BALLET BODY: CORE WORKOUT
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Lose inches while building lean muscles with movements inspired by ballet, dance, Pilates, and yoga. Ballet BodyT by Leah Sarago integrates traditional body-weight resistance exercises with muscle-elongating techniques to achieve a long and lean physique. Suitable for all fitness levels, these workouts draw on isometrics, the stretch-reflex principle, and muscle-contraction training for optimal results. Flatten your midsection and develop core strength with this dynamic, Pilates-inspired workout. You'll start with standing balance exercises and movement sequences before progressing into variations on side planks and mat work. Complete the routine with exercises to support the spine and back, along with deep stretches for flexibility. If you want strong abs and a bikini-ready belly, this incredible core workout is for you! Equipment needed: mat
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But after doing other videos for a handful of months, I decided to stick this in again and try it. Lo and behold, suddenly I'm not annoyed. :-) I appreciate the training in balance and extra core work from having to balance now. And, I like that this video has a nice, steady, more modern musical beat going than a lot of barre videos. A lot of other barre videos have more soothing, almost new-agey music (which I like for them, but the change in this video is nice), or classical piano (which is nice too, but again more modern music in this one is good).
And, why do so many exercise videos feel like they're straight from the 80s!!! This one does not. Her modern attire, along with the music, gives this an up to date feeling.
One thing, the instructor has NO PERSONALITY in this video, but that's OK...it's just, let get to work and get 'er done with this video. :-) No rah rah cheerleader energy with this video. She's not cutesy nor is she a hard-ar*s tough girl...she's just all business in this video.
Anyway, I'm not IN LOVE with this video, thus only 4 starts and not 5. Nonetheless, I do like this video and it's different enough from my other barre videos that it brings something new and fresh to my repertoire. Recommend!
The workout runs about 45 minutes long, and you just need a mat to do it. I had been worried that it would be too long and intense for me, but Leah paces it so that just as your core seems to tire from one move, she has you move on to a different one.
This Core workout includes standing core work, along with many variations on side planks and C-curve work. Since my core is my weakest area and I often struggle with lower back problems, this workout was the one I was most worried about being able to do, but I've been able to stick with it by just taking more frequent breaks. I can tell that this DVD is going to make me much stronger and help with my back issues.
Also, if you struggle with neck issues when doing this DVD, try Googling "Pilates Enthusiasts Neck Strain and the C-Curve" for a great video on tips to help with strain/pain. For the last month, I have also been using Suzanne Bowen's Gorgeous Core with Suzanne Bowen DVD, and I think that it helped me build up to doing the Ballet Body one.
One of the only negatives in this and the Lower Body workout is that sometimes I had a hard time seeing the angles and positioning of Leah's body. (In the Upper Body workout, I didn't have this problem.) Instead of shooting her straight on, the camera sometimes shot from a side view, which made it hard for me to see the exact placement. I'm hoping that as I do this DVD more, though, I'll be able to make sure that my positioning is correct.
On her website, Leah also has posted various rotations for using the DVDs. (I would include the link here, but usually Amazon won't allow you to include links in reviews; if you look at the product description above, though, you'll see it.) She suggests you follow each rotation for four weeks, before moving on to the next level.
Here is a basic rundown of some of the rotations:
Day 1 Lower Body
Day 2 Cardio for 30-40 mins.
Day 3 Core
Day 4 Cardio for 30-40 mins.
Day 5 Upper Body
Day 6 Cardio for 30-40 mins.
Day 7 Rest day
Day 1 Lower Body
Day 2 Core + Cardio for 30-45 mins.
Day 3 Upper Body + Cardio for 30-45 mins.
Day 4 Rest day
Day 5 Lower Body
Day 6 Core + Cardio for 30-45 mins.
Day 7 Upper Body
Day 1 Lower Body + Cardio for 30 mins.
Day 2 Core + Upper Body
Day 3 Lower Body + Cardio for 30 mins.
Day 4 Rest day
Day 5 Core + Upper Body
Day 6 Lower Body + Cardio for 30 mins.
Day 7 Core + Upper Body
For cardio, Leah suggests that you do things like dance workouts, cycling, or swimming -- activities that won't "bulk" you up.
I'm just starting a six- or eight-week rotation using these, so I'll be sure to update my reviews of each DVD as I continue with this program. I plan on doing dance cardio (like Zumba and hi/lo aerobics) and kickboxing for the duration of my rotation.
Overall, though, each workout is very unique, and I'll post back on any changes I notice as I progress through my rotation.
UPDATE AFTER THREE WEEKS: I did the Intermediate rotation using all three DVDs for three weeks (after which time I had to stop working out for a few weeks due to some stitches), and loved the results I was getting! My abs and arms were noticeably tighter, and I could see more muscle definition. My legs seemed to lag behind a bit, and I felt like my saddlebags were a little more prominent, but perhaps that is because I needed to add in a bit more cardio. These are great workouts, and I look forward to starting back up with them! The next time, I will take measurements to track my results better.
The music is upbeat and her direction is perfect. Its a voice over, so when you watch her she is not talking but you hear a voice provide direction in-sync with the moves she does. I would classify this as a strength training class that moves so quickly you also get some good cardio in. Great purchase, more challenging then the actual Barre Class!
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I will keep at it.