Element: Barre Conditioning

Sadie Lincoln
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Ballet/Barre, Total Body Workouts

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

This dvd contains two 30 min routines. Sadie works out alone in front of the Pacific Ocean surrounded by lots of nice greenery. You will need a chair or barre for this workout. The dvd is done in voiceover.

Burn & Firm: After a warmup exercises include: pliet shifts, pliet pulse, pliet calf raise, standing pretzel series, elbow to knee pull down, closed stance pliet series, sumo squats, squat pulses, and a stretch.

Lengthen & Strengthen: After a warmup, exercises include: lunge pulses, lunge glute raise, crescent with cat cow, carousel, table top series, side lying leg series, bridge, supine leg & core work, cat cow, planks, and a stretch.

I rate this an intermediate routine that is easy to modify up or down. Sadie provides excellent instruction & is obviously very knowledgeable and experienced. I received this dvd to review.



Full disclosure: I received this DVD as a free preview. First, I have to say how much I LOVE the scenery – the sparkling blue ocean, the lush green foliage, the cool purple and white flowers, and the clear reflection pool. Sadie Lincoln does the workout in voiceover in a calm, friendly voice, and the music was perfect of this workout; relaxing and energizing at the same time.

There are two workouts on this DVD: (1) Burn & Firm, and (2) Lengthen & Strengthen.

Burn & Firm begins with wide plie squats, then we shift our weight by leaning side-to-side with an overhead arm reach. We do this several times, then repeat on the other side.

Side #1: From a wide plie stance (aka “horse stance”), bend and lean forward from waist, then lean back into chair and plie. Repeat this pattern several times, then sink into plie, return to standing with a leg lift and sink back into plie. Repeat this several times.

From plie position, lower further into plie and execute small pulses, then add lifted heels (Yikes! I felt this one!) Next is “standing diamond” where you do a sort of standing passé. With feet in V position (heels together and lifted), lift and lower into plies, keeping heels lifted (I felt this as well!) Sumo squats are next: from squat position, lift and lower at tempo, then double-time, bringing forearms to thighs, then lifting arms overhead; this gave a good cardio effect!

Side #2: Repeat everything from Side #1: Horse stance/wide plie; lean into chair/barre, then plie, alternate plies and leans; lean with leg lifts, return to plie, then plie pulses; lower, hold, lift heels, lower heels, repeat (again, killer inner thigh work!) After repeating “standing diamond” we add something new: Move up on toes, sink into plie, lifting and lowering into “drinking bird” (similar to chair pose.) Finally, some really great stretches!

Strengthen & Lengthen begins with step-taps, then we add arms, hamstring curls, and knee lifts. We sink into a crescent lunge, then lift onto our toes with back leg. This really worked my back leg! Then we shift our weight to the front leg for some graceful one-legged squats. This really worked my front leg! Everything is done on one side, then the other. Next, we move to the mat on all fours and lift one leg behind and opposite arm in front, bringing both together under torso and repeating several times before changing to other arm and leg. Then we lay on our sides for a “clam” move; with both legs lifted, toes together and knees apart, we move our knees together and apart (open & close), repeating several times before moving into a seated spinal twist – then we repeat everything on the other side.

Next we lay on our back keeping both feet on the floor for bridge lifts. With heels together, raise onto your toes and lift and lower hips one inch. Very effective! Incline core work is next – lay on the floor with a flat back (or with a towel under small of back), lift legs straight up to the ceiling, and bring one leg down the other (passé) while lowering the other leg at the same time. Repeat several times. Lay on your back again with legs up the ceiling and lower them by pulling feet down and spreading the knees wide (like a frog.) Then move to all 4’s for cat/cow, plank, child’s pose and final stretches.

I really enjoyed the first workout; the second workout was decent as well. Unfortunately, the workouts are not chaptered within themselves: I had to stop the workout to answer the door and could not chapter to where I left off; I had to fast-forward. Oh well, minor irritation to an otherwise wonderful workout!

Debbie J


Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

I am not a barre person, but have always wanted to have a few barre workouts that would let me work my muscles in a different way. I had never found a barre brand I enjoyed until I recently stumbled onto Sadie Lincoln's workouts. I really enjoy her and her brand because I find the workouts accessible with lots of modifications and workouts I not only can do, but WANT to do.

This workout is set in a beautiful location, a garden in which it looks like people could be married and it's overlooking the water. It is a really nice outdoor setting.

There are two workouts on this DVD, both just over 30 minutes. They are both done in voice over. Usually, I am not that enthralled with voice over cueing, but Sadie does a really good job at it. She also mirror cues. She is by herself in both workouts.

I really enjoyed the first workout, Burn & Firm. It is an all-standing routine and you just need a chair. She does a long series on one side and then repeats it on the other side. She does small moves, her usual "one inch" pulses and moves and she does larger moves where you get the heart rate up more. I thought this workout flowed really well. And, she does a really good job of giving modifications that you can try to make moves easier on various joints as well as just easier.

The second workout, Lengthen and Strengthen, starts with standing moves and then goes to moves on all fours and then does a move where you lie on your side. Then, she does core work using a rolled up towel. The towel supports the pelvis (rather than the ball she uses in her own workouts). She ends in a stretch.

I thought this workout was good, but not as much as the first one. She didn't give the modifications in this workout that I have come to expect from her. And, the moves on all fours bothered my knees and hands/wrists. It was all doable, just not as enjoyable to me.

I would recommend this DVD for those who enjoy Sadie's brand of barre with its yoga and pilates influences and those that enjoy an intermediate workout. If you want a high-intermediate to advanced workout, that is not what you will find on this DVD.

Instructor Comments:
She is supportive and motivating. She is also very good at voice over cueing. It's more like listening to her thoughts.

Laura S.


NOTE: I received a free copy of this DVD to review for the web site Metapsychology.net.

This DVD features Sadie Lincoln, founder of the barre3 method and studios. Like most of the other videos in the Element series, Barre Conditioning offers two separate routines, both of which use a high-backed chair in place of a traditional ballet barre. Lincoln also recommends use of a mat for both routines, and for the second practice, which includes core work on the floor, she uses a rolled-up towel. Lincoln practices barefoot and teaches via voiceover, providing mirrored cueing. I have described each routine in greater detail below.

BURN & FIRM (33:42 minutes)
This high-energy standing routine begins with a warm-up of side-to-side lunges in horse stance; Lincoln layers on an arm to the side/overhead and then a side leg lift. Next, she moves to the chair for plié work for the side body. [Note: the moves are performed all on one side first before moving to the second side.] Lincoln starts slow, again picking up the pace with side leg lifts. Coming back to horse stance, she performs plié pulses, moving only an inch at a time, first with the feet flat, then on the toes. Additional moves including standing diamond (on one leg, bending/straightening both legs) and narrow athletic “v”, again moving just an inch at a time. She finishes on the first side with single squats, first starting with a pulsing squat, then a full squat. Lincoln repeats the entire series through standing diamond on the second side, concluding this time with power leg (small pulses) and chair pose (pulsing then full). For the 5.5 minute stretch, Lincoln faces the chair for a quad stretch and crescent pose. She also performs a standing forward fold, bending each knee in turn to get in an extra hip stretch; she then returns to standing and takes deep breaths to finish.

LENGTHEN & STRENGTHEN (32:36 minutes)
[Note: during the Introduction, this routine is incorrectly labeled onscreen as “Lengthen & Straighten”; it does not appear that way on the menu.] The warm-up for this workout begins more slowly, with side-to-side taps that turn into hamstring curls and knee raises. The standing work starts facing the chair for crescent lunge. Lincoln performs small lowers (one inch) for this position and then larger raises. She also concentrates the weight on the front leg to work the glutes. (For these moves, Lincoln alternates legs.) After this short standing sequence, Lincoln moves to all fours, slowing bringing in an alternate arm and knee and then performing a straight leg pulse. Next, she transitions to her side for side-lying diamond on either side (with a seated twist in-between) followed by bridge lifts. For the core work, the rolled-up towel supports the pelvis. The moves here include passé leg lowers, point/flex presses, and fourth position scoops. Lincoln then returns to all fours for a cat/cow stretch and a final move, plank, adding in a micro bend of the knees (and optional elbow bends). Again, there is a nice long (5.5 minutes) stretch which includes child pose, seated shoulder/side stretches, twist, modified camel, and standing forward fold.
Although these workouts focus on small, precise movements, they challenge the muscles in unique ways and thus are definitely likely to bring about significant results. I found the second routine, “Burn & Firm,” to be a bit easier; for those who are familiar with Lincoln’s “barre3: Total Body Lift” DVD released several years back, this was similar, except without the arms work and with the towel replacing the squishy ball. I loved the first workout on this DVD, which I thought was solidly intermediate and which did an amazing job at targeting the legs from all angles. (I found it odd, however, that Lincoln repeatedly mentions the “amazing upper body work” in this routine: although the arms are used, they simply are not worked all that hard.) Lincoln is an enjoyable, encouraging instructor, and I would definitely recommend Element: Barre Conditioning for its challenging yet accessible workouts.

Instructor Comments:
I love Sadie! She has such a warm, easy-going personality. Given this, it is unfortunate that ALL of the Element DVDs feature voiceover cueing; Sadie's personality shines through so much more on her original barre3 DVD. On the other hand, I like these routines better, so I guess I'm willing to compromise. ;)

Beth C (aka toaster)