Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review-- Element: Ballet Conditioning

Phew! I've been posting so much lately since I started this blog after I actually started making records of my progress. Well, I decided I should probably stop being so self-absorbed in my blogs and write a couple reviews!

So my first review is on a exercise DVD called Element: Ballet Conditioning. Element is a group that puts out various exercise DVDs for pilates and yoga. One of their more popular DVDs is the one that incorporates ballet exercises into the routine.

Menu screen

 The setting is what almost looks like a country club or an outdoor wedding plaza. It's next to a pool with pillars, landscaped with flowers, and located conveniently next to the ocean. I actually really like the location they picked for the exercise. It beats a studio lit by florescent lighting. Everything has a contemporary feel that makes it relaxing and fresh.

The workout itself is a toughie. Just because it says ballet on it doesn't mean this is gonna be all fun and tutus. The length of the workout is fifty minutes. I feel that it is just right considering most ballet classes I know of go for at least an hour. What I also like about the exercises is that it also warms you up. You don't have to worry about doing it yourself before popping it into the DVD player.

Warming up for some ballet exercises!
My legs kill during the pliés, and that burn feels oh so good! I want to say over half the DVD features barre work, or in this case, chair work. The chair is nice and does the job, but I really need to place something heavy on the seat part so it doesn't tip on me. There is a lot of exercise and heat building in the legs and butt during exercises with the chair. Trust me. It kills.

Another barre exercise working on attitude. Feel the burn!

The camera changes often so you're not bored of looking at the same old thing all the time. It also zooms in and shows a majority of her body so you can compare your movements to hers.  The instructor gives great cues about which move she's going to move to next. She doesn't stress the knees going over the feet as much during first position pliés, which I find a lot of beginners like me doing, but she does do so during second position pliés. I also wish she would remind us to breathe more since I often find myself holding my breath instead of relaxing and letting go, but overall, she does an excellent job and has a great narration voice.

Cardio workout using jumps and kicks
Floor work has some kicks and jumps. This acts as the cardio portion of the exercise. I wish they added a bit more for this part, but I can sort of see why they stopped. As a beginner, I have a lot of trouble balancing during the kicks. As for jumps, I can't seem to get well enough off the ground for the changements. The creators of this DVD correctly assumed that more than just seasoned dancers would purchase it. Thus, simple steps, leaps, and jumps, though the cardio could be extended slighty longer.

The ab workout is challenging, but it'll be worth it!
Finally it's the tough ab workout. UGH. This is hard stuff! Which basically means that it's really good for me and everyone else interested in dance. I've never done pilates before, but I'm fairly sure she uses a lot of pilates moves for the ab portion. There are no curl-ups with bent knees and hands behind the head for this DVD! And quite honestly, I really like it for that. Not only do these ab workouts benefit your core, but they will also help you stretch your legs for kicks and splits. Despite all my ab classes at school, I still cannot make it through without stopping a couple times. Hopefully that will improve!

Last but not least is the warm-down. This is mostly stretching the legs and abs after a long workout. It must do the job because I'm never too sore after working out with this DVD.
Workout: 9/10
Instructor: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Camera: 10/10
Level: Advanced-Expert
Is it actually ballet? Yes
Overall: 9/10

This is an excellent workout. It does exactly what it says it will do and does so very nicely. The camera made it easy for me to mimic her moves. The instructor does a nice job and can clearly accomplish the moves she asks of us. She's happy but not sickeningly so. By the end of the day, I feel properly worked out, and for only $10 at, it's also a great deal for fifty minutes of exercise.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I know I'm years late but I really like your review!


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