Thursday, January 2, 2014

Element: Barre Conditioning DVD Review

Develop the grace of a dancer, the strength of an athlete and the body that won't quit with this new Element: Barre Conditioning DVD.  Barre workouts are a hot fitness trend right now and this new DVD brings that experience home using an ordinary chair to take the place of the barre.  With two 30 minute workouts on one DVD barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln Gives the moves and the tips on form that will bring about deep changes in your muscles.  The results are strength without bulk.  The look of a dancer without a single ballet lesson.  The DVD is filmed in a picturesque garden overlooking the ocean.  It's perfect for that me time moment for anyone to indulge their body and mind for the better.  It's available on amazon with a suggested retail price of $14.98 which is far less than a single barre class.

BURN & FIRM - This high-energy standing routine starts with a warm-up of side-to-side lunges in horse stance;  Lincoln layers on an arm to the side/overhead and then a side leg lift.   Next, she moves to the chair for plié work for the side body.  Lincoln starts slow, again picking up the pace with side leg lifts.  Coming back to horse stance, she performs plié pulses, moving only an inch at a time, first with the feet flat, then on the toes.  Additional moves including standing diamond (on one leg, bending/straightening both legs) and narrow athletic "v", again moving just an inch at a time.  She finishes on the first side with single squats, first starting with a pulsing squat, then a full squat.  Lincoln repeats the entire series through standing diamond on the second side, concluding this time with power leg (small pulses) and chair pose (pulsing then full).  For the stretch, Lincoln faces the chair for a quad stretch and crescent pose.   She also performs a standing forward fold, bending each knee in turn to get in an extra hip stretch; she then returns to standing and takes deep breaths to finish.
LENGTHEN & STRENGTHEN - The warm-up for this workout begins more slowly, with side-to-side taps that turn into hamstring curls and knee raises.  The standing work starts facing the chair for crescent lunge.  Lincoln performs small lowers (one inch) for this position and then larger raises.  She also concentrates the weight on the front leg to work the glutes.  After this short standing sequence, Lincoln moves to all fours, slowing bringing in an alternate arm and knee and then performing a straight leg pulse.  Next, she transitions to her side for side-lying diamond on either side (with a seated twist in-between) followed by bridge lifts.  For the core work, the rolled-up towel supports the pelvis.  The moves here include passé leg lowers, point/flex presses, and fourth position scoops.   Lincoln then returns to all fours for a cat/cow stretch and a final move, plank, adding in a micro bend of the knees (and optional elbow bends). Again, there is a nice long stretch which includes childs pose, seated shoulder/side stretches, twist, modified camel, and standing forward fold.

I really enjoy these workouts and I have done them several times.  I highly recommend this DVD.