Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Core Blast!

What kind of fitness blogger would I be if I didn’t give you something to do in preparation for Thanksgiving feasting? So here it is, one of my favorite core workouts, ever. I put this together one day before ballet when I really wanted to increase my core awareness during class. I hope you feel the burn as much as I do, and enjoy your Thanksgiving feast guilt-free!

This core workout isn't limited to just Thanksgiving Day! ;) Below is a video that takes you through this workout! Or click here to view it on

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Easy Lunch; The Best Bagel with Cream Cheese Ever!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so food has been on the mind; and apparently there's a lot of delicious food I haven't tried yet in my life. My little sister introduced me to the most delicious lunch that is filling but not stuffy! I literally crave it now! The best part about it is how easy it is to make. I definitely want to start packing it as my lunch for school! 

So here's what you need:
Bagel (I used Thomas brand, "Everything" bagel)
Cream Cheese

1. Toast each bagel half until it is golden.
2. Spread desired amount of cream cheese
3. Place sliced tomatoes on the bagel
4. Salt and Pepper to taste

Packing it for a lunch:
1. Follow steps 1-2 above
2. Zip-loc bag after it cools down to prevent condensation
3. Bag the sliced tomatoes separately, you can even package some salt & pepper if you want or put it on the bagel before bagging it.
4. Prepare it when you are ready to eat it.

If you would rather have bread then you can use mayonnaise instead of cream cheese. On either of these "sandwiches" avocado would add so much flavor!

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BALLET CLASS with DMITRI ROUDNEV: Demonstration of exercises for music of Best of Ballet Class vol. V

Dmitri Roudnev was trained with the Bolshoi ballet, and the DVD description claims that his ballet students have less injuries. I am currently not taking a ballet technique class, and so this was a good option for me to practice at home. I do however have a mini studio and ballet barres at my apartment which makes it more convenient for me. But the exciting thing is that you can practice these exercises almost anywhere! Before I had my studio space I practiced in the kitchen on the tile floor, or in an empty studio during lunch at school. If you are a ballet dancer you will find a way, because your body, mind and spirit will crave the dance. Dmitri also has a thick accent which helps the class feel more authentic.

This DVD is meant for an Intermediate to Advanced ballet student. Nothing is broken down, and ballet terminology is used throughout the entire class. Dmitri will demonstrate the exercise once, then you are expected to do the exercise with the ballerina demonstrating how it should be done with the music. Within the first 23 min. you will have done a warm-up tendu, two plie combinations (one with more tendus), an additional tendu plie followed by a degage combination, and a ronde de jambe combination (which includes a "Russian" ronde de jambe! :) ). If you learn these combinations and know them by heart they would make a fantastic pre-performance warm-up or focusing exercise. There is apparently a CD with the music that accompanies the combinations, I will include a link to this CD at the end.

Next is a fondu, frappe (there are different methods on how to perform a proper frappe, so if this doesn't look like your frappe...don't panic! just adapt it to your method.), ronde de jambe en l'air, petit battement, adage at the barre, and a grand battement combination. And so by 43 minutes the barre is completed and you move to center. The barre combinations might not require an entire room, but some of these center combinations might. This is where it might be helpful to have the music on your ipod and practice it in a larger area.

Center is comprised of an adagio, tendu, pirouettes en dehors, fondu, balance, grand battement,  chasse, assemble, ballone, petit allegro/jumps, sissone, 2 grand allegros, fouette turns, and finishes the class with  saute-echappe.

This is an incredibly valuable resource for ballet instructors and dancers alike. An intermediate level in ballet technique is recommended for dancers looking into practicing these combinations in order to reduce risk of injury.

If you are interested in purchasing this Ballet Class DVD with demonstrations for each exercise click here.
If you are interested in purchasing the music CD that accompanies each exercise for personal practice click here.

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

PILATES: Intermediate Mat Workout with Ana Caban

You will see me reviewing a few different DVDs instructed by Ana Caban. She has danced all of her life and was introduced to Pilates while recovering from a back injury. Ana was certified through the New York Pilates studio. There are several different DVD covers for this DVD so as long as it is the same title with Ana Caban it should be the same workout. To the left I have posted the three different covers that I am aware of, the top being the DVD that I own (which also has a bonus 12 min. workout).

Ana has an incredibly lean and toned body, which is very motivating when it gets hard. Ana focuses on concentration, precision and coordination between the body and mind. Engaging and lifting the core and abdominals throughout the workout is an important key to getting the most out of it!

This is a great workout for your abdominals, lower back muscles, and legs. I feel warm (and sweaty), and ready to face the day! The workout lasts about 30 minutes, but she uses the time efficiently so that it is a beneficial workout! Make sure that you do warm up before you participate in DVD work-outs unless a warm-up is included. Warming up will help prevent pulled muscles or strains. Cooling down afterwards is also a good idea with some stretching and meditation.

I particularly like her smooth transitions and that she states the name of each exercise (and it is printed on the screen) which is so helpful in learning this movement vocabulary. For those of you who don't know what Pilates stance is, it is a slightly turned-out position of the legs, like a natural first position in ballet.

This is an intermediate Pilates workout, so that it keeps moving with minimal pauses for explanation. She does have a beginners DVD out if you are interested.

I recommend this workout to anyone looking to trim their waist, strengthen their lower back, tone their body or strengthen their core. 

If you are interested in purchasing this workout DVD click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Ana Caban click here to visit her website!
Happy Training! à bientôt!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

MTV: Power Yoga with Kristin McGee

I hope everyone has had a good day! I know that I'm having a hard time focusing on my homework so this post was a nice outlet while awaiting the final votes for the Presidential Election. I actually saw this DVD while looking for some Pilates for my back, and was interested in seeing what MTV has produced. Unlike traditional yoga, this yoga is done to the music of Blue Six, which is like a pulsing mild techno or house style music. Kristin McGee takes you though a routine focusing on gaining flexibility mostly through dynamic stretching with some static stretching. 

Filmed in Arizona, I think at a Hilton hotel or resort, the scenery is lovely with rolling hills (or short mountains) in the background, and a beautiful stone patio. While I was doing research for a paper I turned in yesterday I decided to look into where Power yoga came from. In summary it is a popularized form of yoga that draws mostly from Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga methodologies. Power yoga, however, has the flexibility of being a different style per instructor, and customizable routines. This is often the yoga that you will see in gyms or conditioning programs. I was pleased to find out that Bryan Kest (one of my favorite Power yoga DVDs is his) is one of the "founders" of Power yoga. If you want to read more about where Power yoga came from click here for a good place to start looking.

This is a great program for flexibility that begins with a chest and shoulder opener. The routine starts moving right away and the instructor talks you through every movement like, "exhale, press to downward dog". The instructor demonstrates the routine along with three others all facing a different direction, and one of which is a man (proving to the world that yoga is for both genders). I like that you get to warm up before stretching your spine to the side or moving into the spine-twisting poses. 

I really like the transitions and postures that the instructor has chosen. They really focus on warming the entire body, increasing flexibility and building strength at the same time. After the spine-twists there are a series of balancing poses that then move into seated stretching poses. The routine finishes with corpse pose, and a comfortable cross-legged position.

Something I didn't know about this DVD is that there are a few minutes of ab-work pilates tagged onto the end of the yoga routine. This is awesome, it is like the cherry on a cupcake! Creating a core awareness and stability for the rest of the day!

I would recommend this DVD to any level of home yogi, although the level it is taught at is probably an Intermediate/advanced. If you have basic yoga experience or knowledge of some of the basic terminology and poses you will be able to work at it and perfect the routine. Kristin advises using the DVD about 3x a week or more to see results. I would have to agree with this.

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD on Amazon click here.

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas Around the World Performance Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2012

For Christmas Around the World I have to sell a minimum of 30 tickets! I know I have more than 30 friends out there that want to see CAW, but in order for this to work there are a few steps to purchasing your ticket.
First go to the link below and enter the "$2 off for up to two tickets" promo code:
Then proceed to purchase your CAW tickets, and enter this code below which will say that I get the credit for selling the tickets.

This year is going to be amazing, we have changed the format to be in the "round", meaning better seats for EVERYONE and different choreography! The theme is also different this year, and there are some pretty cool "special effects" that will be used. :D I'll be performing Serbian and Russian dances with my team, and I hope most of you can come and see it! The other exciting thing is that they are allowing anyone over the age of 2 yrs old with a ticket! This eliminates the need for a babysitter for a lot of my friends!
If you are interested in learning more about this performance see the link below:

Love, Kathryn
Happy Training! à bientôt!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Peanut Butter and Banana Snack

Of course I forgot to take a picture until it was almost gone!

Sometimes I just don't feel up to eating an entire sandwich, but I'm wanting peanut butter, and bananas. So I looked in the pantry and saw some graham crackers and decided to try it! 

Ingredients: sliced banana, peanut butter, graham crackers

Instructions: spread the peanut butter over the graham cracker and place the sliced banana on top. You're done! :) 

This is an easy snack that you can take with you, on road trips, during rehearsal, or while studying. It isn't heavy, and it has nutrients and flavor! Super simple, super quick! I also imagine this would be a fun dessert if you substitute the peanut butter with Nutella or another chocolate spread!

Happy Training! à bientôt!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

CRUNCH: Pick Your Spot Pilates with Ellen Barrett

I have enjoyed the pilates exercises used in dance class warm-ups or conditioning-days in ballet, but in general I hadn't ever been tempted to try a pilates workout DVD until now. So I looked for some DVDs that matched what I was looking for and the first one that I will be reviewing is Pick Your Spot Pilates with Ellen Barrett. This DVD includes three, 10 minute workouts, plus a bonus 10 minute workout. 

The Workouts are split into sections:
  • Belly (10 min.) -Mild core work to help you with the breathing and engaging your "powerhouse".
  • Butt (10 min.) -The bridge at the end was my favorite and where I started to feel the burn.
  • Thighs (10 min.) -My favorite workout on this DVD! I really focused on lengthening and straightening my legs during the appropriate exercises, which increased the burn factor for me.
  • +Bonus Total Body Pilates (10 min.) -My second favorite workout continuing the burn after the thighs section.
This DVD is great for beginners and true beginners. You can do one or all of the segments on the DVD. I did all of them back-to-back, and found that my two favorites (where I felt a burn) were the last two, thighs and the bonus routine. I still felt that it was worth doing the belly and butt sections since they were a good warm-up and introduction to breathing techniques for pilates.

This is not a shredding workout DVD but it is a good workout to get your blood flowing and get you breathing. I might supplement other routines I do with the thighs or bonus workouts. If you are new to core work this could be a great start for you! The only thing that I would change is adding a few more stretches. So make sure that after your workout you stretch appropriately the muscles that you worked. This will restore the muscles to their length and prevent "bulking".

If you are interested in purchasing this DVD see below:
If you are interested in learning more about Ellen Barrett see her website:

Happy Training! à bientôt!