Ballet Beautiful is a ballet-inspired, low-impact workout brought to you by Mary Helen Bowers (founder), the ballerina who trained Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan. You won't be performing any ballet dance moves (so don't worry about not having a dance background), but you will be doing a series of conditioning moves that isolate your legs, abs, inner, and outer thighs.
The isolated moves, and repetition of a single movement (to further isolate muscle groups) means that Ballet Beautiful works really well to help sculpt a leaner, and longer physique.
I have had the Classic 60-Minute for right around a year, and I must say, as someone who works out very intensely at the gym, this burns deeper, and results come faster than any workout I've done before. Within the first week, I could see small changes to my abs, legs, and arms.
Don't let the leotard fool you, this workout is anything but cute, and I promise when you finish your first session, you'll feel muscles hurting like you've never felt before — if you like feeling the burn, then this workout is definitely for you (because you're working your muscles to exhaustion), and the best part is, you won't be doing any intense cardio, so this workout can be done by anyone, at any fitness level.
See the trailer here:
What To Expect:
DVD will be divided into six different sections, which can be played straight through for the full 60-minute workout, or you can chose sections to customize the workout.
- Bridge Series
- Inner Thighs
- Outer Thighs
- Arm Series
- Standing Series
What You'll Need:
Ballet Beautiful does not require anything but the following items, and enough space to spread your arms at your side, meaning it's highly portable, and you can pretty much do it anywhere! All you need is:
- Yoga Mat
- Water Bottle
- Ballet Slippers (optional)
- 60 Minute Ballet-inspired conditioning workout
- For maximum results, complete a BB workout at least 2-3 times per week, and incorporate a cardio workout into your routine 1-3 times per week.
- Personally, I add 2 lb. ankle weights for the Inner and Outer thigh legs series. I feel like it helps to make the workout more challenging, and the weights help build muscle faster.
- During the Ballet Twists in the Abs section, I incorporate a 4lb. medicine ball, again to make the workout more challenging by adding resistance.
- Stretch! Sometimes, I need to pause the DVD and get in a good stretch between sections to help loosen up the muscles more. You will definitely want to stretch for 5-10 minutes (or longer) afterwards.
- Play your own music! The music during the workout is a lovely soothing piano music, but after several session, that piano music will soon get really boring/annoying to hear, in the DVD menu you can turn the music off, and just play your own.
There aren't many things to dislike about this workout, to be honest, but a couple of things that stick out to me are:
- Lack of variations This workout is suitable for all levels of fitness, however, she does not give enough variations of movement for people who might find certain things more difficult. Sometimes, she'll give a variation after you've already done several reps of a specific move, to which I say, "Why didn't you tell me this in the first place!"
- Lack of stretching You will preform some light stretching in between reps of movements, but for at the most, fifteen seconds. You always have the option of pausing the video (as I do) to go deeper into a stretch for more time, but, I feel like not everyone will want to pause their video to add in more stretching. I also would have loved to have a section of just stretching, you can buy the Barre Stretch streaming video from the Ballet Beautiful online store, but, again it would have been nice for this to be included on the DVD itself.
Overall, I would pretty much recommend this regimen to anyone looking for a low-impact workout, that provides amazing results. You may struggle at first (which is to be expected), but stick with it! This workout tones like nothing else!
Also, if you're like me, and you get bored easily of a workout, you can set up an account on balletbeautiful.com and purchase additional 15 minute blast videos, that can be streamed on any mobile device or computer! This means, that you can totally customize your workout every time, and never be bored of the BB system.
Her site also offers BB Live, a way to take interactive classes with Mary Helen herself online, you can purchase her book (as shown above), dance wear, and her other DVD offerings.
Where To Buy:
I bought my DVD through her website a year ago when they still sold it titled 60-Minute Classic Workout, it has since been renamed and rebranded as the Total Body Workout DVD, and it's $18.99.
You can, of course, get this much cheaper on Amazon!
I hope that my review covered everything you need to know to get you introduced to Ballet Beautiful. Personally, I am obsessed with anything ballet related, and squealed like a schoolgirl when I saw that Natalie Portman's Black Swan trainer offered a home workout that was easy, portable, and versatile. I love that I can chose what I want to work on, and that I can incorporate her streaming videos to totally cater each workout to me, and what I feel like doing. The workouts are effective, and Mary Helen's calm, comforting, and pleasant demeanor helps to guide you through the tough 60 minutes (even though you feel like dying).
So, if you're not a "gym person" but would still like to workout, or even if you love to workout, and you're looking to switch it up from time to time, definitely give the Ballet Beautiful Classic 60-Minute Workout (aka The Total Body Workout) a try!
If there are any questions, please leave a comment below!