Pilates Body Roller Workout

Alyssa Kahn

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Foam Roller

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This is a Pilates workout using a foam roller. I have had prior experience working with a foam roller (with Karen Voight's Sleek Essentials), so I was very interested in trying this Pilates workout. First of all, this workout is about 18 minutes long, not 30 minutes as it says in the description (even printed right on the DVD it says "20 minute workout"). The workout begins with you lying vertically on the roller for some traditional Pilates matwork exercises, including the hundred, roll-up, leg circles, and most of the stomach series (single leg stretch, double leg stretch, scissors, and double stretch leg stretch, or leg drops). These exercises were definitely challenging to do on the roller, as you had to execute the exercise while retaining your balance.

You then move to a seated position to complete a variation of the mermaid exercise, using one hand on the roller. After the tough matwork, this exercise seemed much too easy and very slow: you do 6 repetitions on each side, first shallowly, then moving in more deeply. Overall, I felt like I got very little out of this segment. Next, you move towards your back for some shoulder bridge work with your feet on the roller. This part was a bit more challenging once again, as use of the roller really helped to feel the work more in my hamstrings. Not many repetitions are performed, but the moves are done with two different foot positions. Finally, the workout ends by holding plank with your hands on the roller. Again, I felt this was too easy, especially with the unnecessary rests between holds. You then roll your body up to a standing position to finish.

I was a bit disappointed in the unevenness of this workout. At the beginning, instructor Alyssa Kahn states that the workout will be "fast-moving," but this was not the case at all; rather, the workout moved too slowly for my tastes. As mentioned above, some sections were fairly challenging, but unfortunately, the difficultly level was not consistent throughout the workout. Because the DVD is chaptered, however, in the future, I may try using it by using the tougher segments only. This might be a good choice for those who are new to Pilates/roller work, but more advanced exercisers are likely to be disappointed as I was.

Instructor Comments:
Alyssa instructed via voiceover; she was a bit dry but otherwise fine.

Beth C (aka toaster)


This is a 20 minute Pilates Foam Roller workout.

I found the set to be bright and clean looking. Alyssa is shown doing the exercises by herself on a raised platform. The music is nice and you can hear it quite well. Also the voice over instructions are very audible too. I didn't find anything annoying. And I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this DVD since it did come in a kit.

Equipment needed: foam roller and mat.

I bought this workout at Target for $7.48. It includes: a pink w/Gaiam written in black long foam roller, a 20 minute DVD w/Alyssa Kahn as the instructor and two posters (one Pilates and one Massage) foam roller workouts with color pictures.

The workout includes the following exercises:

Double Leg Stretch
Lower Lift
Front Support
Modified Roll Up
Shoulder Bridge Into Leg Lifts
Roll Up
Single Leg Circle
Single Leg Stretch Bent Leg

All the moves are shown first in modified format then in challenging for intermediate/advanced exercisers.

The 20 minute DVD only contained the Pilates foam roller workout. However there are two posters one with the pilates and one with the massage exercises. The DVD did not include the massage exercises. They figured you could do those on your own with the instructional poster. I would have preferred the Massage exercises to have been on the DVD since I already own so many pilates workouts on DVD.

That being said this was my first time using the foam roller. I must say I found it extremely challenging to do some of those pilates exercises. I did not fall but definitely worked my core. Since my core had to make me stop wobbling when both my legs were in the air doing the exercises. So I would say the foam roller is a very good tool for strengthening the core. And it is a good investment.

When I first saw this at Target for $20.88 on clearance I passed it right up but I couldn't pass it up at $7.48. I'm glad I bought it and tried it. It fits into anyones core strength rotation exercises and adds variety.

Instructor Comments:
Very professional demeanor when giving the introduction to workout. The workout was then done voice over.