Body Reform: Core Essentials

Karen Voight
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Total Body Workouts

First of all, when I got it, it was actually "Ease into Fitness", one of the three new KV videos, once I popped it into the VCR (Collage sent me my corrected copy). This just proves my theory: this entire series (Ease, YogaScupt, and CE) was rushed just to put out into the market at this time of year. There were no intro ads for her other videos and this seemed to be a cheaper video production than her past videos. The music doesn't seem to correspond to the movements a lot of the time (but I did like it).

Onto the workout... I skipped the 4-min warmup since I had just done my cardio workout, but it did look interesting. The next 6 min is standing leg work. It was interesting- very choreographed with squats and a lunge-pivot- turn thing, but NO weights at all and not very effective, IMHO- and it hurt my knees since I workout on carpeting. The rest of the workout is floorwork, which I normally love.

The next 10 minutes are lying legs/buttocks- this is my favorite part, as it was similar to GWW and the Method's 'side series' but done with no weights (it didn't bother my knees at all). The next 5 minutes is arms/back/torso. She had an interesting push-up sequence (but I'm not a push-up fan), then doing chest flies and a tricep french press combo. This was not nearly enough for me, and no bicep work at all. I would've preferred that the previous segment (lying legs/buttocks) was longer and this section omitted. The last 10 minutes are abs, this section was ok. It was very slow and controlled movements.

The ab work was more traditional than YogaSculpt, but more Pilates style than GWW--similar to Keli Roberts' Abs and More. Then it ends with a five minute stretch. What bothered me the most is the very end where she says "hugs your knees in...and we're done for today" blah, what a way to end a workout. She does state in the very beginning: "this is not to replace your workout with heavier weights. It's designed to develop strong, lean muscles and healthy joint mobility" well, it was far too easy for me. But, kudos to Karen for stating this!

The only section I really, truly enjoyed was the 10 min of floorwork for legs/butt, but that's only because I'm a floorwork fanatic- I felt it really targeted my outer thighs and butt. I'm a bit disappointed, but I will give it a few more tries. It's definitely NOT a total body workout, just like YogaSculpt isn't. I do like the total length of these two videos: 40-ish minutes is great for a light weight day. And I love the music on both CE and YS.

Instructor Comments:
As usual, KV uses perfect form and has great pointers. I just wish that more planning had gone into this (ie- the music stopping/starting) series. It really seemed like KV wanted to get these tapes out in time for the Christmas rush and New Year's resolutions. I'd love to see a truly advanced YS and CE, as I think these are really intermediate, no matter what Collage says.