Video Fitness

Lotte Berk Method: High Round Assets

I've done the basic workout on the DVD, and it wasn't as hard as I'd hoped it would be. I was slightly sore in my hamstrings the next day, but had been hoping my glutes would have been hit a little more. I don't really care if my hamstrings are high and round! It's my assests I'm concerned about. I may need to do this a few more times, and maybe something in my form will change so that the glutes are hit a little more...
I enjoyed the workout, and it involves little or no bending of the knees, which is what I need right now.
Most of the moves remind me of regular old floor work, but done using the barre ( I used a wall.) I would compare some of the moves to the leg work in Kathy Smith's Secrets to a Great Lower Body. (Standing, leaning into a chair, lifting your straightened rear leg behind you.)

Instructor comments: I can't be bothered putting my DVD in to check the instructor's name, but she was pleasant and relatively motivating. She gives some details before each move, then counts out the reps (up hold, up hold, up hold...up one, up two...) She is motivating near the end of each set (you can do it, this is intense, keep moving).

Wendy Chapin


The Lotte Berk Method is a form of exercise developed by Russian dancer Lotte Berk and brought to America by Lydia Bach. Drawing from dance and other similar disciplines, many of the exercises require the use of a ballet barre, and the focus is on making small, precise movements to facilitate the development of long, lean muscles. As the title suggests, High Round Assets particularly targets the muscles in the glute area with the goal of creating a higher and firmer behind.

Like all of the Lotte Berk videos, this workout begins with high knee lifts to warm up. Instructor Kristen Lilley leads two other Lotte Berk instructors, one of whom shows modifications and one of whom uses a wall (actually a column in this case) instead of a barre. Also included in the warm up are push-ups: 2 sets of 10 on your knees, and then 2 sets of 10 "reverse" push-ups, performed with your hands behind you and your chest up to switch the work to the triceps. After the warm up, the workout moves to the barre for several sets of leg lifts. Beginning with a straight leg, you lift your leg behind you and make small, slow lifts upward for 2 sets of 10; the next 2-3 sets are performed more quickly. After repeating on the other side, you then do a bent leg version, again starting with slow lifts and progressing to quicker lifts. This focus on doing only a couple of different exercises with a very high number of repetitions is different from the other Lotte Berk videos, but I found it to be more effective. However, like the other videos, there is an emphasize on stretching, so you always perform stretches between the movements.

After the barre work, it's on to the floor for "back dancing," which is basically a series of pelvic tilts done while lying on your back. These moves are performed a variety of ways, including emphasizing one side only and placing your feet into different positions, but you are constantly moving with no breaks inbetween. The workout ends as all the LBM videos do with a "Shape by Stretch" section in which you perform hamstring and other stretches. At 31 minutes, this is a short, efficient workout for targeting your glutes; mine were definitely sore the next day! The style of these videos might not appeal to everyone, especially since the exercises are quite repetitive. However, I would recommend this workout to anyone looking for an effective means of making the most of their "assets."

Instructor comments: I found the instructor, Kristen, to be more tolerable than some of the other Lotte Berk instructors, as she doesn't have the same condescending manner. However, she sometimes says things that sound exactly like the other instructors--are they all working from the same script?

Beth C

March 15, 2005

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