Today I have a Ballet Body Workout review for you – one of my favorites, which also made my list of the top 5 barre DVDs for weight loss.
First of all, I love Leah as an instructor. Even though she does voice-overs in her videos (something some people don’t like), I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I almost prefer voice-overs because it keeps the workout moving along, and the intensity level high. No stopping to explain things or set-up equipment.
I do find Leah to be easy to connect with – she cues really well. She has a sweet sincerity about her, which I really like. She isn’t bubbly or chatty, she is very calm and PRECISE, which (to me) allows a higher level of concentration. There’s certainly nothing wrong with being chatty – but there is a time and place for it. But Leah’s videos are very tough and they require a lot of focus and concentration – so the fact that she doesn’t show any personality doesn’t bother me one bit.
What I Like the Most About the Ballet Body Lower Body Workout
The thing I like most about this video is the difficulty level. It’s pretty challenging. In fact, I would say that this video is as challenging as some of the live Bar Method and core fusion classes I have taken in the past. This is awesome because you and I both know that it’s hard to push ourselves at home like we do in a live class. The instructors in live classes encourage you to push past your comfort zone, which is, of course, why you get such nice results. At home in my living room it’s all too easy to slack and go easy on myself …. Eh…no one’s looking.
The Ballet Body Lower Body Workout easily gives me major muscle fatigue (i.e. shaking uncontrollably). I really don’t even have to think about it for it to happen (just like in a live class). The reason I say this is because I have noticed that with some other *easier* barre DVDs, that “barre leg tremble” doesn’t come as easily, I kinda have to force it and really concentrate on being, and staying, “in” the muscle. If you don’t feel the burn from Leah’s DVDs, I’m sorry but you ain’t doin’ it right!
Leah gets you in the muscle quickly and effortlessly, without you even realizing what just happened. She completely fatigues the leg muscles. I always find myself trembling uncontrollably, and “cheating” by losing form and not going so deep because I’m afraid I can’t do it. Happens every time, and it’s awesome. I LOVE it! This, my friend, is how you get results.
When you are working that hard during your workout, you have no choice but to pay attention. How can you even think about the laundry or what you will cook for dinner. All you will be able to think is, “OMG, I’m not gonna make it! Five more reps, five more reps…I can do it. I can do it!”
It actually took me a couple of weeks until I was able to finish the entire workout, because my legs were just complete Jell-O about ¾ of the way through.
My legs looked really lean and toned when I was doing this consistently. I experienced no bulking, only a long lean look.
Overview of the Ballet Body Workout
Leah starts off with a brief warm-up, and then gets right into barre work on the toes. There are some static lunges with quick repetitions and also some fold-over work. She also does some difficult bridge and hamstring work on the floor, which a beginner will probably need to work up to.
Leah is known for her creative exercises and attention to detail. The fact that the exercises aren’t typical makes this workout more interesting and fun. She does a lot of moves that tone and stretch the muscles at the same time, which is why you get a long, lean look from these workouts. She really focuses on stretching and elongating the muscles.
I have heard people say that this workout is quad-heavy. But I disagree. If I’m not careful with my diet, my quads bulk very fast and very easily and as I said before, I have noticed NO bulking from doing this video.
And just a little side point…there is a difference between adding bulky muscle to your frame (such as by doing squats or lunges with heavy weight) and body weight exercise. Body weight exercises create dense, hard, compact muscles that don’t take up much space. You may notice a hardening, and “SITTING UP” of the muscle, but no bulking – nothing that some deep stretching can’t iron out.
I have also noticed that bulking can often be due to a higher percentage of body fat, or failure to effectively reduce body fat. Muscle takes up less space than fat. So if you tend to bulk from these workouts, be sure you check your diet first. Don’t be so quick to blame the workout ;).
You will work up more and more of a sweat each time you do this video. It actually gets harder the more you do it. Leah recommends doing cardio on alternate days – especially if your goal is fat loss.
Who Is Ballet Body Lower Body Workout Best For?
ALL of Leah’s Ballet Body DVDs (not just lower body) are best for those of you who really want to elongate your muscles and while getting stronger and gaining visible muscle tone. In order to do this, you need to focus on just one set of muscles at a time and exhaust them, repeatedly, until they adapt. This DVD is perfect for that. You have to be careful that you don’t change up your workout too soon or too frequently when you are trying to gain strength and tone.
Leah addresses this issue on her site:
“I’ve been performing different workouts everyday to change it up and I’m not seeing results.”
Changing your workouts everyday or doing something different every day does not allow for your body and muscles to properly adapt, and therefore you will not achieve the best gains or results. There is no baseline to build from which is very important in creating the progression after adaptation.The principle of overload, adaptation, progression, and recovery are important to elicit results from your workout regimen….
This workout is also suitable for beginners, because the moves themselves are simple and she does provide modifications. This workout is what you make it. If you focus hard and concentrate on going a little deeper and pushing a little more each time, this workout will grow with you. It will be a LONG time before you conquer the Ballet Body Lower Body Workout…And your new, beautiful toned legs will thanks you!