Noelle's Powerhouse Pilates: A Complete Mat Workout

Noelle Stumpf
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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The following is a list of the exercises included in this workout.

Roll up
Rolling like a ball
Single leg stretch
Scissors (lying on your back)
Double straight leg stretch
Pelvic tilt/glute squeeze
Bridge, raise one leg, then the other
Lower ab crunches with one leg crossed over the other, which is straight and pointing to the ceiling
Pendulum (drop bent knees to one side, then the other)
Back extensions with heel beats
Side lying leg lifts (first both legs, then lower and lift bottom leg)
Scissors (lying on your side)
Up and down
Outer thigh leg lift
Small circles, both directions
Outer thigh small leg lifts
Modified teaser
Plank with leg lifts
Reverse plank
Side stretch

The set is bright, with a white floor that has concentric circles painted on it. Noelle lies in the center. One modifier shows an easier version throughout; another shows an advanced version, and Noelle does the intermediate version. The production values are high, with no odd camera work or other distractions.

I would rate this workout as intermediate, because while Noelle gives form reminders (keep your legs glued together, pull your abs in, etc.) she does not really explain each exercise enough that a beginner would be able to understand how to do it. Also, I noticed that Noelle didn’t put her legs in the traditional position when doing the leg work lying on her side, so this would not be a good workout from which to learn proper Pilates form and techniques.

This workout does not include some of the traditional Pilates matwork exercises, such as the seal, neck pull, saw, etc. I must admit, I missed those exercises. I’ve been doing a lot of Pilates lately, and while I can’t reliably do a full teaser every time, my abs have gotten pretty strong. So, while I appreciated some of the different exercises this workout includes, none of them seemed to really work any part of my body quite enough.

I think this one will be going on my trade list, not because I don’t like it or because it isn’t good, but because I have (many) other Pilates workouts that I enjoy more and which really challenge me.

Instructor Comments:
I really liked Noelle. She’s warm and encouraging, and seems more like a “real person” than other Pilates instructors who sometimes seem superhuman. She looks a little like Jennifer Jason Leigh, and is wearing a red top and cropped pants. She reminds you to have proper form throughout the workout, and makes some other comments (like about one movement being “small but mighty, just like me”). She doesn’t really talk to the other exercisers at all.

One odd aside—I searched a bit, and couldn’t found Noelle’s last name anywhere. The credits simply say “Noelle,” as does the bio on her website and some other sites online.