Barlates: Barre Ball Blast

Barre Ball Blast is a collection of primarily lower body and core segments that use nothing but the stability ball and a mat–so body weight training. There are 6 segments plus a warm up and stretch. You can choose “Play all” for a 115 minute workout, or use one of the premixes that group segments together (along with warm up & stretch) and are anywhere from 44 minutes to 73 minutes long, or you can go to the chapter menu and pick and choose what segments you want to do.

I did not want to do a 115 minute long Barlates workout so I split this up into two workouts. On one day I did Inner Thighs & Core + Total Core (28 minutes) and on another day I did the Cardio & Lower premix which is 71 minutes long and contains all of the other segments except Glutes & Lower Back. I tacked Glutes & Lower Back to the end of the premix for an 85 minute workout that seriously fried my lower body (Saturday workout, of course). I cannot handle doing Linda‘s core work after doing her lower body work because she frequently uses the hip flexors for the core work and, after doing an hour of Barlates lower body work, I knew from past experience that my hip flexors just could not handle it.

This was an excellent DVD. I liked all of the segments, but some a lot more than others. I like the premix I did (Cardio & Lower) but I hate leaving out the Glutes & Lower Back. I wish there was a premix that swapped out the Lower Body Mat segment for the Glutes & Lower Back segment. But I can create that for myself by going to the chapter menu. That would shave two minutes off the time, making it a 69 minute workout. Those are all my favorite segments–Ball Cardio, Standing Lower Body and Glutes & Lower Back.

Segments:

Warm up (10 minutes): The warm up is done with the ball and consists of plie squats, curtsy lunges and knee raises with large arm movements with ball, insole taps (but tapping with ball), twisting the ball side to side while swinging one leg side to side, and more.

Ball Cardio (14 minutes): This segment doesn’t seem like cardio at first, but it ends up really getting your heart rate elevated through fast paced body weight/ball work. And you are getting everything with this segment: cardio, lower body and core conditioning and your arms will get seriously fatigued from holding that @$%&* ball overhead.

  1. Stand on one leg w/ other leg held out straight to side and circle ball; changes to holding ball stationary at hip while circling the raised leg (large circles to side); tap side to side while rotation ball hip to hip; repeat on other side of body
  2. Alternating front lunge while wood chopping with ball; changes to pulsing in stationary lunge while figure 8ing the ball
  3. Repeater knees, bringing ball from overhead to knee
  4. Plie squats while twisting ball side to side
  5. Hold ball overhead and lean side to side while also lifting leg side to side; changes to staying on one side of the body; lunge side to side while twisting ball side to side; repeat on other side of body

Standing Lower Body (26:30 minutes): This segment has a lot of balance work. I actually had to use a chair for #1 & 2 below. And even using a chair to help with balance I really felt this segment big time. In fact, #2 really fried my glutes.

  1. Stand on one leg w/ ball beside you and one foot on ball, squat while rolling ball in and out; stay in squat while rolling ball in and out; just hold foot on ball and squat up and down; changes to pulse; repeat on other leg
  2. One leg lunge squat w/ back foot on ball (roll ball back as you squat while hinging forward); hold one leg squat while rolling ball in and out behind you; seesaw (deadlift–hinge forward reaching hands toward floor, keeping front leg straight while still rolling ball in and out); roll ball back so leg is extended and straight behind you and pulse squat front leg; repeat on other leg
  3. Wide plie squats while holding ball; 3 pulse plie squats then straight legs and raise onto toes while raising ball overhead; plie to side lunge, alternate sides; add rolling ball to side when doing side lunge; take out plie squat and just lunge side to side; changes to plie squat then pivot into lunge, pivot back to plie and plie squat, pivot to other side and do lunge, alternate sides; stay to one side and do stationary lunges; plie squats then turn to other side and do stationary lunges
  4. Seesaw holding ball in hands overhead this time (lean forward while raising one leg straight behind you (like single straight leg deadlift); changes to swinging leg forward when standing and still raising behind you when hinging forward; set ball on floor and hold it for balance, leg is still raised behind you and pulse leg; changes to single leg squat w/ leg still raised behind you; alternating straight leg front kicks; repeat on other leg

Lower Body Mat (16 minutes): Since I did this as part of a premix, my legs were already fried. I was really struggling to get through #1–it was hurting my supporting leg, too.

  1. Lean one hip on ball w/ one hand on mat on other side of ball, bottom knee on mat and top leg straight–raise and lower top leg; changes to lifting leg and tapping in front of you then lifting leg and tapping behind you; changes to bring knee in to chest the push foot back out straight w/ foot flexed; changes to small circles w/ straight leg (toe pointed)
  2. Still leaning one hip on ball bring top leg in front placing foot flat on floor (knee bent)–raise and lower straight bottom leg
  3. Lean back on ball, feet flat on floor and raise and lower hips (hip bridges on ball); changes to lifting and lowering one straight leg from floor to ceiling; more glute bridges but this time place heels together and open knees; hold hips up and open and close knees; squeeze legs/knees together, lift hips and hold isometrically
  4. Repeat 1 & 2 on other leg

Glutes + Lower Back (14 minutes): This was an excellent segment to totally finish your glutes off and give you some upper and lower back work. It is my favorite of all of the segments.

  1. Lay w/ ball under hips and hands and toes on floor, raise arms so hands are beside ears and elbows are out to side–raise and lower chest; add rotation (lift chest and turn chest to side; alternate sides)
  2. Same position but bring arms out to sides of head like goal poses and rotate forearms up and down; changes to reaching arms forward then pull arms/elbows back
  3. Walk forward a bit on ball, hands on floor, raise and lower straight legs; flex feet and pulse heels toward each other; changes to swimming legs w/ pointed toes
  4. Same position as #3, raise and lower one leg; keep leg raised and push toward other leg; changes to raising up then in (combining the two moves); repeat on other leg
  5. Bend knees, raising feet toward ceiling, heels pressed together and toes facing outward, push feet up to ceiling (Linda calls it a “frog press”); changes to straighten legs out behind you w/ pointed toes, then bending knees and bringing heels together again w/ flexed feet

Inner Thighs + Abs (9 minutes): For only 9 minutes this was brutal. I did this segment and Total Core (below) separate from the rest of the segments–and they were both so painful. They both hit the core and inner thighs hard. I was struggling with some of these exercises. I’m not sure if it is because this has been a Barlates heavy week for me, so my legs had had enough, but I found this segment very challenging.

  1. Lean back on your elbows on your mat, knees bent, ball between knees and ball/legs raised–squeeze the ball while raising and lowering the ball (reverse crunch while working inner thighs)
  2. Raise legs to ceiling, still holding ball between knees and squeeze in and out on the ball; changes to pulsing squeezes; changes to rotating the ball side to side
  3. Bend knees again and press ball out straight in front of you then bend knees, pulling ball in towards you again; add raising ball to ceiling (so in, out, up, down)
  4. Sit up, holding ball overhead between hands, and raise bent legs off floor (legs in bent knee boat)–bring ball from over head to each side, tapping the floor w/ ball; add leg extensions to the same side you are tapping the ball
  5. Sit up, holding ball overhead between hands, knees bent and feet on floor–raise feet up into bent knee boat while lowering ball to tap shins (raise and lower legs and ball)
  6. Place ball between knees again, feet on floor and hands on floor behind you–squeeze in and out on the ball w/ knees; changes to fast pulsing squeezes; raise feet/ball off floor and keep squeezing

Total Core (19 minutes): See Inner Thighs & Abs above. I did that segment and this one separate from the rest of the segments on this DVD and they were both very challenging. In some ways this segment was easier but only because some of the moves are easier than others so you get a brief rest before moving on to something brutal.

  1. Roll down on ball so ball is under shoulders and back, and feet are on floor, and crunch up, reaching arms toward legs; add reaching arms to side (reach side, center, other side); changes to pulsing reach to one side; pulsing reach to other side; pulsing reach to center
  2. Face ball and rest elbows and forearms on ball and lean forward so you are in a kneeling elbow plank on ball and hold; raise up onto toes and alternate rapping knees to mat; changes to raising and lowering both knees at the same time; lower knees to floor and roll ball in and out using forearms; still in knee/elbow plank on the ball, roll ball side to side w/ forearms
  3. Lay on side, propped on elbow, bottom leg bent (foot behind you) and top leg on the ball–roll ball and and out while bringing elbow down toward ball when rolling in; changes to pulses
  4. Place ball between ankles, both legs straight and rolled back slightly onto hip, bend and straighten legs bringing ball into chest then pushing back out; changes to raising and lower ball w/ legs straight (jackknife)
  5. Repeat 3 & 4 on other side of body
  6. Get into straight arm plank w/ shins on ball and hold; alternate lifting legs; alternate tapping straight leg to floor beside ball; changes to rolling/tucking ball in underneath you, then rolling ball back out; changes to pike ups w/ tops feet on ball

Stretch (6 minutes) You use the ball for the stretches.

PREMIXES:

Standing Only (55 minutes) (warm up, ball cardio, standing lower body, stretch)

Floor Only (73 minutes) (warm up, lower body mat, glutes & lower back, inner thigh & abs, total core, stretch)

Abs & Lower (58 minutes) (warm up, glutes & lower back, inner thighs & abs, total core, stretch)

Cardio & Core (48 minutes) (warm up, ball cardio, total core, stretch)

Cardio & Lower only (71 minutes) (warm up, ball cardio, standing lower body, lower body mat, stretch)

Inner Thighs & Core (44 minutes) (warm up, inner thighs & abs, total core, stretch)

Glutes & Core (49 minutes) (warm up, glutes & lower back, total core, stretch)

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