Very nice overall Pilates workout
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 08/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As someone who has been practicing Pilates for quite awhile now, I am always on the lookout for short Pilates workouts which are appropriate for my intermediate level; I also prefer my Pilates videos to be mainly abs-focused. Happily, this 20 Minute Overall Body Workout fit the bill perfectly. Although it purports to be a full-body workout, it actually concentrates mainly on the abs area, with some back work thrown in for counterbalance. Also, as performed by instructor Amy Brown, this workout is definitely at an intermediate level (the "Beginner's Workout" referred to on the DVD case is simply Amy's assistant, Liza, showing modifications, not a separate workout).
The workout begins with Pilates breathing in a reclined position. Then Amy moves on to what she calls the "hundreds" but which was a different version of this exercise than I've ever seen before: she simply breathes with her legs in the air and her head up. In fact, throughout this workout, Amy adds many unique variations to the traditional Pilates matwork, such as doing a twist while holding a teaser. I also found the sequencing of the exercises to be very different from what I've come to expect with Pilates. For example, right after the hundreds, Amy goes into the criss-cross, and rolling like a ball comes fairly late in the workout. However, I thought the sequencing worked very well, especially Amy's tendency to balance out a series of abs moves with some brief back work; I liked this a lot. There is only one side-lying move, but because I prefer abs work, I didn't mind this.
Another thing I liked about this workout was the pacing: Amy does a higher number of reps than you will usually see in a Pilates workout, but the pace is never rushed. On the other hand, this workout moves along steadily with no down time between exercises. Amy concludes the workout with a few neck stretches, which I absolutely loved! Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable, thorough Pilates workout, and I know I will get a lot of use from it."
Dvd only has 1 workout, but a good one.
J. Radwan | Chicago, IL USA | 01/22/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"the dvd provides a great pilates workout. it is easy to follow, instructor is easy to understand and it offers a great start for beginners. however the packaging and dvd menu can be deceiving - be aware that the dvd only has 1 workout on it, not 2 separate as it may appear at first. both options on the dvd lead to the same video, only the level of the workout depends on which instructor you opt to follow while watching."
Professional, yet a little boring.
Noa li | Israel | 03/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"as was said before, there is only one workout, and not two.
the instructur gives very clear instructions, which are also easy to understand since she is not speaking at the same time of exercising (the sound was added later).
the HOLY principles of pilates are not presented at the beginging of the workout as in other pilates DVDs that I've tried. However, she keeps reminding things like relaxing the shoulders and pulling the "powerhouse" in, which is good.
there is something which I'm sure some people will find quite disappointing..there is NO FUN. pure pilates exercise. an excellent pilates exercise, but nothing but that."
Odd little workout
dnk | Boston, MA United States | 03/09/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have been practicing and teaching Pilates for several years now, and I'm always looking for practices that will either give me fresh ideas for teaching or will help me get a good workout of my own. This one didn't do either.
My major objection to this practice is that it is advertised as beginner and intermediate and yet the instructor includes a few high intermediate and even advanced movements, such as the Pilates pushup and Teaser 5. These are difficult movements even with modifications, and if I were a beginning student, I think I'd be discouraged by their presence here. On the other hand, she does a very modified version of the Hundred- we don't even move our arms- and by the end of the workout I was looking at the screen and trying to figure out who the target audience was.
The workout felt like it was trying to hit all of the areas of the body. Technically, it did, but I just didn't feel worked out after that. Part of the problem, I think, was that she included a lot of reps of a lower number of exercises. That always irritates me in a Pilates practice, because my understanding of the Pilates philosophy is to do a few perfect repetitions of a varied repertoire of exercises. Also, the exercises she picked just didn't seem to do it. There was the aforementioned Hundred, a Criss Cross which she spent a lot of time setting up, the Roll Up, Teaser, Teaser 5, Swimming, Side Lifts and then Pushups. Then we finished with a neck stretch- and I left the workout not feeling too much of anything.
I love the idea of a shorter Pilates workout, but this just isn't what I'd reach for."