Body Reform: Core Essentials

Karen Voight
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Total Body Workouts

I just got done doing Core Essentials and am writing this while it is fresh in my head. I did not expect this tape to be a heavy strength training tape and I wanted to try it because I like muscle conditioning workouts on the days when I don't go to the gym. I got exactly what I expected and liked it very much. It started out with a short warm-up followed by some standing leg exercises like one legged squats and an interesting lunge sequence that was different from the typical lunges you do with weights. Karen does not use weights during this leg section and she says that using your own body's weight with correct form is another way to get results. I do agree with this because I do not want to develop any size to my legs, instead I want them to be strong and firm with a lean look. (even at the gym I use very light weight and I only do this twice a week). I especially like the Leg and Buttocks section while lying on the floor. Karen teaches with precision and limited reps and she targets 360 degrees around the legs. Doing the exercises slow with the 3lb. weight balls really got me feel the exercise.

I think the abdominal section was different from any ab work I've done before. She makes a point of reminding you to keep your abs flat while you're working them. After just having a baby, this was just what I needed. I found it very effective for me to concentrate on pressing down on the towel that she recommends folding under your lower back. It is not the type of ab work that makes you work to failure but nothing in this tape is meant to be kick-ass. I found that it is gentle on the body with a "pilates feel" to it. The push up sequence is quite difficult for me but I think I can do it in time. I especially liked that it concentrates on the triceps.

I have some of Karen's other tapes that are more advanced and I think that she is offering a shorter intermediate workout here. I can always do her Energy Sprint if I want a tough cardio workout, but I actually see myself doing this workout more because it takes less time and focuses on the parts of my body that I like to workout at home. I am one of those who does not mind her no nonsense attitude because I never get tired of her tapes. Her cues are always helpful for getting correct form so I enjoy listening and watching her I exercise.