Iíve dabbled in Pilates for about 8 years. Most of the Pilates workouts that I do would probably rank intermediate to advanced compared to other Pilates DVDs currently available. I like Mari Winsor and I have most of her older workouts.
Comments on everything but the workout:
Mari instructs while three women perform the exercises. One of them shows modifications. They work on raised platforms as in her other videos. The indoor set is done in neutral colors except for the large window in the back, which is lit with blue light to make it look like itís a sunny day outside. The music is instrumental and pleasant. The resistance band that came with my DVD had light resistance but wasnít flimsy.
The DVD has five sections: warm-up, cool-down, and three workouts: upper body, lower body, and abs. From the DVD menu you can choose ďplay allĒ or select one workout. The warm-up and cool-down will also be included. The DVD is chaptered so that you can skip sections of the main workout or skip the warm-up if you select a single workout.
Warm-up (6 min) and cool-down (4.5 min)
The warm-up has joint mobility exercises to prepare you for working with the band. The cool-down has some simple stretches, twists, and rolling like a ball.
Upper body workout (14 minutes)
This is mostly a selection of exercises from Winsorís Advanced Power Sculpting workout, but the pace is slower. There are rowing exercises, back extensions, arm work done in a kneeling position, and the mermaid. I used the appropriate resistance for me and I got a decent Pilates-style upper body workout.
Lower body workout (13 minutes)
This was my favorite section! Itís like an express version of Winsorís Power Sculpting Buns and Thighs. There are side series exercises, some ďfetal thighĒ exercises, and bridges. This section moves along more quickly than the others because you donít have to reposition the resistance band that often. For extra challenge, I took up more slack in the band and placed that hand on my hip instead of on the mat. Mari miscounts once (a few extra leg circles on one side) but itís noticeable and easy to fix because she tells you how many reps to do before you start.
Abs workout (10.5 minutes)
I liked the first half of the Pilates for Pink Abs section, which has the hundred, footwork, and single leg circles. Footwork and single leg circles with the band are easier on the abs but the legs have to work harder. I was hoping that the series of five would come next to really target the abs, even if the band would just be coming along for the ride. There was no series of five. Instead, the rest of the exercises chosen, such as the rollup and the teaser, were done in a modified form and/or were much easier to do with the band than without. Overall, this section was not challenging enough for me. I like Winsorís Power Sculpting Abs (which also uses the band) much better.
Iím keeping this DVD for the upper and lower body sections. Sometimes I like to add extra upper and lower body work to my Pilates mat workouts or lower body floor work to whatever else Iím doing. The abs section was not challenging enough for me but I have plenty of short, abs-intensive Pilates workouts that I can use instead.
I like Mari, and even her easier workouts seem to do something for me. In her older videos she sometimes goes into Pilates drill sergeant mode, which I find amusing rather than annoying. In this video, she is still Mari but has a gentler demeanor.
Colleen (VF username: Colleen)
8 January 2009