My barre adventures continue with Pure Barre: 16th Street 2. The library had several Pure Barre workouts but I chose this one because it had the most 5 star reviews on Amazon. Of course, I was checking Amazon on my iphone while at the library so I didn’t actually read the reviews. I read them later and they aren’t very useful–not even sure they are referring to this workout specifically or Pure Barre workouts in general. Nevertheless, this is the Pure Barre I checked out. And it is hard! A lot is packed into 36 minutes. I do think it is an excellent workout, but I didn’t enjoy it. It had some great (but painful) lower body work and I feel it hit the quads, glutes and hips very well. Plus it’s chaptered–yay! So this is going on my wishlist–I can definitely use the lower body segments as add ons. Another great part is that after each lower body segment she stretches the muscle group worked out completely. As it turns out the numbers–1 or 2–refer to the level of the workout. A “1” is beginner/intermediate and “2” is intermediate/advanced. So no wonder this one hurt so bad! But the good hurt.
The trainer is Carrie Rezabeck. She has a background in dance and created the Pure Barre Technique. In 36 minutes you will get a total body workout using only a chair (or barre), some tubing (I used a firewalker) and a mat. Keep in mind the only muscle groups that will be hit hard is your lower body and abs, but she still hits everything. The technique used in this workout that burns your muscles out is the combination of a looped band with isometric pulsing movements. The band used in this workout looks like a regular resistance tube that is been looped then secured in the middle so there are two loops that look almost like handles. I just used a firewalker and it worked very well.
The main menu lists The Workout, Body Positioning, Equipment Tips, About Pure Barre, and About this DVD. If you click on The Workout it takes you to another menu where you can choose to play the entire workout or just specific sections (chaptering). Body Positioning is a 5 minute tutorial that demonstrates the positioning for all of the barre work. Equipment Tips has a sub-menu in which you can learn about different equipment: the Pure Barre mat, the Pure Bar tubing and Pure Bar socks. About Pure Barre takes you to a sub-menu which lists: about the technique, about the founder, about “pure give”, franchise opportunities and other available DVDs.
Pure Barre: 16th Street 2 is 36:30 minutes long; 30 second intro, 9 minute warm up, 10 minute thigh work, 8:30 minute seat (glute) work, 5 minutes of ab work and 3 minutes of back work & a stretch.
The 9 minute warm up is a workout in itself and is actually the part of the workout that hits the upper body. You start with knee raises. Then you sit on mat and put tubing around ankles. Lift legs to ceiling and pump straight arms. Continue with arms while raising and lowering straight legs. With straight legs at 45 degrees and arms behind head, twist elbow to side and pulse. Bring arms overhead while legs straighten a few inches off the floor, then bring knees in while arms lower beside hips. Start laying flat on the ground and roll up into straight leg boat pose. Hold in straight leg boat while pressing out on tube (still around your ankles). Elbow plank. Straight arm plank with leg raise and pulse. Straight arm side plank with little elbow bends. Push ups. Hold in halfway point and pulse. Tricep push ups. Hold at halfway point and pulse. Get onto bottom with hands behind hips and heels rested on ground–do tricep dips. Remove band from ankles and stand. Hold band behind back; hinge at hips and press arms back, then pull and raise arms. Raise band over head with straight arms and pull band down behind head. Hold band in front of body with palms facing ceiling; straighten and bend arms while keeping tension on tube; pull out on band. Put band around wrists and bring bent arms up in front of face, palms facing each other; press elbows/arms/hands out. This ends with a brief upper body stretch.
Thigh Work (10 minutes): you need the firewalker/tubing and a chair or barre. Bring firewalker up just above knees, bring heels together, toes apart in a narrow V and raise up on toes, bend knees. Lower and raise into squat. Hold at halfway point and tuck hips and push knees/band apart. Remove tube from knees. Step on tube with right foot and wrap the tube around the ankle of the left foot. Hold left foot out in front of you with foot flexed; lift left foot and pulse, then hold and circle toe, return to pulsing. Repeat on right leg. Put tube around both ankles and get into plie squat. Pulse in plie. Hold low and tuck hips and press knees out. Stay in low plie and turn torso and arms (which are now held out in front of you) to the right while raising right heel; pulse in this position, then do hip tucks and knee presses. Repeat this plie series with left heel raised. Return to forward facing plie with arms overhead and pulse down. Hold at low point and press knees out. End with a long thigh stretch on mat.
Seat (glute) Work (8:30 minutes): you need the firewalker/tubing, a chair or barre and a mat. Step on tube with right foot and put tube around bottom of left foot. Bring left foot behind you so you are on your left “toe knuckle.” Lift left foot and press back. Make small circles with left foot. Flex left foot and press straight back. Remove tube from ankles and bring it to the mat. This move is call the pretzel. Sit on mat with right knee bent in front of you and flat on mat, left left is straight to side with knee bent or it can be further behind you (it is also flat on mat); however left hip must be rotated forward. Hold band in both hands and hold over head; squeeze/push left glute forward (your hip will be rotating slightly forward). If you can, lift left foot off floor and continue the squeeze/rotate. Lower arms and flex left foot and raise leg/knee off floor; press heel back. Stretch glute/hip/leg. Repeat on other side of body.
Ab Work (5 minutes): you need the firewalker/tubing and a mat. Come to mat and put firewalker just above knees. Get into C sit and do small raise and lowers, never sitting up fully (so always in C sit). Hold in low C sit and press knees out/open. While in C sit, rotate to right and squeeze glutes while raising and lowering (while always staying in twisted C sit). While still in this position press knees out away from each other. Rotate to left and repeat. Return to forward facing C sit and do small raise and lowers again. Lay on back and bring tubing up higher on thighs then open legs into a wide V, toes to ceiling. Raise upper body and do small curls in. You start with hands holding thighs then change to pushing hands between thighs, pushing against band. Lower hands and torso to floor but keep legs in same position and do hip raises. Add pressing the legs out against band while raising hips.
Back & Stretch (3 minutes): cobra stretch. Next you will do back extensions; lay on stomach and hold firewalker w/ both hands behind back; raise torso, arms and legs and hold; add pulling on the band. Cat & cow. End with leg stretches.