Video Fitness


Lotte Berk

The Lotte Berke Method is a non-traditional type of toning developed by a dancer of the same name. It emphasizes the creation of long, lean (not bulky) muscles through the use of small, precise movements, and it has inspired similar methods such as Callanetics.

In MUSCLE EATS FAT, the focus is on whole-body toning. The workout begins with a warm-up, a type of high-legged marching in place, and includes simple stretches. The first section targets the arms using light weights. The movement are similar to traditional toning (eg, bicep curls and tricep extensions) but are made unique by both the preciseness of each movement as well as the use of the "Lotte Berk tuck," an isometric stance which works the legs while working the upper body. The arm section finishes on the floor with some tough plank moves which also work the buttocks.

The leg work comes next; although the moves are displayed using a ballet barre, a sturdy, high-backed chair works fine. These exercises clearly derive from ballet and really target the thigh muscles. Again, the Lotte Berk tuck is used to increase the work on both the legs and the hip area. The final exercises for the lower body are done on a mat using the signature Lotte Berk movement, Knee Dancing--again, you will really FEEL this in your thighs. The workout ends with a final stretch, although in the Lotte Berk Method, stretches are also woven throughout following each strength move.

The Lotte Berk Method is great for all exercisers who are looking for a different but challening strength workout, including those at a beginning level.

Instructor comments: The video is led by three Lotte Berk certified instructors. The main instructor, Barbara, looks amazing for her age, which she says is close to 50. She's a bit goofy in her comments (eg, repeatedly saying "did you feel that?" and "I love this workout!"), but she provides good information and cuing. The remaining two instructors do not speak, but one shows modifications.

Beth (aka toaster)

December 15, 2003

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