10 Minute Solution: Pilates

Lara Hudson
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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This workout has already been very thoroughly broken down, so I am just going to add my opinions on the workout.

This is an all pilates workout from the 10 Minute Solution series. Since this DVD they have come out with several pilates workouts, including many with Lara herself as the instructor. All of the videos are wonderful, but this video has a permanent place in my collection for the ab section alone. The later videos (Rapid Results, Pilates on the Ball) were more advanced and they are all very enjoyable. This was my very first exercise video (now I own and use over 100!) and I am infinitely glad I picked this one up.

The short 10 minute segments benefit me because I primarily use the workout as an add-on workout (primarily add on abs workout) after strength or cardio workouts, however I have done the video in entirety several times. Since the workouts are broken up into short segments which can be done individually or strung together, the time goes by really fast.
Like all 10MS videos, there are five 10 minute workouts, which can be played alone, in sequence, or in any combination, and each section focuses on a specific goal. In this video, the five selections are:

(1) Abs, to me the most advanced workout on the whole video. This is an incredible ab segment – especially for the lower abs which are often neglected with other ab workouts. She moves quickly which makes the time fly by, and gives excellent form pointers.

(2) Buns and thighs, with a 5 minute side series of leg lifts and leg circles, then a long bridge set. This is your standard pilates fare and is nicely done in this workout.

(3) Arms, consisting of standing arm work with very small dumbbells. This is nicely done, but in comparison to 10MS later offers (i.e., Rapid Results and Pilates on the Ball) which were very dynamic and creative, this section is not as satisfactory.

(4) Burn, a total body sequence meant to burn calories. This is an extremely fun segment and has a little of everything, and another excellent add-on.

(5) Flexibility / stretch, a series of floor stretches. I really like this particular stretch segment even over the other 10MS pilates DVDs. It is very thorough and relaxing and leaves me feeling revitalized. Another excellent add on stretch segment.

Like all 10MS videos, Lara instructs by herself in a spacious uncluttered room, the production quality is excellent, and the music is average but not bland. I really enjoy the video and the instruction by Lara. I especially like Abs, Burn, and Flexibility for add-ons, and use these as on a very regular basis. Grade A.

Instructor Comments:
I really enjoy Lara and have all of her 10MS videos. She is down to business but friendly, gives moderate cuing and modifications throughout, and always has good form. If you liked her presence from her other videos (10MS Yoga, Rapid Results Pilates, Pilates on the Ball) you will enjoy her here too. This was her first video but I think she did a great job throughout (no nervousness, bad cuing, etc.)

Emily B.


This DVD is part of my rotation and I do try to do all five sections once a week.

Abs: Basic Pilates abwork (double leg stretch, scissors, etc.) Gets the job done. There are a series of rollovers where you roll back into almost a yoga plow position and roll down. I've yet to do these without having to physically push my butt up higher with my hands. My abs just aren't that strong yet.

Legs: A very good section. Leg circles, rond de jambes, bridges, grasshopper -- all of these exercises really work the legs for me and stretch them at teh same time.

Arms: A series of arm exercises using 2 to 3 pound weights. The reps are fast and light intensity, so light weights do the job just fine. As Lara points out, the object is to tone the arms, not to create muscle.

Pilates Burn: This one always makes me sweat. A series of flowing moves involving planks, push-ups, leg lifts and circles, etc. Very effective.

Stretch: My favorite section of all. This is one of the best 10 minute stretch series that I've done. It thoroughly works all of the kinks out, particularly in the back, legs and side waist.

I highly recommend this DVD. I only do it once a week because I am more focused on cardio and circuit training, but I like to do this one, even if I'm in the mood for something more that day. It gives my body a chance to relax from intense cardio and weights but I'm still doing some challenging stuff at the same time. Also, after all the stretching, I'm usually all refreshed and ready to go the next day for a fresh new week of exercise torture!

Instructor Comments:
Lara is very calm, precise and no nonsense with her instructions. Not overly chatty, pleasant.

Lady D


Workout time: Five 10 minute sections

Set: Workout studio, pretty basic, Lara alone

*I think I might have reviewed this before, but I can't find it, so here goes.

There isn't time for tons of form pointers, so it is probably better if you have some background in pilates.

There are 5 sections:

Pilates for Abs-Most of the tradition pilates ab stuff-hundred, criss-cross, straight leg stretch, even a teaser try at the end. A great workout if you are not a huge fan of pilates or if you want some quick ab work.

Pilates for Buns and Thighs-Includes traditional pilates leg work as well as bridge work. This is one of the sections I use the most.

Sculpting Pilates-Includes shave the head, circles, bicep curls up high (which is harder for some reason), and the superman lunge. I use this segment a lot as an add-on. I only use 3 lb weights, but something about the moves makes it hard still.

Pilates Burn-I have only done this one once. It is a flowing style section.

Pilates for Flexibility-I haven't done this one as the dvd I bought from the Swap had a glich and that section won't play. I'd really like to try it. From looking at Collage, it has some yoga stretches and looks nice.

I really like this dvd. I find myself using it often. There is no dread factor when it is only 10 minutes. It is easy to pop it in and squeeze in another 10 minutes here and there. Great if you are not a huge pilats fan, but still want the benefits of it.

Instructor Comments:
Straighforward, to the point, but friendly. Doesn't make a ton of appearance comments, which is nice. Encouraging, without being annoying.

Krista (benemma)


I'm reviewing this workout after doing it a number of times since getting it just about when it first came out. I've probably only done it the whole way through once, maybe twice. But I have used the Sculpting segment at least a dozen times, maybe more, and the Abs segment almost as many times.

General workout breakdown: This Pilates workout, with some yoga elements thrown in, consists of 5 10 minute segments, each featuring the following moves:

*Pilates for Abs: Begin on floor with short boat pose, hundred, roll up, double leg stretch, stretch, double straight leg stretch, knee drops, criss cross, single straight leg stretch (i.e. scissors), corkscrew, rollover, teaser, and forward bend.
*Pilates for Buns & Thighs: Begin on floor with side leg series (up & down, circles, ronde du jambe) followed by inner thigh lift and hip stretch, grasshopper (i.e. heel beats), bridge (without and then with leg extended, staying in bridge position while raising and lowering leg, then pulsing with foot across other leg), open angle stretch, and butterfly.
*Sculpting Pilates (i.e. arms & shoulders): Begin standing with zip up, biceps curl (to front and side), arm circles (to front and side), shave the head, triceps "press back" (i.e. kick back), triceps and shoulder stretches, boxing (up & down and front & back), hug (while standing and then while bending from hips), rear delt pulse, superman lunge, chest stretch, and forward fold with arm circles (without weights).
*Pilates Burn: Begin standing with series where you curl down, leading up to walking out into plank and then doing heel press and push ups; series on hands and knees while you extend opposite arm and leg, then tuck both in, moving into a pulsing lunge, then pulsing with straight leg extended and finally push ups; shell stretch / child's pose; swimming, side plank with one knee down (lifting up and then "under the bridge"), kneeling side kicks (front & back, circles) ending with hip stretch, and child's pose with arms extended.
*Pilates for Flexibility: Begin on floor with cat stretch, thread the needle (?-it's the twist while still on all fours), downward facing dog (with one legged calf stretch) leading to lunge (with knee down), child's pose with arms extended, mermaid-type side stretch, saw-type forward bend / twist, around the world, and breathing while standing. Lara includes a good number of repetitions for each exercise. There is often a short pause between exercises, but it's never very long. At the same time, the exercises never feel too fast or too slow.

Level: I'd recommend this to an experienced beginner (with existing knowledge of Pilates and some strength & flexibility) to intermediate Pilates exercisers. This is not an ideal tape for beginners, as Lara doesn't include a lot of form instruction, even if there is some, and there are several solidly intermediate exercises (e.g. rollover and kneeling side kicks). Few modifications are shown or suggested. I first got this when I had just about finished my transition from beginner to intermediate, and it was fairly tough. Now that I consider myself low intermediate (about 2 years of experience but still limited strength & flexibility), I find this to be a more appropriate challenge.

Class: Lara alone.

Music / Set / Other Production Notes: The music is nice but nothing spectacular. It's instrumental, with a bit of a beat. (Actually, the Buns & Thighs segment music sounds like something from the Liz Gillies Progressive Pilates series.) The workout takes place in a bright indoor studio with hardwood floors, light walls, and potted plants on the back "stairs." The sound and picture quality are very good.

Equipment: mat (or equivalent). A pair of light dumbbells (1-3 lb. each) is needed for the arms segment. Lara performs all segments barefoot.

Comments: You don't need much space for this workout. You should be able to lie down with your arms and legs extended and have a little room around your mat.

DVD Notes: The DVD allows you to play all, select just one workout, or program any of the segments in any combination that you like. There's an introduction, but you can hit skip.

Conclusion: I've raved about this workout, and yet when I did it again lately it didn't live up to my high notions. That said, it's still good. It's great to have the option to do just one 10 minute segment. I like Lara as an instructor, and the series is well done. So I'll keep this, mainly because I love the upper body segment, preferring it to the one on Liz Gillies' Progressive Pilates 4 10 Minute Target Tone Workout. It's more compact with more traditional Pilates than the upper body segment from Jennifer Kries' Pilates Method: Precision Pilates. For what it's worth, I do get a little sweaty during the "burn" segment, but the only burn that happens for me is a nice buzz in my abs the next day, rather than fat melting off. And I'm not sure you'd gain a lot of flexibility from using just this segment, but it does make a nice addition if you're adding this on to another workout. (In other words, it's a great way to end a session.)

I would rank the Pilates workouts with 10 minute segments from easiest to hardest as follows: Quick Fix Pilates (found on the Quick Fix Total Mix Pilates & Yoga DVD), Progressive Pilates 4 10 Minute Target Tone Workout, 10 Minute Solution Pilates, and Quick Fix Pilates Abs. In other words, if you don't have much Pilates experience, I'd recommend starting with the first Quick Fix, then working up to this one.

Instructor Comments:
Lara cues well but doesn't focus a lot on instruction or form and even less on breath. She is young but seems relatively at ease in front of the camera, despite a tendency to repeat some phrases a lot ("Nice," "Very nice," etc., and she loves the idea of "yawning"). I like the way she comes across: relatively low key yet still with enthusiasm. There are a few mentions of appearance / suggestions that you'll see almost instant results, but these are more in the scripted intros / conclusions and don't appear in the workouts themselves. Lara's form is very good. She is very flexible, but somehow I didn't feel intimidated by it-more like inspired.



I have never done a review before without doing the tape first but this tape I will never do. I flipped out when I saw what it was like. This video is very cheaply produced and it looks like someone is in the back of the room of an aerobics class with his video camera on a tripod taping while the class goes on. The instructor that is teaching is in front and the rest of the class is behind them but they are all in front of a mirror so it looks like you are in the classroom along with them. Seems like every other person messes up while learning the steps and the whole thing is totally confusing, I have never had to learn step like this before. The camera shots are going in all different directions and I don't see how anyone could learn the steps. The workout is taught by about 9 different instructors each teaching for about 15 mintues but since there are so many different combinations, nobody seems to know what they are doing. Sorry this is such a negative review but this is one workout that I will never even give a chance, way too awkward for me. Too many confused people not knowing what they are doing just doesn't interest me.

Instructor Comments:
There are so many instructors that you can't pick just one to comment on.

With strength work, I am an intermediate exerciser, who doesn’t really want to move up to advanced work. Most of the time, I do traditional strength work with weights. However, I have enjoyed branching out into Pilates and workouts on the ball as well. I have been looking for a Pilates workout with short segments that I could use as “sparks” or “add ons”. I think I have found it in this DVD.

This workout includes five sections: Pilates for Abs, Pilates for Buns & Thighs, Sculpting Pilates, Pilates Burn, and Pilates for Flexibility. Each section is ten minutes and she packs a lot into each ten-minute segment. I found some of the sections hard, especially the one for buns and thighs. The DVD allows you to choose a number of segments, repeating a segment if you wish, in any order you like.

This is NOT a beginner’s workout where she teaches you how to do the moves. However, she does give descriptions I haven’t heard before and that clarified some of the moves for me. Some of the sections were not pure Pilates, but veered into Pilates-like moves. However, many of the moves were standard Pilates moves.

She is straight forward and descriptive.

Laura S.