Another week of getting reacquainted with old friends for the DVD Dust-Off…
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!
- 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
5. 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.
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)
- 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!