DVD Dust-Off: Week 2

Another week of getting reacquainted with old friends for the DVD Dust-Off

Element: Ballet Conditioning (Amazon affiliate link)4. Element: Ballet Conditioning with Elise Gulan (2007)

  • Description: A lower body workout with ballet-inspired moves.
  • Duration: 49 mins
  • What I did: The full workout
  • Equipment: A chair to assist with balance and act as your barre.
  • Space required: Not too much – you’re standing in place. The biggest move is sticking your leg out behind you (I forget the Frenchy name), so it depends on how long your legs are!
  • Pros:
    • It’s fun pretending to be a ballerina. It’s also bloody exhausting!
    • I like the Element brand of DVDs – the productions are elegant and tranquil and as per last week’s Pilates DVD the instruction comes via voiceover.
    • It’s pitched as advanced, but I found it easy to dial it back to my level
    • This really worked my hips, glutes and outer thighs which are all areas that the osteopath says I need to strengthen – great way to make rehab exercises more interesting
  • Cons: Some of the moves are harder on the knees. But it’s straightforward to modify, e.g. doing a very very demi-plie rather than a grand one. Not that what I did would be remotely recognisable as a plie, hehe. I also skipped the jumping on the spot moves. It’s just a matter of using common sense.
  • Further reading: Watch a video snippet at Amazon.
  • Ideal for:
    • fans of yoga and Pilates – it’s a great core workout and knowing how to find those muscles will help you get more out of it
    • anyone who was ever told they were too fat for ballet ;)
  • Verdict: A definite KEEP

Zumba Fitness DVD Exercise Kit5. Zumba Fitness DVD Exercise Kit (2010)
You might remember I wrote a big review of this in 2010 – lots of detail there. As predicted the time I got bored with the tunes so it had been many months since I’d last touched them. This week I did the 20 Minute Express and the LIVE! one. Enjoyable, but it felt really old. It made me pine for sexy Sue and Samantha‘s brilliant class at Fitbloggin this year, sniff sniff. But this is a fab set of DVDs for someone new to Zumba or someone who can’t get to a class, so I’ll pass them on.

Verdict: REHOME

Cathe Muscle Max (Amazon affiliate link)6. Muscle Max by Cathe Friedrich (2005)

  • Description: A total body resistance training workout
  • Duration: 68 minutes
  • What I did: Upper Body Premix (about 45 minutes?)
  • Equipment: Barbell and plates, resistance band, dumbbells, step bench (for chest work)
  • Pros:
    • I reckon Cathe makes the best resistance workouts – so much variety in the moves and she fries your muscles from all angles.
    • Like BodyPump, you can never really outgrow this one – just up your weights.
    • The premixes are great too – there’s options to do an express version, upper body only or lower body only. Great value.
  • Cons: Quite a lot of equipment required. After favouring Jillian’s fast-paced one-set-of-dumbells workouts for so long it felt annoying to faff around with changing weight plates etc. But as the workout went on I enjoyed the She-Ra feeling of doing a proper grunty weights session.
  • Further reading: Watch a snippet on CatheDownloads.com.
  • Ideal for: BodyPump fans
  • Verdict: I can’t make full use of this one – the lower body stuff (which I used to love; it’s brutal) is too much for my knee, so I’m tempted to pass it on. But…  I have a soft spot for Muscle Max as it’s the first Cathe DVD I bought. It’s on the MAYBE pile!

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16 thoughts on “DVD Dust-Off: Week 2

  1. I need a weights one to do at home for when I can’t be bothered to get to a BodyPump class (ie most of the time) but I only have a couple of sets of hand weights. I was hoping they would bring one out for the Xbox Kinect that would yell at me when I had my form wrong.

  2. Ooooh, I will have to check out the Ballet one. I really like the Pilates For Weightloss DVD you reviewed last time (silly title, good workout).

    My bellydance instructor rented the New York City Ballet workout DVDs from the library and she said they were killer. She has ridiculous abs from all the bellydance, so the NYC ballet workout is on my list to try too.

    • The New York City Ballet workouts are killer. I love them. But I modify some of the exercises to an easier version, to prevent injuries. These workouts definitely are designed for people who are perfectly healthy and do a lot of sports.

  3. I have never owned a workout DVD, never really been interested in them. But dang, I never knew there where workout DVDs based on ballet moves o_O. I don’t know why I never thought about it, after all, ballet is the best workout for leg muscles EVER. I danced as a kid and now I started again this autumn, taking a ballet class once a week. And it really is challenges my lower body like nothing else.

    So after looking on amazon.co.uk if they had Ballet conditioning, and finding it and other interesting ballet based workout DVDs, I’m almost tempted to get my first workout DVD(s) ever…

  4. This morning I had no time for a regular workout, so I did 20 minutes of yoga with Rodney Yee — the DVD Dustoff is spreading!

  5. I always loved the Cathe workouts. It’s true there’s a lot of equipment, but that’s where I learned weight training basics and different routines to put together, instead of standing there confused and doing a million sets of biceps curls. These are a great way to get started with weights. Sorry Jillian, but if you’re using only one set of dumbbells you’re not doing it right!

    The ballet looks interesting, all elegantish and pretty. Might try that.

  6. hi shauna

    just got your comment – I sent an email suggesting we meet up tomorrow (Thurs) after work when I am meeting a few other bloggers – not sure if you got it – maybe I got the wrong email. Anyway, email me tonight if you are interested and free.

  7. Pingback: November Challenge #2 - DVD Dust-Off

  8. You have completely inspired me with this DVD dust-off. My favorite DVD, for the record, is from the late 80s (copied over from VHS): Buns of Steel with Greg Smithey. Greg Smithey is the best. Picture a cross between Richard Simmons and Nathan Lane, and you’ll have Greg.

  9. That ballet DVD looks like fun. I might have to give it (or something like it) a whirl. I have been on a definite dance kick lately.