Ellen Barrett Workout DVDs

The Library Life

  - Sara,  Electronic Services Librarian

Skinny Sculpt
Fat Burning Fusion
Power Fusion
Grace + Gusto

For nearly a year in 2011, a coworker and I went through almost all of Ellen Barrett’s workout DVDs, reporting daily on what we thought and, as we used them repeatedly, whether and where our muscles were sore or if difficult moves were becoming easy.  Increasingly amusing was discussing whether, in the aftermath, we found it difficult to perform mundane tasks such as walking up stairs or picking up paper that we dropped on the floor. Yes, for nearly a year some of our other coworkers had to endure our conversations in the early morning before work began; they were particularly amused when we demonstrated to one another the Pilates poses that caused shaking limbs or -- more on my friend’s part (ha!) -- coordination difficulties.

Both of us agreed that we loved Ellen Barrett’s workouts. She is very enjoyable – not overly perky or cheesy -- and very likeable. Her workouts are specifically geared toward women and, being Pilates-based, aim to build long, lean muscle, and increased flexibility and core strength. Here are four of my personal favorites from Ellen Barrett.  (You can watch preview clips of each video on the Collage Video website. Look for the ‘play clip’ button after clicking on any of the ‘view clip’ links, below.)

Skinny Sculpt  –  Ignore the goofy side-ponytail on the cover – she doesn’t even wear it in the video, so I have no idea why she went that route for the DVD cover. That ‘80s abomination aside, this is a great arm workout that doesn’t bulk you up and, with repeated use, gives you great definition. (view clip)

Fat Burning Fusion –  Good for a slow day where you want to get in a lot of good stretching rather than an intense workout. My co-worker didn’t like it as much because it caused issues with her lower back to resurface. (view clip)

Power Fusion  –  Provides a nice level of cardio within the structure of an easy-to-perform workout. (view clip)

Grace + Gusto –  Very good for a day you really, really don’t want to work out. I found it to be, by far, the easiest of all her videos. ‘Grace + Gusto’ does feature more balance work than Barrett’s others. Since there are always days I don’t feel like working out, it was a keeper for me.  (view clip)

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