The Lotte Berk Method

I love infomercials.  I think I’ve mentioned this before.  The other day, while waiting for Ruby to finish her nightly toilette, I stumbled upon Fluidity.  It’s a workout method using the barre and ballet-inspired moves.  Generally, these types of workouts bore me to tears.  There’s little variety, no cardio and too much…froufrou.  But I had a brain wave.  Maybe, just maybe, something that emphasizes stretching and small movements could help my back.

I had no intention of spending $250-500 for a barre on wheels that I could stow in a closet or under my bed.  Although, that particular feature *is* cool.  Sometimes I wish I could stow the fridge under my bed, but I digress.  I researched online to see if Fluidity was any good.  Lo and behold, it’s a takeoff on another workout, which the great Internet hive said was much better:  Lotte Berk. Hmm.  And you didn’t need the barre!

Curious and frugal, I searched our local library’s catalog and found the workout.  I got the Lotte Berk Method DVDs today and took the first one for a spin. I watched the Basic Essentials DVD.  I’m usually bad about just jumping into a workout without seeing exactly what it entails.  It didn’t seem too strenuous.  Three tall, lithe dancer-type gals in matching outfits started warming up by doing high knees.  Hey, I could do that!  Most of the movements were based on isometrics and balancing.  The idea seems to be to use your own body weight to target some of the smaller muscles – plus lots of stretching after each exercise.  That’s their mantra:  “First, we strengthen, then we stretch to lengthen the muscle.”  I’m a little skeptical because I’ve done a lot of different kinds of workouts, but at this point I’m not necessarily looking to lose weight.  I don’t even expect to look like a (tiny) dancer when I’ve done it for a few months. I want to learn to be more flexible and get this doggone ache out of my back so I can return to running.  I’m not averse to toning up more, though.  Never that!  I mean, it’s only 6 8 months til swimsuit season.

I walked this morning and my back is a little better.  The pain hovered around a 3-4/10 instead of 6-7/10.  I figured I could still do this workout and call it good.

The push ups on my knees were okay.  We do lots of push ups in kettlebells – boy push ups, not girly ones. The ab exercises were…meh. They involved  rolling halfway down to the mat and holding there.  But oh my.  The standing leg exercises made my legs burn.  And the reverse push ups, working the triceps, hurt like heck. The whole “pushing your hips forward while tucking your rump under” effect – reminiscent of T-Tapp – is part of the strict adherence to form; it’s the attention to minute details that make the exercises work.  I hope to do this DVD a couple more times, then move on to the other ones in the set before I have to return them.

But the best news is my back didn’t hurt at all after I finished.  I may be on to something!

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