Crunch Super SlimDown: Pilates Yoga Blend

Ellen Barrett
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Yoga

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This is a decent fusion workout that leans more on the yoga side and has elements of pilates. I agree with the other reviews of this workout in regard to its intensity and level of skill needed. For me the intensity was just enough to feel challenged but not overwhelmed.

One thing i noticed about this workout is that you can use segments of it as add-ons to other workouts and you won't need to worry about needing a warm-up or cool down. The last segment designated as a "cool down" is a nice conclusion to the workout where Ellen is seated on the floor, using deep breaths with flowing arm movements.

There was a time when this workout was out of print, and then it was re-released as a set with other Crunch workouts.

If you're accustomed to Ellen's Studio Series and acquired this workout out of curiosity, it's less flowing than that series, and most of the poses and moves are static in the standing position or seated on the floor.

Chapter breakdowns:
1. Start Program / Main Titles 0 - 1:20
2. Standing Yoga 1: 1:20-7:42 = 6:22
3. Standing Yoga 2: 7:42-13:36 = 5:54
4. All Fours Matwork 1: 13:36-19:42 = 6:06
5. All Fours Matwork 2: 19:42-25:47 = 6:05
6. Side Lying Matwork: 25:47-33:32 = 7:45
7. Abs Matwork: 33:32-38:43 = 5:11
a. Cool Down: 38:43-40:32 =1:49
8. End Credits:40:32-42:03 = 1:31

total without end credits: 40:32

Marni Green is the modifier and Cat Chiarelli is one of the cast members.

Instructor Comments:
Ellen is her usual encouraging self in this workout. I tend to enjoy all of her workouts, including this one.



Crunch Super Slim Down, Pilates Yoga Blend with Ellen Barrett 2004

The set for this workout is a same as Ellen’s other Crunch workouts only the bongo player is gone and the camera work is better. The music is well done and not overpowering. This is primarily a toning workout but it moves quickly enough to generate some heat. The workout is done barefoot and uses only body weight, no equipment is necessary.

The breakdown consists of several sequences lasting approximately six minutes each. The warm up is six minutes at the end of which Ellen introduces Maureen who demonstrates modifications for each sequence for the remainder of the workout.

The first sequence is standing yoga with triangle, side bend, lunge, and warrior put into a flow and done four reps on each side.

The second sequence begins the floor work and consists of what Ellen calls Willow, a flowing sequence of forward and backward bends and dolphin.

Third sequence is more floor work with Little Piece of Heaven which incorporates child's pose to a push up.

Next is leg work with leg beats and side passé.

The fifth sequence is the abs section with teaser, single leg stretch, and ballerina crisscross.

From the abs section Ellen moves into a gentle cool down which lasts about two minutes.

The entire workout is about 40 minutes.

Instructor Comments:
Ellen, as usual, is pleasant and her cueing is excellent. This is one of my favorite workouts. I bought it in 2004 and I’m still using it. Super Slimdown is a difficult workout to classify as beginner or intermediate. The workout has stood the test of time for me because it has not become too easy with repetition. On the contrary, I concentrate on form and the workout remains challenging and rewarding. I give this one an “A”.



This was the final (of several) pilates fusion Crunch workouts put out by Ellen Barrett, before she started her own Studio series. The workout is about 15 minutes of standing yoga fusion flow followed by about 30 minutes of a pilates fusion mat series. Out of all of Ellen’s Crunch workouts, I think this one is the most like her Studio workouts. Having not tried Fusion Flow (which I understand is easier), this is like a Studio Lite workout. The yoga series is very much like Yogini, but less strenuous, and the floor work is great for strengthening and elongating the entire core. No equipment is needed except a mat, and everyone works out barefoot.

I use the yoga portion *frequently* as my go-to relaxation workout, or when I’m really short on time in the morning and want something to quickly energize me that I don’t need to prep for (shoes, equipment, etc.). While I don’t usually make time for the floor work, I always find it both refreshing and relaxing when I do. When I haven’t done a pilates workout in a long time, I tend to awaken muscles in my torso that don’t usually get worked (and have light DOMS the next day).

I wanted to agree with the other reviews, this is more of a beginner-light intermediate workout but you really get out what you put in: you can make an exercise more challenging by focusing on your form and making your body work together as seamlessly as possible. I also feel very elegant when I do this workout (as with many Ellen workouts).

As a whole workout (when done in entirety), I tend to prefer her Studio workouts better, with my personal favorites being Fat Burning Fusion and Slim Sculpt. However, I tend to pull this one out the most frequently for a quickie pick me up with the yoga portion.

This workout has the usual Crunch set and backgrounders (20-something, overly cheerful girls) and I really like the music on this one – it is on par with some of Ellen’s Studio workouts. I can work up a gentle sweat, and wake up my body without feeling at all taxed or overexerted. Absolutely zero dread factor and the fun factor is high! The DVD is chaptered (and you can choose a specific chapter if you’d like). This isn’t an absolute “must have” especially if you enjoy the intensity of Yogini, but I’d say this is a great addition to any Ellen fan’s collection (and you can pick it up pretty cheap nowadays). Grade A!

Instructor Comments:
Ellen is classic Ellen in this one – enthusiastic and smiley and emphasizes the mind-body connection so there is a little bit of “woo woo”. With this particular workout (due to the gentleness of the practice), I didn’t note any “wooing” from the backgrounders like is common in other Crunch workouts. Most people seem to take well to Ellen and I’m not surprised (I love her too!) but for those who haven’t liked Ellen’s other workouts, they won’t like this either.

Emily B.


This workout is a fusion of yoga and pilates. All the moves flow from one to another. So it is a non stop of fluid graceful moves. You will feel your muscles warming and stretching with every move.

Ellen targets the entire body using your own body weight. You will also feel very graceful while performing the moves. Your core will also feel these movements. In this workout Ellen starts with standing poses and then ends with a floor routine. Your core and muscles get worked differently. You also get posture, balance and flexibility benefits. I think including these types of body weight exercises are a great addition to traditional strength training.

“Super Slim Down” is a little easier than Ellen’s newest “Yogini” workout. Since both have different exercises they complement each other quite well. Having both in my collection are great to add to any rotation.
The set is typical of “Crunch” workouts. The music was appropriate and didn’t interfere with the workout. The camera angles allowed you to see all the moves without difficulty.

Instructor Comments:
Ellen is a very easy going friendly instructor.



Workout starts out with a brief warm up/breathing and then moves to the first of two standing yoga segments. I thought that the standing yoga parts were great--they had a nice flow to them, and the more I concentrated on form, the more challenging it was. I felt like I got a great stretch while doing these segments. I'm not someone who is big into yoga, so these segments were just right.

The matwork segments were relaxing and challenging, again--the more you focus on form, the better the exercises will work for you. At the end of the workout, I felt energized and stretched. I would recommend this video for beginner/intermediate level or someone new to yoga/pilates.

The music is subtle, the style reminds me of what you might find in other yoga videos. The set is bright and airy, there are several background exercisers, with one showing modifications.

Instructor Comments:
Friendly and encouraging without being annoyingly perky. It's like working out with a friend. =)



This dvd is longer than I usually do for toning but I enjoyed it a lot. I'm getting back into exercise, weak core, and pretty overweight (mostly in the abdomen area if that helps you any with my views of this workout)It's about 40-45 minutes with the stretch at the end and has the chapters listed on the inside of the case. aside from the start menu and end credits the sections are: standing yoga 1, standing yoga 2, all fours matwork 1, all fours matwork 2, side lying matwork, abs matwork, and calming cooldown. I'll try to remember what was in each section. in all sections she does a move then adds to it and repeats the sequence about 4 times on each side, sometimes alternating sides, sometimes each side at once.

she starts with deep breaths reaching up then adds knee bends with them. the 'series' here is swoop up, turn into warrior 2 and pulse it (in and out of the pose from knee bent to straight) then reverse (one yz dvd called this crescent she calls it reverse) very nice stretch by the way with knee still bent) then you swoop around in front and go to the othe side. she repeats this back and forth at a slightly faster pace but not bad. the other standing yoga has you do triangle to warrior 2 to warrior 1 and back. at least I think that's what it was. (hard to remember an hour later!) by this time my out of shape self was feeling this, esp in the feet/ankles from turning to warrior 1..I've always had the feet wider for warrior 1 so I had to finally scoot them over a bit to be comfortable). the music throughout all is nice...not overbearing and after I while I hardly noticed it. all fours matwork she does cat to straight back and has you on all fours with one foot and the opposite arm extended (modified by just doing the leg and leaving both hands on the floor which is what I did (at least til I had to rest.bothered my hands a bit) and you lift the leg with small movements up and down and to the side up and down and switch back and forth a few times. I think the next section starts lying on your stomach but she calls it all fours matwork 2. you lift the legs while lying down and pulse them in and out (to the side and together) then lift the upper body the do pieces of heaven or willow. maybe both. anyways this is one I had problems with because the main part of the pose you're in child pose with arms extended in front. well, with my legs under me I can't go all the way to the floor with my upper body without my rear end coming up off my legs and falling on my head! butif you can, you lift yourself up and stretch the elbows back for a nice upper back stretch then lower again. she sneaks pushup type stuff in with the pieces of heaven where you do the legs, then the upper body, the lift all the way up and go back to child's pose with arms extended and repeat this over and over for a while. side lying matwork was mostly legs. you lie on your side and lift both legs up then raise and lower the upper while the lower stays put the repeat with the lower and do these ballet looking moves that I love cause they look so graceful on the dvd! on this section you do all on one leg then do the other leg instead of going back and forth. the abs section has teaser and climbing the rope and several other moves. again I modified and even the modifier couldn't modify a couple enough fo rme so I did the best I could. there are other moves in each section that I've missed but not a whole lot I don't think. the only 'aerobic' benefit I could see in this is the faster paced moves in a few poses and 'zipper' which is in the 2nd yoga seems like and I'd say it flows nicely but it's more toning and stretching I wouldn't use this for cardio at all. there's no moving around or dancing - the only standing part is the beginning sections and those are in one place except for turning to the side or front. I like Ellen as an instructor. seems like time flies pretty fast when she teaches. also I don't rememeber her outfit being pink like on the cover! seems like the colors were different though the style of clothes are the same, if that's important. I didn't have to watch the screen very much and it was usually the modifier I looked at.

Instructor Comments:
Wonderful! Ellen is a favorite of mine even though I don't do her workouts as often as some others due to their length. She is encouraging and down to earth and so graceful.She makes me want to keep trying even when I'm wanting to stop! Her outfit was a bit low cut on the pants but she didnt' seem vulgar or anything.