This DVD actually began my foray into Pilates a year and a half ago, and I'm still using it to this day. It offers a range of workouts from basic to advanced, so I've been able to continue to benefit from it as I have progressed in my practice. The DVD presents the traditional set of Pilates matwork exercises in workouts ranging from 5 or 10 minutes to 30 minutes. It also contains an instructional section for each level. The workouts within a particular level do not vary greatly--in fact, the DVD operates on a loop, so they are mostly the same with the exception of a few exercises, but they provide a decent amount of variety just the same. After all, there are only so many things you can change while remaining within the realm of true Pilates. All in all, I really enjoy this DVD and would recommend it to anyone looking for solid Pilates instruction, a bit of variety, and a good value.
Karen gives straightforward, no nonsense instructions and keeps the workout moving along at a good pace. She has a pleasant voice and demonstrates the moves with great skill.
This is quite an interesting dvd. It is part of the Body Wisdom Media set of interactive workouts, and I truly have never seen anything like it. What these people basically have done is filmed every Pilates pose on the disk as its own separate little chapter, then strung them all together in a series of pre-mixes. These vary in length from 5-30 minutes, and there are almost 3 dozen to choose from. The music is generic soft instrumental---bland in a not distracting kind of way, and suitable for these routines.
Karen leads each pose in voice-over, and she shows excellent form and quality instruction. She gave good alignment pointers. These are not flowing routines, but rather, they presented like someone was reading from a book. Each exercise even got a little title printed on the screen. It worked for me, but I can see it not working for other people, if you like a really flowing routine or if you will get bored seeing the same chapter over and over again in so many different routines.
Here is a list of the different dvd sections, and the workouts they contain. () indicates the length of this premix in minutes.
1) Principals and cautions
A solo chapter with basic definitions and general form pointers.
Introduction (10), Routine 1 (10), Routine 2 (10), Routine 3 (10)
Introduction (15), Routine 1 (5), Routine 2 (10), Routine 3 Less Flexible (20), Routine 4 (10)
Introduction (15), Routines 1 (10), Routine 2 (10), Routine 3 (10), Routine 4 (15), Routine 5 For Less Flexible (10), Routine 6 For Less Flexible (15), Routine 7 With Arm Weights (15), Routine 8 For Less Flexible (20), Routine 9 (20), Routine 10 for Less Flexible (20), Routine 11 With Arm Weights (20), Routine 12 With Arm Weights (15)
Introduction (20), Routine 1 (5), Routine 2 (10), Routine 3 (10), Routine 4 (20), Routine 5 (20), Routine 6 (25), Routine 7 With Arm Weights (25), Routine 8 With Circle (25), Routine 9 With Circle (25)
Introduction (5), Routine 1 (5), Routine 2 (10), Routine 3 (20), Routine 4 (20), Routine 5 With Circle (25), Routine 6 With Circle (30), Routine 7 With Arm Weights & Circle (30)
Pilates Complete for Everyone is a comprehensive DVD that gives a range of Pilates workouts with different lengths, intensity levels, and levels of expertise required. There is an instructional section for each level of expertise. The instruction is straight-forward and matter of fact.
Personally, I tried this workout and am going to trade it. Thereís nothing wrong with it for me, it just didnít engage me. As a general rule, I enjoy workouts without a voice over (used throughout this DVD) and prefer workouts in which I feel like I am interacting with the instructors. I have also come to prefer fusion workouts and Pilates workouts with some non-traditional moves.
So, if you want a flexible DVD with a variety of workout lengths and levels to it and which is comprised by more ďpureĒ Pilates, this may be the DVD for you. If you prefer to be engaged by the instructor or more non-traditional moves, it may not be.
She is clear in her instructions.
September 11, 2004
Two word description: Speed Pilates
My background: I would consider myself at an intermediate/advanced level of video pilates. I have never taken a class, so I might not be as good as I think. LOL!
I have a pretty strong core and know the moves well enough to not need a lot of instruction.
I won't go into details of all the programs as that has already been done.
I have only done a few of the programs (there are so many), but there are a few pluses and minuses that stand out to me.
Positives: There isn't tons of instructions and pauses between things, which makes what should be a short workout take forever. You get a lot in in a short period of time. Good ab work!
Negatives: The pace is just a little bit too fast for me. It would be perfect, I would love it, if she would just slow down a little bit. I love how she just goes from move to move, but I don't think she gives the user enough time to correctly/safely complete each movement.
I think the Body Wisdom DVDs are great in concept with all their choices, but there is something lacking in production. It is just a little too bare-bones for me. I also find the pre-mixes a bit choppy in places.
There are times when the person who is performing the exercises is modifying (in the advanced one) and I think they should have had someone who could do the moves without modification (for that section at least).
I will probably keep it, though I do have some problems with it. It is great if I want to do pilates, but not wait through all the instruction of another tape.
I always find myself thinking, SLOW DOWN just a tiny bit and it would be perfect!
2 Mar 05
Iím reviewing this video after doing it several times since getting it a little less than a year ago.
General workout breakdown: This DVD contains classic (rather than fusion or reworked) Pilates mat workouts ranging from 5 to 35 minutes in length, with most programs lasting 10-20 minutes. The general instruction is included separately from the routines, which focus just on the movements; this means that the workouts flow quickly from one move to another. Add to that the fact that Karen performs each move quickly with just a few repetitions, and youíll see how you accomplish a lot in just a few minutes.
Level: There are five levels of workouts: basic (i.e. introductory), beginning, intermediate, intermediate / advanced, and challenging. I would say the first three levels are accurate; I havenít worked my way through the other two to verify their labels as accurate or not. Iím not sure how it would work to a true Pilates beginner, especially with the quick pace, but I would think this could be a good supplement to a Pilates matwork class. Of course, if youíre teaching yourself Pilates, it would be helpful to take a Pilates class or at least work with someone experienced in Pilates to check your form before tackling advanced routines.
Class: Karen only with voice over instruction.
Music / Set / Other Production Notes: The soft instrumental music is bland. The interior set is minimal, with a wall and floor daubed with pastel shades. The sound and picture quality are fine in this otherwise no frills production.
Equipment Needed: mat (or equivalent). For some segments youíll need 1-2 lb. dumbbells and/or a Pilates ring.
Comments: You donít need a lot of space for this workout. You should be able to lie down with your arms and legs extended and sweep your legs to either side.
DVD Notes: I believe this is only available on DVD.
Conclusion: Iíve kept this and probably will continue to keep it, even if I donít use it often. Itís not exciting or even particularly fun, but it offers so much flexibility.
This would make a good DVD to grow with because it provides a variety of routines offered at each level, with 28 workouts total: 3 basic, 2 beginner, 8 intermediate, 8 intermediate / advanced, and 7 challenging. In the intermediate level and beyond, you have the option of performing some routines with a Pilates ring (for leg and arm work) or with light hand weights (for arm work). The DVD is actually pre-programmed routines involving a number of different clips, so there is a slight pause between some segments. However, as I mentioned above, since the instruction is included before the routines the routines actually flow pretty quickly.
For some reason I thought of Brook Silerís The Pilates Body while using this DVD. I think the two would complement each other well, at least until Brook puts out that long awaited Pilates Body DVD.
Karenís cueing and explanation is clear and precise, although I find it disconcerting to hear a Pilates instructor say ďstomachĒ instead of ďabdominals.Ē You can tell she knows the sequences so well she could cue the workout in her sleep, so her voice lacks some personality. She speaks quickly; in fact, she sounds almost like an auctioneer during the hundred! (In two, three, four, five, and out two, three, four five . . .) Since instruction is included in the introductory segment for each level and the exercisesí names appear on the screen during the workout, Karen focuses just on cueing for each exercise with some important form pointers rather than instructing or even announcing the moves. And Karen is super flexible, along the lines of Jennifer Kries.
September 7, 2005