Video Fitness

Amazing Ball Choreography

Patrick Goudeau

About me: I'm a fitness instructor who loves fun, complex and intense choreography. I also enjoy running and dancing. I had been wanting this workout for forever so when I saw that Netflix was carrying Patrick's workout I was even more excited! This workout is remarkably creative. There are lots of workouts that purport to be a 'cardio on the ball' workout but don't really deliver in terms of choreography or intensity. Well, this workout delivers on both counts. The choreography is fun and challenging but doable. If you really throw yourself into the workout you can really get your heart rate going. I'd characterize this workout as a solid intermediate in terms of intensity.

Patrick begins by explaining some safety issues and proper sizing for the ball workout and then moves on to the warmup. He's accompanied by one male background exerciser, Niko(?). I didn't pay much attention to the set, but it didn't bother me, so it must have been fine. The warmup is fun and simple. (It's short but it does the job.). It consists of a simple combo reaching up with the arms while bouncing on the ball and walking around the ball (preparation for the workout to come!) I really liked his use of dynamic stretches for the lower back and hip flexors-if you've read any of my reviews you know I hate static stretches in the warmup. I think they serve little to no purpose and that it's best to keep that body moving and save the static stretches for the cooldown. The music is good--has some drums, etc and it seemed to go with the workout, in my opinion. I'm not sure it's something I'd have to have to teach a class, but it was fine.

The workout itself is fun, fun, fun! I'd say the workout clocks in at about 32-35 minutes (I wasn't paying close enough attention, sorry!) The choreography breakdown (more or less) is the following combinations:
(right leads then repeat on left)
Combo I
Step Touch, 4Xs walk away from the ball (or turn)
Double jack 1X, Single jacks 2Xs
Reach (and tap the floor) and Lunge, pick up the ball

Combo II
Plie squat 4Xs (Lifting and lowering ball)
Shuffle- 2-3 tap, bouncing the ball

Combo III
Turn-2-3 tap or corkscrew (Turn 2-3 tap, sit on the ball then quickly walk around to the back of the ball) (8)
Roll forward, knee tuck , leapfrog over ball (8) (Yeah, I fell a few times on this one!)
Twist right and left 4Xs
Knees up with arms lifting

Combo IV
Jacks and Knee tucks (sitting up), 4Xs
Step Heel Digs, 4Xs (i.e. step right heel digs left)
March and Mambo (or pivot)
Squat, Stand, Reach and Sit 2Xs

What I love about Patrick is that he is a master at layering moves from the simple to the complex so that you always have a simpler option. For example, in the first combo you can choose to sit on the ball and do a step 2-3 tap, walk away from the ball, or add a turn in. Some of the moves are a lot of fun but I'd never teach in class because I can see someone falling flat on their face after attempting a knee tuck/leapfrog combo on the ball! :) That's what makes this DVD so great-lots of options. In fact, I think this video is tailored for fitness instructors to get ideas for classes. One caveat: I don't really like doing high knee lifts on the ball because while this does target your abdominals, it can also cause the back to go into hyperflexion which can be undesirable. I tended to do heel digs on the floor in place of these. When you put all of the combos together you really get a nice fun workout. One other consideration is that you do the basic bounce a lot in between moves, which may cause the heart rate to drop so intensity junkies may want to add a power move or two to keep the heart rate up. But let's just keep it real-it's fun to just bounce on the ball like you did when you were little!

The cooldown consists of hip shakes and rolls on the ball and various dynamic stretches which I really enjoyed. Patrick does a nice triangle pose on the ball which allowed me to get a different feeling stretch than on my own. There were also inner thigh and dynamic calf stretches as well as a balance pose with you holding the ball in midair while balancing on one leg. There were also some nice stretches for the hip flexors and hamstrings.

Final verdict: I'm buying this one! (Actually, I lucked out and am trading for ABC I.) It's fun to do, full of ideas for my classes and great for when you don't feel like working out. I warmed up with this workout before I went running and I felt really ready to go afterwards. I'd be cautious of ball workouts like this if you have lower back or knee problems. It's critical to have a properly sized ball (hips level with or just above the knee) and if you have lower back problems (as I do from time to time) avoid lifting your knees high while sitting on the ball.

Instructor comments: Enthusiastic, fun and a master of layering complex choreography.


November 6, 2005

I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once.

Just as an FYI, this also says “ABC Workout” on the cover; you might see it called just ABC on the forum.

General workout breakdown: Tiffany has already broken down this video so well there’s nothing to add except some times: warm-up (5 min.), workout section 1 (15 min.), workout section 2 (14 min.), and cool down (5.5 min.), for an approximately total of 40 min.

Level: I’d recommend this to experienced exercisers, perhaps around the intermediate to intermediate plus level, with some experience with stability balls and moderately complex choreography. This isn’t an intense workout, but it’s not supposed to be; it’s more about having fun than burning the maximum amount of calories. The workout is low impact, although expect turns and twists.
I consider myself an intermediate + to intermediate / advanced in cardio, although I’m still new to the stability ball, and I have little trouble with all but the most complex (or poorly cued) choreography. It took me a little bit to get some of the choreography, especially since, this being a Patrick workout, there are lots of spins and some moves done with one’s back to the TV, but part of that was my unfamiliarity with cardio routines using the ball. This wasn’t a particularly intense workout for me, perhaps up there with my more intense walking and dance videos, but keep in mind that I was still learning the choreography (although having to lunge or even run after the ball balanced some of that out…).

Class: 1 man joins Patrick, who instructs live.

Music: kind of upbeat stuff that’s not really tunes, more a beat to work out with.

Set: interior space with gray walls with vertical black stripes and lights visible over the top of the walls.

Production: clear picture and sound, a few too many close-ups for my tastes but overall the camera angles are not particularly distracting or unhelpful.

Equipment: stability ball or Swiss ball or whatever you want to call it (at 5’8” my 65 cm was a bit too big).

Space Requirements: enough space to take several big steps in each direction, although the biggest space hog is the rolling sequence, in which you start standing behind the ball and roll on your stomach almost all of the way across it. Those who are less coordinated like myself will probably need more floor space than those who have better control of the ball. Also, you should have sufficient ceiling space to hold the ball overhead (I do not). And be aware that there’s some bouncing of the ball (a la basketball dribbling), so this might not be one to do when your downstairs neighbor is trying to sleep.

DVD Notes: The main menu has the Play Workout or Chapter Selection (Warm-Up, Workout Section 1, Workout Section 2, and Cool Down) options. Unfortunately there aren’t chapters after each combo, so if you want to go back and repeat a combo that’s in the middle of the section you have to fast forward.

Comments: I agree with Tiffany that part of Patrick’s intended audience seems to be fitness instructors, although it’s just as well suited for the at home exerciser.

Instructor Comments: Patrick is his usual enthusiastic, fun-loving self, with some infectious laughter, some “Oh my goshes,” and some teasing of his background exerciser. Patrick is a former cheerleader, and he’s clearly a natural performer who loves the spotlight: few people are as comfortable in front of the camera. Overall he cues well, including mirror cuing.


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