Video Fitness

New York Style Pilates - Level 1

Jonathan Urla

Jonathan Urla provides extensive explanation of the moves in this 45-minute workout. He works out with Brooke Davila and Jess Hartman (who shows some modifications). Unfortunately, although the explanations are good, they also end up being the weakness of this workout.

Urla takes you through a number of standard Pilates matwork exercises (the Hundred, Roll-Ups, Single-Leg Circles, Rolling Like a Ball, Single and Double Leg Stretches, modified Criss-Cross, Spine Stretch, Saw, Swan Prep, Single Leg Kicks, a side kick series, the Seal, and a standing arms series). These are preceded by a slow (seated and lying) warm-up, and between many of the exercises are other isolations and some stretches.

Because the instruction is so comprehensive, the workout lacks flow. Urla is constantly pausing the workout, saying something like “I just want to show you something first.” This is fine when previewing and when learning the moves, but once familiar with them, there ends up being a lot of waiting around. The other consequence of this is that because all of the instruction is given while doing something to one side, the other side is performed more quickly and smoothly (this is most evident during the side kicks series). Although the reps are equal on both sides, the difference in pace makes the workout feel a bit lopsided.

I would only recommend this DVD to someone who knows nothing about Pilates. Others would outgrow this one much too fast (or find that they’re already too advanced for this). There are chapters that allow you to skip the warm-up, but they don’t skip the bulky instruction. In short, I think this DVD works well as an instructional but not as a workout.

Instructor comments: Jonathan Urla is knowledgeable and provides extensive form pointers. He also performs the moves very well. I do not, however, care for the way he basically stops the workout to explain a move and give form pointers in this workout.



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