Where’s the Bacon?
I have long maintained that bacon makes everything better, but unfortunately, bacon is not a component of this week’s selection, BLT on a Ball.
The BLT in this case stands for Butt, Legs and Tummy (not Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato), and the DVD is a vintage Karen Voight workout incorporating the balance ball in a strength training workout.
Released in 2001, when balance balls were still relatively new to the home exercise market, this workout still includes many of the classic balance ball moves.
The entire workout clocks in at only 23 minutes, with a 6-minute warmup, 6 minutes of ab and back exercises, 5 minutes of butt and leg exercises, and a 6-minute stretch.
The warmup segment incorporates the ball into cardio moves, which is something you don’t often see in balance ball workouts. There was one step-touch move while rolling the ball back and forth that was a little awkward for me, but in general it was a fun and doable cardio warmup.
The B, L, and T are all worked out in a grand total of 11 minutes, but what a brutal 11 minutes! Voight has spent years focusing on packing the maximum workout into the minimum timeframe, and this is no exception.
Trying to do that “maximum workout” while balancing on a ball added that much more challenge, especially for uncoordinated me. Unfortunately, I felt like focusing on not falling off the ball took a little bit of focus away from the exercises themselves.
The 6-minute stretch was very welcome when it arrived. This segment adapts yoga poses to be done on the ball. It was great to have such a long stretching segment in such a short workout, and I needed it after the ‘meat’ of the workout.
Throughout each of the segments, Voight (as usual) clearly explains what needs to be done for each move, and then continues to count reps and/or give shorter instructions throughout the exercise, so you can get the timing right. This is crucial because you spend so much time draped over the ball in positions where you can’t see the TV.
There were still a few moves that I found tricky, especially one in the legs section where you alternate between tapping your heels together and crossing your ankles different ways with pauses every third (or fourth?) cross.
We went right into this combo move from a different exercise, I couldn’t see the TV well when she started the exercise, and it was hard to keep track of what the two moves consisted of and when to switch between them, just based on her verbal instructions.
It would have made a huge difference if Voight had shown each exercise once before we started doing it (and by show, I mean show while we are in a position to see what she is showing).
This is the big failing of this workout for me; it goes right from one exercise to the next with no prep time for whatever’s coming next (including the surprise introduction of a tiny ball you put between your knees during one of the exercises).
I would have preferred for the workout to be a few minutes longer, giving Voight the time to demonstrate each move prior to me attempting to do it. Granted, this would be less of an issue over time, as I would presumably become more familiar with the moves as I did the workout more.
I would also prefer the workout to not require extra equipment … aside from the balance ball, of course. When you buy a balance ball workout, it’s pretty clear that you’re going to encounter that equipment requirement.
Balance ball workouts are generally a big struggle for me. Overall though, the BLT on a Ball workout is one of the more accessible balance ball workouts I’ve done. If it had actually included bacon, it would have been better.