This is a 50-minute total body pilates workout which incorporates a resistance band.
A class of five does the workout on individual raised platforms, as Mari Winsor instructs. One exerciser modifies the moves.
The DVD offers a choice of music: "auto-play," soft rock, or jazz. You can also choose just Mari's instruction, and play your own music. Ah, if only more (a lot more) DVDs offered this option! There are no blasts or bonus workouts. The workout is not chaptered, but it appears well segmented so that you can skip a particular exercise if you want.
The only equipment required is a 6-foot band. If you don't have Mari's band (with its Winsor logo), be sure your band is marked so you can easily find the middle (I just drew a midpoint line on mine with a Sharpie). You might get by with a 5-foot band, but on a couple of the exercises the extra foot will make a difference. All exercises are done sitting, lying or kneeling on the floor.
No one should be put off by the words "power" or "advanced" in the title. This is actually a pleasant "light day" workout incorporating some core work, light toning and some nice stretches. I am strictly intermediate and I had no problems doing the entire routine (well, except for the rollover!). Mari also has a modifier, and she is really featured instead of just a seldom-seen afterthought. Often Mari will have the whole class start with the modified version of a particular exercise, then the rest of the class moves on to the regular version. I think even someone with minimal pilates experience could enjoy this workout.
It is interesting how using the band affected the various pilates exercises. For the rowing series working the arms and shoulders, I found the band to have about the same intensity as light weights, but still different. The band definitely adds intensity to the lower body exercises. However, this DVD can't replace the workout offered in Mari's Power Sculpt Buns & Thighs, which has several more lower body exercises.
I think the best use of the band is for the core work, where it really helps to stabilize the body. For example, with the band you can move into a Teaser by holding the band around your feet, lifting the legs, and then "walking" up the band to the full Teaser position. Using the band this way made me think of The Firm dowel, which allows me to move deeper into dips and lunges than I could comfortably or safely do otherwise. Using the band for exercises such as the Teaser and the Corkscrew provided a similar benefit due to the extra stabilization.
I personally would not solely rely on this or any other pilates routine for developing strength, but it makes a pleasant change from traditional weight work while working the muscles in a different way.
I find Mari Winsor an excellent instructor. She gives good instruction without being overwhelming. I also appreciate how she pays a lot of attention to the modifier in this workout.
July 24, 2005
I like the buns/thighs and abs workouts with the bands, but I really dislike this
one. I've had private pilates instruction and find other band dvds more similiar
to the reformer like the Stott tapes. This one is awkward and tough on shoulders.
if you have any problems with shoulders i would avoid this one. It seems like you
do the same move over and over again and it's not very pilates like. I'd get the
abs and buns/thigs instead OR the stott pilates band workout which is much better
and more like a regular pilates workout.
a little too bootcamp instructor for me. she also makes these annoying comments
like, "off to the other side we want to be balanced don't we??"