Ballet Body Core Workout
with trainer Leah Sarago
You will love it if:
This video includes a lot of creative moves that target your abdominals from all angles. You will definitely feel the work you are doing deep into your abdominal muscles. (I know I could feel the burn in mine!).
There is no obvious warm-up, and Sarago starts the workout with 8 ½ minutes of no or low impact standing work. She then moves into 30 minutes of mat work. The mat work includes several minutes of side planks and crunch-like moves that seem to go on forever. The video ends with about 5 ½ minutes of stretching with a few moves that work the back muscles mixed in. The good thing about doing a workout with unconventional moves is that you will really challenge your muscles by making them work in ways they are not used to working. The downside of this is that it is difficult to know if you are doing the moves correctly since they are moves you have probably never seen before. Sarago isn’t great about describing how the moves should be done or what they should feel like while you are doing them. Plus, the camera is often showing Sarago from strange angles, making it difficult to tell exactly what her form looks like.
Overall, the moves were easy enough to follow, but I would have liked them to be explained a bit more clearly or for the cameras to show Sarago from the front so I could figure out exactly how her form looked. I still do not know for sure that I am doing all of the moves correctly, and I may be missing out on some of the benefits of the workout by using an incorrect form that makes the moves easier than intended. And though I enjoyed the workout for the most part, the mat workout did feel a bit tedious after a while, and I kept thinking to myself, “aren’t we done yet?”
The video has an ultra-modern, unconventional feel to it. It is taped in a plain looking, black and white studio with dark pink lighting like something you would see at a concert or show—perhaps to create the effect that she is performing a dance instead of working out. To me, the lighting actually seemed a little eerie, but I guess it could be fun to set up your own crazy lighting and pretend you are performing a show while you workout. Instrumental music with a heavy hip hop beat plays in the background. The music later shifts into an instrumental beat you might hear in a rap song; it reminded me of an action movie soundtrack. Near the end of the video, there is some new-age sounding flute music with monk-like chanting in the background. Sarago is the only actress in the videos demonstrating the movements, and she is not talking while she is doing them. Instead, a voiceover is added to the video with her instructing and cuing the moves. This allows her to focus on the routine while she is demonstrating it.
You do not need any equipment for this workout except for a soft surface.
You should have enough space to lunge from side-to-side, stretch your arms overhead, and kick your legs in all directions (to the front, side, and back).
This workout requires good balance, good coordination, and reasonable flexibility. You should be able to balance on one leg easily while bending, stretching, or kicking the other leg. You will also need enough stamina in your abdominal muscles to do crunch-like moves for nearly 30 minutes.
What NOT to Expect
This is not a cardiovascular workout and it focuses strictly on your abdominal muscles. Do not expect to get a total body workout or for your heart rate to get very high. Also, do not expect to be dancing. Though the moves have a hint of ballet flavor, this is definitely an abdominal toning video and not a dance workout video.
How does Ballet Body Core Workout compare to other similar programs?
Pilates videos are fairly similar to Ballet Body Core Workout because they include controlled movements and mostly mat work. One difference is that the Ballet Body Core Workout includes a lot more isolated core work and a lot more repetitions of each movement so you will feel a deeper burn. However, the Pilates workouts tend to be more relaxing and enjoyable. If this appeals to you, some excellent Pilates videos you might like to try out are Maintenance Pilates for Weightloss and Winsor Pilates Basic 3 DVD Set.
Ballet Body Core Workout includes a lot of repetitive crunch like motions that work deep into your core. But if you’d prefer to do standing movements and strength training movements for your core, try something like Killer Abs or Totally Ripped Core instead. And if you’d like to do a more cardio heavy workout, you can try the very intense 6-Week Six Pack, the less intense and super fun Hip Hop Abs Ultimate Results, or the super short workouts on 10 Minute Solutions Blast Off Belly Fat.
SLIGHTLY EASIER CORE WORKOUT
Winsor Pilates Basic 3 DVD Set
MORE CARDIO (but NOT ballet)
6 Week Six-Pack
Element Ballet Conditioning
CARDIO & FULL-BODY TONING
Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled
MORE BALLET DANCING
New York City Ballet Workout 2
MORE DANCING (but not ballet)
Hip Hop Abs Ultimate Results