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"30 Minutes - Balance Challenge 15 Minuets - Floor Work for arms, abs, and legs
Katalin Rodriguez-Zamiar has three black belts and over 21 years experience in the martial arts and boxing. By looking at her, you would not think "boxing" you would be thinking ballerina or perfectly fit dancer. This program uses ballet exercises that require extreme focus and control. Katalin's creativity is exceptional and her instruction style is exquisite. She introduced me to so many new moves, I can hardly describe them all. Her floor work has some beautiful exercises that will require you to have a good basic core of strength already in place.
From the very start of this program I was pretty excited because after doing so many Pilates workouts, I knew most of the floor/standing moves and the focus here is on standing postures and exercises. Yet, they are exercises with a new creative twist. It is even difficult to describe the exercises because they are truly more like a standing dance. Imagine standing and then raising your leg and then moving your body in interesting directions to test your balance. I think she is mainly focusing on the "tendu en croix" and "degage" with plenty of front and back sweeps where you are standing on one leg and moving the other leg fairly quickly back and in front of you. So, that is the basis and there is a lot of center position focus. The lunges mostly go to the side or are more like a courtesy. I found that they were very easy on the knees and I could actually do them! Yes! Normally lunges are my least favorite, but these were like "dance lunges" which moved softly to the side.
The balance element had my full attention. Unless you have been doing Yoga or Pilates for a few years, the balance exercises might really frustrate you. This is definitely not for beginners because you truly do need to know all the basic ballet moves which move at a rather rapid pace in this video.
Katalin is a perfect instructor. Not only does she never make a mistake throughout the entire workout, her cues are right on target and she has a calming beautiful voice. You feel nurtured all while she seems to gently guide you into some rather intense exercises. Your mind is so intrigued with the creativity that you forget you are exercising your body into a fully body sweat.
Standing Pilates Blend is Intermediate/Advanced for sure! I love it and can """HIGHLY""" recommend it to anyone who loves Pilates and wants to move to what I'd call the "third" level. The first being when you learn the moves. The second when you accomplish the exercises. The third when you start to get creative and take each exercise to a new level of intensity. The camera is also in motion and switches from a group exercise situation to individual segments for instruction by crashing waves or a beach scene. This is a visually interesting workout which seems to almost hypnotize you with beauty so you don't even realize you are working as hard as you are.
This is a "must-have" workout for anyone who wants to improve their balance. It will also tone your entire body and you will feel your abs and butt tighten and lift even after just one workout if you have been working out on a regular basis.
If you are just starting with Pilates, try Winsor Pilates, Karen Voight and Jennifer Kries first. Those will give you a great overview and teach you the poses and exercises you need to know to master this workout.
Also highly recommended: Jennifer Kries' Pilates Plus Method: The Unique Combination of Yoga, Dance, and Pilates- a book that explains the exercises in detail and also have inspirational quotes.
~The Rebecca Review"
Will develop core strength and balance!
Rebecca Johnson | 03/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fun and innovative video that uses a lot of ballet inspired moves. It is divided into two sections. The first consists of standing work that targets the buns, hips, and thighs. You will develop a lot of core strength and balance with the routine. The second part is pilates mat work with a twist. The exercises were different from the traditional mat work which was a welcome change.
I liked the instructor and the two background exercisers a lot. They instructor cues very well, and I had no trouble flollowing her routine. The production values were very good as well. This is a great video that will tone the lower body as well as help to develop core strength and above all balance."
A Great Morning Workout!
Rebecca Johnson | 06/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I must agree that this DVD was has quality production and I found both the music and set appealing. I trained in ballet for 5 years, so I was surprised when I was sweating during the standing sequence. But even if you are experienced in Pilates or ballet, when you concentrate on executing all the moves correctly, it's quite a refreshing workout. My balance has improved so much through this video and I recommend it to a beginner as a fun, challenging way to get started. For the experienced, I recommend it as a modest morning workout, which is how I use it."
Great Program For Working On Balance and Coordination !
Yoga Dad | 06/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently picked this DVD up because I was looking for some variety in my Daily Pilates/Yoga Practice. I've been doing Yoga daily for well over 9 years and started doing Pilates every day before my Yoga practice in the Fall of 2005. I'm totally hooked on Pilates now, the results have been unbelieveable.
I have many Pilates Programs that do the more "classic" Pilates mat work (Stott, Kries (Precision Toning), Burnett, Caban) and many that are variations on the pilates system (New Method, Caribbean Pilates, Liz Gilles and Quick Fix programs). Recently I had picked up New Method 20/20 Pilates Precision Abs and it had some standing Pilates work. At first I was thinking it wouldn't be for me, but the more I did it the more I realized how beneficial it was in terms of developing balance and coordination as well as working the core differently.
I thought I'd try this Pilates Standing Blend led by Katalin Rodriguez-Zamiar to get more standing work and I wasn't dissapointed!
The first session which is about 30 minutes long has a variety of standing exercises that are very ballet-like in nature. They are relatively slow and controlled movements which start simpler and build to more complex combinations. The combinations were not so complex that they were really difficult to follow. I'm a 6 ft 2 inch 46 year old male w/zero dance background and I'm not the most graceful person in the world, yet I was able to catch on almost immediately to almost all the moves without too much trouble. Usually by the second or third repetition of a movement I was getting pretty comfortable and this was my first time doing this program.
I thought Ms Zamiar did a great job of explaining and demonstrating the movements and moved at a pace which was enough to create heat without moving so fast that it was impossible to follow. There were two students who also did the program with her so you could see how other people with different bodies and abilities might do the movements.
I must admit that I was sweating like crazy by the end of the Standing section and felt like I was very well exercised.
The second section, which I actually did yesterday for the first time, is a series of floor work. I really enjoyed this also because it was different than the traditional Pilates side lying series (which I enjoy also, but have on many programs already). It's only about 15 minutes long and challenged me in new and interesting ways.
This program doesn't have any of the Pilates Mat Stomach Series (which I knew from reading other reviews) so what I did was a short intermediate series (8 minutes long) from Karen Garcia's Pilates complete DVD in order to first warm up my core and then proceeded on to the Standing Blend DVD.
I can definitely say I'm glad I purchased this because it adds the variety I need to my daily exercise program and I can see it getting featured frequently in my DVD/VHS rotation.
Great for beginners looking for weight loss and toning
Silicon Valley LCH | Silicon Valley, CA | 04/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never tried pilates before and sampled this workout on cable on-demand first. I have been doing the video average five times per week for four months and have lost over 20 pounds and two sizes. I still find the video challenging and am amazed at how it is transforming my body (especially hips which are quickly disappearing!)."