Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review of The Lotte Berk Method

Lotte Berk began teaching her exercise method more than 50 years ago, and thank goodness she did, because today we can all reap the benefits of this dance-inspired workout.
   The Lotte Berk Method DVDs I'm writing about are a series of four from Natural Journeys, which are sold separately or together.
   The four DVDs, which have some rather vivid titles, are Basic Essentials, Burn Fat Now: Muscle Eats Fat, High Round Assets, and Hip Hugger Abs.
   All of them, hosted by Lotte Berk Method instructors, are great toning workouts.
   The basic foundation of many of the Method’s moves is the Lotte Berk tuck – pushing the hips forward and pulling in the abs. Another key to the Method is stretching, which is done often between moves and at the end of each workout in an effort to keep the muscles long and lean (the stretches are also welcome rests!)
   More about the Lotte Berk tuck, and the importance of stretching, is learned on the Basic Essentials DVD, which serves as the introductory workout out of the four.
   Basic Essentials starts with a warm-up, then moves to the thighs and seat section, performed at a ballet barre, a chair or leaning against the wall.
   The exercises in the thighs and seat section are classic Lotte Berk and stem greatly from one central pose: placing your hands on the chair or barre, putting your feet in a V and lifting up the heels. In this pose, bends are done to light up the thighs! Then comes small leg lifts, with toes pointed forward, to get the butt working.
   Next on Basic Essentials is the abdominal section. In the Lotte Berk Method, exercising the abdominals relies much, much more on stillness than repeated crunches. Holding your upper body up from the floor, you lift your arms up in the air one at a time, then both. Trust me, the abs burn.
   Lastly on Basic Essentials, before a final stretch, is the hip-dancing section. The instructor of this DVD calls it the signature move of the Lotte Berk Method, and it’s performed by resting on one’s bent thighs on the ground, putting the arms in the air and then lifting up the hips and pushing and swaying them about. It is a definite core and hip toning move!

Read more about the other three DVDs in this set by clicking here.

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