Pilates on the Go

Katherine Corp, Kimberly Corp
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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I’m reviewing this workout after doing all segments twice.

General workout breakdown: Denise has already provided a good review of this Pilates DVD, including a breakdown of times, but I’ll add a few more details.
In general the pace is measured, not too slow but definitely not too fast. There’s some slight down time between some exercises as the instructor sets you up for the next pose, but you’re never left hanging. As you’d expect, the focus is on quality over quantity, with most exercises getting 3-10 reps, although the reps tend to be on the higher side here.

*Warm Up and Core Activation begins on all fours for cat stretch – neutral spine, side bend, and yawning cat (twist), before moving to seated for half rollback, and spinal twist. You roll down to the back for pelvic tilt / release, half curl, hip rolls (aka half or rolling bridge), toe taps from tabletop, and hundred; in prone postion, you do breaststroke prep and superman / bullet (arms by side). The segment ends back on all fours for watch dog (or bird dog) w/ alternating arm & leg and knee lift.
*Tummy Tightener runs through half roll-down, rolling like a ball, single leg stretch, obliques (or criss cross), double leg stretch, single straight leg stretch (or scissors), swan dive, low back stretch (aka child’s, shell stretch, or little piece of heaven), side-lying scissors, banana (side-lying double leg & torso lift), side elbow plank, long plank w/ leg lift, roll-ups, obliques roll-back, obliques roll-back w/ alternating leg lift, open leg rocker prep, hip twist, rollover, shoulder bridge w/ leg lift, teaser series (legs down, 1 leg lifted, both legs lifted). This isn’t just for the tummy; your whole core has to stabilize you in several different types of exercises.
*Butt Blaster has the knee lift on all fours w/ leg press, leg press back, bent leg raise, straight leg raise, rolling bridge w/ heel lifts, single leg stretch (scissors), single leg kick, frog squeeze, frog squeeze & lift, prone leg extensions, prone leg lifts, double leg kick, swimming, plank w/ knee to nose, leg pull prep, and the “buttski series” on the wedge (prone straight legs lift & lower, double leg circles, scissors, heel beats), periformis stretch (the upside down 4, with ankle over opposite knee), plie squats w/ heel lifts, and chair – lunge series. This segment has some good work for the hamstrings and low back as well as the glutes; I’d call it the Back Body Blaster.
*Arm Enhancer uses the band and weights. Exercises include protracting and retracting the shoulder blades, shoulder rolls, elevation and depression of the shoulder blades, biceps curls, straight arm press back, row w/ elbows wide, extending to sides, chest press (“seated push-up”), small circles, rotator cuff work, superman w/ arms extended, low back stretch, neck stretch, front shoulder raise, lateral raise, press back, triceps press, overhead press, overhead triceps extension, overhead press w/ arms extending to side on way down, triceps dips w/ leg raised, triceps push-ups, and low back stretch. The first half of this segment is done seated, the second standing and then back on the floor. Surprisingly, few, if any, of the traditional Pilates arm exercises are used here.
*Leg Toner is basically an extended side-lying leg series with a few complementary exercises, like footwork, at the end. Exercises include front & back, little circles, leg lift (upper raises, then lower meets), double leg lift, bicycle, develope, quick hip stretch, footwork (heels together & toes apart, feet together), knee in – leg out – lift & lower, bent leg lift & lower, clam, single leg side leg stretch (knee in & press), and inner thigh lift.
*Core Challenge is the most advanced segment in the video. Exercises are a seated double straight leg stretch (done in the usual hip twist position) into a teaser with leg lower & lift, side bends & twists, swan dive, side plank w/ arm & leg lift, leg pull, arms & legs lift & lower w/ upper & reverse crunch, jackknife, side body twist, plank w/ alternating arm & leg lift, teaser series (full teaser, arms & legs to opposite sides), and push-ups (triceps, 1 leg lifted).
*Cool Down begins seated with breathing, arm circles, neck stretches, side bends, and chest stretch (arms clasped behind back) before moving to kneeling hip flexor stretch, supine piriformis stretch (upside down 4), supine hamstring stretch, and full body stretch.
*The tips go over neutral vs. supported position of the pelvis, rib to hip connection, continuing the line of the spine, scapula stabilization, how to modify sitting positions, how to modify challenging abdominal exercises (roll-ups), and how to use weights (showcasing the 1 lb. weights with bands that they use, although they don’t mention the brand here).

Level: I’d recommend this to experienced exercisers with prior Pilates experience, preferably those practicing at or around an intermediate level, although you may want to be closer to intermediate / advanced before you tackle the Core Challenge segment. I’ve been practicing Pilates since 2002 and currently consider myself at the intermediate / advanced level (I’m familiar with most exercises in the standard beginner through advanced mat repertoire but have some flexibility and strength limitations in a few areas plus one or two physical issues), and I find these suitable to my abilities, provided I focus on my form. The Core Challenge challenges me the most of these segments, while some of the others require more concentration to get the most bang for my buck.

Class: Kimberly and Katherine are in all segments, with Matt joining them for all but the butt blaster and cool down. Only one instructs at a time, although the instructor often leads from the middle. From time to time one might show a modification, and in one segment Kimberly walks around rather than instruct while doing the exercise.

Music: upbeat jazzy muzak. A bit too perky for me, honestly.

Set: clean, bare room in their NY Pilates studio with various brightly colored fitness balls (one of which attacks Matt at one point). Classes are apparently going on elsewhere, as you might catch a glimpse of someone milling around down the hallway.

Production: clear picture and sound. The camera angles for the most part are clear and helpful. This is definitely not a flashy big budget professional job, so you should be willing to look past a few tugs on clothes, a slipped microphone, a siren in the background at the end of one segment, and so on.

Equipment: As Denise mentioned, you need a mat and a resistance band (for the butt blaster, arm enhancer, and leg toner; mine is of mediumish resistance, which works well enough for me here), with optional light (1-3 lb.) dumbbells or other hand/ankle weights (for the arm enhancer) and a wedge (for which I substituted my Bosu – you could also use pillows or a folded towel or blanket; for the butt blaster).

Space Requirements: enough room to lie down with arms and legs extended and sweeping in all directions.

DVD Notes: After an intro from Katherine and Kimberly (which you can skip), the main menu offers you the options of Play All, Introduction, Warm Up and Core Activation, Tummy Tightener, Butt Blaster, Arm Enhancer, Leg Toner, Core Challenge, Cool Down, Tips, and Credits.

Comments: Katherine and Kimberly run Pilates on Fifth, a Manhattan Pilates studio that offers a variety of classes as well as instructor training. You can find their podcasts on iTunes and YouTube, and I encourage you to check them out to get a sense of their style and personality or if you want more information on specific exercises. Actually, I found their podcasts first, then searched around to see if they had a video because I liked their personalities and approach to Pilates.

At some level the Corp sisters’ style of Pilates seems similar to the Stott method: they use some of the same terminology, have similar views on pelvic placement, and do some of the same exercises (and leave out some of the same ones). I don’t know much about their background, but they seem to be at least moving in the same circles as Stott or at least playing with similar ideas (the “contemporary” Pilates approach so decried by the classical purists). That said, Pilates on Fifth has slightly more of a classical feel than Stott (especially in comparison to the most recent Stott releases, where some of the exercises are looking less and less like Joe’s original versions), however, and they feel more comfortable shaking up the order of exercises or breaking them down into categories like “leg exercises.”

Those segments by body parts remind me of 10 Minute Solution Pilates or Quick Fix Pilates, although here the segments are on average twice as long. Kimberly and Katherine say their DVD is for those tight on time, but if these are even too long for you, try the 10 Minute Solutions instead. That said, if the 10 Minute Solutions are too short for you (e.g., you find yourself popping in several lower body segments to get that burn), you may like Pilates on the Go! Better. Suzanne Bowen’s 10 Minute Solution Slim & Sculpt, which also uses the resistance band, and Lara Hudson’s original 10 Minute Solution Pilates, which is more traditional matwork, are more similar to Pilates on the Go, although any of the other 10 Minute Solutions are good and would complement this one well by bringing something a little different to the party.

This has one of the longer side-lying leg series, although it’s unfortunate there aren’t chapters within the segments so you can’t pull in the short sequence in the Tummy Tightener, too. With some creativity you could boost the challenge by using the resistance band for the whole Leg Toner segment. If you’re a side-lying series junkie, you might also like Jules Benson’s Total Core Pilates (that one is TOUGH without any added resistance), Ana Caban’s Intermediate Pilates Matwork from Gaiam, and Tracy York’s 10 min. segment from Quick Fix Total Mix Pilates & Yoga (now out of print). Niedra Gabriel’s FitChic Pilates also has a decent one, as does Suzanne Bowen’s 10 Minute Solution Slim & Sculpt Pilates and Lizbeth Garcia’s Shape Pilates Workout: Makeover Your Abs, Butt And Thighs Fast! (the latter two also use a resistance band).

Instructor Comments:
Katherine and Kimberly (identical twins) are pleasant and down to earth, very unassuming in manner while being positive and encouraging. They and Matt McCulloch cue clearly and are comfortable in front of the lens, although they have a few mannerisms, including repeating “All righty” and singing a few cues (“laaaast tiiiime”), which some may find endearing and others annoying. As Denise mentioned, there’s not enough instruction for those new to Pilates, but there are some helpful form tips and reminders (especially for keeping the shoulders and ribs in their proper place). All cue for their right and left rather than the viewer’s, although sometimes they will also cue with “arm closest to the TV” or “back leg.”




Warm Up & Core Activation: 11 Min
Tummy Tightener: 22 Min
Butt Blaster: 19 Min
Arm Enhancer: 17 Min
Leg Toner: 22 Min
Core Challenge: 15 Min
Cool Down: 7 Min
Tips: 11 Min


You'll need a mat and a band. Optional wedge and light 1-3 pound handweights are also used, but not necessary.


The music is soft jazz. The set was minimal, appeared to be filmed in the corner of a studio.

The Workout:

Need a pilates workout that eliminates boredom, allows you to choose what body parts you want to focus on and do it all in the time you have available? Pilates on the Go does all of this, with almost 2 hours of material.

Katherine and Kimberly Corp, along with fellow instructor, Matt, demonstrate useful pilates exercises that will work every area of the body. The workout flows and uses no breakdown, allowing for a bigger calorie burn. (they mention you can check out their podcast on their website for helpful hints or you could check out the tip section on the dvd)

Katherine and Kimberly alternate teaching each section (Matt teaches the upper body segment). Each section/chapter is unique, offering specific pilates exercises to work each area. (very little carryover of exercises between chapters, thus eliminating boredom & keeps it fresh)

Sometimes fusing elements of ballet and yoga with traditional pilates, this workout is quite challenging. The leg section is my personal favorite offering lots of side lying exercises and deep toning using the band. The workout concludes with a nice relaxing stretch.

I'd recommend this for intermediate/advanced participants, due to little instruction. (you should be familiar with pilates before attempting some of the exercises) Great buy with almost 2 hours of material.....

Instructor Comments: