Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
What Happened?? Non-Challenging & Un-Interesting.... :-(
Addicted2Amazon! | Philadelphia | 01/06/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy Rania's bellydance fitness programs. I really do. But this DVD was a disappointing experience.
"Belly Pilates" is a very short (less than 28 minutes from Opening Credits/Intro to Cooldown) fitness DVD that fuses bellydance moves with pilates exercises. The concept is very promising, especially since I REALLY enjoyed Rania's "Belly Yoga" DVD.
As in "BY," the set is beautiful, the picture and sound quality is relatively high, and Rania looks great. This workout, however...Not as good.
You begin with a few head rolls and snake arms (boring). There is excitement for a moment when you straighten the snake arms into a flatter move by keeping the hands parallel with the floor. I rarely do this snake arm variation, so I enjoyed it and found it challenging. Then you are on to some strange side bending arm motion (very awkward), then some camels (boring), followed by vertical figure-eights (yawn!).
Then, mercifully, the program becomes challenging again when you move down to the mat to work your abs. Rania takes you through her versions of classic pilates moves, including the Hundred (though she adds an odd pulsing sensation), the Teaser (though I feel she goes WAY too fast), single and double leg circles and double leg raises. I feel my abs here a little, so that's a huge plus!
You then do a Saw (with legs WAY too far apart, and again, moving WAY too fast), and some plank variations that incorporate bellydance moves (like side plank with figure-eight hips, which is challenging, but Rania offers no guidance whatsoever). There are also some slow leg raises done on your side (SNORE!!). I DID feel a slight burn in my butt during her cat and cow variation in which you curl in and extend your leg straight behind you. Overall, nonetheless, the bottom line is: Unless you are an absolute exercise beginner, I doubt you will really work much of anything.
Again, this DVD comes with 2 extras: "The ABCs of Bellydance," a super crash course that will probably not teach you much, but is better than nothing; and a bonus performance to a drum solo, in which Rania looks gorgeous in a stunning royal blue and gold costume.
From doing this program, however, I received: NOTHING. I got no sweat, no burn, no stretch, no fun bellydance moves, nada. All you get is some OK ab work for 5 minutes out of 28!! None of the boring-ness is helped by Rania's very sedated and quiet demeanor. Usually her personality is calming, but here, it just comes across as lifeless. If you are looking for a fun, EFFECTIVE and challenging intermediate level workout incoporating strength and bellydance moves, please check out Suhaila Salimpour's "Fitness Fusion Pilates" DVD. Though Suhaila's DVD has NO pilates (a horrible marketing goof!), it is nonetheless a very fun workout that will burn your buns, abs and arms, without question. I think I'll pull that one out again...
Because of my faith in Rania (and definite enjoyment of "Belly Yoga"), I will give her other programs a try. But as far as "Belly Pilates" goes...this DVD will collect dust, and eventually be sold to a consignment shop for few pennies...So, um, I can't recommend this one at all.
EPILOGUE (of sorts)
So I've been staring at this DVD on my floor, where I threw it in frustration, and I began thinking, "I REALLY want to like this!" (I also became VERY bored with repeating my other [infinitely better] pilates/yoga DVDs.) I have discoved a solution to improve the enjoyability/effectiveness of this workout. I found that if I add a (heavy/very taut) resistance band to the single leg circles, the single leg raises and the cat-and-cow-with-single-leg-extensions, it doubles the burn! So I am using this now, using my resistance band when I can. Though I now enjoy this more, I still cannot wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone..."