21st Century Pilates

Laura Peralta
Year Released: 2007

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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This series has 3 different workout dvds: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. Laura suggests beginners to pilates do the Basic workout twice weekly for 3-4 weeks and then go to 3 times weekly for another 3-4 weeks. Then you'd move on to the Intermediate workout, adding that in 1 day per week in place of one of the basic workouts. Then you'd move to the Advanced tape. She suggests doing the Intermediate twice, the Basic once and adding Advanced 1 day during that week. (for a total of 4 days per week) You'd keep progressing until you can maintain a 5 to 6 day workout rotation, never doing the same DVD twice in a row. (wanted to thank Laura for allowing me to review these and all the workout suggestions)

The music was composed specifically for the workouts. It is instrumental and upbeat. (nothing new age or slow)

Very pretty set with flowing curtains (each dvd uses various colors to make it a little different), hardwood flooring and floating balls. The production quality is good, no funny camera angles or off the set shots.

This is an easy routine that anyone can follow. You'll learn the precise way to perform each movement. (assuring safety and increasing effectiveness) Laura does the basic routine with 2 students (Carrie & Tammy) participating with her. A gentle floor warmup prepares the body for whats to come. Carrie shows very beginner modifications. Lots of form pointers and encouragement. In the basic workout, Laura may begin with hardest part of the move (in criss cross she begins with hands behind the head and performs the movement without adding the legs) so true beginners can master form and help them succeed in the practice. Laura also suggests using this practice when you are recovering from injuries or low on energy. (even int/advanced students will get a good workout from this session) Lots of variety: from kneeling rear leg kicks to pushups to the side lying leg series, you'll work your entire body. Laura ends the 37 minute basic session with gentle stretches.

Laura takes it up a notch in this 39 minute intermediate session. Working alone, she'll show 3 levels of difficulty during the workout (you choose how hard or easy you need for that particular workout session). Unique exercises include isometric knee squeezes with glutes raised, breast strokes and standing calf work. The variety of exercises (Laura even includes some balance work) will keep you from getting bored.

Designed for those who have mastered the intermediate program or those looking for a challenge, in about 32 minutes you'll have stretched and strengthened your entire body. Laura again begins with small gentle movements to warm up the body (from ankles/calves to hips/low back). Challenging core work (boat pose into criss cross maintaining the same position-TOUGH) will shape and define your abs. This practice goes quicker (the steady pace will ensure a higher calorie burn). Laura also demonstrates deep stretches between sets. Lots of control and precision (Laura always demonstrates correct form), you'll develop your balance and enhance your athletic ability. (Laura recommends this practice for sports conditioning benefits) Tough sequences and exercises will challenge even the advanced participant. (she'll demonstrate a tough move and then show you how to take it even farther) Great stretches complete the practice. Highly recommend this one for advanced students!

Instructor Comments:

Laura provides verbal cues throughout and her form is precise. She is also very encouraging. The dvd's are done in both English and Spanish. (you choose which version you need)