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Element: Barre Conditioning [DVD]


Price: £11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Reviews

Grace meets athleticism in these two innovative workouts. Shot in a picturesque garden overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the standing Burn & Firm program is designed to elevate your heart rate as is tones your upper body, lifts your seat, shapes your legs and strengthens your core. It starts with isometric conditioning using small controlled movements and then layers on larger low impact moves designed to build heat with a vigorous flow. This combination will help increase your energy level and sculpt the slim, wellproportioned physique of a dancer. The Lengthen & Strengthen program is a dynamic combination of standing barre work and floor work focused on tightening and toning very precisely targeted areas to create a balanced body that is long, strong and lean.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 85 reviews
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
A fun workout I look forward to doing! 18 Feb 2014
By J Spiegel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I won't review a workout unless I try it for at least 3 weeks unless I feel it's unsafe or unless I just can't bear doing it after a week or so. That wasn't the case with Element: Barre Conditioning with Sadie Lincoln. This was a fun workout! First of all it was set in a beautiful location - which was really nice considering so many workouts are set in bare bones studios with a fake plant somewhere in the background - boring! This is set with the Pacific Ocean in the background - which gives a zen-like feeling to the workouts because as the workouts are done you're not distracted by Sadie coaching you through the workouts; instead there's a voice which describes each movement as it's done.

There are two workouts on this DVD - Burn and Firm, and Lengthen and Strengthen. The first is cardio, but it also tones and tightens both upper and lower body and strengthens the core. While the 2nd workout sculpts and slims and gives you that long strong dancers body.

What I loved is seeing a real difference in my arms! In a mere 3 weeks I lost an inch in each and saw a dramatic difference in tone! My shoulders, back, butt, and legs look much better as well. Also, I have a very weak core from a back injury and have been meaning to work on it - well, this has made a real difference! I can feel a difference in my core and will continue to use this DVD to help tone and strengthen my body!

I highly recommend this DVD!
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Exactly what I was looking for! 7 Jan 2014
By Trish - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you have read my other Fitness DVD reviews, you know that I am a AFAA certified group instructor and also a FITtour yoga instructor.

I have always been an at-home exerciser and have over 100 yoga, pilates,step, strength training, dance and other fitness DVD's.

When I ordered this DVD from the Vine program, I had just hurt the top of my right foot. Nothing serious, but it was uncomfortable to jump.
I have several low impact type DVD's--five of Ellen Barrett's, two ballet and two Barre. Barre Conditioning will be added frequently to this rotation. One of my fast favorites.

This DVD contains two different sessions. The first, Burn and Firm, starts with a standing warm up, and then a 30-minute standing workout which elevated my heartrate to a low to medium exercise level. (60-75% of target heart rate.)
The cover suggest using a chair, but with very limited space in my home gym, I keep a mop handle minus the mop handy for balance.
The main workout consists of plies, squats, squats on toes, leg raises, inner thigh work, all coordinated with breath and arm movements. I did not break a sweat, but I certainly felt this in my thighs, rear and calfs.

The second session, Lengthen and Strengthen, focuses on toning the thighs, calves, chest, abs and back.
You start standing for the warm up and the first five minutes of the main workout. Then you move to your mat....whew! You can feel your muscles working to exhaustion inch-by-inch! As in other Barre workouts, you focus on small, repetitive movements using your body weight to fatigue the muscle. I had to take breaks between breaks while Sadie Lincoln was continuing with Diamond Leg Raises, Side Leg raises, abs...lots and lots of repetition. I loved it.
For both sessions, the instructor's body alignment and posture reminders are done with an off camera voice. Some people mind this--I like it. I like the focus on proper form and the background scenery is beautiful.
Overall, a very pleasant experience--I will have to work up to completing the thigh work without taking breaks, but a great Barre session!
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Two excellent barre-style workouts offer a particular challenge for the lower body 19 Nov 2013
By doctor_beth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
NOTE: I received a free copy of this DVD to review for the web site Metapsychology Online Reviews; please see that site for a more detailed version of my review.

This DVD features Sadie Lincoln, founder of the barre3 method and studios. Like most of the other videos in the Element series, Barre Conditioning offers two separate routines, both of which use a high-backed chair in place of a traditional ballet barre. Lincoln also recommends use of a mat for both routines, and for the second practice, which includes core work on the floor, she uses a rolled-up towel. Lincoln practices barefoot and teaches via voiceover, providing mirrored cueing. I have described each routine in greater detail below.

BURN & FIRM (33:42 minutes)
This high-energy standing routine begins with a warm-up of side-to-side lunges in horse stance; Lincoln layers on an arm to the side/overhead and then a side leg lift. Next, she moves to the chair for plié work for the side body. [Note: the moves are performed all on one side first before moving to the second side.] Lincoln starts slow, again picking up the pace with side leg lifts. Coming back to horse stance, she performs plié pulses, moving only an inch at a time, first with the feet flat, then on the toes. Additional moves including standing diamond (on one leg, bending/straightening both legs) and narrow athletic "v", again moving just an inch at a time. She finishes on the first side with single squats, first starting with a pulsing squat, then a full squat. Lincoln repeats the entire series through standing diamond on the second side, concluding this time with power leg (small pulses) and chair pose (pulsing then full). For the 5.5 minute stretch, Lincoln faces the chair for a quad stretch and crescent pose. She also performs a standing forward fold, bending each knee in turn to get in an extra hip stretch; she then returns to standing and takes deep breaths to finish.

LENGTHEN & STRENGTHEN (32:36 minutes)
[Note: during the Introduction, this routine is incorrectly labeled onscreen as "Lengthen & Straighten"; it does not appear that way on the menu.] The warm-up for this workout begins more slowly, with side-to-side taps that turn into hamstring curls and knee raises. The standing work starts facing the chair for crescent lunge. Lincoln performs small lowers (one inch) for this position and then larger raises. She also concentrates the weight on the front leg to work the glutes. (For these moves, Lincoln alternates legs.) After this short standing sequence, Lincoln moves to all fours, slowing bringing in an alternate arm and knee and then performing a straight leg pulse. Next, she transitions to her side for side-lying diamond on either side (with a seated twist in-between) followed by bridge lifts. For the core work, the rolled-up towel supports the pelvis. The moves here include passé leg lowers, point/flex presses, and fourth position scoops. Lincoln then returns to all fours for a cat/cow stretch and a final move, plank, adding in a micro bend of the knees (and optional elbow bends). Again, there is a nice long (5.5 minutes) stretch which includes child pose, seated shoulder/side stretches, twist, modified camel, and standing forward fold.

Although these workouts focus on small, precise movements, they challenge the muscles in unique ways and thus are definitely likely to bring about significant results. I found the second routine, "Burn & Firm," to be a bit easier; for those who are familiar with Lincoln's "barre3: Total Body Lift" DVD released several years back, this was similar, except without the arms work and with the towel replacing the squishy ball. I loved the first workout on this DVD, which I thought was solidly intermediate and which did an amazing job at targeting the legs from all angles. (I found it odd, however, that Lincoln repeatedly mentions the "amazing upper body work" in this routine: although the arms are used, they simply are not worked all that hard.) Lincoln is an enjoyable, encouraging instructor, and I would definitely recommend Element: Barre Conditioning for its challenging yet accessible workouts.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Deceptively challenging 18 Jan 2014
By A. Carter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm 29 and have been doing various pilates/yoga workout DVDs a few times a week for the past 2-3 years. I probably have somewhere around 15 videos in total, with maybe 6 or 7 that are my favorites (mostly things like CoreFusion, Ballet Beautiful, Tracy Mallett, etc).

So! I was excited to try out the Element Barre Conditioning workout. And I like it - a lot of the moves are familiar, or feel similar to ones I've done in other pilates/barre workouts - but it is definitely challenging. It takes a lot for me to get that next-day sore feeling and my legs definitely felt this the next day.

OVERVIEW:
Sadie Lincoln is a good instructor. She's pleasant, and I especially appreciated her clear directions. Often, the instructors are describing moves that look NOTHING like what they're doing, but with Sadie I felt like I could have performed every move perfectly without looking at the TV. In the introduction she says she has a masters degree in education, and it definitely shows.

The DVD has 2 sections. You need a chair for both, and a rolled up towel for the second section. (I used my pilates fitness ball instead of a towel, which worked just fine) The first section is definitely the more taxing of the two; a lot of the moves reminded me of Tracy Mallet's Booty Barre workout. The calm feeling I got from the DVD cover and intro had made me think that I was in for a fairly mellow half hour, but all of the "isometric" pulsing repetitions really got my heart going and my quads were on fire. Sadie keeps up a pretty steady flow of fitness-instructor banter, which I appreciated because it gave me something else to focus on besides the burn. Your legs will definitely shake, and she urges you to push for and through the shakiness. You can even see her legs shake as well, which I found refreshing. (Although I admit I didn't hold everything as long as I was supposed to, I'll have to work up to that)

She describes a handful of moves as "great for the upper body" or "a great upper body workout", but overall this is more of a lower body routine. You do use your arms, but you really have to focus on creating resistance and "being graceful" with your arms in order to feel it. However, the second time I did the first section, I did have some sore back muscles the next day. That said, I would have appreciated some more stretching (before, after, AND during) but I always want more stretching.

Bottom line: I'm glad to have this as an addition to my workout video library, and I will keep my eyes peeled for more workouts with Sadie Lincoln.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Barre Conditioning 15 Jan 2014
By Robert D. Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Overview: Two 30 minute workouts of the "toning" variety, meaning that you're not going to bounce around and burn calories, but stay in one pose. You won't feel particularly stressed, except in the one part of the body you're isolating, in this case, mostly in the thigh and calf muscles.

Pros:
- The first 20 minutes of each workout fly by. This may be because of the format, which only goes through about ten movements in each workout, and the lack of transition between warm up and workout, but I loved that.
- The trainer shakes just about as much as I do, which I actually appreciate over one of those super-toned people who hardly break a sweat while I'm dying on the workout floor.

Cons:
- Tons of mislabeling. The box says "no equipment needed", but you quite clearly need a yoga mat because these are all balance exercises, and working out without one is risking an injury. You could also benefit from a yoga block or strap, although the rolled towel works as well. The trainer also claims that you're getting an "awesome upper body workout" by waving your arms as you do a squat, which is nonsense. I see very little yoga involved in this plates-ballet-yoga blend.
- As much as the first 20 minutes fly, the last ten drag. This is the minimally yoga section, which basically introduces three or four stretches that take a lifetime to switch. Hated it.

Overall, a minimally decent workout, but not one that I'm likely to revisit often. It's not enough of a workout on it's own for me (an average athlete who goes to the gym daily), and it's not much fun, though I think it might be nice to have as a supplement on a day when I need to cut another workout short.
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