Ballet Beautiful: Body Blast
with trainer Mary Helen Bowers
You will love it if:
This video is very similar in style to Mary Helen Bowers Ballet Beautiful: Total Body Workout. The workouts on the DVD are different, but the type of workout is essentially the same. The videos include ballet inspired exercises that tone your body and help you build muscular endurance without getting bulky muscles. The workouts are challenging when done with correct form and will help you build long, lean muscles so that you look like a dancer. The video includes one standing workout for the arms and three mat workouts—two for the butt and one for the whole body. In the 15 Minute Blast you do 40 repetitions of each movement before switching to a different movement. In the rest of the workouts you will do 32 repetitions of each movement. This makes the workouts very easy to follow and there are no surprises. Bowers also pauses frequently to stretch out the muscles in order to keep them long, like a dancer.
Mary Helen Bowers is friendly and encouraging throughout the videos. This DVD allows you to select the workouts you want to do in the order you want to do them so you won’t have to fiddle around with the DVD player in between workouts. There is also an option to play the workouts without the instruction (music only). But there is not an option to play the workout with the instructions only (no music). So if you don’t like the music and want to play your own, you will have to do the workout without the instructions. I felt as if her speed was a bit inconsistent as she performed the exercises and she would count faster at times—though it may have been me slowing down from fatigue or just being clumsy. In any event, I had trouble staying with her count at times, which rarely happens to me during other workout videos. There were also some loud clanging and banging sounds in the background occasionally. Some people might think the noises are distracting or unprofessional, but I thought they were kind of funny. It sounded like they didn’t bother to warn the maintenance crew that a video was being filmed. Mary Helen Bowers just kept doing the workout as if nothing was wrong, but I would love to know what she was thinking each time she heard a loud clang.
The 15 Minute Blast is done lying down and both of the Butt Series are done from your hands and knees, so you will need a soft rug, yoga mat, or towels to cushion your joints. But you won’t need any other equipment for these workouts.
These workouts can be done in a very tight space. If you can lie down with your arms stretched over your head and one leg extended out at a 90* angle from your body, you will have plenty of space for these workouts.
Though most of the workouts are at an intermediate level, individuals at any fitness level could try these workouts. Most of the workouts are done lying down and can be made easier by decreasing the range of motion. The arm sequence in the 15 Minute Blast requires good core strength and shoulder flexibility; you will need to be able to hold your body in a plank (like the top of a push-up position) for at least a minute to complete the arm sequence in the 15 Minute Blast. Both of the Butt Series also require good hip and leg flexibility.
What NOT to Expect
Don’t expect to get strong or powerful with this program. This workout is designed to tone your muscles and build muscular endurance. It will give your muscles great definition—but it will not make them bigger. Think long, lean dancer’s physique.
This is not a cardiovascular workout. Your muscles will be fatigued and burning, but your heart and lungs will barely get a workout. This workout builds muscular endurance, not cardiovascular endurance.
This is not a ballet dance video. These exercises will tone your body so that you look more like a dancer and are in better shape to perform ballet. But, with the exception of the swan like arm movements in the Classic Swan Arms workout, you will not be doing any ballet-like motions.
How does Ballet Beautiful: Body Blast compare to other similar programs?
If you want to feel like you are doing ballet, you might try Element Ballet Conditioning instead. It includes more ballet moves and is more like dancing. Element Ballet Conditioning focuses more on lengthening and stretching the muscles and less on toning, so you will feel less of that burning muscle fatigue than you will in Ballet Beautiful: Total Body Workout. One exception is with the quadriceps. The quadriceps work in Element Ballet Conditioning is insane, and much harder than the quadricep work in Ballet Beautiful: Total Body Workout. Element Ballet Conditioning also includes more hip flexor work than Ballet Beautiful: Total Body Workout. If you want something that is a bit more challenging for your arms and includes some moderate cardio work, you might try Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled. Both videos include good core routines, but Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled focuses more on toning the quadriceps and arms while Ballet Beautiful: Total Body Workout is more challenging for the glutes. Also, Ballet Beautiful: Total Body Workout is a no impact mat workout that is done while lying down; Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled is done while standing, includes some light to moderate impact moves, and will give you a moderate cardio workout. If you want a safe mat workout that focuses on strengthening the core muscles instead of the arms and glutes, check out the Pilates videos.
Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled
MORE BALLET DANCING
Element Ballet Conditioning
& LESS TONING
New York City Ballet Workout 2
Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled
MORE CORE WORK
Ballet Body Core Workout
LESS MAT WORK
Element Ballet Conditioning