Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review of Exhale - Core Fusion: Bootcamp

Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito are back with their latest workout DVD, Exhale - Core Fusion: Bootcamp, and this time the husband-and-wife fitness team are aiming to get your heart pumping.
   On their past DVDs, the couple presented their Core Fusion exercise technique, a mix of the Lotte Berk Method, Pilates and yoga. The emphasis was on toning the butt, thighs, abs and arms with tight, controlled movements.
   On Bootcamp, elements of yoga and Pilates are definitely still present, but there also some straightforward, more athletic moves that make for more of a cardio workout.
   Jump backs, or burpees, is the primary athletic move used to get the pulse racing. From an standing position, a person bends and puts their hands on the floor, jumps or steps back into a push-up position, jumps back to the forward position and stands up again.
   Jump backs are challenging enough on their own, but Elisabeth and Fred throw in a curve ball to make things even harder. They use playground ball, placed between the hands, and put that on the ground instead of their hands.
   The challenge to the core this presents is absolutely spectacular, and absolutely difficult. I can’t do it, and so stick with the modified exercise without the ball. There are weights present at several times during the workout, too, but they are optional. (I take definite advantage of this.)
   Despite having the name Bootcamp, which implies a person will get whipped into shape from a level of little or no fitness ability, this isn’t a beginning level workout. It’s tough.
   Well, I take that back slightly. It may be suitable for beginners if tackled in the 10-minute segments that comprise the whole 50-minute workout.
   The first segment, Cardio Flex, is a super warm-up that is comprised of yoga moves and very light cardio.
   Cardio Sun Salutations, the second segment, takes the classic yoga sequence of lunges, downward dog poses and plank positions and speeds it up. Warrior poses, and holding the plank position (the up position of a push-up) are also present.
   Next is Jump Backs Part 1, with the exercise I described before being the primary focus of the routine. There are other poses used often, too, such as chair pose – holding a squat in the downward position and holding the arms out straight in front of the body.
   Jump Backs Part 2 is more of the same, with jump backs interspersed with lunges, balancing in a sumo squat, and lifting up the ball in one direction and doing a ballet arabesque on the other.
   As Core Fusion practioners know, a Core Fusion workout isn’t complete without a belly-burning abdominal section. It’s the last main segment on this DVD. It includes roll-ups (which I can’t do without gathering momentum first) and doing arm and leg exercises while in a “C-curve,” – holding a crunch in an upward position.
   Weights are included with some of the moves in the abdominal section, but they are optional.
   The DVD has two bonus sections: A five-minute thigh and core section with the playground ball, and a five-minute stretch section that starts with some light back work.
   Following the stretch section is a good way to finish the workout. I follow it, and then add a few stretches of my own.
   Core Fusion Bootcamp accomplishes what that it sets out to do – get the heart pumping while still doing some hard-core toning of the body.

Exhale - Core Fusion: Bootcamp on amazon.ca

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