This is an interesting tape that I picked up on a lark from the exchange. Its in two separate sections. The first section consists of three different types of exercises. The first seems to be modern dance related. There are active full body, non-impact movements. Most of them stretch your body. They are hard for me to describe since I'm not that experienced with either the Method or dance. Lots of body sweeps, plies, bending and stretching. You then move on to ballet moves, this section is almost all lower body movements, the sweeping the leg to the front, side, back. Very similar to the ballet section of Michelle Dozio's 10 Minute Workout. The last section is yoga, many familiar moves Sun Salutations, Warriors, Cat Stretches. Each portion of this section is about 10 minutes and the whole thing is about 35 minutes.
The second section is pilates. The first five minutes consists of form pointers and breathing technique. The actual pilates workout is about 15 minutes. The pilates moves are familiar but have a total body focus instead of an abdominal focus. I used just this section for an abs day, and felt it was inadequate on its own. In fact I don't feel that its useful as a stand alone section at all. If it is used following the first segment, it makes for a nice stretchy total body day.
I've enjoyed using the modern dance segment as a warm up to weight lifting, especially first thing in the morning where it gets you moving at a nice 5:30 am pace. I'm actually surprised but this tape is a keeper. It has even interested me in some of the other mixed yoga/dance/pilates tapes.
Instructor- Jennifer's cueing during the first section was often late and inadequate. Even the dancers behind her seemed to be a step behind her during parts of the tape. Its easy enough to follow her, but if being a step behind an instructor bothers you, you might want to skip this tape. Jennifer is wearing a red tank top and black loose pants. I usually don't notice these types of things but she kept tugging at the top during the workout, and the pants fell down around her legs during some parts where her legs were up in the air.
Production Quality - medium. The tape quality wasn't the best, the set was typical of the method, or a lot of the newer tapes out there (quick fixes and the I want those... series). The tape itself is a little fuzzy, but well within my acceptability range.
This is the second video in the New Method/Pilates Method series. The instructor said that you might want to use this after you're acquainted with Precision Pilates if you're new to Pilates.
The first section is the longest of all of the sections of this series at 30 to 35 minutes. It starts off with a modern dance section- lots of low lunges and variations mixed with a speed skate sequence. Then onto the ballet segment- plies, tendus and fondues. I thought this would just be for my legs, but my arms were burning when we began the side kicks. Then onto the yoga section for Sun Breath, Sun Salutations, Warrior 2, Triangle, Right Angle, Downward Dog, Active Moving Cat and Table Top. I felt very thoroughly worked out after this section.
The next segment is a beginner's Pilates matwork. She does spend a bit of time on instruction at the beginning, but she gives good breathing cues so I usually don't fast forward through it. This segment is very approachable (no Criss Crosses or, I think, Open Leg Rockers), but it does include a few Side Kick variations.
I really enjoy both segments- the first gives me a little cardio boost while I'm working my muscles and the second is a nice matwork routine when I don't want to do an exhaustive session but I do want to get the basics in.
Of all the tapes I've seen her in, she seems to be having the best time here. She laughs a little bit during the yoga section and then is very reassuring during the Pilates.
Deb (aka dnk)
This video consists of two separate workouts. The first, which is described as "Pilates based," was not Pilates at all: rather, it was a light, non-weight toning routine which blended ballet and yoga moves. It began with an 8-minute warm-up followed by 10 minutes of standing ballet-type work. Next was a 10-minute yoga segment which consisted of sun salutations and other standing yoga poses. Finally, the workout ended with 2 minutes of yoga-type stretches.
The second workout, "Core Conditioning," consisted of traditional Pilates mat work. It began with several minutes of breathing practice and then moved on to Pilates exercises such as the Hundred, the Roll-Up, etc; many of these exercises were modified from their original form. It also included the Pilates side kick series, but only two exercises were performed on each side. Although this workout was labeled as being 20 minutes, the actual time was about 17 minutes; when you subtract the time spent on breathing instruction, you are left with a disappointing Pilates workout of less than 15 minutes.
Although there was some merit to this routine, I definitely feel that there are better choices available (eg, Kari Anderson's "Angles, Lines, and Curves" instead of the first section and various other videos for Pilates mat work).
I did not particularly like Jennifer Kries as an instructor. First of all, her cuing was inadequate, as she often failed to explain upcoming movements and frequently failed to cue right and left. Furthermore, I found her to be a bit showoff-y at times with her flexibility levels.
Beth (aka toaster)
January 20, 2004