Thursday, October 15, 2009

Body After Baby: DVD reviews

So... As I've mentioned about sixteen million times, I am participating in the 8-week Body After Baby Challenge over at Mama Notes.

We're currently in the middle of Week Three and I have been incorporating a lot of different exercise into the program in the spirit of shaking things up and keeping my body (and mind) interested.

As a blogger, I was fortunate enough to have four different companies agree to send me their programs to help me on my journey, and in return, I would offer up an honest opinion on the programs and how they are working for me on my journey to reclaim my so-called pre-baby hotness. (OK, I was never really "hot" but I was 15 pounds thinner than I am right now!)

The first two programs I tried out were based on a ballet class exercise using a barre. I took ballet classes a few years back and I can tell you, barre exercises, when done properly, are FANTASTIC for your legs and butt! I found myself wondering if the DVD programs could replicate the exercises I used to do in ballet class.

Well, after trying them both, I can honestly say I FELT THE BURN! (For several days afterward, even!)

The very first one I tried was the Pure Barre program.

I reviewed the first DVD here, and I have since tried out Pershing Square 2. I can seriously say that this program will KICK YOUR BUTT! It's amazing how such tiny movements can hurt, especially when you're trying to hold a little red ball with your leg. I loved it!

The next program I tried is called The Bar Method, and it can be found HERE.

The Bar Method, like Pure Barre, is based on ballet barre work. Unlike Pure Barre, though, The Bar Method also has a part where it targets your upper body. You don't have to have a ballet barre in your house to do either workout. A chair will work just fine. There were several points while I was doing The Bar Method workout that I was flinching, shaking and sweating, just praying for it to be time to release a certain move. Ouch! (In a good way, of course!)

Of the two barre-based workouts, I enjoyed Pure Barre most, I think. I felt like it hit my muscles a little harder, possibly because of the incorporation of the ball. I also enjoyed it because it was a shorter workout! Both were great, however, for hitting the butt and thighs! I definitely felt like I had worked those muscles when I finished the workouts, and I will be keeping both workouts in my repertoire.

The next workout I tried was BOSU®, which can be found HERE.

If you're not familiar with BOSU®, you do it using a BOSU® Balance Trainer, which kind of looks like half an exercise ball. It has a hard platform on the flat side, and can be used ball side down or platform side down.

The very first thing I learned using the BOSU® system is that my balance STINKS! I fell off the thing quite a bit, but guess what? I noticed that in subsequent sessions, I was a little more balanced, so I am hoping that as time goes on, it will help me more and more.

As for the workouts, I tried a number of different ones including a full-body workout and a yoga-style workout called BOSU® Long and Lean with Chalene Johnson. Both were enjoyable. My husband also tried the full-body one and we agreed that the side lunges burned like the dickens! The BOSU® Balance Trainer is also great for ab work.

I did have a sore knee after my first BOSU® workout, but didn't notice it after the other times I've tried it.

I will be keeping the BOSU® system in my workout regimen during the challenge as well. I'd love to keep the system afterward, too, but the company has requested that I donate it after I'm done to a school for special needs or autistic children. I thought that was kind of neat.

The final home workout program I tested was called Kettleworx, which can be found HERE.

Using a kettlebell (kind of like a weighted ball with a handle) is something kind of different to get used to, but I can say I enjoyed the workouts. I was given a five-pound kettlebell, which is perfect for beginners or moms who are just getting back into working out after having a baby. I am ready to move up in weight to a ten-pounder, or maybe even a 15 for some of the exercises. Even with the five-pound weight, though, I got a decent workout. One of the cool things about the Kettleworx workouts is that if you are really short on time, you can select one of the 10-minute Fast Fat Burn workouts and still feel like you've accomplished SOMETHING.

I will definitely be keeping Kettleworx around in my workout program, and I'm going to try to encourage Hubby to try it out, too, because I think he'll like it a lot.

I would like to thank all four companies for sending me their products to try out, review and use in my quest for a better Body After baby.


MarciaG said...

Great reviews!