It finally happened. Today I broke down and signed up for Amazon Prime. Well, technically, I only agreed to the 30-day free trail, but I have the feeling it will ultimately turn into a permanent upgrade.
I have been an avid Amazon lover and affiliate for quite some time, and have always been straight forward about my links popping up from time to time throughout my blog posts. I do get a small kickback, but that is certainly not why I include them into my writing.
Being a Prime member costs $99 a year, but offers free two-day shipping, unlimited instant streaming of movies, DVDs, and television, plus over 500,000 book downloads all for free. Not to shabby if you order things from the site on a regular basis!
Anyways, the upgrade happened on account of the ever lovely and talented Mary Helen Bowers. She is the founder of Ballet Beautiful, a ballet inspired workout similar to barre, but involves more flowy, bigger movements in the center and on the floor without the use of a ballet barre.
Her methods specifically cater towards busy women who don’t always have time for extensive workouts, but want to achieve and maintain strong and lean bodies. With the experience of ten years as a NYC Ballet member and training celebrities including Natalie Portman and Miranda Kerr, I’d say she knows a thing or two about attaining the long and lean dancer physique a lot of women shoot for!
I was first introduced to Ballet Beautiful at the Reebok Skyscape Launch Party last week in NYC. Alongside a few blogging buddies, I took a condensed version of one of her classes and the ballerina in me fell for the style of workout right away.
I left the event wanting to try the full classes and after getting a message from Julie earlier this week, I found out you can stream her Ballet Beautiful DVDs online, totally free for Amazon Prime members!
With the itch to try something new today, I put on my True Studio Slippers to see exactly what all the fuss is all about.
In just under an hour, I completed a set of exercises that targeted the glutes, abs, inner and outer thighs, and arms.
The best way I can describe it is a fun and graceful full-body workout meant to focus on, tighten and tone an area at a time, without the use of weights.
MHB is very soft-spoken and the DVD brought me right back to ballet classes with piano tunes, frequent stretching and her use of dance terminology like first position, rond de jambe, and degage.
Before you get intimidated, please undersand that you don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy this series of workouts! I just so happen to personally appreciate the references.
The video started with twenty minutes of bridges, which is actually one of my favorite exercises. Okay, I don’t love them… but I love the results I get from doing them, hence the reason why I say favorite.
I knew I was in for it, but I didn’t think my legs would be burning quite as much as they did! I have to admit that the moves felt a tad repetitive since they all happened in four sets of eight counts until the next change, but that is also very similar to the style of a lot of barre classes out there.
If there is one thing I could change about it, it would be the music. I enjoyed the piano, but feel like more upbeat tunes might make the workout go by faster.
Overall, I am definitely a Ballet Beautiful fan! I loved the fact that ninety percent of the workout was done on the floor, and that none of it required any type of equipment.
She recommends doing this type of workout three times a week to achieve maximum results, even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes a day. Being extremely portable, I see this series of DVDs being a definite go-to when I am traveling this summer!
Earlier this morning, I mentioned that Scott and I are dog sitting and couldn’t leave without including a few photos of the characters that are currently in our household.
Macy is an adorable (somewhat senior) Australian Sheppard we adore that belongs to our good friend, Alex. Roadie has been loving the extra company and has been getting along with her really well.
(We’re still working on the whole sharing attention concept though.)
After my workout, I threw on a pair of sneakers and sweatpants and took the pups out for an afternoon walk around the neighborhood.
Two peas in a pod, those fur balls are!
I worked up quite the appetite by the time we returned and quickly threw together a lunch similar to yesterday’s.
(Baby spinach, spring mix, tomatoes, carrots, black + green olives, a Gardenburger, feta cheese, and a spoonful of red pepper hummus inside a whole wheat tortilla.)
I also enjoyed a golden delicious green apple and the last of our macarons from New York!
Chocolate Coconut, get in my belly.
I am looking forward to having a clear schedule for the remainder of the day and hope to stay productive by knocking some thing off of the Spring Cleaning to-do list. I almost forgot that comes with the new season of (hopefully) warmth and sunshine, and I’m sorry if I just put a rain cloud over your day by reminding you. Whoops.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your Thursday, and I will see you again bright and early with tomorrow’s Friday Favorites link-up!
Questions of the Day
• Do you enjoy workout DVDs at home, or prefer to keep active at the gym?
• What is your favorite macaron flavor?
I have always loved incorporating at-home workout DVDs into my fitness routine. As much as I love taking group fitness classes and making up my own at the gym, I also love the convenience and portability of workout DVDs. I am already loving the (free) online streaming through Amazon Prime and plan to try out a lot more of MHB’s workouts in the near future. As always, I’ll be sure to report back with my thoughts!