It seems that so many of us, including myself, struggle with sticking to one fitness goal for various reasons. What I’ve found the multiple reasons to be are, for example, “I get too easily bored with DVDs and the music is so annoying…As hard as I try I don’t see any improvement in my physique nor in my level of muscle strength…If I try all of these different programs simultaneously I’ll get triple, no, quadruple the amount of results that I’m looking for!…I wish I had a workout partner to motivate me…”
And those are just of few of the reasons that seem to apply to many of us as they keep us from committing to one set routine--only to end up back at square one. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a lover of fitness of all sorts for several years now and I truly find enjoyment in these things; however, before Ms. Sarago came along I struggled to commit to one program or way of exercising simply because I love variety in everything! It’s just hard for me to stick to only one thing and I’m kind of ADD like that.
As some of you already know, I really love to run, lift heavy weights, perform plyometric body weight sequences, and so much more. Although having a preference for that kind of variety may not be such a bad thing when it comes to fitness and life in general, certain goals that we try to attain can only be achieved by learning to enjoy them and solely committing to them for a period of time. Ballet Body is one of those DVDs that need to be done exclusively with the accompaniment of cardiovascular work per the suggestion of the instructor, Leah Sarago.
I know I know…that’s totally not how I normally roll, but I promise you that Ballet Body has this unusual way of enticing me to want to pop in that DVD and get in a satisfying workout every week. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I feel more graceful because of it or the mere fact that I feel like my muscles are getting worked in the smallest and most inconspicuous parts of my body, but every time I finish a Ballet Body routine I feel invigorated and stronger than the day before. Not only do I enjoy this unique ballet/pilates inspired workout, but I find that the challenge is what keeps me coming back for more. Each time I go back to it I feel like I can refine my movements just a bit more, and as a result, it becomes a never-ending challenge in which I can always become a “better athlete”.
Here’s the breakdown on the lower body sequence.
- Approximately 54 minutes long. The majority is comprised of standing exercises and a few minutes down on the mat. Plenty of targeted stretching at the end.
- Voice over style of instruction with very precise cueing (includes modifications).
- The equipment needed is a yoga mat and a barre/sturdy chair.
- Most work is done on the toes and balls of the feet which includes releves, plies, circular motions, and repetitive pulses.
- Focuses on elongating the quadriceps, inner thighs, and hamstrings. Also targets different angles of the gluteus muscles.
- Works muscles almost to the point of fatigue yet targets both large and small muscles.
- No bouncing but highly controlled movements.
- For many women, it seems to create more streamlined muscles rather than muscles that are large in volume. This may differ for every individual though as we are all differently made.
- Challenging but easily modified.
As you can already tell, I have been loving this DVD so far and have been committed to it for the past few months! Due to pregnancy I am a lot more relaxed with what I do on a day to day basis because it all depends on my schedule, energy levels, as well as as what I feel like doing on a given day—cardiovascular work or strength training…hmmm that is the question. Regardless of the schedule that I follow, I normally end up doing the lower and upper body DVDs once a week, so that would be two sessions of Ballet Body.
I definitely believe this is something that works for me, especially since I want to be careful and not bounce around too vigorously because I’m pregnant. However, this may not be for everyone because we all have different preferences as well as different needs! So this is just a review to help you be informed and make your own decision. I never thought that I would enjoy such “calm” exercises (although they’re actually super tough!) because I tend to be more on the rough edge when it comes to fitness, but Ballet Body proves that I can now have an even more eclectic array of exercises to choose from. I'm not 100% sure what I'll do after going through delivery. Maybe I'll end up following even more of Leah's work, or perhaps I'll keep it the same and add all the things that I used to do pre-pregnancy, so we'll see about that.
If you were ever curious about Leah Sarago’s work I hope that my review helped you out!
Are you satisfied with the workouts you’ve been doing? Or would you like to expand yourself in that area?
Did/do you have the notion that barre/ballet inspired workouts are for wimps?
-I definitely used to think that they’re easy and too beginner for me, but now I’m honestly humbled!