Friday, April 22, 2011

working out

Hoboy, I've had Rachel Brice's Serpentine DVD way back last year, when it was first released. At that time, I had too many things going on so all I did was watched it, tried some of the moves, and got on with my life.

When I was packing for San Francisco, I made a very smart decision by including the DVD in my overpacked suitcase. Yes, I sacrificed my Spongebob Squarepants and The Simpsons DVDs for this one, or more precisely, these two, pieces of DVD (the Serpentine package contains 2 DVDs).

I've been in San Francisco for more than four months now and I realized that I needed to get into shape. I just love Ms. Lalwani's Dance Conditioning classes and I feel that it's high time that I start working out more than once a week. Walking has seriously improved my near buttless rear end, but I need to work on my upper body.

So, I purchased Everlast Multifunction Chinning Bar and Reebok Wrist Weights. The Chinning Bar took me a while to install - it turned out to be way harder than Lego, and the screws are not that steady (a probable design mistake?) but I got it to work and I just love it.

Now, on to the Wrist Weights. I purchased the 4 lbs ones, which means 2 lbs on each wrist. The fabric is soft enough, but I have to use my training gloves because the friction with the Wrist Weights can become irritating after a while. But the problem was solved with the training gloves. I used this during my whole work out, including squats and crunches. The velcro clasp is strong enough that the weights didn't come off even when I was disco dancing (to songs by Madonna and Sister Act original soundtrack, nonetheless - OMG I'm so gay!). I have really small and dainty wrists, but the Wrist Weights were still securely attached until the end of my work out session.

I also used the Wrist Weights to drill on ATS moves. The ATS arm postures plus the Wrist Weights really give a challenging work out for both Fast Steps and Slow Moves.

And as for Serpentine... I was doing abs today and decided to work on the Drills. Man, the Isolation Drills were so hard and I had my Wrist Weights all the time. I hope to get better after a while. I skipped the Yoga parts, though.


The Raqasa said...

I need to do MAJOR work on my arms and looked at getting this DVD - but I've read mixed reviews. One person complained that Rachel doesn't show you how to get that 'boneless' effect in your arms, and that you require a bit of equipment (a pain if, like me, you don't have that much space).

What makes me really suspicious is the six 100% positive reviews on Amazon!

famousfeline said...

There are good things to like about Rachel Brice's "Serpentine" DVDs. You can incorporate some of the yoga warm-ups, including the one specifically to do the laybacks. I find her miniseminar on the laybacks very helping.

However, like you wrote, it is indeed not the most helpful instructional video to do arms. There are lots of traveling steps and I got bumped here and there due to the limited space in my room.

Rachel's "Bellydance Arms & Posture" (her first DVD, I believe) is what you'll need if you want to work on the arms. This DVD kicks ass. All you need is a mirror and a chair. The space used is minimal.

However, it is also Tribal Fusion, which is not surprising, since it is, after all, Rachel Brice. After years of practicing it, I found it hard to adjust my arm undulation for American Tribal Style.

FatChanceBellyDance's Tribal Basics volume 1 covers arm undulation as well, though. If you practice ATS, I really recommend that DVD.

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