Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled
with trainer Andrea Rogers
You will love it if:
These workouts are moderately challenging—expect to feel your legs, arms, and abs to be burning at various points in the workout. This video combines light and moderate cardio conditioning with intensive toning exercises for your arms, quads, and abs. There is also some calf, glute, and hip flexor work, but I did not feel as much of a burn in these muscles as I did in my arms, quads, and abs. This is the most cardio heavy of the ballet videos I have tried so far and did the best job of combining toning with cardio.
The arm routine uses 1 to 3 pound weights. (You could use ankle weights or soup cans if you don’t have hand weights that small—like me.) A chair is also used in the video to help with balance. If your balance is good, you can do the video without the chair, but some of the moves will be a little bit awkward.
The workout does not require much space. If you can fully extend each leg in every direction (forward, to the side, and backward) while standing, you will have enough space. If your space is just barely big enough, you will have to reposition your chair when you switch legs during the workout.
These workouts are easy to modify for all fitness levels. There are three girls in the video, the instructor performs the regular version of the workout, one girl performs a modified version that requires less balance and has no impact, and the other girl performs an advanced version that requires more balance and has medium impact. To perform the most basic version, you will need to be able to balance on one leg for at least 30-60 seconds and be able to perform movements such as arm circles, leg lifts, crunches, calf raises, and pliés easily (you will perform numerous repetitions of each during the workout). You should also be able to stand and walk around easily for at least 30 minutes without experiencing back or joint pain.
What NOT to Expect
This DVD will not provide you with intensive cardio or strength training. It is designed to be a toning video with moderate levels of cardio conditioning. Also, even though the movements are inspired by ballet dancing, it does not feel like you are practicing your dancing while you perform the workout—it feels like you are toning your muscles.
On the front of the DVD case, it says “Pilates sculpts your body, Xtend Barre chisels it: a dance and Pilates inspired workout.” I felt this was a bit misleading since there are only about two moves in the whole workout that are anything remotely close to Pilates. This is mainly a ballet inspired video with a short core workout at the end. It you’re looking for a Pilates type workout—skip this one.
How does Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled compare to other similar programs?
This workout DVD is similar to Element: Ballet Conditioning in that it really challenges your quadriceps and abdominals. The main difference between the two is that Element: Ballet Conditioning moves more slowly and feels a bit more like ballet dancing—so it challenges your hip flexors and hip flexibility much more, feels much more graceful, and has less cardio conditioning. If you just want an intensive toning video or want to focus more on your gluteal muscles, try Body Beautiful: Total Body Workout—it will give you the long, lean look of a dancer without the cardio conditioning. The gluteal work in Body Beautiful: Total Body Workout is insane! However, your arms and quadriceps will get a better workout in Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled. If you love dancing and ballet and want a video that will “trick” you into working out while you practice your ballet dancing, try the New York City Ballet Workout 2. It is a bit challenging to follow the routine at first, but it feels a lot more like actual dancing once you get the hang of it. If you love dancing, but aren’t really digging the ballet, try Shaun Ts Rockin’ Body, Hip Hop Abs, or Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation.
MORE BALLET DANCING
Element Ballet Conditioning
MORE DANCING & LESS TONING
New York City Ballet Workout 2
Ballet Beautiful Total Body Workout
MORE CORE WORK
Ballet Body Core Workout
EASIER (BUT NOT BALLET)
Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation