Barreworks Studio Workout

Vicki Anstey
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Ballet/Barre

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Barreworks Studio Workout is a barre-based exercise program. The instructor is Vicki Anstey, the founder of Barreworks , a UK based exercise studio. She demonstrates the exercises with voice over instruction. Movements range from somewhat larger movements to extremely tiny pulses. The DVD is PAL format and DVD-r in a small folded cardboard case. It is chaptered by Warm Up; Arms; Legs; Stomachs; Floor Barre; and Final Stretch plus extras The Plank and Naughty Bottoms. It is in two parts with Part I having the Warm Up; Arms; and Legs, while Part 2 has Stomachs; Floor Barre and Final Stretch. You cannot play both parts, however, you can play all of each part then it will take you back to the main menu. The running time is 60 minutes. It requires no equipment except that of a sturdy support and a mat. This DVD was filmed at the Barreworks Studio. It is an amateur production shot from one angle and generally the light was fine and you can see what she is doing. The music is awesome with actual songs and really does fit perfectly with the exercises and is balanced between volume and her voice. Some of the exercises reminded me of the original Lotte Berk Workout put out on VHS tape back in 1982, the Denise Welch “You Can Do It” DVD, original Callanetics and US Lotte Berk DVDs. I would consider this an intermediate workout. Unfortunately, there is no consistency with the rep count. It wasn’t something that I noticed while doing the workout but noticed when I went to do this review.

Warm Up (9:55): The warm was somewhat vigorous with lots of movements. There are arm reaches done both standing and bent over, arm swings back/forth and side to side, arm circles, bent over knee bends, and extremely tiny arm pulses. This is very thorough and you will be well warmed up after you are finished.
Arms (4:25): Arm work continues with arms elevated with some larger movements to very tiny pulse movements, circles, and micro-bends. This is a shorter segment but there was a lot of arm work already in the warm up. I will say the instructor has incredibly slender but very muscular arms. Somewhat reminded me of SA Callanetics, Tracey Anderson, and Essentrics.

Legs (10:23): There really wasn’t anything new here. She does lean over toward the side that she is working, similar to the moves in Super Callanetics. This section begins with wide 2nd position plies with feet down, one foot up, alternating feet, both feet up, and knees pulsing back and continues with bend stretch leg with variations. The next section is glute work with the leg pulsing straight back diagonal, bent leg pulsing back, bent leg pulsing up and bent leg circles. The last section is parallel thigh work with pulsing down and pelvic tilts. The stretches in this segment were the figure four stretch and the quadriceps stretch.

Stomach (17:23): One thing I found interesting is she uses a thin foam block under the head which I found very comfortable. She uses leg and arm movements in and out; up and down; over and micro-bends. There are several crunch variations. For the final exercises lean back at a 45 degree angle, the arms are moving while you hold the position, the back doesn’t curl. The stretches are bringing the legs into the chest, a full body stretch arching the back, and moving the legs to each side.

Floor Barre (6:52): It was refreshing to find a floor barre segment in a barre workout. I could really feel it in the glutes. Lying straight out on the side with a pillow under the neck leaning slightly forward until the top side of the bottom thigh touches the floor. Bend the knees back and take the legs off the floor. The lower leg will remain raised and in position throughout the exercises while the top leg goes through a range of movements. Begin by lifting the top leg up and down to touch toes with bottom leg. Straighten top leg and begin bending leg up and down. Straighten top leg and perform small circles around. Straighten top leg then micro-bend leg in place. Flex and Point leg up and down. Small pulses with leg lifted up and foot flexed. Return to beginning movement with legs bent and top leg lifting and lowering touching toes. The stretch is a pretzel while leaning forward.

Final Stretch (2:45): Positioned in a straddle stretch, lean forward then to each side with arms stretched out in front. Lean over each side with arm over head other arm on floor. Sweep body from side to side. Again lean forward with arms out and clasp your ankles. Wiggle legs back in together and draw knees in to chest. Take one foot in hand, lift up and gently bend the knee back and forth then straighten leg and pull up and down. Take both feet out into a wide stretch. With feet now together on floor, lean over and clasp feet in hands.

The Plank (2:00): In a forearm plank, hold position, relax down, hold position, begin lowering alternate knees down and up, hold position, relax down, hold position, lift and pulse right leg switch to left leg, hold position, relax down. Child’s pose stretch.

Naughty Bottoms (5:00): This is just the Bar Method back dancing. Lying on your back with knees up, start lifting your bottom off the floor in small pulses up; left and right; and larger range movements up, down and squeeze. Come up on the toes and continue small pulses up then larger range movements up, down and squeeze. Bring feet and knees together and continue small pulses up then larger range movements up, down and squeeze. Lift left leg up and continue to pulse, change legs a couple of times. Return feet to floor and hold bottom up and pulse from lifted position. The stretch is a figure four on the floor drawing other leg in towards chest.

Music Soundtrack:
“On &On” - Erykah Badu
“Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” - Modjo
“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” - Michael Jackson
“Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)” - Katy Perry
“Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)” - Soul II Soul
“Bug a Boo” - Destiny’s Child
“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” - Daft Punk
“Short Skirt/Long Jacket”- Cake
“Always There (feat. Jocelyn Brown)” - Incognito
“Needle On The Record” - Naomi
“I Want The World To Stop (Radio Edit)” - Belle and Sebastian
“Working My Way Back To You/ Forgive Me, Girl (Remastered Single Version)” - The Detroit Spinners

Instructor Comments:
The instructor is Vicki Anstey, the founder of Barreworks. She is a certified Lotte Berk instructor. Her form and control performing these exercises is impeccable. She gives precise cueing to make each exercise as safe as possible. Vicki demonstrates the exercises with voice over instruction and she has a lovely British accent which made it quite pleasant.