a rear curtsy squat, coming up into a knee lift (passe).

Arms (11m)
Rodgers suggests using between 1-3 lbs. for the arms work; I started with 3# but needed to drop down to 2# during the triceps work. The first half felt similar to the arms work in Tracy Effinger's Squeeze: 30-Day Body Transformation/Tracy Effinger's Squeeze Stronger (fitness workout) DVDs: Rodgers keeps things constantly moving, doing many repetitions but using small, precise movements. She suggests doing the next segment without weights, and I am glad she did. Here she incorporates some balance work with unweighted upper body moves for the shoulder similar to the arms work in Classical Stretch (e.g., Classical Stretch - The Esmonde Technique: Full Body Workout Volume 1 / Athletes Intense Stretch, or perhaps Tracy Anderson, although I haven't personally done any TA DVDs). Rodgers concludes the arms segment on the floor, starting with some tricep dips (I don't like doing these, especially after the triceps were already fatigued--it felt like overkill), knee push-ups, and a brief plank position.

Barre (23m)
This segment uses a chair. Again, Rodgers keeps you moving the entire time, producing a strong cardio effect. For those familiar with Tracey Mallet's Tracey Mallett-The Booty Barre-Total New Body, this section feels somewhat similar, as it is quick moving and even includes some kicks as Mallet does in her barre work. Rodgers begins with plies on the toes in parallel, first, and second positions, with the advanced modifier, Kamil, adding in some jumps. She has some large leg movements as well, with a a front attitude turning into a wide circle to the side. Standing sideways behind the chair, another large movement involves stepping into second, turning to face the chair, stepping back, and stepping into first to finish. This is followed by a split-leg lunge on the toes, and then there is a brief stretch (about 1.5m at the 11.5m mark). The second half of the barre work concentrates more on the side and rear glutes. Rodgers begins with side leg lifts; these are performed both pointing and flexing the leg. Next comes a curtsy lunge, first lifting up to a knee hold (passe), then to a leg kick. The final move involves standing glute pulses to the rear, and Rodgers concludes with a standing Figure 4 stretch.

Core (9.5m)
I was a little disappointed to discover that the majority of this segment is based on traditional crunch-type moves (which I usually try to avoid due to possible strain to the low back); given Rodgers's background as a Pilates instructor, I had expected her to incorporate more Pilates-type work here. She starts with toe dips performed resting on the elbows, and then she moves on to torso twists performed in a c-curve position. (Note: to protect my back, I did these and many of the exercises which follow with my 9" Body Back Ball & Pump under my sacrum.) This is followed by a leg scissor move. Next, Rodgers does borrow from Pilates by doing a variation on the Pilates Roll-Up, although unfortunately, the pace is unnecessarily super-fast. However, I DID like the final few moves of this section, which are performed on the side. Rodgers performs a side leg lift, side plank, and side teaser; these exercises were fun, safe, and a great way to target the obliques. Rodgers concludes with a brief stretch.

Cool-Down (5m)
Rodgers first performs some brief floor stretches; she finishes standing for some balance moves and additional standing stretches.

Overall, I really liked this workout. I was impressed that my heart rate stayed high throughout, and both the arms and the barre segments felt really effective. I was a little disappointed in the core work, but I liked the final part of it (that targeted the obliques), and I think that I can modify the rest (using my Pilates ball) to suit my needs. In the end, my final rating would be about 4 1/2 stars, and I would definitely recommend this workout.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this video!!!, March 31, 2011
This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
I never write reviews, but I had to. This video is so amazing! I cannot believe how fast the time went. Andrea Rogers is motivating and precise, I felt like I was in a live class. The workout was great, fast paced and challenging. I worked every muscle and kept moving, it was so good! The barre segment had great exercises that really kept my heart rate up. The core section reminded me of dance class, I loved it. We moved from seated to lying down, to side work, I felt graceful and fluid and my abs felt amazing. I diagree with another reviewer on the music, I really enjoyed it. It kept me going rather than the usual boring repetitive beats, I thought it fit perfectly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Ballet Inspired Workout!, September 7, 2011
By 
B. Holmes (Atlantic City, NJ) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
This routine takes me back to the days of when I was in advanced ballet/pointe. I even thought about throwing on my pointe shoes to enhance the routine. Your legs will be KILLER if you stick to this! A must have for ballet/pilate lovers!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the closest I have found to my studio class, April 17, 2011
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This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
I like it. I wore my heart rate monitor and burned 429 calories doing the entire work out (I'm 5'5" and 130 lbs so you can approximate your burn from that). I would have given it 5 stars but there is no option to skip the intro when you select play all, which is annoying. It had some innovative arm movements that really work the bra strap hang over area (ladies we know about that). It could of had a little more buns work on the mat. But overall it will be a good DVD for the days I can't make it to my studio barre class.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware of your joints!, July 6, 2012
This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
I began ballet last year (being 23) and I thought this DVD might be a nice cardio-oriented workout which at the same time might allow me to use movements I know. Oh my! I don't have any knee problems and yet, after only 5 minutes, my knees were cracking loudly! Why? Because pliés or reverences are NOT supposed to be fast-paced, it doesn't allow you to concentrate on your form and while trying to keep up, you naturally shift you position and harm yourself. I will not use this DVD again. Working out is supposed to lead to good health, and while it seems very efficient for toning and shaping, I don't want to end up with joint problems I didn't have to begin with, for the sake of appearances.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really see results!, May 11, 2011
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This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
I've purchased dozens of items on amazon and this is the first time I HAD to write a review! I workout an hour a day 5-6 days a week alternating between circuit training, yoga and pilates. I'm pretty fit and this dvd was a challenge! It's not so hard that beginners couldn't do it with modifications or lower weight, and the 55 minutes really fly by. I can only do it 2-3 times a week but that's all I've needed to see results already. If you are thinking about trying this - go for it!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Many deep and quick knee bends ... painful for this regular exerciser, June 1, 2011
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This review is from: XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED (DVD)
I bought this DVD confident in the other positive reviews. However, to my great dismay there are many quick and deep knee bends that left me, an active person in my thirties, in agony. I am trading this in for an Amazon $5.00 gift card tonight.
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XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED
XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED by Ernie Schultz (DVD - 2011)
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