It’s that time of year again. The time we reassess our goals, our dreams, our plans and decide once again, who we really want to be or what goals we want to achieve. Let’s face it, fitness is always at the top of many people’s list. Unfortunately, due to time, weather and couch potato syndrome, sometimes this goal falls to the wayside. Thanks to the advent of some online fitness programs, getting your buns back in shape has become a somewhat easier goal to meet.
Since the cornucopia of choices is endless, I will review a few of the online programs I have tried to give you a better idea of what they are like to save you time. I am not a fitness professional and sometimes I need to step in and out of a program due to some physical hurdles. I try to keep safety, fun and cost in mind. These programs do incur a fee but I enjoyed all of them- each of them unique. As always, make sure this a right fit for you, your health, and check with a doctor to make sure this is what you need.
The truth is Tracy Anderson had me at “hello.” I must confess I have admired her for a longtime. She has put so much fitness information out there and I have been familiar with her method for a long time. For me, I always feel and see the benefit of her work right away. My body feels sore in that good way not “I pinched a nerve way.” There has been this growing trend in exercise to get more and more aggressive. Tracy’s method is unbelievable challenging but in my opinion does not have the goal to shred your muscles. In fact, if you read her book, the premise behind her method is to work your muscles on angles, to have them slide, not tear, to shape them. She is not a big fan of heavy weights and music is a big inspiration. If you are a big fan muscle toning exercises, I can say that I love her exercises. They were efficient for me and seemed to bring my muscles closer to my body and found that to be helpful not just for how it looked but it made my body stronger. If Dance is what you love, she has been labeled “The Cardio Dance Queen” by many. I find her dancing style unique in that it keeps you off balance a bit, has a somewhat bouncy feel to it and it gets your heart pounding fast. You don’t need to be dancer, but you do need an open mind. Tracy is fun.
If you want to try The Tracy Anderson Method the two options I would recommend are her online live classes that change once a week or Metamorphosis. While Meta is disk set, the cost is less expensive for anyone who can’t afford the online option, and it is great program too. With Meta you get to choose your body type and the workouts change every ten days to keep your body guessing. They also get progressively more difficult. Her online program is fascinating and you see all the fresh content each week along with modifications for some who need it. It is filmed in her studio so you are getting the benefit of her new moves and dances. She also has an excellent online presence with other participants in the Method so even though it is online, especially Instagram, there is a social connection that seems to be vibrant. The connection with others can be motivating even though you are doing this workout at home. She has other videos, a book, and a column in Health magazine. You can find some samples of her work on GOOP and YouTube.
Dancebody was created by Katia Pryce who formerly worked with Tracy Anderson. She has an online method that is updated every month. The library of classes is quite large as well as the difficulty level of classes. Currently there seems to be 5 levels being offered. There is a class primarily focused on sculpting, although all of them offer some form of toming. The others go up in skill level in terms of dancing which is the biggest difference between each level. Dancebody is the Dance Cardio method if you really want to dance. So much so that some of the classes feel like full on dance classes, leaning a bit more towards a fun, sexy hip hop style. You could seriously take some of these dance moves you learn and move them to the club. If you go their website, or to social media, many dancers seem to be drawn to this method. To get a feel for what I mean, Dancebody has great samples of their work on Instagram and Facebook There are plenty of classes in the easier levels that anyone can follow along to, one is even called “Follow Along”. If you are drawn to dance cardio because of some serious desire to dance, this could be the one to try. The toning moves are good and there are some tutorials on how to do the dance moves properly, so it has a good mix. You will see some moves that look a bit like Tracy’s, but the dancing is different and the toning not quite the same. Dancebody is a lot fun and a great choice for those who really like some sass in their dance and desire some fancy footwork.
Ballet Beautiful is the brainchild of Mary Helen Bowers, formerly of the New York City Ballet. First off, let me tell you this is not just another bar based method- it is far more than that. If you sign up for the Custom Membership, the array of classes is plentiful, effective, elegant and interesting. I always find it funny that the bar based methods feed off ballet when there is very little in common with ballet except, well, the bar! Unlike those methods, Mary Helen Bowers incorporates aspects of ballet, standing and floor based toning exercises and has actual ballet exercises, all as a part of her Custom Streaming Membership options. One of the best things about the videos she makes is the flexibility in terms of time offerings. Some videos are 10 minutes, some are 20 minutes long, etc. and often have different focus points, for example, abs, buns and thighs, or cardio. All of these are choices you can make when selecting a video along with length. The Custom Option also allows you to choose your personal focus, how often you want to work out and comes up with a recommendeded program. You can select other videos you want from the streaming library, which is fun. I love the new Prima Series, Ballet Basics and the Essential Ballerina. These do not often make it into the pre-made suggested mix for the Custom Workout. I just “heart” them myself and add the workout into my routine as work around. The classical music is so beautiful and you will be shocked at how a truly ballet based workout can get your heart rate up and your body toned. If you love ballet, classical music and want a flexible work out in terms of time and choices, Ballet Beautiful could be the work out for you.
I have more online workout reviews planned and class information to be shared. If there are classes or online programs you have tried or would like me to review, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share your experiences with online programs too! I plan to find some free online exercise methods in one of my upcoming reviews as well.
By: Laura Buol