Variety is the key! Get new twists on the classic leg lift, pushup, and ab crunch with lots of butt-firming moves too. Technique makes all the difference! Minimize wasted energy and see faster results by doing fewer rep... more »s but getting more out of each one. Build strength and lengthen your body at the same time.« less
"Workout Description: 30 minutes of toning (5 minutes of standing legwork; 25 on the floor: 10 legs, 5 upper body, 10 abs) w/ 5 minute warm-up and 6 minute stretch for a total of 40 minutes Workout Level: intermediate Instructor: Karen Voight (fitness instructor since 1978; IDEA Instructor of the Year and Business Person of the Year; an IDEA's 5 Star Presenter; certified ACE Group Fitness Leader). Karen is an excellent cuer and very focused on proper form and technique. She exercises each side evenly and intends for you to mirror her moves. Class: Karen only. Most of the time Karen is instructing and performing the move, although sometimes the camera focuses on her executing the move while she does voice-over narration. Music / Set: The synthesizer music isn't too loud, which is a good thing because I wasn't too fond of it. At some points, Karen pauses to wait for the music. The interior set is rather dark and almost sci-fi-looking. Equipment Needed: sneakers for standing portion only, 1-2 pair(s) of dumbbells (your choice of weight), 1 pair of Green Genie balls (substitute any 3 lb. weighted ball or, if in a pinch, dumbbells), mat, towel Caveats: Be careful of the squat-pivot-lunge series if you work out on carpet. Pay attention to your form; never let your knees go past your toes during squats or lunges. Additional Comments: This workout doesn't require a lot of space. You need to be able to take one big step front and back and two big steps to each side; you should also be able to lie down with your legs and arms extended. I have to do the squat-pivot-lunge series diagonally across my 6' by 8' room, but all other movements are small. Originally this video did not have Pilates in the title, and rightly so. There is very little of Pilates in this video. Some of the moves are not exactly traditional strength training moves, but that doesn't quite make them Pilates. Still, this is a good workout-just don't expect a Pilates routine. Karen does not intend for this to be part of your regular muscle-building rotation. Rather, this is a good program to shake up your routine by forcing you to pay attention to technique and either working your muscles in a different way or working muscles that are normally neglected. I'll probably throw it in once a month, probably towards the end of a week of harder strength workouts. There isn't enough arm work for this to really stand alone, but the leg work will get to you, particularly that lying leg series. The DVD allows you to do the entire workout or choose one of the floorwork sessions. It is also available on DVD with YogaSculpt as Yoga & Sculpting."
Shannon G | Boston | 05/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to give this DVD 5 stars for its wonderful uniqueness! I am always searching for DVDs that give a new spin on toning exercizes - and this definitely fits the bill. I truly feel that in order to continually shape and define your muscels, you need to find different ways to move your muscels. And in addition to being unique, the moves and combinations are also challenging - you can feel the burn. It's a fantastic workout at a great price!"
Karen is one of the best instructors out there :-)
Little Miss Cutey | Melbourne, Australia | 04/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Each of Karen's workouts are gems. They provide enough toughness to be beneficial and yet through her clear instruction and great cuing, it's easy to follow and very motivating. This is another one of her gems. It's a great flowing workout that is done to develop lean muscles and good healthy joint mobility. Some positions may be a little tricky to get yourself into, but with each go, you'll improve and it will be easier. She always gives clear and precise instructions so you know what's coming up next without straining to look at the tv all the time. This works all the core muscles - abs, back, [...], arms and legs. There is nice jazz type music in the background that isn't annoying and helps you keep in rythym. You'll need weights for this but it's so worth your while doing this because there are so many people who forget to stretch and strengthen muscles - we think that cardio is all we need. This is so relaxing to do and beneficial that I recommend it to everyone."
Unique full body toning workout
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 07/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, keep in mind that this is a repackaged workout; it has been marked as both "Core Essentials" and "Pilates Core Essentials." This is definitely not a Pilates workout, so maybe that was part of the reason for the name change. Rather, it is a full-body toning workout similar to the first half of one of instructor Karen Voight's other videos, Streamline Fitness.
The workout begins with a simple, 4 minute warm-up to get your body moving; this is followed by 8 minutes of standing strength moves. The exercises consist of traditional squats and crunches, but Karen makes them unique by adding more movement. Although her cuing is excellent, the variety of the moves is a little hard to follow upon first viewing of the video, but you do get the hang of it. One problem I had with this section is regarding how Karen uses the arms: the arm movements often seem unnecessary and mismatched to the leg work. The main body of this workout occurs on the floor. Karen continues the legwork with extensions done both on all fours and on the side; she sometimes uses her weighted "genie balls"--you could also substitute ankle weights, but I found the moves to be challenging enough without the added weight! She then targets the arms with a tough push-ups sequence as well as several exercises with dumbbells. The workout ends with abs and back exercises followed by a 6 minute cool down.
As always, Karen offers meticulous tips on form throughout. This was an average-to-good workout (I'd actually have given it 3 1/2 stars if I could), but I prefer Karen's Streamline Fitness, which offers additional arm work, a tougher abs section, and relaxing yoga moves as well."
Targets Core Muscle Groups
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 06/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""I'll show you how to minimize wasted energy while maximizing concentration on the targeted muscles of your core essentials." ~ Karen Voight
In "Core Plus More," Karen Voight presents a workout to target the core muscle groups. She also focuses on the arms and legs by using weights to increase the intensity. The added resistance increases your efforts so on exercises for the abs, holding weights above the head while doing a crunches makes them super effective. As always Karen emphasizes proper form to optimize your results. The main sections of the workout include:
Aerobics - Warm up Legs & Butt 10 minutes Arms, Back & Torso 5 minutes Abdominals 10 minutes Cool down - Stretch
The workout begins with a brief aerobics section to warm up the muscles then moves right into leg exercises inspired by Pilates. She uses her green genies (weighted balls) to increase the resistance. The main workout is on a round blue platform and she is wearing a ruby outfit so the colors are interesting.
During the Arms, Back & Torso workokut she does quite a few sets of push-ups which I found challenging when combined with Plank. Next you use weights while you are on your back and then move into a cool down with unique side stretches and plenty of attention to stretching out the legs.
Overall, I'd say this is a challenging workout with unique exercises. Karen Voight's teaching style is very precise so the cueing is always excellent and you feel like you have completed a calorie-burning workout with an artistic appeal.