Video Fitness

PlayBall

Patrick Goudeau

“Playball” is a compact, 30-minute routine that will work up a sweat, while challenging your balance, core strength and agility.

Set and music: Patrick and his two background exercisers, Stephanie and Connie, work out in a light, airy studio to an upbeat, soft-rock track. The workout takes up only a minimal amount of space.

Workout: Patrick starts off with some step- touches and lunges, while holding the ball out at chest height, then moves into jump squats where you touch your med ball to the floor, then jump up while holding it overhead at arms’ length. Then there are continuous low lunges (ie you keep very low throughout, without coming back to a standing position). Patrick introduces a burpee-like move, in which you go into a plank with both hands on the ball, then quickly jump forward to that both feet are on either side of the ball. Then there’s a “basketball drill” in which you weave the ball around your legs in a figure-eight. (I like to use a compact, slightly soft Gymnic med ball for this bit.)

There are also a few balance challenges and some standing ab work. These exercises include: standing side crunches using the ball for resistance; holding the ball up high as you kick high; a move where you lunge very low while holding the ball to one side (“as though you were passing it to a very short person” as Patrick explains it) then rotate the ball in a wide arc so that you are reaching up high on the other side — I really felt this in my abs!

Then comes the “bowling ball lunges”. You lunge forward as though you were about to bowl your med ball, then bring the ball right overhead at the end of your outstretched arm. (From the concentration on everyone’s face, I gather this would be difficult to execute with a traditional, hard med ball, so I used a Gymnic med ball for this bit.) The bowling ball lunge then morphs into a one- armed shoulder press while standing on one leg.

By this time Patrick, Stephanie and Connie had worked up a serious sweat, so it’s down to the floor for some more ab work. This included: push-ups with one hand on the ball; a straight-leg plank with both hands on the ball, then slowly bringing one knee into your chest and then — I hope you’re sitting down! — maintaining that position while “jogging” (bringing alternate knees into your chest at a very fast pace). After some more core work, Patrick uses the med ball for an extra range of motion during a brief stretch segment.

Overall impressions: In keeping with its sporty title, “Playball” is very athletic: there are no dancey moves here. I think the entire routine is well-designed: the ball is used throughout the workout to add resistance and challenge your balance.

The entire workout is easy to follow, in that it uses simple movements, but Patrick does transition very quickly from one move to another, which can be tricky if you are using different med balls as I like to do.

The production is nothing fancy, but very professional. The entire workout is well- edited: you can see exactly what you need to see when you need to see it.

I can see myself using “Playball” regularly to improve my agility and core strength, and as a fun add-on cardio routine. My only gripe is that there is no real warm-up, so you may want to do your own, or use “Playball” after another cardio session.

I would rate the level as intermediate/ advanced. Some of the exercises reminded me of Tony Horton and Mindy Mylrea’s, so if you enjoy their workouts, you would probably like this one.

Only one exercise is high impact (which you could easily modify) but due to the number of squats and continuous low lunges, exercisers with knee problems would definitely want to avoid this one.

My rating for both workout and production: 5/5

Instructor comments: This was my first experience with Patrick. I had heard that he is prone to giggling (which I hate) but here he laughed a bit at his own near-goofs and just because he was having fun. He joked around with Stephanie and Connie, and was motivating. I counted “Oh my gosh!” twice.

RedPanda

November 2008



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