Year Released: 2008
Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.
Just to let you know a little about me, I'm a 48 year old intermediate and long term exerciser who has bad hands, wrists, and feet (psoriatic arthritis) and bad knees (osteo arthritis). Consequently, I look for low-impact workouts - or workouts that I can modify easily - that don't require body weight to be supported on my hands/wrists.
This workout was advertised as a 30-minute workout and it is. It has an aero/tone section that is just over 20 minutes long. There are a few higher impact moves that are easily modified. Then, it has a floor section that includes push ups (with one hand on the ball), roll ups, and cobra/back extensions. Then, there is a short stretch.
I wanted to try this workout because it was reported to be a fairly easy intermediate workout. And, the cardio section lived up to that report. Then, he went into a really hard section of push ups. Why do instructors insist on doing push ups in every workout and doing hard abs sections, even when they are way above the level of the rest of the workout? I just don't get it.
To me, music is really good if it is more than the mindless, repetitious techno music that seems to pervade most workouts these days. The music in this workout is really good. There were vocals and it matched the cardio section really well. The set was bright and airy - one of the sets you see in a lot of workouts these days. Patrick was backed up by two background exercisers. He kept asking them if they were there and/or okay because they were so quiet. But, they kept up with him well.
Personally, I won't keep this workout because, for me, it's a 20-minute ball workout and I have other workouts that fit that criteria with more to them.
Patrick is fun and encouraging in this workout.
This workout has already been broken down thoroughly by RedPanda, so I am just going to add my opinions on the workout.
I used this for the first time yesterday, having bought it a while back but holding off as I have associated a dread factor with Patrick from using his original Hard Work Conditioning, the only other workout DVD I have of his to-date. Maybe it was due to other factors but HWC just seemed SO hard for me as an intermediate exerciser (although I enjoyed the workout and Patrick’s instruction very much and plan to master the video in time). But yesterday I needed a very quick workout and this was on the top of my pile of new workouts to try, and it fit the bill.
I am very pleased with this workout. While it quickly got my heart rate in my fat burning zone, and moved very quickly from move to move, it was very enjoyable and doable. I would say it is easier than HWC, though understandably so as the DVDs are designed with different goals in mind. While there is some toning aspect (I used a #5 Danskin soft medicine ball, which worked very well) the workout was mostly low impact core-focused aerobics, with some great core and ab work towards the end.
As advertised, this workout really is 30 minutes, unlike other videos who claim to be 30 minutes but with warm-up and cool down clock in more towards 40 minutes. With that said, the warm-up is minimal and the cool down/stretch is very brief. The music was very upbeat and motivating and the set was open and uncluttered.
I did modify at one point when you do planks with both hands balanced on the medicine ball – my ball just did not seem stable enough for that. I was worried about breaking the ball and/or my arms from a fall so just did the plank work with both hands planted safely on the floor. It looks like they were using the hard medicine balls while mine is sort of soft and squishy, which might make a difference. However I had no problem using the ball balanced under one hand for the pushup series.
All in all it is a very efficient, very fun medicine ball workout. Patrick used 6# and it looks like his two background exercisers (both girls) used 4#, and I found 5# to be about the right weight for me. I would consider this a solid intermediate workout with mixed intensity (mostly low impact), some light toning, some balance work, and some great ab and core work. If you like Patrick’s personality from his other workouts you will like him in this as well. For those who thought his HWC workouts are too long/hard but like Patrick I think this is a great place to start, get accustomed to Patrick’s style, then proceed to his more advanced workouts from there. I would highly recommend this. A+!
I really enjoy Patrick in this workout as well as HWC. He is playful, jokes with his background exercisers, keeps the workout upbeat and enthusiastic. I might even liken him to a male Denise Austin! (although he is a little more toned down than that). He really put a smile on my face and worked me hard at the same time.
“Playball” is a compact, 30-minute routine
that will work up a sweat, while challenging
your balance, core strength and agility.
Set and music: Patrick and his two background exercisers, Stephanie and Connie, work out in a light, airy studio to an upbeat, soft-rock track. The workout takes up only a minimal amount of space.
Workout: Patrick starts off with some step- touches and lunges, while holding the ball out at chest height, then moves into jump squats where you touch your med ball to the floor, then jump up while holding it overhead at arms’ length. Then there are continuous low lunges (ie you keep very low throughout, without coming back to a standing position). Patrick introduces a burpee-like move, in which you go into a plank with both hands on the ball, then quickly jump forward to that both feet are on either side of the ball. Then there’s a “basketball drill” in which you weave the ball around your legs in a figure-eight. (I like to use a compact, slightly soft Gymnic med ball for this bit.)
There are also a few balance challenges and some standing ab work. These exercises include: standing side crunches using the ball for resistance; holding the ball up high as you kick high; a move where you lunge very low while holding the ball to one side (“as though you were passing it to a very short person” as Patrick explains it) then rotate the ball in a wide arc so that you are reaching up high on the other side — I really felt this in my abs!
Then comes the “bowling ball lunges”. You lunge forward as though you were about to bowl your med ball, then bring the ball right overhead at the end of your outstretched arm. (From the concentration on everyone’s face, I gather this would be difficult to execute with a traditional, hard med ball, so I used a Gymnic med ball for this bit.) The bowling ball lunge then morphs into a one- armed shoulder press while standing on one leg.
By this time Patrick, Stephanie and Connie had worked up a serious sweat, so it’s down to the floor for some more ab work. This included: push-ups with one hand on the ball; a straight-leg plank with both hands on the ball, then slowly bringing one knee into your chest and then — I hope you’re sitting down! — maintaining that position while “jogging” (bringing alternate knees into your chest at a very fast pace). After some more core work, Patrick uses the med ball for an extra range of motion during a brief stretch segment.
Overall impressions: In keeping with its sporty title, “Playball” is very athletic: there are no dancey moves here. I think the entire routine is well-designed: the ball is used throughout the workout to add resistance and challenge your balance.
The entire workout is easy to follow, in that it uses simple movements, but Patrick does transition very quickly from one move to another, which can be tricky if you are using different med balls as I like to do.
The production is nothing fancy, but very professional. The entire workout is well- edited: you can see exactly what you need to see when you need to see it.
I can see myself using “Playball” regularly to improve my agility and core strength, and as a fun add-on cardio routine. My only gripe is that there is no real warm-up, so you may want to do your own, or use “Playball” after another cardio session.
I would rate the level as intermediate/ advanced. Some of the exercises reminded me of Tony Horton and Mindy Mylrea’s, so if you enjoy their workouts, you would probably like this one.
Only one exercise is high impact (which you could easily modify) but due to the number of squats and continuous low lunges, exercisers with knee problems would definitely want to avoid this one.
My rating for both workout and production: 5/5
This was my first experience with Patrick. I had heard that he is prone to giggling (which I hate) but here he laughed a bit at his own near-goofs and just because he was having fun. He joked around with Stephanie and Connie, and was motivating. I counted “Oh my gosh!” twice.