296 of 301 people found the following review helpful
Graceful workouts that will get you results -- and a tip to help you get through this one!
, December 24, 2012
This review is from: Ballet Beautiful: Body Blast (DVD)
Purchasing this Body Blast DVD and the full-body one was my first experience using Mary Helen's workouts, and I really like them. The soothing classical piano music, the lovely white set, and Mary Helen's soft voice make for two workouts that are pleasant -- even while Mary Helen is killing you! These might look easy, but they are tough!
As other reviewers have noted, these are not ballet exercises, but more toning/strengthening exercises. All you need to do this workout and the Total Body one is a mat.
The Body Blast DVD includes four fifteen-minute segments: Swan Arms, 15-Minute Total Body Blast, Butt Blast 1, and Butt Blast 2.
Since I've personally found it really hard to do the two Butt Blast segments back-to-back, my big tip is to start with Butt Blast 2, then go back to the main menu and "Play All" so that you then do then do Swan Arms, the Total Body Blast, and Butt Blast 1. Doing the workout this way allows my glutes and legs to get a nice break between the two Butt Blast segments so that I can complete the whole workout -- and still walk the next day! ;-)
If you are familiar with Tracey Anderson's workouts, the two Butt Blast segments on the Blasts DVD reminded me a lot of Tracey's Metamorphosis Hipcentric workout, where you work your legs from an all-fours position. I got great results using Tracey's Hipcentric before I had to stop it due to back strain, but because Mary Helen uses slower pacing, her workout seems much easier on my back. I do have some wrist pain when doing these two segments, but Mary Helen says that you can go down to your forearms if you need to.
For each exercises, you will do four sets of eight repetitions. Mary Helen counts each and every rep, which some people might not like, but I've found that it helps me get into the rhythm of the moves. She also repeats the same phrases, and I could see how that might get old after a while.
If you like these, you might also like Leah Sarago's Ballet Body workouts (Ballet Body Signature Series Upper Body Workout, Ballet Body Signature Series Core Body Workout, and Ballet Body Signature Series Lower Body Workout), which are equally challenging, but equally fun.
I've also had really great results recently using these. When I first got them, I didn't do them on a regular basis, but just recently, I was sick and didn't feel like doing any cardio. I only did MHB's two DVDs for about three weeks (with no cardio) -- and my legs and arms really tightened up! I feel like I had better results in just three weeks with MHB's workouts than I did with 42 days of Tracey Anderson's Hipcentric. Mary Helen is like the poor woman's Tracy Anderson! (I realize that the two methods are very different since TA has you changing up your workouts every ten days, but the Ballet Beautiful workouts seem to work better for me!)
I also love how graceful I feel after doing these! I haven't taken a ballet class since I was about five, but I feel like a ballerina doing these!
UPDATE ON 6-6-15: If you search YouTube, the Be Fit channel has several segments from this and the Total Body DVD on their channel so you can watch them for free and try them out before buying the DVD. :)
UPDATE ON 7-13-15: Cathe Friedrich (another wonderful instructor who puts out top-notch workout DVDs) just published an article in her weekly newsletter, stating that the best exercises for building the glutes without making the thighs/quads bigger are bridges (which Mary Helen does a lot of on her Total Body DVD) and quadruped hip extensions (which are the exercises that Mary Helen does in the two Butt Blast segments on this Blasts DVD). No wonder these workouts help build a nice, round posterior! The article, in case you want to search for it (unfortunately, Amazon doesn't allow us to provide links to outside sites in our reviews) is called "Can You Build Glutes Without Increasing the Size of Your Thighs?" and it was published on Cathe's website on July 12, 2015.
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