Video Fitness

Stott Pilates: Total Body Toning

Moira Stott

This DVD has two 20-minute Pilates-style toning routines, both of which incorporate a small weighted ball. It is available at the Stott Pilates website and also through Amazon.

Stott Pilates rates all of its workouts on a 1 (easiest) to 5 (hardest) scale. Total Body Toning is rated a 2.

For equipment you need one toning ball (Moira uses 2 lbs.). She notes that you can also substitute a light dumbbell, soft leg or hand weights, or a small plastic bottle filled with water or sand. Whatever you use, it needs to be small enough to grasp comfortably in one hand. You will also want carpeting or a mat for floor work. The participants are barefoot.

Workout One (which actually runs closer to 25 minutes) focuses on the arms, shoulders and upper body. I used to scoff at Pilates upper body weight work, but chronic elbow tendonitis now precludes traditional heavy lifting for me so I have been seeking out alternatives. When I recently did this workout I hadn’t done any upper body work for a while, and the next day I did feel the results throughout my upper body. Here there is bicep and triceps work using the ball, but where this workout really shines is the emphasis on shoulder stabilization. At my library job many of my co-workers have shoulder problems, so I know the stabilization work in this DVD is very valuable for me.

Workout Two works the total body. After a warm-up and a few upper body exercises, we move to the floor for core work, incorporating the ball by holding it in one hand or pressed between the knees. Although a few of the exercises were challenging, I would use Workout Two more for a recovery day or as a warm-up for another, more intense workout.

As always, Moira is meticulous with her instruction, paying a lot of attention to proper alignment. In her most recent videos Moira has been freely tweaking traditional Pilates exercises. I like this idea, as it keeps things fresh and, I think, more accessible. However, Pilates purists may be unhappy with this approach.

Total Body Toning is most appropriate for experienced beginner to intermediate exercisers. However, anyone with shoulder issues could benefit from Workout One of this DVD.

Both workouts are thoroughly chaptered. Extra features include sections on Getting Started and Workout Principles, along with clips of other Stott Pilates workouts. My DVD is in English and French. In “French mode” the graphics are in French and Moira’s instruction is dubbed.

Stott Pilates also has a couple of workouts which use two toning balls: Amazing Tone, and Toning Ball Workout (from her “Pro” series).

Instructor comments: I believe Moira Stott is the best video pilates instructor in the business. Although stiff and formal in her earliest videos, Moira is now much more relaxed and natural on camera, without sacrificing the quality of her instruction.


May 14, 2007

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