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Ballet Beautiful: Transform Your Body and Gain the Strength, Grace, and Focus of a Ballet Dancer Paperback – June 12, 2012
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Mary Helen’s technique . . . allows anyone to achieve the long, toned physique of a dancer.”
“Shows off a celebrity fitness trend that could just be the next Pilates.”
“The ballerina responsible for whipping Natalie Portman into shape for her role in Black Swan is giving us the chance to attain ‘prima’ perfection with the release of her a book.”
Bookviews.com, August 2012
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Why would I recommend this book to other girls and women - and not only to those who love ballet as I do?
First of all, the book is written in very pleasant, calm and sensible style. It is divided into three parts (these are divided into chapters).
The parts cover all you need for building some kind of regimen or just approach to your work out routine and food choices:
* the actual work out (stretching exercises, the classic 60 minute workout and three 15-minutes blasts workouts: 1 for arms and 2 cardios). Here you also obtain some basic ballet terminology, few basic BB principles
* third part talks about the approach to food - shows what food choices are great, the essential philosophy here is the intuitive/instinctive and very sensible approach to food. I apprecciated the suggestions for breakfasts, snacks, lunches etc. There are also suggestions for how many times per week to work out (ideal week, a moderate and light week). You will also find usable and practical tips on how to deal with cravings etc. In the very end of this part and of the book itself you can find few quick and healthy, yet easy recipes provided by Mary Helen and her friends/family.Read more ›
Also I find it so easy to stay positive and connected because of all the resources available in the book but also online at Ballet Beautiful anytime of day / night. That's made all the difference for me. It used to be so frustrating when life didn't allow me time to exercise, but now that I know don't have to run to the gym to get a great workout I feel confident that I can keep it up. And I've learned how to be realistic about setbacks, the kind of things I used to get so mad at myself about. I "move on" as Mary Helen advises. And guess what? It's working!
I first heard about this program last year. I was intrigued and heard good things from people. I bought the Total Body DVD and got this book. For my money, while both are good investments, I'm getting more out of the book.
Some of the exercises are difficult to learn the first time around, particularly the standing exercises. Ballet is notoriously difficult to teach on paper; the fact that I could follow the exercises after a second review speaks to how well she did describe them. And I loved her concise reference sheet of ballet terms with descriptions and illustrations.
The bulk of the first program is best thought of as floor barre, but with a little bit of a twist. (And if you also want to think of it as a more elegant version of the some of the floor exercises women have been doing since the Fifties, you're excused.) Bridges, leg lifts and inner thigh lifts will be familiar to anyone who has taken a Pilates class in the last decade, and the abwork will probably remind you of some of the Lotte Berk/Bar Method/Core Fusion/etc. Bowers usually has you perform 4 sets of 8 reps, then pulses at the high point for the same number. Definitely more reps than in Pilates, but fewer than most of the barre work out there. What the book has that the videos don't is the Reverse Bridge (which Pilates practitioners might recognize as Grasshopper). While the Bridges work both the lower back and glutes, the Reverse Bridges call on those muscles as well as the upper back and call for more extension of the spine. Hugely important for all of us.
The standing sections or Blasts work well together as a cardio-sculpting workout.Read more ›
I read about her workouts in the book and I knew I had to grab her DVDs. They were all surprisingly challenging, despite her moves that look deceptively simple, but they are also very fun and the results are losing weight, dropping inches everywhere, becoming firm and toned, and still keeping your womanly curves without the bulges and cellulite. I look and feel like a princess the more I do these. Mary's first couple of chapters is her talking about the mindset- that no, you do NOT have to do her workouts perfectly, and that you do NOT have to kill yourself every single day doing a lot of working out to get results.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a decent book, but if you already have her total body workout DVD it's kind of redundant. Parts 1 and 3 of the book - about motivation/mindset and an eating plan - seemed like... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Rebecca Farrar
Great book! I borrowed it from the library a week or 2 ago and knew immediately I needed to buy my own copy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Fiona
This is such a great book ! I have such an affection and respect for Mary Helen bowers, she is an inspiration! Read morePublished 4 months ago by MicheleRose
I can't wait to see how much stronger I will be in a few months. This is something that I think I can stick to, because it is fun to imagine being a ballerina. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Harper
I mainly use the recipes and the coaching. My abs and legs are redefined. After four children, I never thought I would see a flat tummy again. Mary Helen is beautiful!!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Good insight on personal tips for training. Very useful for integrating her routine in your own workout. Totally effective.Published 8 months ago by Cee Ruffin
Let me start by saying that I love MHB. I gave up on traditional workouts about 2 years ago from simply not enjoying them and being able to keep up with them. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer