If you are tired of the canned enthusiasm, confusing routines, and sometimes dangerous directives of the latest wave of fat-blasting, kung-fu-fighting, contortionist fitness trends, introduce yourself to Jennifer Kries, th... more »e most refreshing instructor to hit home televisions in the past decade. Kries has developed an impressive array of videos and DVDs devoted to what she calls "three-dimensional toning," focusing on "improving the body's efficiency and functionality rather than just changing its appearance." Perfect Mix is split into three 20-minute segments, each emphasizing a different fitness goal but sharing the same movements and methods. The first segment, "Core Contouring," uses traditional yoga and Pilates moves to focus on improving total body strength. The next section, "Metabolic Booster," is a cardio boost, using light weight training to burn calories while working different muscles groups throughout the entire body. Finally the yoga-based "Rejuvenation" segment brings down the heart rate and promotes flexibility and mindfulness. Kries is a patient and surprisingly empathetic instructor--she is hyperaware of her own freakish flexibility, and constantly reminds viewers to "listen to your body and never move to the point of pain." Because she is so focused on breathing and precision of movement, the best thing about the DVD is the ability to use slow-motion controls to really improve your form (this is a no-frills DVD, with a music-only option, which is peculiar; the point is not to stare at a TV screen, and the teacher's vocal guidance is usually an essential part of that process). Kries moves through the routines rather quickly, only doing a few repetitions of each exercise, and while this prevents boredom it also makes it easy to skimp on the moves and not give the full attention needed to really feel the workout. When done correctly this is the perfect class to follow a long hard day at work--it is both energizing and invigorating without being physically and mentally exhausting. --Daphne Durham« less
Genres:Exercise & Fitness Sub-Genres:Pilates Studio:KOCH RECORDS Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 04/24/2001 Release Year: 2001 Screens: Color Number of Discs: 1 SwapaDVD Credits: 1 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 1 MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
For intermediate to advanced exercisers NOT beginners
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just read thru all the reviews, and as someone who has been practising pilates for years, these are my views:
1) This is definitely NOT for beginners. I really like J Kries, have quite a few of her older videos, and her book - but she is a little too poetic and not quite detailed enough in her explanations in the videos (book is better). If you have never practised Pilates before, I recommend Moira Stott's videos - start with the Essential - never tried Ana Caban so I wouldn't know - apparently JK's The Method - Precision Toning is a good instructional - but again I wouldn't know. I started with JK's All in one Workout and strained my back myself, then fixed and repaired with Stott, got bored with her delivery and now can sail thru the all in one with ease - and love it! I also like this video, but for a lighter day. You MUST be experienced in Pilates to do the exercises at this speed, otherwise you will not be able to hold your navel to your spine and breathe properly. Stott moves up to this speed in her intermediate video, and leaves some of the modifications like the bridge with leg extensions for her advanced video!!!!!PLEASE take in the above - without the necessary experience and abdominal strength built up from prior slow work, this video and others at this level could mean you end up working the wrong muscles or worse hurting yourself - you may think you can do the aforementioned bridge, but I spent months doing it with Stott, all we do is lift the bent leg off the ground a few inches and hold a few seconds, doing our best to keep the pelvis/hips level, the navel to spine,the shoulderblades down, the breathing even.....anyone can stick their hips up and throw a leg in the air...2) The cardio workout IS ok for beginners - without weights. For intermediate up, it won't get your heart rate up enough. Unless you use heavier weights - which you shouldn't! At the speed these movements are performed, using too heavy weights will mean that momentum comes in and so most of the benefits of weights are lost, plus you can easily injure yourself - believe me, I've been there!3) The workout is in a wierd order. I believe the cardio should be first to warm you up, then the Pilates, finally the yoga. But who am I to speak..... The All in one workout is better in this respect - long dance oriented warmup - cardio intervals interspersed with extremely effective weight work, then long Pilates session. Only thing missing is a yoga stretch at the end for a committed yoga person like me, who doesn't feel great without at least a 15 min session daily! That said, I still like it and do it occasionally, but even though I enjoy Jen's videos more than Stott's for their colour and music and daniness, I still do Stott more regularly for the deep benefits.4) Last but not least - before you buy exercise videos - I recommend going into a couple of [local]sites - they have reviews from experienced exercisers, and Collage also rate their videos from beginners to advanced and give a time graph showing the timeframe of the workout (warmup 5 mins, lower body 10mins....) - both sites are pretty dependable!Hope this info helps out, I myself appreciate the time other people take to write reviews, and thank you all for it. I personally won't buy a video unless there are a few focused reviews - on more than one site! Good exercising!"
Total Body Workout
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've only used this video a few times, but it really gives me a good workout. The first segment focuses on traditional Pilates moves for a tough abs workout (if you've never done Pilates before, be patient... you probably won't be able to do all the moves, but eventually it will get easier). The second segment is cardio/strentgh, and you need 1-3 pound weights. It uses a lot of dance-inspired moves, and being a little uncoordinated I haven't gotten them all down yet. I don't mind stumbling around a little (I'm sure I'll get it down eventually!), but you should know that you probably won't pick up the moves the first time you do this video. The third segment is a yoga/stretch session that is very relaxing.I liked this video because it combines strength and light cardio, and it also gives me a good stretch at the end. Also, each of the segments can be done individually (they're each about 20 minutes long) if you don't have much time. The only slight drawback is that there's an excessive amount of explanation on how the breathe at the beginning that I have to fastforward through."
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really love this DVD. I have never done either pilates or ballet although I am a yoga enthusiast. I was looking for a way to get back in shape and in particular tone my back and abs and legs after pregnancy. Not only is this is a great introduction to pilates, but I feel immediate effects upon my posture after each class. Jennifer is a rare breed of excercise teachers in that she simply is not annoying- just inspiring. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow and she places the correct empahsis on breath (unlike Denise Austin in her DVD Mat workout based on Pilates). The excercises are not difficult but targeted, effective and sometimes challenging depending on where your particular weakness may be. The metabolic booster section is a real gem if you want to feel you are doing some cardio. Whether I will lose any weight doing these programs I dont know but I am toning visibly after only 2 weeks. I dont like excercise particulary (jumping around is not for me) but this DVD makes me feel like Yoga does - enervated, rejuvenated, graceful, strong, and excited about doing it again the next day."
It IS perfect!
dnk | Boston, MA United States | 09/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I read lots of reviews and descriptions of this tape before I committed to purchasing it. I was so excited when it finally arrived, and what a great workout it delivered. I watched most of it before I started so I could get an idea of what was involved, and that helped (although I am so uncoordinated I still don't have the middle segment down yet). The first section is a classic Pilates routine with some yoga interspersed in the middle. Yes, you feel it in your abs right when she says your going to. I like that she shows modifications but also encourages you to challenge yourself. I probably benefited from learning first with the Ana Caban tapes, but I was able to keep up and try some new things. I think Jennifer's roll-up variation with the feet flexed is more challenging that with the toes pointed, but I'm going to play around and see which feels best. The neck pull was a surprise, but I was glad she had some different exercises in there.The Metabolic Booster section was my favorite. When I first watched it I thought "Oh, this will be fine- will it get my heart rate up enough?" Well, yes it did! The moves are so pretty and graceful (although of course I'm still learning to get all of the steps down) that you don't really you're working your butt- or should I say glutes?- off. Again, when she says you should feel this in your glutes, you will. I love this part!The Rejuvenation section was a great way to end the workout. I don't know if it's Jennifer's extra dose of inspiration or if the other two workouts just loosened me up, but I definitely felt my hamstrings loosen up. For me, that's huge. I'm pretty flexible (except for the hamstrings) and I've been doing yoga for a while, so I didn't need most of the modifications she introduced, but they didn't bother me, either.Again, this is a great workout- I recommend it to anyone who wants a total body workout but wants a softer (though not slower) pace.Perfect!"
Cardio and Pilates all in one
Amy | New York, NY United States | 06/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have taken a few Pilates mat classes, and found this DVD to be excellent for a beginner. I like Jennifer Kries because she explains the moves really well - you don't have to keep looking up at the screen to see what she is doing because her descriptions are so clear. Also, she is down to earth and no nonsense, and I just like her style. One great feature of this DVD is the cardio section. Many Pilates workouts don't include cardio work, and this one is nice 'cos it uses light weights and is low impact (but still manages to raise my heart rate). I normally do The Firm workouts, and am used to more strenuous weight and cardio work, but this workout has made a difference in my abdominals and my flexibility. I'm looking forward to trying Jennifer Kries' other Pilates workouts."