XTEND BARRE: LEAN & CHISELED
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If Pilates sculpts your body, Xtend Barre chisels it.
Developed by professional dancer, choreographer, and Pilates instructor Andrea Rogers, Xtend Barre combines the grace and flexibility of dance with the strength and sculpting of Pilates to give you a long, strong, and lean physique.
The program is divided into three segments, allowing you to customize your workout each day. The upper-body section creates defined shoulders and arms and a beautiful back. The barre segment employs flowing dance movements to lift and tighten trouble spots like the glutes, hips, and thighs. And the core program targets the deep abdominal muscles to help chisel your midsection.
Incorporating both toning and cardio elements, this unique barre workout lengthens and strengthens your entire body in an exciting new way. You’ll burn calories, build lean muscle, and feel terrific! Includes tutorial segment.
Equipment needed: a chair and light hand weights
If you are looking for a challenging workout that will get you toned and sleek while offering great cardio, Xtend Barre Lean & Chiseled is the routine for you. Led by the very inspiring Andrea Rogers, a dancer who incorporates ballet, Pilates, yoga, and traditional workout moves, Xtend Barre Lean & Chiseled is appropriate for all fitness levels. Beginners always have a way to modify the moves, and experts can leap and bound to their hearts' content to add challenge. And Rogers's routines are quite precise and will give results if done regularly. The arms segment, for example, is just 11 minutes, but even if you do the moves without weights, you will feel your triceps and shoulders burning in that good way. Like all good exercise instructors, Rogers urges one or two more sets of repetitions than anyone would be inclined to do on her own--and the muscles feel the difference. To do the routine, you need light weights. And Rogers is serious when she says "one-, two, or three-pound weights," because five-pounders are almost impossible to use for all the reps she presents. The exerciser also needs a regular household chair, the back of which is used for balance. Rogers's routine also focuses on the all-important (and often overlooked) importance of balance, which will further help engage the core. Extras include a slight bio of Rogers, as well as previews of some other workouts distributed by the manufacturer. But Xtend Barre Lean & Chiseled is simple, challenging, and adaptable to any fitness level, so can be an excellent go-to routine for virtually anyone. --A.T. Hurley
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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
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
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.
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.
I think Andrea Rogers is fantastic as a teacher. She never gets annoying like some other videos I have. She is always positive during the work out and I love how she constantly reminds you to keep the "proud chest". I would highly recommend this video for intermediate workouts. Not jarring on the joints and the positive effects it has had on our bodies is unmistakable.