Pure Barre Pershing Square 2Carrie Rezabek
Year Released: 2009
Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Ballet/Barre
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Title: Pure Barre: Pershing Square 2
Instructor: Carrie Rezabek
Time: 45 Minutes
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate/High Intermediate
DVD menu: Play workout, chapter selection
Production quality: high
Equipment used: small playground ball, barre
I would consider myself to be an advanced exerciser (Dream Body/Tonique being my mainstays) and over the past several months have fallen in love with barre workouts. I really enjoy Ballet Body, Ballet Physique, P57, Bar Method Dancer’s Body, etc. I enjoy both the faster/bigger range of motion genre of barre (Booty Barre or P57) and the tiny pulses/more traditional barre (Bar Method, Pure Barre, Ballet Physique). This definitely falls into the latter, more traditional tiny pulses style workout.
Carrie wastes no time working you hard with the tiny reps and moving along to the next exercise, but without the workout feeling rushed. Pershing Square 2 mostly follows the traditional barre format: warm up, upper body toning, then legs, then seat, then finish with ab work, and stretch. Carrie deviates from this a little bit by warming you up in plank pose with knee pulses, then pushups, and tricep dips, as opposed to the more traditional marching in place, and arm work with light weights. I found the upper body work to be challenging although I feel another few minutes of added arm work would have been welcome to help round this workout up to an hour. The warm up also throws in the hundred and crisscross pilates style moves.
The legs are worked first with the ball held between the thighs for a series of tucks and pulses (there are a lot of tucks in this workout), then lose the ball for a set of leg pulses to the front (to work the quads), and a set of diamond squats (more tucking), and more pulses and tucks while leaning backwards, which is very intense. Then a stretch for the legs in a low lunge position and work into the splits, if desired. I enjoyed the stretch but wish the stretches could have been held a few seconds longer. I definitely found the leg work to be effective!
The seat is then worked first standing in a standing pretzel series to hit the outer thigh and glutes, then on hands and knees to work the same glute while holding the small ball (I used a 3# weight here) behind knee for more glute pulses to the back. Then lose the ball and straighten leg for more pulses with leg extended and pulsing inwards towards other leg.
The abs are worked in c-curve with a variety of pulses and more tucks, while holding the ball between the knees. First with both feet down, then one foot raised and pulse over to that side to hit the obliques, then repeat on the other side. Lose the ball and finish up with some long lever scissor movements with the leg and pulses with one leg up and one leg down. Finish with a stretch.
The workout feels a little short at 45 minutes (most barre workouts are around 60 minutes unless they are "express") but she gets a lot done in that amount of time. Like I said she could have filled in the hour with more upper body, but I can always add my own work to fill out the hour too.
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 legs, etc. As far as barre workouts I find this to be more challenging, thanks to Carrie’s form instruction, and really reminding you how to get the most out of the exercise. I would place it in the high intermediate category. This is definitely a must have for any more barre enthusiast. I have no other Pure Barre workouts to make a comparison.
Carrie is articulate with her cuing and form pointers, and definitely a natural barre instructor. She did have a habit of saying “that’s enough” when the set was over, but didn’t say it enough to become distracting or annoying. She is very professional and definitely on the quieter side in that she was not at all chatty.
I'm an advanced exerciser typically and a (recently enthusiastic) dabbler in barre. I own and love all the more advanced barre workouts out there- P57, The Bar Method Dancer's Body, Ballet Body, Ballet Physique etc. Pershing Square 2 has the reputation of being one of the hardest barre DVDs available so I was thrilled to finally acquire it. There are two things about this workout that make it really stand out. First, the flow is excellent. It is incredibly efficient and there is not a moment of wasted time. Second, the quality of the instruction is superb. Carrie gives incredibly helpful and precise form pointers throughout without interrupting the flow, and she really pushes you to work harder and deeper. The tutorial on the DVD is also efficient and precise.
In terms of the difficulty, I missed the more extensive upper body segment that starts off most barre DVDs and classes, and that does bother me, because I hate having to assemble full workouts from multiple DVDs. For the lower body and core, I found this to be a challenging workout. There's a little bit of a learning curve with the standing pretzel- I didn't feel like I was working as deeply into my glutes as I would have liked- but that was more about learning the proper form than anything else. I felt worked out at the end but not shaky like I feel at the end of some of the other workouts I mentioned. Based on my experience, I would rate this as higher intermediate. This workout is well done and definitely motivates me to get some other Pure Barre workouts.
This newest installment from Pure Barre is approximately 45 minutes long. After the warm-up, Carrie takes you through 3 thigh toning segments (plie with ball squeeze, plie without ball, and leg extensions), followed by targeted glute toning (one set each standing and on the mat), and approximately 3 sets of ab work (one static hold, one more Pilates-inspired, and hip raises).
The use of the ball really ups the intensity and sets this workout apart from others in the genre, particularly in the floor glute work and the first set of ab toning.
It was difficult for me to tell how it compared overall to the original Pure Barre (my first time with this workout was coming off a sinus infection, and not having worked out for a week). My general impression was that the thigh work was easier than the oirginal (I could have done without the leg extensions and would have preferred an extra plie set instead), but the glute work (especially the part with the ball) was tougher.
Because this DVD is so well-chaptered, it makes for a great add-on in addition to a great stand-alone workout.
Carrie is a fantastic instructor. She gives good form pointers at the outset, and reminders as you go along and your form starts to sag as your muscles start to quake. The production values are flawless with movements crystal clear (unlike the original), so its very easy to follow.