Shelly McDonald Pilates
Robyn | USA | 01/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 2-DVD set is the Shelly McDonald Pilates - As shown on TV.
The complete Pilates Caribbean workouts for toning and muscle conditioning. Burn calories and strengthen the body! 2 Workout DVDs include 8 easy-to-follow workouts!
Shot on location on the beautiful island of Barbados, Caribbean Workout is one of the longest running exercise programs on television. For the past ten yesrs, this renowned fitness program has featured a variety of easy-to-follow exercise routines designed to strengthen themuscles, burn fat, and increase overall fitness levels. Total running time = 168 minutes.
If you buy this one, you won't be sorry! Great set of DVDs."
Enjoyable and Creative Collection Of Pilates Based Workouts
Yoga Dad | 04/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two DVD set is a great bargain for the money!
The programs are all taken from a TV show so there are times when the editing into and out of commercials isn't as smooth as it could be. Sometimes it leaves for a commercial break doing one exercise and returns with another one already starting. In one case I noticed leg circles were done on one side at the end of a long leg sequence but left out on the other side, this happens during the 3rd Sequence of Disc 2 (Pilates Plus)).
That being said, getting 8 Pilates based workouts to choose from for the low cost of this set is still great even if you only liked a few of them. I really liked all the programs overall, with some standing out more than others.
In spite of the imperfections, I've given it Five Stars based on the fact that I think that most people will find enough useful workouts here to be very satisfied (especially at the price.) The imperfections can be worked with quite easily, especially once you get familiar with the individual programs and know where those spots are.
The programs are each about 22 minutes each which makes them very easy to fit in to most anyone's schedule. I like to use them as a warm up to my daily Yoga practice. I find that Pilates and Yoga really compliment each other and it's nice to have Pilates practices that are short enough as not to get overwhelming but long enough to be complete practices in and of themselves.
The location (Barbados) is beautiful! Jennifer Tilley is actually the teacher who leads these sessions w/ Shelly McDonald being the "student". The sequences are put together in a way that warm up the body before moving into the more challenging exercises. Some routines are better at this than others, but overall I found the routines do a very good job of preparing you in the beginning for what is to come.
While the opening music is a bit "in your face" (which at first concerned me since I don't like to have "blaring music" first thing in the morning), once the routine actually starts it's the complete opposite, very soft music that really enhances the practices without ever becoming intrusive.
These are not "Classical" Pilates routines, but are a creative adaptation based on the Pilates system. The variety of sessions included in this two DVD set lets you focus on different parts of your body each time. This is good not only to prevent things from getting predictable and monotonous, but it prevents your body from adapting to the workouts to the point where it's not challenged which would lessen the benefits.
Also, some of the variations Jennifer teaches are approaches that I've never encountered before and I found them challenging because they were so different. This is exactly the sort of thing I want from my Pilates workouts since I like to mix this type of Pilates approach throughout the week with the more Classical approach of other programs I have.
If you like to do Yoga, these are a nice companion to Yoga Zone's Programs, most of which contain two twenty minute programs and also filmed in the Tropical setting (in this case Jamaica). Personally I like doing Pilates first because it warms you from the Core outward which seems to be beneficial. I then find the Yoga practices take me to the next level and are excellent to finish with.
Once again, while these aren't perfectly executed in every phase, they are still overall very useful and enjoyable routines which happen to be a great value. I'm glad they are part of my fitness library and they will be heavily featured in my daily exercise rotation!
All that being said:
I want to mention that if someone has never done Pilates before it would be a good idea to first start with something like Stott Pilates basics so that they can learn the principles underlying Pilates. Pilates is a very subtle and detailed oriented type of exercise system in which alignment and moving from the core (and awareness of the "powerhouse") is essential in order to gain the most benefit from the exercises as well as for keeping the exercises safe. It's very easy to strain oneself if they aren't aware of these subleties."
Great dvd, lots of movements
Allison C. Koepsell | 12/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought these dvds for $5 from a bargain bin at a grocery store. All 8 videos contain excellent exercises that I wouldn't have discovered on my own. I've checked out pilates books from the library and it is really helpful to see people actually doing the movements without having to read a description in a book. The audio and video is about a B+. Each segement is about 21 minutes long, which is perfect for my attention span. When you finish a video you feel well stretched, balanced and just a little tired. One day, I did all 4 videos in a row (84 minutes) and felt great for the rest of the day. If you like working out at home or need a good leg/knee/abs/stretch workout, this is a great set to add to your dvd library."