Monday, November 5, 2007

Video of the Day

I'm always pleasantly surprised with this workout, it is invigorating and relaxing but you will feel it working too. Ellen Barrett, who is known for her Crunch and more recently Self magazine workouts is back in what I feel is her best workout ever. Ellen is joined by 7 other ladies including Marni who shows some beginner modifications.

This 40 minute workout begins with some power breathing and standing backbends before moving into the first yoga series. You will move into warrior 2 and pulse while in that position, therefore called the "warrior pulse", then you will move into side angle pose, then reverse warrior, and sweep your arms around and down to the center for some power breaths up before repeating on the other side. This series is repeated a few more times, but with less warrior pulses. More power breathing finishes this series.

The next series is somewhat similar, but you will begin in triangle pose this time. Once in triangle, you will move back to warrior 2 but twist to the front and raise the arms up, hold them before lowering and twisting back to the front. This is repeated several times on the same side before doing on the other side. Next is the zigzag, Ellen's favorite move which targets the core. This is also one of my favorite moves cause I can really feel my obliques. You will face front and extended your arms from side to side then scoop down and do the same thing. Then you will repeat the triangle series on each side again followed by the zigzag once more. Then you will move to triangle once more before moving to plank pose then do some knee cross crunches. Then you will stretch out first in downward facing dog, then childs pose.

The next series is the willow series which is much harder than it looks. Not my favorite pose but I can feel it working! You will begin in childs pose, then lift up your torso up while trying not to lift your rear from your heels. I need to work on this one. You repeat this several times before moving to the dolphin float (elbow plank). The willow/dolphin series is then repeated several more times. Then you will do a variation of extended cat pose, you extend one arm and the opposite leg, and lift and lower each one, then you will extend them out to the side slightly and do the same, then you will alternate front and side. This is then repeated on the opposite arm/leg before stretching out in childs pose.

The next series starts on your front, you will first do leg beats, then a back extension, then a little piece of heaven which is a pushup on the knees, hinging back, then returning to start which your elbows are held inward. This really targets the triceps and I was definitely feeling it after a while. This series is repeated several times before finishing out with pilates leg circles. Then you will lie on your side for some more leg work. You will lift the bottom leg off the floor, then lift and lower the top leg, then you will lift and lower the bottom leg. The option of taking the supporting arm is there to make it tougher, side passe alternating the leg to the front and back follows. Then you will do the side bend twist, then the knee drop progression. Here you are propped up on your elbows and you will drop knees to each side while extending the top leg, then you have the option of straightening both legs while lowering to each side. Then you do a brief stretch before repeating the lying side leg series and side bend twist on the other side and do some more knee drops.

To finish out the workout, you will do some ab work. You will roll down and up halfway before going into modified teasers, then you will roll halfways down again while pulling the elbows together. Then you will move into the single leg stretch, some more oblique work where you drop your knees to each side and climb an imaginary rope and finally the ballerina criss cross. (Personally I find this move difficult cause I can't seem to keep my knees straight. Something to work on though). Then you will do some brief stretching and breathing.

While I am extremely active and aim to do weights, cardio, yoga and pilates each 3 times weekly, I do have to force it somedays. This is one workout that I truly look forward to doing. It is exhilarating and I feel great afterwards. It isn't hard, some experienced in yoga/pilates might feel it is way too easy but it is perfect for me and I have a blast doing it. This is Ellen at her best, she does an excellent job leading this workout. 5+ stars for this one.


  1. Girl you should go into sales you make me want to rush out and buy this video right now .. sounds so exciting ..

  2. Emmi, they should pay you to promote videos, Hugs Lisa