Sleek Sculpt ExpressEllen Barrett
Year Released: 2013
Categories: Total Body Workouts
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Ellen leads this 31 min fluid total body strength workout with 2 background exercisers in a ballet studio. You will only need a set of light hand weights and they do not wear shoes in this workout. One exerciser performs modifications.
Exercises include upper body combinations, rib cage shifts, pliets with full range upper body movements, arm raises and toe taps, travel pliets-floor touch-shoulder press, runners lunge, relovets, and warrior lunges. The warmup is built into the workout and it concludes with a cooldown & stretch.
I rate this workout low intermediate/high beginner and is appropriate for all exercisers. I havent used any weights for lower body for about 2 months since my knee surgery and this was a perfect intro back into using some lighter poundage. I def felt it the next day. It got my heartrate up and I enjoyed the total body approach that Ellen takes in this workout. I received this dvd to review.
Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.
OK. A little about me, so you can know where I'm coming from. I'm a 49-year-old woman with bad knees and hands and wrists (arthritis). So, I enjoy workouts that are low impact that the do not require you to support body weight on the hands and wrists. I have tried most of Ellen's DVDs and have kept some of them. My favorites are Fat Burning Fusion, Skinny Sculpt, Barefoot Cardio, Self Bikini Ready Fast (despite a vow to not keep "bikini workouts" around), and her Crunch workouts. Even though I like them, I rarely do them. The ones I do the most are probably the Crunch workouts and the Self workout. That's probably because I like my fusion workouts once in awhile, but I don't make a steady diet out of them. I wasn't sure I should get this one because I really didn't like her last two, Grace & Gusto and Power Fusion.
But, I was intrigued by the 30-minute length because my theory was that I might to shorter workouts by Ellen more often. Plus, it is a standing workout, which I vastly prefer over floor work. Surprise, surprise, I really like this workout. I have gotten totally involved in it and haven't even noticed time passing. Basically, she goes through moves on one side of the body and then repeats them on the other side. I knew it was coming after having read information on this workout and when she went to repeat the moves, I was still totally into the workout. When she started cooling down, I was surprised. Basically, there is a short warm up and then Ellen leads various moves on one side and then she moves to the other side and repeats those moves. The chapters on this DVD include:
Shoulder Rolls Side 1
Wide Stance Side 1
Big & Bold Side 1
Shoulder Rolls Side 2
Wide Stance Side 2
Big & Bold Side 2
There are two background exercises and I like that better than the last couple of workouts in which she had 4 people behind her. The set just felt a lot less crowded and open. One of those background exercisers shows modifications. I must have been really spoiled by the good modifiers out there like Lauren from Kelly Coffeey Meyer's workouts because I just wasn't very impressed by the modifier in this workout. She didn't hold weights - that was the bulk of her modifications. And then, once in awhile, she would do a slightly easier version of a move. That was it for the modifications. Throughout the workout, Ellen suggests some different modifications that you can do and that is a good thing.
I will keep this workout and maybe I'll get rid of some of the other workouts I have of Ellen's. I can see fitting in this DVD more often than some of the other workouts I have by her. It's a well designed and well executed workout and time really flies for me during it.
She shines in this workout. She is supportive and informative and cues well.
Disclaimer: I received this workout as a free preview.
Ellen is with two other exercisers in a nice, brightly lit room with “new-age” music in the background. She begins the warm-up using weights. I don’t like using weights when warming up, so I skipped the weights the first time, planning to add them after the warmup -- only there was no real warmup, or at least no place where it felt like the warmup was over and I could pick up my weights; so the first time I did this workout, it was without weights. The second time, though, I used weights from the get-go -- and boy, did I feel it!
The workout begins with shoulder rolls, then holding arms out to the sides and lifting them overhead; we continue to lower and lift arms, then add a releve and plie. Next we toe-tap to one side (like a ballet pointe) then bring that same leg up into tree pose; we do this for a while, then we add arms. Next we move into a wide leg stance and alternate side angle reaches overhead, followed by plie squats with arms, then rib cage reaches. Moving into a lunge position, we lift and lower our bottom knee, then bring our torso up for some wood chop moves before returning to the lunge position, this time with the option to move the rear foot forward and back. That one will burn your thighs! We move back to standing for plie squats where we bring our arms down to touch the floor, then raise them overhead. We do the same plie squats while traveling left, then right. We return to standing for releves with shoulder presses, then releves with tricep kickbacks. Finally, we move into standing spinal rollups.
Then we repeat everything on the other side.
After the standing spinal rollups, we do a fun standing spiral twist move, then bring it to center for flat back stretches (standing cat/cow)
I really felt “worked” using just three-pound weights; at one point, Ellen said the three-pound weights seemed like 20 pounds, and I would have to agree! There were times when the weights actually felt like "too much" weight, especially during the plies where you touch the ground and lift back up to the sky. Perhaps I'll try 1-pound weights the next time I do this workout. In any event, at 30 minutes long, this was the perfect length for me; this would also be an excellent companion workout to a nice 30-minute walk!
Ellen’s personality really shines through in this workout. She seems to have a genuine desire to help you achieve the best workout experience possible.