Pure Barre Pershing Square 2Carrie Rezabek
Year Released: 2009
Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Ballet/Barre
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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.