"This DVD contains two pilates workouts. The first one really concentrates on legs. Great inner thigh work using the Pilates Magic Circle. KV sells one, and so do others. This may not be magic, but it is a great help for targeting inner and outer thighs. The other workout is Abs and Back focus- this targets two trouble spots. Usually abs are trouble because they don't look as great as we wish, and the back is a problem because it isn't as strong as we need, thus causing us pain. This workout will help with both problems, and in a gentle balanced manner. It is a great workout, at what most would consider an intermediate level. If you have never done pilates before, be prepared to have trouble with this workout, but don't feel pressured to do the whole thing the first time.The workouts themselves deserve 5 stars and the fact that they are on a DVD is a great improvement. My biggest gripe is that I wish that the DVD had more chapters. KVs Circuit/BLT workout has some of the best chaptering of any DVD I have seen, so she isn't completely ignorant of how to chapter a DVD. My guess is that she thought that the sequencing in the originals was perfect, and she couldn't put together shorter workouts that she liked. But, I still wish she had. It would have been nice to have a shorter ab workout, and a beginner ab/back workout."
"I think that this DVD is the most effective and the most professional Pilates DVD. You'll find 2 workouts : the first one is for the total body, and the second one is for your abs and back, but more for abs. Each of them is 50 minutes ! It's really challenging, and I am used to practise Pilates Method. I highly recommand it."
Great workout for lower body, back, and abs
PittrPatt | Loveland, CO United States | 07/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD along with the Kathy Smith: Pilates for the Lower Body DVD, and this one is a much better value for the money, giving two 50-minute workouts ... compared to Kathy Smith's one 1/2 hour workout ...Kathy Smith's video does give a better introduction to Pilates and working the "powerhouse" (abs pulled to the navel, pelvic floor pulled up, and gluts held in tight), though Karen's video does a better job of integrating these moves all together, with an emphasis on stretching and toning and an awareness of posture. I recommend renting Kathy's video to get the basics and so you can see how you can get away with not needing the resist-a-ring, and then using Karen's video to tone inner thighs and work the abs. There really isn't much of an upper body workout, though I like the workouts nonetheless. I think an intro to Pilates should be added, and agree that better chaptering to move to some of the sections that you like best could improve navigation. I also found that scanning backwards too quickly got me back to the first DVD menu and not to the start of the workout, which can cost precious minutes in a tight morning routine."
OK, if you're Gumby
PittrPatt | 10/23/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Overall, the two workouts on this DVD are both pretty good. I like them because they target areas that my other workout tapes don't hit, so I can intersperse these two throughout my week and let my other muscles rest a day. The ab and back workout, for instance, is great to do when I've just killed my legs doing lunges the day before. Both workouts are moderately challenging. I think you get your money's worth.A few gripes, though: 1) I know I'm not the most flexible person in the world, but Karen really tailors her exercises people who can sit in straight splits without having to call an ambulance. She doesn't give you alternate instructions, either, so I have to modify a few things, and I hate having to do that because I never know if I'm modifying something in a way that makes it less effective. I'm just not Gumby. I don't bend all the ways Karen does -- yet, at least.2) She can drag. Depending on my mood, sometimes it's more annoying than others. For example, in the "total body" workout, you use the resistance ring on your left leg for several exercises, then you do some extensions, then you do some leg lifts and ... it goes on for quite a while before she switches to the right leg.3) The DVD doesn't break down the workout so you can pick and choose segments. Overall, that doesn't bother me as I don't tend to cheat my way through workouts, but some of the stretches would be nice to separate so I could do them on my own at night without having to forward through the whole workout.Gripes aside, I really do use this tape. It's in the regular rotation because it's different, it's easy to follow and it seems to be pretty effective. It also was a great introduction to Pilates."
More of a leg workout
valerie-france | 02/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This video is a descent workout if you aren't really wanting pilates. However, I don't feel that it is a total body work out. It is more of a work out for your legs and abs.. It will leave your legs sore, but you need the pilates magic cirle in order to have any benefit from this video.
Also the ab and back set isn't much different from the total body set.
All in all it will give you a work out-just mot much for the upper body and not what I would consider pilates."