Video Fitness

Crunch Super SlimDown: Pilates Yoga Blend

Ellen Barrett

This dvd is longer than I usually do for toning but I enjoyed it a lot. I'm getting back into exercise, weak core, and pretty overweight (mostly in the abdomen area if that helps you any with my views of this workout)It's about 40-45 minutes with the stretch at the end and has the chapters listed on the inside of the case. aside from the start menu and end credits the sections are: standing yoga 1, standing yoga 2, all fours matwork 1, all fours matwork 2, side lying matwork, abs matwork, and calming cooldown. I'll try to remember what was in each section. in all sections she does a move then adds to it and repeats the sequence about 4 times on each side, sometimes alternating sides, sometimes each side at once.

she starts with deep breaths reaching up then adds knee bends with them. the 'series' here is swoop up, turn into warrior 2 and pulse it (in and out of the pose from knee bent to straight) then reverse (one yz dvd called this crescent she calls it reverse) very nice stretch by the way with knee still bent) then you swoop around in front and go to the othe side. she repeats this back and forth at a slightly faster pace but not bad. the other standing yoga has you do triangle to warrior 2 to warrior 1 and back. at least I think that's what it was. (hard to remember an hour later!) by this time my out of shape self was feeling this, esp in the feet/ankles from turning to warrior 1..I've always had the feet wider for warrior 1 so I had to finally scoot them over a bit to be comfortable). the music throughout all is nice...not overbearing and after I while I hardly noticed it. all fours matwork she does cat to straight back and has you on all fours with one foot and the opposite arm extended (modified by just doing the leg and leaving both hands on the floor which is what I did (at least til I had to rest.bothered my hands a bit) and you lift the leg with small movements up and down and to the side up and down and switch back and forth a few times. I think the next section starts lying on your stomach but she calls it all fours matwork 2. you lift the legs while lying down and pulse them in and out (to the side and together) then lift the upper body the do pieces of heaven or willow. maybe both. anyways this is one I had problems with because the main part of the pose you're in child pose with arms extended in front. well, with my legs under me I can't go all the way to the floor with my upper body without my rear end coming up off my legs and falling on my head! butif you can, you lift yourself up and stretch the elbows back for a nice upper back stretch then lower again. she sneaks pushup type stuff in with the pieces of heaven where you do the legs, then the upper body, the lift all the way up and go back to child's pose with arms extended and repeat this over and over for a while. side lying matwork was mostly legs. you lie on your side and lift both legs up then raise and lower the upper while the lower stays put the repeat with the lower and do these ballet looking moves that I love cause they look so graceful on the dvd! on this section you do all on one leg then do the other leg instead of going back and forth. the abs section has teaser and climbing the rope and several other moves. again I modified and even the modifier couldn't modify a couple enough fo rme so I did the best I could. there are other moves in each section that I've missed but not a whole lot I don't think. the only 'aerobic' benefit I could see in this is the faster paced moves in a few poses and 'zipper' which is in the 2nd yoga seems like and I'd say it flows nicely but it's more toning and stretching I wouldn't use this for cardio at all. there's no moving around or dancing - the only standing part is the beginning sections and those are in one place except for turning to the side or front. I like Ellen as an instructor. seems like time flies pretty fast when she teaches. also I don't rememeber her outfit being pink like on the cover! seems like the colors were different though the style of clothes are the same, if that's important. I didn't have to watch the screen very much and it was usually the modifier I looked at.

Instructor comments: Wonderful! Ellen is a favorite of mine even though I don't do her workouts as often as some others due to their length. She is encouraging and down to earth and so graceful.She makes me want to keep trying even when I'm wanting to stop! Her outfit was a bit low cut on the pants but she didnt' seem vulgar or anything.



Workout starts out with a brief warm up/breathing and then moves to the first of two standing yoga segments. I thought that the standing yoga parts were great--they had a nice flow to them, and the more I concentrated on form, the more challenging it was. I felt like I got a great stretch while doing these segments. I'm not someone who is big into yoga, so these segments were just right.

The matwork segments were relaxing and challenging, again--the more you focus on form, the better the exercises will work for you. At the end of the workout, I felt energized and stretched. I would recommend this video for beginner/intermediate level or someone new to yoga/pilates.

The music is subtle, the style reminds me of what you might find in other yoga videos. The set is bright and airy, there are several background exercisers, with one showing modifications.

Instructor comments: Friendly and encouraging without being annoyingly perky. It's like working out with a friend. =)


March 15, 2006

This workout is a fusion of yoga and pilates. All the moves flow from one to another. So it is a non stop of fluid graceful moves. You will feel your muscles warming and stretching with every move.

Ellen targets the entire body using your own body weight. You will also feel very graceful while performing the moves. Your core will also feel these movements. In this workout Ellen starts with standing poses and then ends with a floor routine. Your core and muscles get worked differently. You also get posture, balance and flexibility benefits. I think including these types of body weight exercises are a great addition to traditional strength training.

“Super Slim Down” is a little easier than Ellen’s newest “Yogini” workout. Since both have different exercises they complement each other quite well. Having both in my collection are great to add to any rotation.
The set is typical of “Crunch” workouts. The music was appropriate and didn’t interfere with the workout. The camera angles allowed you to see all the moves without difficulty.

Instructor comments: Ellen is a very easy going friendly instructor.


March 18, 2009

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