Reebok Pilates Ring Workout Kit

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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According to the box this came in, this is a 4-piece kit. There's the ring, an instructional VHS, a CD to workout to, and a booklet. I don't count the booklet as part of a workout system-it has a few sample exercises and it looks like a generic booklet that they made to "go" with more than one kit. In the case of this one, there's two Pilates ring exercises in it, both of which are on the VHS and CD. So, this is a 3-piece kit, really.

The ring itself seems to be of good quality-it's black plastic, with padded handles. The pads go all the way around the ring, which is nice because then you can work with your legs inside or outside of the circle. Some Pilates rings are only padded on the outside. I think this is one piece of equipment that I'll actually use!

The VHS tape runs 17 minutes and demonstrates the exercises for a 20-minute workout. Instruction is via a male voiceover and exercises are demonstrated by a female model. At the end of the tape is a list of the exercises and the number of reps that should be performed. The video presents each exercise in the order that they appear on this list:

1. Pilates Stance (they claim this is your ?warm up,? but I?m not sure how standing is a warm up.)
2. The Hundred
3. Seated Double Arm Press & Pulse
4. Seated Chest Press
5. Shoulder Bridge with Ring Inside (the ring is between the thighs)
6. Shoulder Bridge with Ring Inside with Pulses
7. Shoulder Bridge with Ring Outside (the ring goes around the thighs)
8. Shoulder Bridge with Ring Outside with Pulses
9. Front Arm Press
10. Back Arm Press
11. Side Leg Presses (work both abductors and adductors)
12. Child?s Pose (cool down)

The tape recommends 5 reps of each, except the Hundred (10), and Pilates Stance and Child's Pose, which have no reps.

Since this tape is instructional, you cannot workout with this tape. Besides the fact that the side leg presses are only done to one side, only 2 or 3 reps are demonstrated for each exercise.

The CD should have been better, but ended up being pretty much interchangeable with the VHS tape. The music on this one was better (new-agey music with ocean sounds), and I preferred the voice (a female who was a bit less radio-announcer-like), but the script was exactly the same as the video. This means that there?s a lot of hang time while you wait for her to finish explaining the move before you do it. I also found the breathing cues to be too slow-moving for myself (I'm not comfortable inhaling for 8-10 counts before I can exhale), and the counting itself--inhale and two and three and four [pause] exhale and two and three and four--got very irritating very quickly. But the biggest problem was with the side leg presses. After completing the reps on one side, the voiceover said, ?now roll over to your other side, and let's continue side leg presses,- and then immediately moved on to telling us to get into child's pose for cool-down (I had to pause the CD). Including my pause, the workout was 20 minutes, but a lot of that time was spent waiting around for the narration to finish repeating what I?d already learned on the video. For someone already familiar with Pilates (or for anyone who?s watched the video), this workout could be complete in much less time.

I got this kit at Ross for about $12, and I think it was a good value. I'll do these exercises with the ring, Alycea Ungaro's book has some ring exercises in it, and there are other Magic Circle DVD's I'll check out sometime. To me, the video and CD are beginning instruction only, and have served their purpose. I think the ring exercises will be a good addition to my Pilates routine since the ring can target the adductors and abductors so well.

Instructor Comments:
I don't know who does the voiceover or who the model in the instructional video is. The voiceover in the video is a bit too radio-announcer-like for my taste, but he read what was put in front of him clearly. The model who does the demonstrations is fine. I like the voiceover on the CD better, but since she's reading the same script as the man in the video, neither of these 'instructors' has much personality.