Fusion Flow

Ellen Barrett
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Pilates/Core Strength , Yoga

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This was a great find for me from a library used book sale! I was a little hesitant to try it, as I've had Ellen Barrett workouts in the past (none from her Studio line), and I've never really clicked with them, despite how warm and genuine Ellen seems. However, I liked the idea of workout combining yoga-ish moves with a bit of sculpting and toning, no equipment needed.

Ellen instructs this workout live in a large, open studio with two background exercisers, Michelle and Natalie (Natalie modifies some of the exercises). The Main Menu offers options for Play All and Chapter Selection. All this DVD is chaptered, there are no pauses between chapters within the workout itself--as Ellen repeatedly states, everything is done in a flow. However, I have broken down the workout sections by chapter for the purpose of this review.

Warm-Up, 6.5 minutes
Ellen moves through a nice series of gentle stretches, repeating the entire series once from the beginning. The exercises include shoulder rolls, elbow circles, back stroke, side reaches, criss-cross arms, criss-cross arms in squat, hip pulses, and side-to-side hip slides. I really liked that the hips and low back got some attention here.

Half Moon Stretch Series, 5 minutes
This was a ballet-like segment. Ellen begins with plies, adding in a one-arm reach and releve onto the toes. Coming down into a held plie, she performs shoulder rotations to work the arms and then a heel lift to work the leg. The series is then repeated on the other side and with both arms/legs.

Ribcage Reach Series, 10.5 minutes
This section got my heart rate up a bit, especially towards the end. Ellen starts with a simple ribcage reach to either side, speeding this up and changing it into a zig-zag (reaching up then down). She then adds side-to-side lunges with airplane arms and a lunge "burst" to the side. After repeating to the other side, she holds the lunge to one side and performs little kicks, a balancing pendulum, and punches front.

Dancer Lunge Series, 8 minutes
Here Ellen begins with a lunge held to the front, then to the side, then alternating. She then moves into some plank, cobra, and push-up work before finishing on the other side.

Seated Side Series, 11 minutes
This segment consists of seated pretzel work, but it also includes moves such as a side diamond push-up and a mermaid stretch. Exercises are performed all on one side before switching to the other side.

Finishing Mat Work, 8 minutes
Ellen opens this last section with some quick seated cat/cow stretches. This is followed by knee drops to either side, adding in an extension of the top leg; a butterfly flutter concludes the workout.

I expected FUSION FLOW to be an easy, gentle routine--it was definitely relaxing, but it also gave me a bit of a workout, including just under 10 minutes in my target heart rate zone. This DVD would be ideal as a light-day workout, a recovery workout, a Friday night workout, or a morning workout.

Instructor Comments:
Ellen offers very good mirrored cuing. She does provide form cues, but at the same time, she seems to be assuming that the viewer has exercised before--given this, I would say that this DVD would be appropriate for most beginners, but not total newbies to working out.

Beth C (aka toaster)


This is a 45 minute "seamless yoga, calisthenics, and meditative breathing" workout led by Ellen in a nice open ballet studio type set. Ellen works out with two background exercisers, one showing beginner modifications. You wont need any equipment for this workout. The dvd flows from section to section & not broken into segments but is well chaptered into:

Half Moon Stretch: Exercises include- pliet series with plenty of variations and arm circles, static pliets, and 1/2 moons. Some of the work in this section will raise your heart rate.

Rib Cage Reach Series: Exercises include - rib cage zig zags, side shifts w/ airplane arms, pliet- lunge (a burst), and turnings squat w/ arm cirlces. This section focuses on strengthening while stretching.

Dancer Lunge Series: Exercises include - lunge/ kick, pendulum leg & arm swings (balance), punches, backstroke, cobra plank/ pushups, shifting childs pose, etc. Include a good mix of standing & seated strengthening stretches.

Seated Side: Moves include - seated pretzel, side plank modifications w/ stretching, mermaid diamond pushups, mermaid one arm pushups, and windmill. Great oblique work!

Finishing Mat Work: Exercises include V knee drops, V leg extensions, and thigh butterfly flutters. This section hits the core & acts as the cooldown stretch.

I rate this a solid beginner workout that is really suitable for all fitness levels. This is a great workout for days when you want a light or no equipment toning workout that includes plenty of strengthening stretches. Its perfect for those days when you are still sore from your last toning w/o but its a yet again a strength day. Ellen is a fantastic lead and provides excellent cuing & form advice. I received this dvd to review.