Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ballet Body: Lower Body Review

This is a review of the Ballet Body Signature Series Lower Body Workout. I'm actually making these notes on 8/14/2012 but this won't make my blog until sometime in the future.

My immediate thought was that this really isn't ballet, though it is ballet inspired. Then again the name is Ballet Body so the implication is that your body will look like you are a dancer not that you will be doing actual ballet. My second thought was that Leah means business!

Tons and tons of plie variations, demi plie to be exact though there was a series of deep plies in second position. She also does some interesting and - if the burn in my butt and thighs was an indication - effective thigh, hip and hamstring work where you work while pulling away from the bar. It goes on and on and on and then finally you get to go to the floor. Heh heh and do a pretty intense bridge series that again works the body from a variety of angles.

Finally, just when I was ready to take off my shoe - oh wait! I didn't wear shoes - and throw it at the TV, it was time to stretch. Delicious is how I would characterize the stretch series. Again, plenty of innovative angles. That's what makes it extra delish. It's about 12 minutes long but feels longer and that's nice.

The entire workout is about 54 minutes long and is done in voice over, which means that Leah demonstrates the exercises silently but her voice has been dubbed into the background along with the music, which I'd characterize as unobtrusive. It is not chaptered. I figure that this is on purpose. No one would finish if they could simply skip through the chapters. Bwaaaahahahaha!

I always approach a new method as a beginner. Leah's workout schedule for these dvds states that beginners should do half the reps and all the modifications. This wasn't always easy to achieve. Often the cuing for the modification didn't come until I was well into the more advanced position. I also wasn't sure of how many of each movement I'd be doing or what I should be doing when I wasn't doing the movement. So, I ended up doing much more than half of most of the movements.

Despite taking it easy, I was "wring out your sports bra and top" drenched when I finished and was still perspiring after a cool shower. Isometrics always do that to me. Ya gotta love a good cleansing sweat! Running, even sprinting never does that for me. <sigh>

I thought that this workout would have a lot of dread factor for me. I guess it's like childbirth though... I finished with a prayer of thanks that it was over and seriously thinking I might as well just trade it away but now that I've had a shower I'm thinking I might like to follow her schedule for these three dvds and try it again next week.

If I see that idea through I'll add this review by update or by replying depending upon how much I have to say.

One additional thought: Leah appears to have longer legs with a slightly shorter torso. Maybe a combo bordering on short torso. She is lean and truly does have the ballet body that she is attempting to give to people who engage in her workouts. I'm wondering how my short and tending toward stocky legs would take to a steady diet of this method. I'm not sure I'm wondering enough to actually commit to a trial but I'll let you know if I change my mind.

Below is a clip from youtube showing some of the exercises used in this video.

Editing this to add that I did this dvd again. The second time through I dispensed with the beginner recommendations and just did the workout as presented. Wow! This is some workout!! I'm used to isometric contractions but my legs were burning at certain points in the workout. The crazy thing is that today - the next day - they weren't sore. They basically felt a little tired or muscle aware. I am wondering about dread factor but it might not be an issue since there is no major soreness that follows the workout. I definitely think i'll be doing this one again at some point.
Next off I'll try Leah's core video but not for a day or two. When I do I'll be posting my thoughts on it.

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