Pure Barre Pershing Square 1

Carrie Rezabek
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Ballet/Barre

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This DVD presents a 45-minute “barre” (Lotte Berk style) workout, with touches of Pilates. Some of the exercises incorporate a small unweighted play ball. There is also a separate 9.5-minute tutorial.

The workout is presented by Pure Barre creator Carrie Rezabek. She leads a cast of four women in an unfurnished but well-lighted room with lots of windows. Music is standard exercise fare, not particularly noticeable but not obnoxious either. Carrie instructs live but does not mirror-cue. Modifications are mentioned by Carrie, but are not demonstrated by any of the cast members.

The ball used in this DVD is a 5” unweighted playground ball, available from Pure Barre. I tried using my Yoga Booty Ballet squishy ball, which appears virtually identical to the PB ball, but it was occasionally awkward to keep it in place. I did much better with my mini Fitball, which is slightly larger but squishier and has a tacky surface. Besides the ball you will need a mat for floor work and a support for standing exercises. Carrie and her crew use the windowsills, but I used a portable barre. A sofa back or a chair will also work.

The main workout is chaptered as follows:

-Warmup (8 minutes): Big marches to warm up, then it is down to the floor for forearm plank w/alternate knees down then side planks, pushups, and triceps dips. A short Pilates segment follows, with The Hundred, Single Leg Stretch, Roll-Up, and Teaser. Stretches conclude this segment.

-Thigh 1 (2.5 minutes): Standing thigh work begins in First Position, heels slightly raised (legs in a diamond shape), ball between upper thighs. Pulses and tucks.

-Thigh 2 (2 minutes): Feet together and releve, bend knees. Thigh squeezes, tucks and pulses.

-Thigh 3 (2.5 minutes): Second position plié. Pulses and tucks. Repeat with feet in releve.

-Thigh Stretch (3.5 minutes): Lunge stretch (including quads and hamstrings), plus optional split stretch.

-Seat 1 (left) (2.5 minutes): Grab the ball and place it behind the left knee. Squeeze and hold, then press-backs. Allow the ball to drop away, and repeat the same moves.

-Seat 2 (left) (3.5 minutes): Pilates-inspired side-lying floor work.

-Seat Stretch (left) (1 minute): Half-lotus, then seated forward bend.

-Seat 1 (right) (2.5 minutes): Same as Seat 1 (left).

-Seat 2 (right)(3.5 minutes): Same as Seat 2 (left).

-Seat Stretch (right) (1 minute): Same as Seat Stretch (left).

-Abs 1 (4 minutes): Place ball between inner thighs, then round back to C-curve position. Tuck and squeeze, then pulses holding on with just one arm, then both arms. Carrie works the center first, then to each side for the obliques.

-Abs 2 (1 minute): C-curve work continues with ball between thighs and legs raised to tabletop.

-Abs 3 (1 minute): Lay on back with legs raised straight overhead. Small hip raises.

-Ab & Back Stretch (2 minutes): Cobra stretch, followed by supermans to strengthen the back. Cat/cow stretch concludes this section.

-Cool Down/Stretch (2.5 minutes): Seated stretches.

In the Tutorial, Carrie and cast member Brooklyn demonstrate the basic positions used in the workout.

Bottom Line: I like how Carrie incorporates Pilates into the usual Lotte Berk mix. Using the ball adds intensity and interest. One valid criticism would be the lack of upper body exercises (except for the push-ups and triceps dips in the Warm-Up), but I’m not bothered since I find most upper body barre work inadequate and prefer to substitute my own upper body work anyway. I enjoy having this one in my barre collection.

Pershing Square 1 and its companion, Pershing Square 2, are readily available online from vendors like Amazon and Total Fitness, as well as at Carrie's own website, www.purebarre.com.

Instructor Comments:
Carrie Rezabek has a background in dance,and trained in Lotte Berk and Pilates. She founded Pure Barre in 2001, and has produced several DVDs as well as franchising Pure Barre studios. I find Carrie a warm and pleasant instructor.