Barre3, Studio Shape

Sadie Lincoln
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Ballet/Barre, Pilates/Core Strength , Yoga

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This DVD presents a 1-hour total body workout incorporating elements of barre/dance conditioning, yoga and pilates.

The workout is led by Sadie Lincoln, who instructs live and mirror-cues. The studio setting is pleasant and well-lit. There are two cast members, one of whom does the full workout while the other demonstrates modifications for those who may have issues with their back, knees, shoulders, etc. Sadie sometimes does the exercises along with them, but more often is moving between the two of them as she instructs.

For equipment you will need a chair (or barre or other stable surface such as a countertop, for balance only), a set of light hand weights (Sadie suggests 1-2 lbs. for women and 3-5 lbs. for men), a “Barre3 core ball” (I used my mini Fitball), and a mat or soft surface for floor work. All of the participants do the workout barefoot.

The Main Menu is chaptered as follows:
-Intro (a short introduction by Sadie to Barre3)
-Workout (the entire workout, which clocks in at just over an hour)
-10 Minute Options (the workout chapters, see below)

The “10 Minute Options” menu is as follows (note that only one option is really 10 minutes!):
-Yoga Flow & Core (14 minutes)
-Legs (12.5 minutes)
-Arms & Core (13 minutes)
-Glutes & Core (10 minutes)
-Core & Stretch (12 minutes)

Choosing a workout from the 10 Minute Options menu returns you to this menu after the workout is completed (in other words it does not continue on into the next section).

Here’s a short breakdown of the workout. As noted, Sadie offers constant modifications for virtually all the exercises. Also, if you have done other Barre3 workouts you will definitely recognize many of the moves.

Yoga Flow & Core:
Sadie begins warming up with side touches and large arm movements. From a forward/backward rocking she settles into Crescent Pose, then transitions from there through Warrior I, Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior and Side Angle Pose. Plank work is next, then the yoga poses are completed on the other side. Supine leg extensions to work the core complete this section.

This section is somewhat reminiscent of Lotte Berk. Using the chair (or other support) Sadie begins with the ball between the thighs, feet parallel and in releve, tucking, then legs pulsing and squeezing. To modify, Sadie notes you can have your heels lower than full releve or even flat on the floor. Next is Sadie’s “Carousel Horse” (pulsing static lunge) move, and again she offers several modifications. After a “Sumo Squat” sequence the Carousel Horse is repeated on the other leg, then this section concludes with second position pulsing plies before a runner’s lunge stretch.

Arms & Core:
Now the workout gets a little more unusual. Upper body work begins with cat/cow, then an interesting bird dog variation holding a dumbbell in one hand (the modifier shows a standing version of these moves). Next is a long sequence of leg sweeps paired with upper body weight work, incorporating an optional trunk twist – Sadie is definitely sneaking in some cardio here! Biceps curls (done in first position plié) and triceps presses (with an optional reverse plank) finish out the upper body work.

Glutes & Core:
Sadie makes excellent use of the ball in this section. She begins supine with the ball under the sacrum, doing alternate leg extension. Next is side-lying work with the legs in an elevated diamond shape (Sadie also demonstrates how to do this part standing). Moving back to supine, bridge work is next with an option to rest the feet atop the ball (yikes!). A seated twist completes this section.

Core & Stretch:
This section also makes use of the ball. After a short warm-up, Sadie begins with a ball pass between the legs and arms. With the ball back under the sacrum the legs are placed in a diamond shape and one leg is lowered and lifted. Next the ball is wedged behind the seat to support the back for a long set of C-curve type oblique work. A couple of supine and seated stretches conclude the workout.

Bottom Line: I can't help liking Sadie -- she's so sweet and pleasant! I really like how she uses the small fitness ball for core work. Since I have a long list of problem body parts I also very much appreciate her modifications to the exercises. In this particular workout I didn't especially enjoy the Legs segment (the Carousel Horse move still taxed my knees, even with the aforesaid modifications) but I liked the yoga warm-up and can definitely see using this DVD in the future for the upper body, core and glute work.

I got my copy of Studio Shape from QVC as part of a 5-DVD set (which is still available at QVC as of the date of this review). Studio Shape is also available singly from Collage Video and Amazon.

Instructor Comments:
Sadie Lincoln is an excellent video instructor. She has a sweet, engaging presence, and instructs clearly with lots of form tips. She is always encouraging and constantly offers modifications for almost all of the exercises. In her Intro she indicates she has 20 years of fitness experience. She owns the Barre3 studio chain, based in Portland, Oregon. Her website is