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Glow – Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 68

Now that’s what I call music.

Like an edition of the long running hit single compilation albums, NOW, Les Mills has packed Body Balance release 68 with current chart smashes.

Top artists like Maroon 5, Sia, Ella Henderson and Beyoncé go with our Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi moves. In the past Body Balance has showcased lesser known bands like Conjure One, Delerium and Sleepthief. Perhaps this is the most “hit” oriented playlist we’ve ever had.

So what about the work out and the moves that go with the music. Let’s have a look at the tracks (and you can click on the songs to see them on Amazon)

Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 68
Tai Chi Warm Up

Tai Chi Warm Up – Tessellate – Borderline Snake

Tai Chi Warm Up – It Was Always YouMaroon 5

First time we’ve seen a double dose of Tai Chi and it’s glorious. Tessellate is a calm reflective song with gorgeous slow movements, swing and wrap arms and weight shifting to warm our legs. The more upbeat song by Maroon 5 introduces the Starburst move, a beautiful expressive sequence that makes people smile. We move quicker to the beat here complete our warm up.

Sun Salutations – Of The NightBastille

Doctor Dave says on the instructors masterclass video that this Sun salutations is “deconstructed”. You’ll have heard this term on cookery shows like Masterchef. A deconstructed cheesecake for example doesn’t appear on a plate as a traditional slice. The biscuit base, cheese and topping appear in separate heaps.

It’s the same here. Rather than the usual flow of poses linked together that make up the traditional yoga Sun Salutations, they’ve presented the moves separately. We do each move on its own several times. For yoga purists this will appear clunky. It’s an interesting change though and allows us to explore the moves differently.

An interesting experiment but I do prefer the “proper” Sun Salutation. I guess that makes me a yoga purist then.

Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 68
Standing Strength

Standing Strength – Elastic HeartSia

Standing Strength – GlowElla Henderson

A couple of strong strength tracks with interesting flows between the warrior poses. I like the way we revisit some of the Tai Chi moves from the warm up at the end of Glow. It makes a release feel complete when themes and moves recur. We also see the Tiger Pose from the Sun Salutations later in the Core Back too. Excellent class design from Jackie and Diana here.

Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 68

Balance – Life Of The PartyShawn Mendes

A catchy tune combined with deceptively tough balances. Staying on tip toes throughout Angel Pose and Diver’s pose presents a challenge of strength as well as balance. And Diver’s provides an intense stretch to your hamstrings.

Hip Openers – BudapestGeorge Ezra

Down on the floor for Hip Openers, we begin with Frog Pose. Always an intense stretch. From can take you right to the boundary between pleasure and pain. I like to take people right to the edge but hold short of crossing over.

Core Abs – Come Get It BaePharell Williams

After the super short Core Abs track in the last release I was expecting a longer abdominal workout this time round. Turns out it’s another short one however but tough especially the second round of endless Oblique Curls. Finger clicking adds  fun but I have to admit to forgetting to offer this option. And I’m a fan of cheesy moves.

Keep your lower back pressing into the floor during all the moves with particular focus during the Pilates Seal Claps. Feel it in your abs not your legs.

Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 68
Core Back

Core Back – MapsMaroon 5

Core Back – Don’t be Gone Too LongChris Brown

Two Core Back tracks and the first offers a better workout. We combine Bridge Pose with Kneeling Side Hover crunches and Thread The Needle for an energetic sequence. When we finally get to the Bridge with Leg Raise Pose fatigue threatens to set in. I find few people take the option for the full back bend at this point.

In the second song we explore Single Leg Plank to Crocodile Pose. You expect to feel the effects in your arms but actually experience a burn in the glutes.

Twists – Pretty HurtsBeyoncé

Once again Twists seem to turn people’s brains into much. All concept of right and left, front and back disappear. Instruct the, to twist to the front and they’ll twist to the back. Coach them to reach with the right arm and they’ll reach with the left. Perhaps it’s because we do the moves side on to the front of the room?

Another catchy song and a delicious combination of Twisted Down Dogs, Twisted Lunges and the last exquisite Twisted Pyramid Pose.

Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 68
Forward Bends and Hamstrings

Forward Bends Hamstrings – Let It Be MeRay Montagne

A mellow Forward Bends song with a jazz blues feel and the physical pace calms down in trying to lull and stretch us into the relaxation phase. We have plenty of time to explore deep stretches and experience the new Turtle Pose. A beautiful end to the physical work in this class.

Relaxation/Meditation – Angels of VictoryAeoliah

After all that pop music Angels of Victory, a gentle instrumental with soothing piano and flute sounds, invites us to focus our attention on the breath and to relax and take stock after working so hard for the last 50 minutes.

One of the best Body Balance releases for a while, 68’s overdose on chart hits and challenging but achievable moves is a winner. Whilst the focus on hit songs is welcome I hope Jackie and Diana treat us to some more lesser known artists in future classes. Where, for example, is the next Conjure One?

Now it’s your turn:

Do you agree with my Review of Les Mills Body Balance release 68? Do you like the music list? Please leave a comment or post a link to your own review. If you enjoyed this article please share it with your friends.

What already? The Track List for Les Mills Body Balance release 69.

Yes seriously! It’s out already.

I haven’t posted my review of the current Body Balance release yet. And here is the track list for Les Mills Body Balance release 69. We’ll get to see this in June.

If you don’t want spoiling DON’T READ any further. Otherwise have a look.

The Track List for Les Mills Body Balance release 69.

Great to see Stanton Lanier again. His piano music makes for a beautiful relaxation.

Now it’s your turn:

What do you think of the Les Mills Body Balance release 69 tracklist? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Listen on Amazon:

If you want more spoilers you can click on the links above to see the music on Amazon. They won’t be exactly the same mixes because Les Mills often edit the tracks, and some are Les Mills cover versions and not available commercially. But it will give you a good feel for what’s on its way.

First Impressions of Les Mills Body Balance release 68 after Glasgow One Live Event.

After a long day in a giant tram shed with crowds of sweaty fitness fanatics Body Balance ended One Live in Glasgow on a beautiful high.

One Live showcased the new Les Mills releases to a combined audience of instructors and participants of thousands.

The atmosphere was electric as always and the new classes delivered by the UK Training Team with Rock Concert style PA systems. Exhaustion threatened to triumph as the Body Balance team took to the stage.

They simultaneously relaxed us and challenged us all over again.

So what’s Les Mills Body Balance release 68 like?

 Les Mills Body Balance release 68

  • One of the best line ups of current chart hits I’ve seen in Body Balance. Artists like Maroon 5, Sia, Ella Henderson, Beyoncé and Chris Brown.
  • We start with double song Tai Chi Warm Up. Two gorgeous flowing sequences to warm us up for the challenges ahead.
  • On Masterchef you’ve seen deconstructed cheese cakes. Well here we have a deconstructed Sun Salutations.
  • A double song Standing Strength. Sia returns to Body Balance for the first time since release 35 and Ella Henderson’s Glow describes how we look by the end of the poses.
  • I remember Diver’s Pose from the Balance track.
  • In the last release the Core Abs was the shortest ever. I expected a long abs work out this time. It’s actually still quite short. But it works.
  • A double song Core Back track with many Bridge Poses and Side Planks.

One thing I noticed was that some moves reappeared a few times during the class. Tai Chi moves in the Standing Strength and the Tiger, practiced in the Sun Salutations and performed for real in the Core Back track.

After a fairly average number 67, Les Mills Body Balance 68 is a stunner. Great artists and songs combined with achievable but challenging moves. This is going to be a pleasure to teach.

Since One Live I’ve watched the training DVD. What an absolute pleasure to see Doctor David MacKenzie back on stage. More Doctor Dave in future please.

And now the learning begins.

What do you think?

Were you at One Live? What did you think of Les Mills Body Balance release 68? Why not share your thoughts by leaving a comment or a link to your own blog?

Zomato and 10 Top Tips for Your First Yoga Class – GFOC16

Today on Group Fitness Over Coffee I talk about Zomato – a great new social media app for foodies.

And 10 Top Tips for those of you looking to go to your first Yoga Class.

Zomato and 10 Top Tips for Your First Yoga Class

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