This is a nice little 20 minute/plus Pilates workout utilizing the Pilates Magic Circle. I rate it as suitable for beginners; modification is provided. I’m intermediate and find it enjoyable for a quick Pilates session, especially early morning or post workout. A lot gets done, with low reps. Beginners will feel new muscles I’m sure, and even though it’s a breeze for this intermediate, the workout leaves me feeling aligned and refreshed.
The infomercial DVD contains the 20 Minute, the Winsor Fat Burning Workout and a bonus 10 minute standing circle workout. The circle that came with mine is nothing exciting - it has adequate padding but low resistance.
The breakdown, from recent memory, is as follows:
* 100 with feet on floor, knees bent, circle squeezed between thighs – “squeeze the juice out of it!”
* Modified rollup – seated with spine in C-curve, circle squeezed between thighs of bent legs, leaning back and rolling forward over knees. 3X with hands on thighs and 3X with arms outstretched. Maintaining seated position, the spine is straightened slightly and the arms are raised upright while squeezing the circle – surprisingly challenging to the core.
* Single leg stretch with arms up straight, circle squeezed in hands; into double leg stretch, circle in hands; into scissors while squeezing circle.
* Criss Cross is performed with knees bent, feet flat on floor, circle squeezed in hands while using it as a guide to draw the upper body upward alternatively toward each knee, then a second set with leg movement brought into the sequence.
* Corkscrew with circle between ankles, 2X each direction (a definite helper for beginners).
* Spine stretch forward while pressing circle into floor, then spine twist.
* Memory getting foggy but there is a bit of gluteal work while in a cat stretch/kneeling position, circle on the mat and squeezed between the elbows – knee pulses in toward nose then leg out behind with flexed foot leg lifts. (Feels more aligning than strengthening.)
* Saw is performed 2X to each side, squeezing the circle in hands and aiming past alternating ankles.
* Brief side kick series in which the top arm is stretched toward the TV, pressing circle into the floor for stability (it makes you focus on the core, not just the leg motions). Leg forward and back, leg kicks up and small circles 8X each way.
* Sit cross legged for 40 Hugs, elbows out, pumping the circle in front of chest. (I honestly don’t think Lisa Rinna got the ripped arms in the infomercial from this, but it feels good especially if you pay attention to lengthening the spine upward.)
* Finish off with bridging, pulsing circle between thighs.
I personally love incorporating the circle into my Pilates sessions. It brings greater depth to muscle involvement, provides resistance and acts as a visual/mental guide. This video is a good introduction to the many uses for this simple apparatus, the origin of which may have been a barrel hoop!
Mari is calm and cues well in this video. She looks elegant in her ankle length, low cut unitard and updo. Mari does not annoyingly reference “wonderful Winsor logo” as was done in the Power Sculpt resistance band series - there are a few enthusiastic plugs for the device but most references are instructional.
October 27, 2006