Prevention: Flatten Your Belly with PilatesMichelle Dozois
Year Released: 2003
Categories: Pilates/Core Strength
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I have been doing pilates for about 9 months. I would consider myself intermediate/advanced.
I was able to get through this workout doing level 3 the whole time. I felt like it was a decent workout, I'll be able to tell better tomorrow by how sore I am.
I think a great feature of this is the levels, so that any level can get a good workout.
I typically hate ab workouts and have a hard time getting through them, but this one went by pretty quickly for me.
Straightforward, to the point. Pleasant, but not overly perky.
This is a thirty minute pilates routine. It's geared toward the beginner exerciser, although they do have three different modifiers shown at all times. The production values are excellent - the same as the other Prevention video (Walk Your Way Slim. If you don't have that but have seen Minna's Balanced Blend DVD, or any Crunch DVDs - or even any Natural Journeys DVDs, the production quality/tone/ music is similar to all of these.) I am really happy about acquiring this one because it is just my speed. I am an advanced exerciser in general, but I need my pilates spoon-fed to me. This is perfect. Many of the most basic 'pilates 101' exercises are demonstrated in this. The modifications are perfect-I feel less like a wimp for not doing the advanced versions, because easier mods are given just as much credence. The amount of reps per exercise is very low - maybe 12 reps total. no more than that-which, for some will seem like too few, but for me, it's great because if there were more I would get annoyed (I always feel great after doing pilates, and I realize it's one of the most beneficial exercises for me to do, but it isn't my favorite form of exercise to do).
The instructor is Michelle Dozois, and she is excellent. My only mini qualm about her instruction/cueing is that instead of using visualization techniques to help you achieve proper form (such as 'imagine a string through your spine and out the top of your head, holding you up straight', 'imaging a marble in your belly button...', etc.), she instead will use cues such as 'imprint your spine on the floor, look down at your belly, suck in your abs tight'. The imagery cues actually tend to make me work harder and concentrate more on the exercise, but this is a taste thing, it's just not her style. I mention it because I am sure others have preferences in cueing. She does often uses encouraging words, and she talks a lot. These are both aspects that I enjoy. I would rate this DVD very high for those who have a hard time getting themselves to do 'serious' pilates workouts, but still desire to do some pilates.
I like Michelle. She is a seasoned professional.
This is a multilevel workout (and so far my favorite of the ones I have in my Pilates collection).
Level 1 - Beginner (if you haven't been exercising for a while, or if you have injuries or physical issues that require modification)
Level 2 - For when you're ready to move on to a more intense workout
Level 3 - The most advanced level (challenging but super effective)
You can mix and match levels for variety. This (imo) is what makes the 30 min. workout go by fast for me. For some reason I'm watching the clock with other Pilates workouts.
Michelle Dozois (the instructor) always starts each exercise with level 1 and as the reps progress instructs you how to do level 2 & 3. It amazes me how she can cue for each level while performing the moves at the right pace, without messing up.
The background set reminds me of Winsor Pilates [each participant/level is shown on a raised platform] and Quick Fix Pilates Workout [the instructor performs the exercise along with 2 other participants showing modifications in the background]. Lizbeth Garcia who was in the QF Pilates workout is also in this one performing level 3 (she's so graceful to watch).
Here's a list of the exercises--
Roll down/up (standing to seated position)
Dipping Toes (similar to the 'dead bug' move by Keli Roberts)
Single leg stretch
Curl up with double leg reach
Side lying position (single leg lifts, front/back, scissors, double leg lifts)
Back extension w/rotation
Side bends with twist
The workout is in tune with the music. The individual exercises aren't chaptered (dvd version), instead they're grouped into these categories:
-Ab Preps & Dipping Toes
-Bridges & Breaststrokes
-Reverse Lifts & Circles
-Stretches & Scissors
-Leg Reaches & Reverse Planks
-Side Lying Position
-Back Extensions & Teasers
-Side Bends & Planks
I'm not sure if it's from doing all the different levels or the way the moves are executed, but I definitely feel a thorough workout in my muscles when I'm done.
The only disappointment I have is with the instructor. It's obvious she's had breast augmentation and the bra that she wears under her top emphasizes that area (it's distracting).