Body Reform: Core EssentialsKaren Voight
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Total Body Workouts
First of all, I want to note that this video was originally marketed without "Pilates" in the title; my cover simply says "Core Essentials." I'm not sure why Pilates was added in--as others have said, this is definitely not a Pilates workout. Rather, it is a full-body toning workout similar to the first half of one of Karen's early videos, Streamline Fitness.
The workout begins with a simple, 4 minute warm-up to get your body moving; this is followed by 8 minutes of standing strength moves. The exercises consist of traditional squats and crunches, but Karen makes them unique by adding more movement. Although her cuing is excellent, the variety of the moves is a little hard to follow upon first viewing of the tape, but you do get the hang of it. One problem I had with this section is regarding how Karen uses the arms: the arm movements often seem unnecessary and mismatched to the leg work.
The main body of this workout occurs on the floor. Karen continues the legwork with extensions done both on all fours and on the side; she sometimes uses her weighted "genie balls," but the moves are challenging enough without the added weight! She also targets the arms with a tough push-ups sequence as well as several exercises with dumbbells. Karen ends the workout with abs and back exercises followed by a 6 minute cool down.
Overall, this was an average-to-good workout, but I preferred Karen's Streamline Fitness, which offers additional arm work, a tougher abs section, and relaxing yoga moves as well.
Karen is an excellent instructor; as always, she offers meticulous tips on form throughout.