Today I want to talk to you about Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled.
Besides the fact that it’s pretty fun to do and the time just flies by, it is a very solid workout.
The instructor, Andrea Rogers, is very pleasant and encouraging, and offers many modifications for those of us that can’t hang, LOL. But the modifications are pretty challenging too, so you won’t feel bad using them…at least I don’t.
If you are familiar with Barre work, this workout will be challenging because it does require precision and control and it offers some different movements not seen in other Barre DVDs. Because of this, I think Xtend Barre is a nice compliment to my other Barre DVDs.
If you are not familiar with barre or ballet work, it will challenge you for the same reasons I mentioned above. I should mention here that some of the exercises are also done at a fast pace and may be somewhat difficult at times. But she does offer plenty of modifications as I stated before, so just use them until you can complete the moves with control.
I always have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in my glutes and hamstrings the next day, so I know I worked hard.
Okay, now on to the workout…
The Xtend Barre workout is based on ballet/barre and Pilates, but also incorporates dance cardio with stretching and strengthening exercises, which I really like. Some barre workouts seem to focus mainly on sculpting without the cardio, so I really like that this workout allows me to get my cardio and sculpting done in one shot. Saves me time, and with a little toddler running around I don’t have much these days.
The entire video is about 60 minutes long, but you have the option to do specific segments if you are short on time or just wanna do a shorter workout one day. The segments are as follows:
- Warm up
- Upper body workout
- Barre exercises
- Core exercises
Rogers teaches the workout with two exercisers in the background. One of the exercisers demonstrates easy variations of the moves. The other one performs more advanced versions, such as ballet jumps.
She also gives excellent cuing. She knows exactly what she is doing and it shows. She is also very pleasant and doesn’t get on my nerves in any way ;).
The warm-up segment is about 6 minutes long and wastes no time in getting your heart pumping quickly. She has you do plies in first and second position, leg lifts, knee raises and passe.
For the upper body workout, she recommends using 1- to 3-lb weights. I use 2 lb weights, which seem to be plenty. This segment is about 11 minutes long and works your biceps and triceps. I have to say that I really like this upper body segment a lot. Out of all my barre DVDs, it’s my favorite. The moves are unique and give you a fire-hot burn very quickly, something that other barre videos tend to lack.
This segment is about 23 minutes long – just enough for you to feel worked without overdoing it. I dread doing some of my other barre DVDs because the barre segments are so difficult. I’m not always in the mood to work so hard.
That said, this DVD is by no means *easy*. It’s definitely challenging. But the way she structures the exercises prevents you from getting bored and it goes by fast. Just when you feel like you can’t do another rep, she’s on to the next exercise.
The barre exercises are performed at a fast pace, and that’s what gives you the cardio effect. In fact, I think you could say that this workout is an easier version of P57, which I love but don’t want to do all the time because of the high intensity.
The exercises include typical barre work, including some great foldover work, OUCH! She also includes some plyometrics, which are great for fat burning and toning your thighs, and a good amount of balance work. Other exercises include lunges, leg extensions, and stretching for elongation of your muscles.
The core section is about 9-1/2 minutes long. She does some c-curve work and Pilates-style crunches, starting with leg movements performed while resting the upper body on the elbows.
The focus, of course, is on pulling the abs in, which is what will give you flat abs. In fact, after the birth of my son, no amount of crunches could repair the abdominal separation I had.
Traditional crunches were only making my stomach protrude worse. But I quickly discovered that doing ab work in c-curve is what I needed to be doing….and I’m glad I did because it’s what got my abs flat again…and in record time.
I saw IMMEDIATE results…like within a week of doing the short c-curve ab routine from The Bar Method: Change Your Body DVD.
The ab section in Xtend Barre is a little more advanced, so if you do have abdominal separation I recommend The Bar Method DVD I mentioned above.
Otherwise, the Xtend Barre ab section is great. I especially liked the fact that she put in some new moves. I hate the same old ab routines and crunches…YAWN. In fact, I always end up skipping the abs section on a lot of DVDs becasue of being bored to tears or it’s too challenging and I get discouraged. The Xtend Barre ab section is doable, yet it provides just enough challenge. It kind of reminds me of P57 ab work , which is lots of fun.
The cool down is about 5 minutes long and of course, includes floor stretches as well as some arabesque variations while standing to challenge your balance. There are also some stretches that target your spine, sides and back.
Overall, the Xtend Barre workout is a great option if:
- you are looking for an effective Pilates based, fat burning workout
- you like dance inspired workouts
- you like workouts that combine muscle toning and cardio
- you would like to add a nice refreshing variation to your current barre or weight lifting routine
Okay, well I think I have talked enough about Xtend Barre, LOL!
I hope this review was helpful to you. Please leave any questions you may have in the comment section below!