Video Fitness

Crunch Pick Your Spot Pilates

Ellen Barrett

I have disliked Pilates tapes in the past, but I enjoyed this one. It contains 3 10-minute segments, each focusing on a different spot.
It is convenient to be able to just do 10 minutes at a time, but I like it so well, I have been doing the whole 30 minutes.

Instructor comments: Pleasant, encouraging.



Overall I like this video and the way it is organized. There's 3 sections that are 10 mins each, for the abs, buns and thighs. Each of the 3 toning sections begins w/ a quick stretch/warm-up move then she doesn't waste any of the and ends with a quick stretch for a cool-down. The beginning of the workout she explains how to breathe and use your core muscles to focus on the movement. Then the workout begins. With each and every move, Ellen always cues, reminds you on form, and counts the reps.

1st section is the Abs. Here she does, regular pilates-style basic crunches, the hundred, boat pose, single leg stretch, and bicycle crunches. She also does some unique moves I never seen before that work the obliques. After this section there's a quick stretch. Overall, I think the first half of this section (the traditional pilates moves) works my abs good but the rest of it (where she does the unique strength/stretch moves) I don't feel like I'm working the muscle at all.

2nd section: Buns
Here we do the tabletop pose w/ alternating extension of the arms and opposite leg. Leg raises while laying on your stomach, swimmies, plank pose w/ leg lift, and one-legged bridge pose. All of these exercises fired up my glutes.

3rd section: Thighs
Exercises in this section include inner thigh v-leg lifts, side leg lifts, leg circles, and front-back leg extensions. The entire thigh muscles are worked (inner, outer, hamstring and quads).

I like this video and the quick 10 min. toning segments. On the DVD, the 10 minute sections are broken up into 5 minutes each (no break in toning, or separate warm-up/ cooldown). You can also have the option to play the DVD w/ no background music.

I think this is good for beginners and maybe intermediates. I think intermediate-advanced exercisers will get bored and feel they are not working the muscle enough. Personally, I'm not convinced that my body is efficiently toning muscle within 10 minutes, but I do feel some burn w/ the moves. Overall, if you only have 10 minutes, or want a lite pilates workout this is recommended.

Instructor comments: She's a good instructor, cues well, emphasizes form. She's pleasant and isn't chatty.



This tape is good for those who don't need a lot of Pilates instruction, but who want some short pilates segments that are perfect for adding on to the end of other workouts, or to use when they are short on time.

Due to the lack of detailed instruction, I would not recommend this to Pilates beginners. For that group, I think Pilates for Dummies is a better choice.

Wendy Niemi Kremer


The video is broken down into three 10 minutes sections. One each for belly, Buns and Thighs. (The DVD has a bonus Total Body section.) You can really feel the burn in each area after the ten minutes. I thought each section was good - the buns section was my favorite. It's really challenging.

There is a woman named "Besty" that shows modifications...but I don't think most of you will need modifications. The tape is already for beginner's or low-intermediates.

Overall, I love this tape and have been using it five times a week. It's my current favorite.

Instructor comments: Ellen has a nice appeal. She's happy, but not estastic and calm but not sleepy. The exact combo pilates needs, I think.

Kati P.
May 30, 2003

This tape contains 3 10-minute workouts designed to focus on three separate areas: belly, butt, and legs. While not classic Pilates, the moves are definitely Pilates-inspired, and each section contains some traditional Pilates exercises plus additional modified Pilates moves.

The first section, belly, focuses in on the abdominal area (although, as instructor Ellen mentions in the beginning, ALL Pilates exercises target the abs to some extent). The Pilates mat exercises included here are ones that work the abs the hardest, including The Hundred. In the second section, butt, some of the moves are performed on hands and knees to focus more on the buttocks--for example, leg circles done while on all fours. The final section, legs, includes a portion of the Pilates side kick series to tone the inner and outer thighs.

Although I tend to prefer short workouts and have sampled many different ones, I can honestly say that each 10-minute section on this video flew by faster than anything I've ever done before--after finishing the first section, I even checked the clock to make sure that it had really been 10 minutes (it had)! Although the sectioned format of the workout easily allows you to fit in a single segment, you may find yourself enjoying the workout so much that you do all three in one sitting like I did. Overall, these were enjoyable workouts that I know I'll reach for again and again.

Instructor comments: I liked Ellen, especially given that she wasn't nearly as chatty as some of the other Crunch instructors. She gave good pointers while offering brief words of encouragment (eg, saying "good" or "awesome!").

Beth (aka toaster)

February 5, 2004

Ellen's first video was Crunch Pick Your Spot Pilates. I love this dvd. First of all, the cover art is purple, so that's always a plus in my book! The actual dvd has 3 ten-minute Pilates workouts, working the core, rear end, and thighs. There's also a bonus workout for the total body. It's probably one of the less challenging Pilates dvds that I have. I'd rank it between Beginner and Intermediate. I like doing it on mornings when my energy isn't really high -- where I don't feel like having to work really hard at the Pilates moves, but I still get plenty of benefits.

The dvd menu allows you to pick which of the 3 segments you want to do in any order you desire. If I remember correctly, you can't choose the bonus Total Body segment in with those 3, but I've done it many times just added on at the end (after I get back to the menu again). The pace, music, and Ellen's voice and demeanor make this dvd a joy to do every time. I particularly love doing the Mermaid with her -- it always feels so good and relaxing.

Instructor comments: Ellen has definitely found her nitch in the Video Fitness world, instilling that essential mind-body connection. Ellen's workouts are either pure Pilates or have Pilates inspired moves. She incorporates ballet, yoga, strength, and cardio, while keeping the mind engaged with that core center. Ellen has a pleasant, fun personality. She's a joy to work out with.

October 7, 2008

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