Friday, May 14, 2010

Psyching up for Summer

It's swimsuit season soon.  Some of you may be groaning already.  If you need some help to get ready, I have a great workout video for you.  It will help you prepare for the body-revealing summer.
Ellen Barrett's video requires just a yoga mat and dumbbells.

I've been working my gluteus maximus off all spring thanks to an exercise DVD by Ellen Barrett.  As I mentioned before in my "Million Ways" blog, I keep searching for new workout DVDs.  My latest find is "Slim Sculpt" by Ellen Barrett.  It's a great exercise program that includes both cardio and strength training.

My initial reason for choosing this video was due to Barrett's low impact method.  She uses Pilates techniques with resistance training.  Her added benefit is that you can do it in your bare feet!  A yoga matt is suggested but not required for this workout.  Likewise, three to five pound dumbbells are useful for this exercise routine.

For the unfamiliar, Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates of Germany for rehabilitation of World War I veterans.  Just like yoga, the practice entails you focusing on the breath.  The Pilates method has you breathe in through the nose and exhale through the mouth (unlike yoga which has you inhale and exhale through the nose).  Barrett is excellent at reminding you to be mindful (see my last blog) as you perform the exercises.

At first, I wasn't sure this exercise routine would be rigorous enough for me.  However, by the time Barrett has you doing upper arm circles with the weights, I was feeling fatigued.  Since Pilates incorporates stretching while strengthening, Barrett has you perform leg stretches while you are working your arms.  It is amazing how many muscles are being utilized while exerting her moves.

Barrett's video also contains floor work.  Central to Pilates is fortifying core muscles, so Barrett has a number of abdomen exercises.  Her simple maneuvers work out the torso as well as the gluteus maximus.

Overall, I highly recommend her "Slim Sculpt" video.  It is an excellent approach to integrating aerobics, strength training and Pilates.  If you like this DVD you might want to try her "Barefoot Cardio" which doesn't require dumbbells.

So remember, summer doesn't have to be a body concealing time of the year.  Make time to do some "Slim Sculpt"-ing.  You will look splendid in your new tankini.

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