Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Trainer's Edge With Liz Gillies Body Lift|
Actor: Liz Gillies
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Top trainer and Pilates expert, Liz Gillies takes you through a targeted workout to help you create a longer, leaner and lifted body. Utilizing rhythmic pulses, rotations and isometric holds, this workout will increase ran... more »
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Cool, funky workout
dnk | Boston, MA United States | 10/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Between the costumes, the music and even the set, the feel of the workout is "1970's modern dance class". This is not a bad thing. While there were certain movements that reminded me of other videos, overall I have not seen anything like it.
Because Liz Gillies' other work has been Pilates-based, that was the expectation for this one. Well, there are a couple of movements in the stretch and abdominals section that are from Pilates, but overall this has more modern dance elements to it. (And Gillies definitely has the credentials do that- she trained at the Alvin Ailey School of Dance in addition to getting her certification with the grande dame of Pilates, Romana herself.)
The Warmup is very long (about 15 minutes) but so fast-paced that it has an aerobic effect. Lots of pulsing and double-pulsing while you do reaches, side reaches, hip stretches, plies, one-legged plies and a bunch of other movements I don't know the names for. Some of the one-legged movements reminded me of things I'd seen in Yoga Booty Ballet, but not by much. Anyone who complained before about Gillies taking too much time to pre-teach in her other releases should be very happy here. She jumps right into the movements, which can be a little disconcerting at first, but she does enough repetitions (though not too many) that you can catch on.
The next section is the Floorwork, which is about 7 minutes long. She gets a lot done in here. Pushups on your knees, V pushups (some of which she did in her Progressive Pilates releases), leg lifts to the side in a tabletop position (with variations and pulses- very tough), upside down jumping jacks (imagine your legs jacking in downdog, then coming to your knees), forearm planks and forearm plank leg lifts all work your entire body. Again, very fast-paced- you might feel a little breathless.
The Pelvic Lift section, about 4 minutes long, is next. Though variations are shown for bridging, the full version is to do this on all fours, sort of like a bent leg reverse plank. She shows lots of variations, including pigeon-toed with knees in, one leg up and one leg up and pulsing front and up, in addition to the "straight up" lifts. Your arms should feel this as well as your glutes.
The 7 minute Abdominals section is next. She calls this "the uncrunch series", and I agree. Again, there is some Pilates in there, but she doesn't rattle on about how great her Pilates-based workout is (I hate when other instructors do that). There are some movements I have never seen in other releases here. First, you pulse your head up (hands behind the head) for a few reps, then you release your hands forward and do the same. Next you brace your head again but this time bend one knee and extend the other. The extended leg is circled in and out, then moves out and up in an L-shape. Then you bicycle your legs, then you put your legs in a frog position and open and close from the hips while you keep your heels together. Next a long lever Single Leg Pull (but no "pull" from the hands), and then the Criss Cross. Next is a long lever swimming motion on your back (opposite arms and legs reach forward and up), then a rolling stretch which transitions into an upside down straddle and then pulse- your inner thighs should feel this as well as your abs. This part reminded me a little of one of the movements in Kari Anderson's Angles Lines and Curves 2.
The Stretch is about 5 minutes long. She starts with seated spinal rolls, then moves onto side lying kicks and stretches, then Bow, then something like an elbow plank- your abs should feel these as well. Then it's hip stretches, and side straddle folds. Although not super deep stretches, they feel good after all of the other work.
I haven't had so much fun with a workout in a long time, and a big contributor was the music. This is some of the best I've heard in a long time. The early parts are sort of like updated funky disco, which I like, but the later sections get jazzy/avant garde. Really fun- Gillies did a great job, and I can't wait to do this one again."
An OK workout if you can get past Liz Gillies appearance
M. Glowacki | 11/28/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There was so much about this workout that got on my nerves that I only did it twice before donating it to my local library - which is a shame, because if you close your eyes and just listen to Liz Gillies you quickly realize that she is an experienced instructor who really knows her stuff. She gives some great tips and advice on properly postioning yourself to get the most from each exercise. And yet... ack! Her faux spaghetti-like pigtails and her teeny low cut red top were just too too distracting for me. I've never had such a strong visceral reaction to a fitness instructor before. There are two female background exercisers who don't help much. While they both demonstrate excellent form, the one on the left has a fake smile plastered on her face throughout the workout and the other one is stoic to the point where her facial expression NEVER alters. The music wasn't anything to get excited about either. The standing routine felt awkward to me... lots of fast, pulsing types of movement, and Liz's cueing, unfortunately, isn't the greatest here. The floor work is the best part of the whole DVD. If at all possible, try borrowing or renting this DVD before adding it to your collection. It's definitely an acquired taste.
Great for body awareness & working postural smaller muscles
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 11/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Liz Gillies has great body awareness on what feels right & what move would balance out the body next. She has a past scholarship in dance school, ballet as a child, pilates training, body movement classes, etc. She gives great cues for proper body posture, good timing in giving them & great sunny personality like a good friend w/o being fake or perky while doing it. I'm very impressed with Liz here, she gives a lot of info w/o being boring or even missing a beat.
Liz is here with 2 other women, both older & slim but don't look like Barbie dolls. Each woman has different bad posture issues & Liz has you refer to the one that you are more like.
Liz states this workout is for working deeper muscles which keep the body tall, long & lean & lifted. Form with flexibility & muscle coordination. She says it's challenging, but you'll get the body you'll love.
It's hard to explain the moves but DNK did a great job. This workout is harder then either of her progressive pilates, so those who liked it but thought it was easy will love this.
The 16 min warm-up is a little dancey, but has some toning like a sorta chair pose in yoga but in a different position that you can feel in the pelvic region to work the PC muscles, but the rest is on the floor for toning."