Thursday, April 29, 2010

Element Ballet Conditioning Workout DVD Review

Is the Element Ballet Conditioning Workout a good workout to get a dancer’s physique?

Will it help you lose weight? Is it an enjoyable DVD? Is it okay for beginners?
I hope I can help answer some of those questions in this review.

The DVD is set in a beautiful outdoor setting, in the grass with the ocean in the background – very calming. The only equipment you need is a basic chair. This can be a dining room chair, a folding chair – anything that will offer you support like a ballet barre. It would also be useful to have a mat for the floor portion of the DVD.

The music is not music that you would normally find in a ballet video, which for me was a negative. The music has more of a new age or yoga feel. I prefer classical ballet music for ballet workouts.
It is done with a voiceover – the instructor performs the moves but explains and encourages over the music clearly. Her voice is soothing and positive. I didn’t prefer this format but I think some people would like it.

This workout begins with a warm-up and stretch to get you ready for the muscle work that is to come. Again, it is peaceful and has an uplifting tone.

The real work begins with a series of leg exercises – many are classic ballet exercises – plies, tendus and so forth but she also leads many modified but ballet-inspired repetitions. The instructor explains each exercise and demonstrates so that even if you are not experienced, it is easy to follow the movements. The leg series is very intense. I noticed a deep burning in my quad and hamstring area. It seems like many of her exercises (the non-ballet barre exercises) were designed to really work the large thigh and leg muscles like the quadriceps. The workout is very intense and even with dance training and as someone who has worked out, I felt a major burn as I did these reps. Just when you think you can't do anymore, you keep going and take it to another level. I really do like the intensity of that.

However, these are not muscles I want to overwork as I think it creates bulk in my body. This may be different for you. The next day, I definitely felt strain in those muscles confirming that this was where the most work was spent during this workout.

There was also abdominal work and core work that was good as well as a series of ballet jumps. These should get your heart rate going and if done properly, will build and strengthen those leg muscles over time.

I must note that the instructor had a beautiful, very fit, healthy body but it didn’t look to me like a classic lean, long dancer physique. It seemed that her thigh area was very toned, and very developed. Based on that, and the fact that I felt the quad and hamstring muscles being the primary focus, this workout lost points for me there. I would rather develop leaner muscles in my legs so for me this made the workout one that I wouldn’t make part of my regular routine.

If you are looking to develop your leg muscles and like the strong more gymnast looking body, this workout would be an excellent addition to your regiment. As mentioned, for me – the focus on those thigh and leg muscles and the building of them wasn’t what I was looking for at all. If you like a serene, encouraging workout in a beautiful setting – this definitely has that going for it. I prefer a more traditional ballet class format with the music, setting and instructor and bodies that this option offers. 

Will you lose weight? Like any ballet-based workout, over time if you do it daily and consistently – you will see changes to your body. You won’t necessarily see a weight loss but you will see inches lost and your shape change. If you add in modifications to your diet, your weight loss will be much quicker and more noticeable. That’s my review of Element: Ballet Conditioning. It's very affordable, so that is a plus. What about you? Have you tried it? What do you think? You can click here and scroll down a bit to see a sample clip that will give you an idea if the workout will suit you. I prefer the Tracy Anderson Method - for my review on that, click Tracy Anderson Method Here

I hope my Element Ballet Conditioning workout DVD review was helpful and look forward to hearing what you think is the best ballet DVD.

1 comment:

Mrs Stepford said...

Great review, I have also reviewed this product on my blog because I think it is fantastic.