Monday, August 10, 2009

Fat Burning Fusion

THE WORKOUT: Fat Burning Fusion


WHO CAN DO THIS: At least advanced beginner in Pilates or yoga.

THE BREAKDOWN: Ellen Barrett is a Hollywood trainer. She’s trained a few stars (Christina Ricci and Justine Bateman); taught at CRUNCH, a famous studio that has produced one of my favorite lines of videos; has a studio called The Studio; and a DVD series. This DVD has been sitting around the house for a long time because I’ve never heard of Ellen Barrett and the one-off DVDs I get (I do get free review copies, in case you’re wondering) are often not so great. But every now and then, I find a good one, so I try to at least take a look at most of them.

This is one of the good ones. It’s a Pilates flow, very low-impact, done barefoot. It might look easy if you were to just sit on your couch and watch it. But just try it.

This workout form is entirely new to me. The entire 40-minute flow fits on an exercise mat, though most of it is done standing. The plie is a big player and many of the moves are done in a wide, bent-leg stance. Hello, inner thighs. The arms are held out at shoulder height through much of the workout as well, which is gently brutal. I had to rest mine frequently. Moves also involve lots of twists, back extensions and squats, and the goal is grace, good form and muscle extension. It’s almost like ballet, but more Pilates-y. It's strength, stretch and cardio all in one.


BUT IS IT FUN? Yeah, it kind of is. It’s hard work but without battering the body.

WHEN IT'S OVER: My legs were wobbly immediately after I did it the first time and my whole body, especially my core, was a little sore. I was still a little sore when I did the workout a second time three days later.


FINAL WORD: I might hunker down with this workout for a while and see what happens. Maybe alternate with the punching one.

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