Physique 57: Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout

Tanya Becker
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core , Ballet/Barre, Lower Body Strength , Upper Body Strength

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Title: Physique 57: Express 30 Minute Full Body Workout
Instructor: Tanya Becker
Time: 30 Minutes
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate/High Intermediate
DVD menu: Play workout
Production quality: high
Equipment used: playground ball, barre or chair

This workout is part of the first 3-DVD trio of Physique 57 (P57) workout DVDs. The workout has already been broken down so I will just give my impressions.

Like Fuzzie said, this is a really high energy, fun workout! It is definitely one of the more energetic workouts in the barre genre (I have and use a lot of barre workouts including Ballet Body, Ballet Physique, Pure Barre, etc.) The exercises are synched very closely to the music, which is very fun and up-beat. The DVDs aren’t especially cheap, but I think they are well worth the money.

I really like this workout when I’m short on time. I feel like I get a good intense barre workout that hits the legs and glutes especially well, with a touch of upper body (pushups and tricep dips – no weighted work in this DVD) and abs (primarily c-curve style). When I really put my energy into it, I can get some great leg shaking going on. I found the leg work to be the most intense, although the other work was fairly challenging as well.

In comparison to other barre workouts, P57 really stands out with the awesome music. There is also just so much energy – a lot of barre workouts are quiet and relaxed, finding strength in being mostly still and stable and pumping out tiny pulses. This workout incorporates somewhat larger movements (but still plenty of pulses, which I love) so by the end my heart rate is adequately high when it may not be with some other lower energy (but still very effective) barre workouts. Like with any barre workouts, the workout can easily be made harder (or easier) with how deep you go into each movement, how high you hold your leg, etc. I find that I get a really good challenge with this and would consider it in the intermediate/high intermediate range. I definitely feel like the energy stays high and you will feel worked out for an express workout. I would recommend P57 to any barre enthusiast, or someone interested in barre but who thinks most barre workouts look too boring.

Instructor Comments:
Tanya (and in some other P57 workouts, Shelly) do focus a bit on the aesthetic (cellulite, fitting into your skinny jeans, etc.) rather than just a healthy aspect, but I don’t find it distracting or annoying. Tanya gives good form pointers, and reminds you to follow the easier or more advanced modifier. Her enthusiasm is a good fit for this fun, up-beat workout.

Emily B.


Physique 57 is a technique developed by Tanya Becker, a former Lotte Berk instructor. Tanya has succeeded in updating the LB Method while retaining its essence. The result is a challenging, high-energy, FUN workout that produces awesome results. P57 uses upbeat music (dance, drums, hip-hop) and it is a non-stop workout. I have tried and enjoy pretty much all “barre” workouts available and this is by far my favorite. It’s addictive!

The workout is set in a bright studio with wood floors, blue panels in the background, and portable ballet barres. There are six background exercisers, all instructors or students from the NYC studios. They are fit and extremely flexible. All participants smile during the workout and seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. Their enthusiasm is infectious! One participant (Shelly) demonstrates more advanced variations of the moves and another participant shows modifications for less experienced exercisers. Equipment required: A ballet barre or chair, a mat and thick cushion (or rolled towel), and a playground ball.

The Express Workout is touted as a total body workout but the upper body work is quite limited. Although the upper body muscles as recruited to stabilize the body during some of the barre work, upper body exercises basically consist of two sets of pushups and one set of triceps dips. Nevertheless, Tanya packs a lot in this short session that will leave you feeling pleasantly worked out and energized. Here is a general breakdown:

• Alternate knee lifts
• Pushups
• Side plank
• Plank with double knee tap
• Triceps dips
• Chest stretch

The thigh work consists of plié and squat variations as well as knee dancing.
• Plié series with fee in a small V position and a ball placed between the thighs: (1) Pulse down; (2) Squeeze ball / plié down and lift up; (3) Pulse down; (4) Shake hips side-to-side / plié down and lift up; (5) Pulse down; (6) Plié down to heels and lift up
• Hold the ball in the hands and squat / alternate heel lift
• Put the ball down and hold the barre / Shake hips side-to-side / Shake faster with heels up
• Parallel position, legs together and heels up: Pulse down; Plié to heels and lift up
• On floor: Knee dancing

The standing seat work consists of variations on hip extensions, leg adductions and arabesque. It includes tempo variations as well as changes in range of movement (i.e., small isometric pulses versus large, full range movement).

The ab work consists of variations on isometric curls performed in a reclining position with the lower back supported with a rolled towel or cushion.
• Place the towel/cushion under your lower back for support and place the ball under the feet, hands under thighs: (1) Curl up and down; (2) Extend legs and bend knees; (3) Hold legs extended and shimmy the shoulders.
• Hold the ball in your hands and do a figure 8.
• Place the ball between the knees: (1) Squeeze the ball; (2) Curl up and down, pressing the hands forward.
• Extend the legs and place the ball on your stomach, with the elbows on the ball: Curl up and down.

Brief but thorough stretch focusing on the hips and glutes.

Instructor Comments:
Tanya is a super dynamic, energetic instructor. Some exercisers might not enjoy her constant talking and “attitude” but I personally find her motivating, positive, and funny with comments like: “You are a thigh warrior!” or “Strive now. You can do it!” She does not interrupt the workout to provide alignment cues but she provides a lot of solid form pointers during the exercises.