Total Toning Pilates
Instructor Ana Caban
Mat Series (There are three 15 minute chapters, this is the first. The second is Equipment, and the third is Standing.)
*Lie on back, knees bent
*Roll head from right to left
Repeat while breathing in and out with each movement
*Roll chin up to ceiling then toward chest
Repeat while breathing in and out with each movement.
*Lift arms to ceiling while holding weights, then stretch hands back
Repeat while breathing in and out with each movement
*Hundred-arms remain still while holding weights
Half way through, criss-cross feet, performing heel taps with each breath, arms remain still
*Leg circles with weights under thighs, trying to keep contact with weight and leg on floor
*Rolling like a ball, holding one weight in both hands (gave a more challenging balance response!)
Series of 5:
*Single leg stretch, holding arms out in front, weight in each hand, no arm movement
Half way through set, reach and hold arms up overhead
*Double leg stretch, begin with arms stretched out in front, weights in hands, half way through set, reach and hold arms up overhead
*Single straight leg stretch, begin with arms in front, weights in hand, half way through set, reach and hold arms up overhead
*Double straight leg stretch, hold one weight with 2 hands behind head
*Criss cross, hold one weight in both hands, arch weighted over knees to opposite sides while twisting waist and moving legs (really felt my obliques with this)
*Spine stretch forward with one weight in both hands behind head
*Spine twist with one weight in both hands, held in front of body (really forced me to be conscious of twisting as far as I can with good form, straight back).
I really enjoyed this workout, and it may become my new favorite Caban. Not only were the weights used creatively, they were used in a way that added both intensity and drew more attention to the core and good form. I did not feel that weights at any point were a frivolous gimmick to promote a new piece of equipment.
The weights themselves are almost S-shaped, with center bar being horizontal. This allowed the weights to be held easily and securely with one hand or two hands.
Because this is a nice short, but efficient workout, I can see myself using it as an add-on.
I donít know if had already fatigued my body by doing Shred, first, but I really felt some challenge in this segment, especially the upper body.
The exercises in this segment are adaptations of Pilates Reformer exercises.
*Coordination, 1 weight in each hand
*Rowing, 1 weight in each hand (Sit upright, legs out front, flat on the floor. Lean back, curving spine, hands out in front. Pull hands into chest, then press arms out the side. Lean forward and pull arms back. Then circle arms to the front and roll up-3 sets).
*90 Degrees, 1 weight in each hand (Sitting up with legs in front, hold arms at 90 degree angles in front of you. Lean back, then curl forward and pull arms behind. Sweep arms to the front, then roll up-3 sets).
*Rowing variation, 1 weight in each hand (Sit up right, legs in front. Lean forward slightly and hold hands at chest. Press hands out front and up, diagonally. Bring hand with extended arms down to meet the floor. Lift arms up to the front, diagonally again, then pull down arms slowly, out to the side-3sets))
*Spine stretch variation, 1 weight in each hand (Sit up with legs in front, arms extended in front. Curl over and stretch out weights past toes. Curl back up, keeping arms extended, and pull arms up overhead, and down, out to the side.-3 sets)
*Shave the head, 1 weight in each hand
*Hug a tree, 1 weight in each hand
*Long box pulling straps, 1 weight in each hand (lie on stomach, arms down by hips. Lift back and reach arms up toward feet)
*Long box T-row, pulling straps 2, 1 weight in each hand (stay on stomach and hold arms out to the sides, palms to the floor. Lift back and pull arms back toward toes)
*Childís pose stretch
*Back stroke, 1 weight in each hand (lie on back, pull knees in to 90 degrees and hold hands by forehead. Lengthen arms and legs straight up. Open arms and legs to shoulder and hip width. Circle arms and legs down to form a 45 degree angle from the floor. First sets, open & close legs 5 times. Subsequent sets, open & close legs and arms 5 times.)
*Teaser, 1 weight in each hand (holding position, pump arms at sides 5 times-I found this CHALLENGING)
*Short box, 2 hands on 1 weight at tummy (in this version, Ana rolls all the way down to the floor, then rolls completely back up)
*Straight back, 2 hands on weight behind head
*Side to Side, 2 hands on weight held straight over head
*Chest expansion, 1 weight in each hand
*Thigh stretch, 1 weight in each hand
*Arms circles, 1 weight in each hand (remain kneeling and scoop arms out front and circle up overhead. Reverse)
*Bicep curls, 1 weight in each hand (Remain kneeling)
*Rolling in and out, 1 weight in each hand (Remain kneeling. Hold arms out front, roll down forward toward floor, putting weights on floor in front of knees. Slide weights toward body, then curl up, skimming body with weights. Reverse)
*Mermaid, 1 weight in each hand, 1 at a time
Comments: Once again, the added weights did not seem frivolous or gimmicky. They added intensity to the workout. At some parts, my arms were a little shaky (but remember, I had done this right after doing 30 Day Shred). If it seems like a lot of exercises for 15 minutes, thatís because this segment was closer to 20 minutes. Once again, this will be a great add-on, but I could see using this segment as a stand-alone as well.
This portion of the DVD contains Pilates exercises that are done standing, with one weight in each hand, the entire segment.
*Running with weights held in front of chest, then held to side at right angles, and finally held straight out to the side (lift heals up one at time while standing in place, resembles the running series on the reformer.)
*Foot rolls, weights to the chest, then to the side at right angles, and finally held straight out to the sides. (Bend knees, roll up on to balls of the feet, stand up straight, then lower heels. After series is completed, perform in reverse.)
*Pilates Bicep curls, arms out in front (one set in Pilates stance, one set on the toes)
*Pilates Bicep curls, arms out to the sides (one set in Pilates stance, one set on the toes)
*Tricep kick backs
*Pilates zip up, Pilates stance, then on toes
*Small arm circles, in Pilates stance then on toes (arms in front, moving in small circles , while upward. Reverse to move arms back down.)
*Lunges, alternating legs (slow lunge one leg, lift arms up above head, diagonally from the floor
*Side bends, alternating sides
*Hide your hands (hold arms out to sides, then press behind back, raise arms higher for each rep.)
*Pick a flower (arms out to sides, bend over, scoop arms in front, roll up with hands out front, palms up with slight backbend)
*Wall series (squat with arms raised in front, press heels down and squeeze buttocks to rise)
*Arm lifts (lift up one arm overhead, then switch arms like scissors)
*Big arm circles, Pilates stance and on toes (open arms out to the sides, up overhead, come down the front, and then reverse)
*Roll down (roll down to the point that arms dangle in front. Make small arm circles with dangling arms, then switch direction of circles.)
Comments: I could see the arm movement in this series, done with flexing and good form, could work to shape the arms. The core is engaged mostly through balance in this segment. However, Ana does constantly remind us to hold in our tummies and squeeze our glutes. The weight used throughout, added attention to detail and some intensity.
Although the DVD is chaptered to easily move to a specific segment, it also flows as one long, uninterrupted workout, which might provide a thorough pilates experience and perhaps greater challenge.The scenery is absolutely beautiful, in a mountainous setting.
Odd observation: Twice now, Iíve tried to view the DVD in my lap top computer, and both times my computer froze and shut down due to fatal errors. The first time, I thought I had merely overloaded my lap topís memory. After trying a different DVD with no problems, Iíve come to conclude that the DVD may have some sort of new anti-piracy program in it, which may prevent it from played on any type of computer.
Anaís form is excellent as always, and she gives some different form pointers that caused me to really focus on my form. Anaís instruction and detail on form is very good, as she often gives reminders of what body parts should be working in addition to those that are moving.
June 27, 2008