Video Fitness

Brand New Butt and Pilates

Janis Saffell

This review only covers the Pilates section of the DVD, which is all I've done so far :-) I am relatively new to Pilates, and don't generally like tapes that use a band, but I really enjoyed this workout. It is all done on the floor (she does first the left side, then the right). The focus is mostly on the legs, but I would say your core is definitely worked as well, and just a bit of arm work is there, too. I felt like a weakling some of the time, trying to hold the band in the positions that Janis does (and with such grace and ease, too!). I am used to Cathe strength tapes, and feel relatively strong, but there were times during this workout that my arms just weren't going to do what Janis was doing. Not complex moves or anything, really just holding the band down to the floor in various ways while your legs pull against it...
There is quite a variety of moves in this workout, and they flow really well together. You lay on your side, on your back and in a plank or one-knne-down position, all the while working one or both legs with the band. Beginner modifications are shown using no band. I am feeling it especially in my hamstrings today, and I felt it as I was doing the workout, too. There were a few points that I really felt a lot of strain in my neck--probably bad form on my part, straining to see the screen, and lack of core strength. That was the only negative I felt about this workout, and hopefully it will go away as I get stonger with these moves.

I truly enjoyed this workout, and plan to do it often.

Instructor comments: Janis is thorough with her form pointers, smooth with transitions, friendly, calm and motivating in the Pilates section of this DVD.

Wendy Chapin

10-5-3

I am unexpectedly impressed with this video. For some reason, I thought it would be on the fluffy side, but it turned out to really kick my butt.

The standing section consists of weights and a dynaband. The pilates section is almost all dynaband. I have the tape, not the DVD, so can't comment on the step portion.

It really works and tones the body in different ways than just straight weight work. I think this will be a new element in my rotation.

Instructor comments: Very good in this video. Cues well, pleasant and graceful.

Lady D

6/21/06

NOTE: This DVD (Brand New Butt Plus Sculpt) is apparently a re-release of footage from Janis's Brand New Butt Plus Pilates video; it contains the Warm-Up, Sculpting, and Cool-Down segments only (no Pilates or step aerobics as on the original).

This is a mainly lower body-focused sculpting workout that uses dumbbells and a Dynaband, and it clocks in just over a half hour. The 5-minute warm-up is fairly traditional with side taps, hamstring curls, arm reaches, etc., and it concludes with lower body stretches.

The 19.5 minute sculpting section begins with an unweighted plie series. Some of these moves were reminiscent of ballet, where you stand on one leg and lift one toe up, but Janis also includes plie squats and throws in some plyos as well. The next series uses dumbbells to incorporate some upper body work: there is a lunge front with a front raise, a knee lift with a bicep curl, and a front kick with a side raise.

Continuing to work both the upper and the lower body, Janis uses both the band and the weights at the same time for squats with overhead press and side leg extensions. The final series begins with an upper body combination only (a row/flye on one side, a row/triceps kickback on the other), then adds a back kick with balance and a back leg raise. Finally, Janis finishes off each leg with lunge front-side-back series.

Janis incorporates the band into the lengthy (just under 7 minutes) cool-down as well, using it mainly to stretch the hips and hamstrings in a lying position. The cool-down also includes several Pilates moves, such as the teaser and the mermaid (in fact, it's a little odd because Janis keeps talking about the Pilates workout you just completed--which of course isn't included on this version of the DVD).

Overall, I liked this DVD. It didn't give me a killer lower body workout, but it would be a nice alternative on a shorter/lighter day; I could also see using it as an add-on to a full-body strength workout to get some extra leg work in. This workout would be most likely to appeal to those who prefer to work their lower body use either no or light weights only.

Instructor comments: I like Janis; I find her to be warm and friendly, very real, and encouraging without being overly chatty. She has impeccable form and gives great mirror cueing. She works out here with three background exercisers in the same studio that was used for her Hardcore Kickbox Circuit DVD; I believe that much of the music was recycled from that video as well.

Beth C (aka toaster)

July 16, 2008



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