Suzanne Donegan & Tracy Yor
This dvd features 8 10-minute workouts: 4 yoga and 4 pilates. It is a compilation of the Quick Fix Yoga and Quick Fix Pilates VHS tapes. You can use the sections as is, or use the "“lender” function to combine up to 3 of them in any order.
Suzanne leads the yoga workouts with two background exercisers. The first section begins with some breathing work, then works on standing postures and ends with a downward dog sequence. The second section focuses on strengthening postures and features cat/cow, some twists, plank, lunge, down dog etc. The third section focuses on flexibility and works the back, hips and shoulders. The fourth section is a bonus workout not found on the VHS tape and features a more flowing “challenge” routine.
The pilates sections are led by Tracy York, again with two background exercisers. The first section focuses on abs, the second section focuses on lower body, and the third is a total body mix. The fourth section, a bonus not found on the VHS tape, is a total-body challenge. All of them feature traditional pilates exercises well-cued and instructed.
I love the concept of this dvd, with the short sections and the workout blender. I have several other titles from this series and I find them all to be well-done easy to incorporate into my routine.
I have been trying to add more stretching to my routine. I have found I prefer athletic stretching to yoga, but have been searching for yoga workouts I can enjoy and that focus on stretching (as opposed to strength, etc.). The Yoga Flex section of this DVD was recommended to me as a good stretch. I figured it might be a good choice because if I did not like the yoga sections, I could still use the Pilates section.
One thing to know about me is that I have arthritis and the worst joints in my body are my hands and wrists. Thus, part of my analysis of stretch workouts includes how much pressure and stress is put on that area of the body (with less to none at all being preferable).
There are four workouts each of Pilates and yoga. Tracy York leads the Pilates workouts and Suzanne (don’t know her last name) leads the yoga workouts. The workouts are as follows:
Pilates Abs – Moves that stress the abs
Pilates Lower Body – Side kick series moves and other moves to stress the lower body
Pilates Total Body – Combination of moves that stress the upper body and the lower body. There are some moves that place stress on the wrists and hands
Pilates Challenge – Moves the kept the core contracted.
Yoga Energy – Lots of moves on hands like downward dogs
Yoga Strength – Didn’t do or watch
Yoga Flex – One move on the hands. Fairly relaxing
Yoga Challenge – Didn’t do or watch
Tracy York’s direction is fairly good, but not exceptional. She gives form pointers throughout the workouts. The background exercisers show modifications throughout the segments.
I’m hesitant to comment on Suzanne’s direction and demeanor because I am sooooo not a yoga person and prefer straightforward, non-flowery language (at least, that’s what it sounds like to me) in my direction. Since I do not know much about yoga, I am also hesitant to comment on form or effectiveness of the workouts. The background exercisers did show modifications through the workouts.
What was my final conclusion on this workout? I’m not sure. I don’t have many short Pilates add-ons or “sparks”, so I may keep it for those. Tracy York is certainly an adequate instructor and the workouts worked for me, some more than others. As far as the Yoga Flex section goes, I prefer my 10-minute stretch segments on Tamilee’s stretch video, so I wouldn’t keep it for that.
They are explanatory and move the workouts along.
September 15, 2004
I’m reviewing this workout after doing the yoga portion a couple of times and the Pilates portion numerous times over the past few years (but not lately).
General workout breakdown: This DVD contains 8 10-minute segments, 4 of which are yoga, 4 Pilates. All segments move at a leisurely pace, as the instructors leave enough time to set up each move.
*Yoga Energy begins in mountain pose, adding on a standing forward fold and side bends. This leads into a series of sun salutations
*Yoga Strength begins seated, moving to cat and dog tilt and twist while on all fours, plank-low lunges into downward facing dog (including three-legged variation), crescent pose (including moving up and down and then twisting), child pose to down dog to plank to side plank, boat pose, and ends seated.
*Yoga Flex begins in mountain pose, which bends forward with a shoulder stretch; this leads into a forward bend with a twist. Cobra with a shoulder stretch is next, followed by locust and then child’s pose. Seated twists, straddle / open angle stretch with side bends, (reverse) table top, seated forward bend with legs extended, and cross-legged position fill the last 5 minutes.
*Yoga Challenge begins in mountain pose and proceeds into sun salutations. After a few “normal” ones, Suzanne adds variations, such as moving from plank to down dog and back again, then holding plank and bring knee to nose. Next come warrior 2 and side angle pose, while doing the cobra-down dog series in between. The final series is chair pose, which then twists to each side. After a forward bend, you end standing back in mountain pose. (This is the most challenging of the yoga segments and would be best tackled after you feel comfortable with the other three. You could then switch it out with Yoga Energy to make a slightly more intense workout.)
*Pilates Abs begins with breathing / centering, which leads into the hundred, roll up, single leg circle, single leg stretch, criss cross, and double leg stretch; the practice ends with spine stretch forward.
*Pilates Lower Body performs a side leg kick series all on one side first, then the other. The exercises are front & back, “hot potato,” up & down, the one where you hold your upper leg still while bringing the lower up to meet it, little circles, and a little stretch.
*Pilates Total Body begins with a slight backbend (more of a breast stroke prep). Next come heel beats, double leg kicks, swimming, child’s pose, saw, scissors (i.e. single straight leg stretch), reverse plank with leg lift, and plank with leg lift. The segment ends with mermaid stretch.
*Pilates Challenge with what Stott calls a half rollback, which Tracy then has you hold first with feet on the ground and then with them off, adding in some arm movements. Next comes the hundred, backstroke (a reformer move), scissors (i.e. single straight leg stretch), scissor with a twist (i.e. criss cross with scissor legs), double straight leg stretch, and knee drop (with some variations); you end seated. (This is the most challenging of the Pilates segments and would be best tackled after you feel comfortable with the other three.)
Level: I’d recommend this to someone who’s maybe dabbled in either discipline to a low intermediate. If you’re new to either discipline, I recommend also taking a live class or grabbing a book and/or instructional video to help with form, etc. I got this when I considered myself an experienced beginner in both disciplines and was grateful for the modifications. I didn’t use the yoga all that much since I wanted something more from that practice, but I worked my way up through Pilates routine until I felt confident to begin tackling intermediate workouts. I’m now almost a solid intermediate, and these segments are on the easy side for me.
Class: In each segment, the instructor is joined by two women, one of whom shows modifications.
Music: Typical upbeat instrumental Quick Fix music with a beat; it’s better than average fitness video stuff. Perhaps it’s not the most suitable music for a yoga video, but it works for this type of video.
Set: bright interior space, with windows, brick walls, metal door, and various other textures. Furniture is off in the corner, along with some brightly colored wall art of some sort.
Production: typical good quality picture and sound from the QF series, with helpful camera angles.
Equipment: mat (or equivalent). All participants in both workouts are barefoot.
Space Requirements: enough room to lie down with arms and legs extended and be able to sweep your arms and feet to each side.
DVD Notes: The main menu asks you to select the QuickFix Overview, Workouts 1-8, Customize Your Workout, Biographies, and Weblink. Each 10 minute segment is chaptered separately, with no chapters in between; the introductions (which are pretty helpful since both explain terminology, etc.) are chaptered separately. The neat thing about this DVD is the Customize Your Workout, or Workout Blender, feature, which allows you to select any three segments from either workout in any order you’d like.
Conclusion: I think this video is underrated. When I was picking Pilates back up after a year after my thorough Stott class, I didn’t need an instructional video; I needed something that would help me work up to all of those videos out there that assumed I had pre-existing abs strength and flexibility. This video really helped me work up to the beginner / intermediate crossover point, and I’m happy I found it because I might have become too discouraged with my seeming lack of progress to continue pursuing Pilates. Neither practice is the flashiest or most exciting, but they are nice little videos with some good options.
These two Quick Fix videos are definitely easier than either QF Power Yoga or Pilates Abs (which are distinct videos with different instructors) or 10 Minute Solution Yoga or Pilates.
Both instructors do a good job of instructing and cueing. Neither are particularly obnoxious.
Suzanne is more of a fitness instructor than a yogi, but most people who use this workout probably won’t mind that and may even appreciate it. She seems uncomfortable and mannered in front of the camera, perhaps reading off of cue cards. She has a pleasant personality and cues decently.
Tracy is also more of a fitness instructor than a Pilates master, but again that won’t bother most folksbecause Tracy’s pretty knowledgeable about Pilates. She’s more comfortable in front of the camera and upbeat in personality than Suzanne is and cues better, although she trips up a few cues.
March 6, 2006