Ballet Beautiful - Cardio Fat BurnMary Helen Bowers
Year Released: 2013
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I received a copy of this ballet workout to preview. The workout is done in a large bright and airy with a large picture window, and the quiet classical piano music in the background helped sent the tone. The chapters are Warm Up, Core, Upper Body, Lower Body & Total Body. The workout begins with stretches, not a warm-up: Demi-plies, demi-plies with tendus, plies, and plies with tendues. The tendus change to leg lifts, then we pedal our feet on the floor to stretch them. The comes the first cardio “allegra” interval: sort of jump and extend one leg for a while, then the other, like a dancey, jumping half jack. I wasn’t crazy about jumping like this.
The next section is abdominals. We begin on our back with legs in the air, feet and toes pointed toward the ceiling, then lift and lower our hips, first at tempo, then faster pulses. The instructor gives good form tips, such as “try to keep your legs straight up rather than bringing them toward your face.” We pause for a brief stretch before beginning what she called a modified bicycle (which reminded me of the Pilates move where you “dip your toe into water.”) Then sit up for quick mermaid side stretches before doing some graceful “c-curve” sit-ups. The section ends with a cardio interval, the same dancey jumping half jack.
The arms segment begins in a seated position, leaning on left hip with left palm on floor beside you, lowering and lifting the torso by pushing against floor (side push ups.) We hold in the down position for pulses (OUCH!) then just hold in the down position (double ouch.) Next comes seated tricep kickbacks with palm pushing toward back wall. Then it’s a quick stretch and do it all again on the other side. The section ends with the same cardio interval.
Inner thighs is next, where we lie on one side with hips stacked one over the other. Place the top foot on the floor either in front or behind the lower leg, then begin lifting and lowering the bottom leg. After doing the other side, it’s on to the cardio interval.
The last section is mostly stretches – seated forward fold, spinal twist, pigeon pose, wide leg forward fold, mermaid side stretch, and child’s pose.
Mary Helen Bowers has improved greatly upon her first two DVD’s which both came out at the same time. I remember she only allowed a second or two for stretches; she allows more time in this workout. The music was also more audible in this workout. One minor annoyance is that she does not mirror cue.