Stott Conditioning: Flex-band WorkoutMoira Stott Merrithew
Year Released: 2000
Categories: Pilates/Core Strength
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When I first tried this video I was only familiar with the matwork movements and some of the exercises with the band were a little confusing with unfamiliar names. Having since worked on the Pilates reformer and then gone back to this tape, it makes much more sense to me and I now enjoy it. Pilates is taken to a whole new dimension when the equipment is brought into the equation and this needs to be understood when using the band.
I think that a fairly deep understanding of the principles of Pilates is needed before using this tape (and most other tapes), but if you are already familiar with matwork then this can add a new dimension to your workouts. Experience on the reformer is extremely useful, even if you only have a few sessions. Stick with it as using the band is a little awkward at first.
One last thing: it is important to remember what Pilates is about. It is meant to be a mind-body exercise system where focus is the key. Some people have made comments about Moira Stott being less than inspirational but I think that it is important that the instructor be an informative presence with this form of exercise rather than a bouncy and glitzy instructor who might interfere with your concentration.
Moira Stott has many years experience in this method of exercise. She comes across as knowledgeable and professional with continual focus on correct form which is essential in Pilates. She always sticks to the original Pilates exercises although offers modifications where needed.
I bought this video after reading the recommendations from the collage video staff. I have decided to rely on the opinions of other VFers instead. I hated this video after doing it only once. I love the Stott intermediate and advanced workouts--2nd edition and thought this would be similar.
I found the flexband extremely cumbersome since the band kept folding up on my foot and I kept having to adjust it. I must not have been holding the band correctly because I spent more time hunched forward trying to keep the band steady so I ended up with painful wrists and an exhausted back. I do not see how this could resemble work on a performer since that machine is stable and does not need constant manipulation to work.
This might work for some but I would suggest sticking with the matwork or just getting a performer instead.
She does not have the most glittering personality but she does come across as very professional, knowledgable, trustworthy, and concerned about safety. Her videos seem a bit explanation-heavy but everything she says is truly useful.
About me: I am on a Pilates kick right now and have been since January 2000. I have never attended a Pilates class and have never been professionally advised about it.
Moira Stott is deeply knowledgeable about Pilates and its effect on the body. She has a soft voice and is more involved in explaining the workout than she is in projecting excitement or sex appeal to the audience. I find this approach very reassuring and as a result I have a lot of confidence in her instruction.
The workout: I was originally attracted to this tape because the flex-band was said to give a workout experience similar to that with a Pilates Reformer.
The joy of the flex-band is that it provides resistance, which gives a completely different experience from Pilates using a mat. It was so much fun to be able to almost effortlessly do moves that usually kill me--like moving out of a rollup and staying there without going all the way down. The problem is that because of that resistance, different muscles are working and it's easy to overwork them. I ended up with a very stiff and sore right trapezius muscle after my first Flex-band Workout.
Another problem with the flex-band is that even though this tape uses a special five foot length, I think it is still too short for my (almost) six foot long body. It will take me awhile to figure out how to modify some of the moves to accommodate my length.
The video mimics some traditional Pilates matwork moves using the flex-band as a prop. It also includes other moves I haven't seen before, including a long series of leg exercises where one puts the band around toes, arch, and heel and straightens the legs. I find this section dull and have a hard time figuring out exactly where to put the band to differentiate one move from another. Yet, because I have so much confidence in Moira Stott, I figure that this section, too, is a valuable part of the whole.
The advantage of the flex-band is that it provides more variety to the workout--moves that work the lats, the biceps, pecs, and triceps, different leg moves, in addition to the traditional "core" work.
The workout is about 55 minutes long. I recommend it for anyone who wants a different type of Pilates experience. No one should use this as an introduction to Pilates.
In conclusion, and reluctantly as a dedicated vidiot, I am forced to admit that taking expensive classes on the Reformer at some Studio is probably necessary in order to fully understand the purpose and proper form of the moves. But I'm glad to have this imitation of a pricey workout on hand.