Lowry Lofts 1 is another library check out. The library has a total of 4 Pure Barre workouts: 16th Street 1 & 2, and Lowry Lofts 1 & 2. I liked 16th Street 2 and found it challenging enough that I wanted to try the others–until I saw the prices! These are expensive workout DVDs and I definitely didn’t find 16th Street 2 worth the $65 it is currently going for on Amazon. It’s not that good. But after some research, used Amazon sellers and Ebay both sell Pure Barre workouts cheaper–not cheap, but cheaper. You can get them used as low as $15 and new on Ebay for around $22. So I decided to try all of the ones the library has.
Another reason I decided to try the two Lowry Lofts workouts in particular (before trying the other 16th Street workout), was because of the piece of equipment used in these two workouts. A pilates ring. I actually own one of these odd things and I never use it anymore. After my accident, when I was rehabilitating, I did a lot of pilates, which is why I possess a pilates ball and a pilates ring. Now I have found uses for them again! The ring had relocated into the spare bedroom closet, so I dug it up and am finally giving it some play.
Unfortunately, I won’t be using it again for Lowry Lofts 1. I did not enjoy this workout. As I mentioned in 16th Street 2 review, the numbers after the titles–1 or 2–refer to the level of the workout. A “1” is beginner/intermediate and “2” is intermediate/advanced. Lowry Lofts 1 seemed to be at both ends of the spectrum–some of the exercises were very painful (but not complicated to do) and some I barely felt. I also felt the use of the ring was sometimes extraneous and unnecessary, and other times awkward. And sometimes it was appropriate and worked very well to enhance the exercise. Since the one used on the DVD is a ring made and sold by Pure Barre, I’m sure they made an effort to use it as much as possible–even when it didn’t “fit.” They seemed to create some pointless moves just to facilitate it. So that was a big negative. For this reason, I am not sure I am still motived to review the other two Pure Barre workouts I checked out from the library (Lowry Lofts 2 and 16th Street 1). We’ll see.
Another issue I had was the camera shots. There were to many long close ups of Carrie’s face when when form needs to be seen. Which brings me to the trainer–Carrie Rezabek. She created the Pure Barre technique and leads all 4 of the workouts I checked out from the library. She leads the workouts well and has a very low key, professional demeanor.
The workout is chaptered also has a 4 minute tutorial on body positioning.
Pure Barre: Lowry Lofts 1 37:30 minutes; 9 minute warm up/upper body work, 18 minutes lower body work, 7 minutes core work, 2:30 stretch. Equipment needed: mat, barre or chair, and the pilates ring (I substituted a pilates ball for one of the exercises).
Warm up/upper body work: high knee march; come down to mat and place ring between thighs for abdominal work; forearm plank hold; straight arm plank hold; side plank holds (very brief); push ups on knees; tricep push ups and pulses on knees; tricep dips; stand and do tricep raises holding ring behind back (seemed pointless), hold the ring in front of you and squeeze it (pointless), then bend arms and squeeze it while pushing it upward (really pointless). Stretch.
Thigh work: get on knees and hold ring in hands and do hip tucks, raising up from knees a little when you tuck up. Next come to barre/chair and step inside of ring, bringing it up above knees, come up onto toes and bend knees; press legs out against the ring, then add pulsing up and down; change to hip tucks. Remove tube and place between inner thighs (this didn’t work for me and I swapped it for a pilates ball), come up on toes w/ heels pressed together; squeeze thighs against ring, add pulsing up and down, then change to hip tucks. Long deep stretch.
Seat/Glute work: return to barre/chair w/ ring. Face the chair and place ring on back of one calf, lean forward over chair back, resting arms on it; small presses up from the knee in this position. Straighten leg (ring will fall to ground) and do small straight leg presses. Turn to side so one arm is on chair back, raise outside leg to side and bend it (hydrant position), place ring on outside of thigh with hand on top of ring; press down on the ring, holding leg stationary; add small leg lifts while still pressing down w/ hand; straighten leg and continue the same moves. Stretch. Repeat on other leg.
Core work: place ring between thighs for more ab work (very painful). Set ring aside and raise one leg straight to ceiling, other straight and about 6 inches off floor; pulse upward, first holding top leg w/ hands, then just reaching for foot. Place ring between thighs again, feet touching, and do reverse crunches. Lay on stomach, knees wide and bent, feet touching; raise knees and torso off floor; raise and lower knees.