Fluidity: Advanced WorkoutMichelle Austin
Year Released: 2006
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I love Fluidity, and I've loved these dvds since I got them over a year ago. These types of exercises are never "fun" (LB, TBM, Callanetics, etc.), but Fluidity is so efficient and well-designed that I keep coming back to it. I've never done the Beginners, but I like all the other ones – and Fluidity Adv has more reps for the upper body (and a few more reps in general) as well as a few exercises that I like a bit better than those on the Int. dvd, though both are winners for me. You either need the bar to do the moves correctly or you need to be super creative in figuring out how to adapt what you have to these moves. Some of the standing work has you leaning forward pulling on the bar (the inner thigh work on the Adv. dvd), the band work requires you to tie the band onto the bar and be able to pull on the band without the bar's moving (which is doesn't); also, they do pull-ups and a stretch hanging from the bar.
Fluidity, for me, is easier than Pure Barre, Iballet, and Element Ballet (although it's different from Element Ballet and Fluidity Adv might be more or less on par). I think it's a more effective workout than Iballet because it does a better job isolating the muscles - rather than creating an all-over burn. Also, I think Fluidity really gets it right when it comes to effective alternating of stretching and strengthening segments. They don’t save the stretch for the end – the stretches are well-timed and placed right after the muscle is worked. That makes so much more sense to me – and feels a lot better too. If you are disappointed with barre workouts like Lotte Berk and The Bar Method because you want something a bit harder than those, I'd go for Fluidity. It's very similar but harder and wastes less time setting up the individual exercises.
When I have done rotations with Fluidity and cardio (Fluidity about 3x per week), I always get great results.
Pleasant, cues well.
Wow, this workout was really tough! If you are a fan of Lotte and the Barr methods, this is for you! You will love it. The advanced workout is 42 minutes and begins with a short Lotte style warm-up (knee raises followed by side steps and then side pelvic tilt moves). The first set parallel thighs with the ball (a cross between a Lotte move and Grace's All The Right Moves)...then it's a squat like position still holding the ball and tilting the pelvis while holding onto the bar. Each exercise is followed by a short stretch. Next are bent over leg lifts (similar to Lotte and Barr Method). There are modifiers shown. Next is standing inner thigh work leg lifts. Down to the mat for pretzel. I'm used to the pretzel move from the Barr method but now that I have the bar itself and with some of the coaching from Michelle, I could barely do these!! Tough! After that you move to seated ball work holding the ball between your feet and lifting your legs..very challenging given you are keeping your back flat against the back of the bar mat-thing...no cheating :) Then you do some arm work with bands. I wasn't too excited about doing upper body but I actually liked the moves we did and felt them when done in a very controlled manner. Then there were pullups (looks kinda of like bridge but using your arms to pull up the upper body), she also does Lotte-style tricep dips and pushups. Moving on to abs.....holy guacamole I began to sweat at this point, it's done with the ball. The ab work was also very challenging but short enough to not have serious dred factor.
In summary, I'd say this workout is like many workouts, you get out of it what you put into it. If you focus and concentrate, you will feel the burn for sure. I also like that there are many sets but done with variations so it's not boring. For someone like me that sees fantastic results when consistently using Lotte and Barr, the Fluidity workouts are a must have for your collection.
In regards to the bar itself, I am so very happy I got it! I recently bought the Supreme Pilates as well and if I had to just choose one, I'd definately choose the Fluidity bar without a doubt. I can't wait to do my Lotte's and Barr workouts when I get bored with the Fluidity ones.
Likable, subtle but effective, encouraging, good form pointers
I received my Fluidity last week and have done the Advanced workout three times
and the Seat and Thigh workout twice. I am really having fun with it and I can already
see subtle results in my waist and thighs. So I can already attest to the fact that
it is VERY effective.
The Bar came fully assembled, along with four videos, a ball and pump, two resistance bands, healthy eating guide, and owner's manual. It is very, very sturdy and high-quality, although it is very heavy and cumbersome to move. You can adjust the height of the Bar to your liking, and it is very comfortable to hold on to. You can tie on the resistance bands for the arm portion of the workout, and use the ball for many other exercises. Overall I am impressed by the structure and sturdiness of the Bar, in addition to the ball and bands.
The workout begins with a very short warm-up of knee lifts, step taps with arm sweeps, and other exercises that prepare you for using correct form in the main workout. It lasted about one minute. Then you take your Fluidity ball and place it between your thighs, face the Bar, and do "parallel thigh work." This killed my inner thighs and quadriceps. Next, you do fold-over seat work, which I found to be very effective for the seat. You can perform this exercise in three different positions, based on your fitness level. Next comes an exercise for the inner thighs and quadriceps where you have your back against the Bar holding onto it, and do simple leg raises with several variations. Following that is the pretzel, which I recognized from the Bar Method. Fluidity's version is slightly more difficult, yet still very doable. The most challenging exercise in the workout, IMO, is "flat-back", which is performed next. You sit up against the flat board of the Fluidity Bar and move your legs in different ways, often with the ball. I felt this in my lower abs and hip flexors. Then you tie one of the resistance bands on the Bar and do a series of arm exercises that work the rotator cuff, medial deltoid, and posterior deltoid. More arm work follows with pull-ups on the Bar, tricep dips, tricep pushups, and regular pushups. The conclusion to the workout is challenging ab work that builds by adding subtle variations. After each exercise in the workout, you do a thorough stretch which hits all the muscle groups worked in the preceding exercise.
The music was quite different, however I did find it to be somewhat pleasant. I concur, though, that it could have improved. I liked the bright, airy set. The background exercisers, Wintor and Erica, did the beginner and advanced modifications, respectively. They looked very fit, but still healthy.
I really am glad I purchased this program. It is one of those workouts that you look forward to doing and would even want to do it everyday. I do think you would benefit having some familiarity with this type of workout, such as with Lotte Berk or Bar Method, prior to making this type of investment. Nevertheless, Fluidity will yield great results. I give it an A-.
I really liked the instructor, Michelle Austin. She seemed to be very knowledgeable in human anatomy and physiology, safety, and execution. She reminds me a little of Tamilee Webb, both in demeanor and appearance. She is a very skilled instructor, IMO.