I've been practicing Pilates for several years and am currently at an intermediate level. I always like to try new routines, so I checked out Maria Leone's "On the Go" video. At the start of the workout, Maria spends about five minutes giving instruction on the fundamental tenets of Pilates, including lengthening the spine, pulling in your navel, and breathing during the exercises. This is a nice overview of basic Pilates principles, but those already familiar with Pilates can skip this part.
The main part of this video is classic Pilates matwork, and Maria begins with a few minutes of stretches to warm up the body. During both the warmup and some of the mat exercises, Maria uses a stretchy band to assist with the moves. Unfortunately, use of the band was not mentioned anywhere on the video's box, but I was able to substitute a regular strap without too much difficulty. Maria then moves on to the matwork sequence, beginning with The Hundred. Before performing the full exercise, however, Maria starts with a "Hundred Prep"; she does this for several of the exercises throughout the matwork routine. Most of the exercises are recognizable from the classic matwork sequence, although Maria modifies many of the more challenging moves (eg, performing The Teaser one leg at a time) as well as adds her own twists to others. The Side Kick Series work is particularly strenuous; I really felt these moves in my hips and thighs. The matwork section concludes with three sets of pushups and some brief stretches for a total of 40 minutes.
Following the matwork, Maria performs 5 minutes of upper body exercises using rubber tubing. Again, the need for this equipment was not noted on the video's box, and since I didn't have tubing, I skipped this section. The workout ends with a few minutes of additional stretching moves, making the entire routine approximately 48 minutes in length.
Maria was very easygoing, and so was the setting: a simple brick patio with soft, non-distracting music in the background. Furthermore, the moves formed a nice, steady flow, but given that Maria did not spend any time explaining each individual exercise, this video would not be appropriate for those brand-new to Pilates. However, those with some prior familiarity with Pilates who are looking to further their practice would enjoy this video, as it is ideal for advanced beginner as well as early intermediate Pilates practitioners.
Maria was a good instructor who cued well, offering tips on form and noting when upcoming moves would be particularly challenging.
Beth C (aka toaster)
May 4, 2004
Maria Leone is by herself in this video and the set appears to be an apartment overlooking a town below. She starts on a patio overlooking the neighborhood below, then it moves inside the apartment. The music is light and instrumental and I don't really remember much about it.
The box says that the workout is 54 minutes, but I do it in less because I skip the intro and the warm-up. The warm-up seems like a warm-up to the warm-up at the beginning of the main part of the workout.
She uses a band with some of the exercises in this workout. I did not get it with the workout, but already had one. It’s one of those plastic bands that stretch. The sections are as follows:
Bow & arrow
Rolling like a ball
Single leg stretch
Double leg stretch
Open leg rocker
Double leg stretch
Double leg kick
Side kick series
Another rolling exercise – The seal?
Upper Body – She does more traditional strength moves (bicep curls, shoulder presses, lateral raises etc.) with tubing
Maria comes across as knowledgeable, competent, and calm, but NOT boring. She gives lots of form pointers, modifications, and descriptions of how moves should feel. This is a fairly standard Pilates progression, but she puts her own stamp on it. One of the things I appreciate about the workout is that she includes upper body moves that do NOT include moves that strain the wrists.
I like this workout. I think I am a little less enthusiastic than I would have been had I tried this workout BEFORE the other workout of hers I have, Pilates on the Go on the Ball. That one is more “creative” than this one in the way moves are presented and done with the ball being included. However, this is the only pure Pilates workout that moves through the entire sequence that I have kept. The rest are fusion and/or ball type workouts. So, I do enjoy this workout and I do highly recommend it.
She has a calm and encouraging manner about her the makes me want to challenge myself. She cues well and gives lots of options.
August 31, 2004