Video Fitness

The Method Stability Ball Workout

Katalin Zamiar

(DVD version)

The Method's Stability Ball Workout with Katalin Zamiar is pilates and yoga inspired, so there is a lot of emphasis on breathing. The main set is a white studio set with a "rock sculpture" background that mimics the outdoor set, which is in a desert with absolutely gorgeous scenery. Katalin instructs in the studio set with two background exercisers (one shows modifications); desert scenes with Katalin only are interspersed. For some exercises, it seems like the pacing between the studio set and the desert set are different, so this can be a problem if you're trying to stay in synch with Katalin.

Katalin spends over 2.5 minutes discussing breathing techniques, which is good the first time around, but annoying later. This should have been included in the introduction instead of in the warm up, or it should have at least been a separate chapter. If you skip to the next section, you'll skip the entire warm up.
The warm up is gentle and includes pelvic rocks, spinal twists, squats, side lunges and stretches.

The next section is legs, but you can only get to it if you do the entire workout straight through. For some reason, it is not included in the chapter selection menu and if you skip from the warm up, it goes straight to arms and bypasses the legs section completely.
The legs section includes leg curls (standing with one foot up on ball and rolling ball out and in), leg lifts, static lunges, and hamstring curls.

The arms section includes an exercise where you kneel in front of the ball, roll the ball out and push down while you pull it back in followed by pushups with the legs up on the ball. Next is a series where you support your hips on the ball with the chest lifted, then extend the arms straight out to the front, side, up and down. Stretches, including a "cat stretch" and "down dog" on the ball, are included throughout, usually after each set of exercises.

Next is pilates-type ab work, including hundreds, using the ball. There are also situps where you raise one leg and the torso while holding the ball out in front (in a one-legged V-shape) and crunches, oblique crunches and clock crunches (rotating entire torso) on the ball.

For me, this was the toughest section of the workout. First exercise is a plank with the elbows down and legs up in the air. You squeeze and lift the legs up, open, squeeze them closed, and lower. Next is another plank with straight arms and the ball under the knees; you lift one leg straight out and up while keeping the supporting leg straight (it's really hard to stay balanced with these). This is repeated, except in between leg lifts, you pull your knees to the side and into the chest. Next is "frog pose," which is like an inverted V pike, except the legs sort of straddle and squeeze the ball (this was hard to do with pants on... mine kept bunching up). Next you kneel, put one leg behind you and up on the ball, and then curl the leg in and out.

The workout finishes with a series of nice stretches.

It's not a bad workout, my muscles felt worked, but I thought it was a bit boring. Also, the DVD contains too many annoyances for my taste (the breathing speech, disappearing legs section, uneven pacing). I don't see myself doing this workout a lot in the future.

Grade: B-

Instructor comments: Katalin seems very stiff and scripted to me, and in my opinion, her voice is irritating (high and nasal).

Raquel R


This DVD is 55 minutes and is well chaptered. The set is pleasant, the music is acoustic string and percussive, repetitive but pleasant. There is one exerciser who shows easier modifications.

There is a 10 minute warm up which focuses on correct breathing while sitting on the ball doing gentle arm and back stretches, then some squats and side lunges while pressing your arms over the ball and rolling it side to side on the floor.

The leg section is 12 minutes and requires some balance while doing standing exercises with one leg on the ball and then leaning over with hands on the ball and raising the leg behind one leg at a time, then a series leaning on the ball in a kind of side plank position and bending and straightening each leg.

The arm section is 6 minutes and includes kneeling with arms over the ball rolling it forward and pulling back, push ups lying on the ball, and then stretching and raising the arms while laying over the ball.

The 10 minute ab section includes crunches while rolling your legs over the ball, then a variation extending one leg straight as the other leg rolls the ball, then gripping the ball between your legs and doing a move that is a version of the hundred, single leg pikes while lifting the ball over your head,and then some crunches and twisting moves while sitting on the ball.

Hips, thighs, butt takes 10 minutes and is spent mostly in plank position over the ball. First you lift, open, squeeze, and lower your legs, then leg lifts while in plank position on the ball, then rolling up to knees and out again (pike on your knees), frog pose over the ball extending and curling back and more of the same.

There is a 3 minute cool down.

This workout is all about balance and core strength. If that is what you’re looking for I recommend it.

Instructor comments: Katalin explains the moves and cues them nicely.


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