Crunch Super SlimDown: Pilates Yoga Blend

Ellen Barrett
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Yoga

This was the final (of several) pilates fusion Crunch workouts put out by Ellen Barrett, before she started her own Studio series. The workout is about 15 minutes of standing yoga fusion flow followed by about 30 minutes of a pilates fusion mat series. Out of all of Ellen’s Crunch workouts, I think this one is the most like her Studio workouts. Having not tried Fusion Flow (which I understand is easier), this is like a Studio Lite workout. The yoga series is very much like Yogini, but less strenuous, and the floor work is great for strengthening and elongating the entire core. No equipment is needed except a mat, and everyone works out barefoot.

I use the yoga portion *frequently* as my go-to relaxation workout, or when I’m really short on time in the morning and want something to quickly energize me that I don’t need to prep for (shoes, equipment, etc.). While I don’t usually make time for the floor work, I always find it both refreshing and relaxing when I do. When I haven’t done a pilates workout in a long time, I tend to awaken muscles in my torso that don’t usually get worked (and have light DOMS the next day).

I wanted to agree with the other reviews, this is more of a beginner-light intermediate workout but you really get out what you put in: you can make an exercise more challenging by focusing on your form and making your body work together as seamlessly as possible. I also feel very elegant when I do this workout (as with many Ellen workouts).

As a whole workout (when done in entirety), I tend to prefer her Studio workouts better, with my personal favorites being Fat Burning Fusion and Slim Sculpt. However, I tend to pull this one out the most frequently for a quickie pick me up with the yoga portion.

This workout has the usual Crunch set and backgrounders (20-something, overly cheerful girls) and I really like the music on this one – it is on par with some of Ellen’s Studio workouts. I can work up a gentle sweat, and wake up my body without feeling at all taxed or overexerted. Absolutely zero dread factor and the fun factor is high! The DVD is chaptered (and you can choose a specific chapter if you’d like). This isn’t an absolute “must have” especially if you enjoy the intensity of Yogini, but I’d say this is a great addition to any Ellen fan’s collection (and you can pick it up pretty cheap nowadays). Grade A!

Instructor Comments:
Ellen is classic Ellen in this one – enthusiastic and smiley and emphasizes the mind-body connection so there is a little bit of “woo woo”. With this particular workout (due to the gentleness of the practice), I didn’t note any “wooing” from the backgrounders like is common in other Crunch workouts. Most people seem to take well to Ellen and I’m not surprised (I love her too!) but for those who haven’t liked Ellen’s other workouts, they won’t like this either.

Emily B.