Do More Pilates StandingNiece Pecenka, Bea Wood
Year Released: 2010
Categories: Pilates/Core Strength
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The 1st segment is led by just Bea and the 2nd segment just Niece. There is a separate, brief (2 min. or so) segment before both of these that instructs on breathing and activating your core. There is some chaptering within the 2 workouts. Something that is *somewhat* annoying: it doesn't appear that you can do a Select All....the segments are only accessed individually from the main menu.
The music in the main menu is really cool; almost bluesy guitar. The workout music is a little less noticeable. The only complaint I have with the music is that I couldn't find a distinct beat, so I had trouble keeping my reps consistent with the instructor when I wasn't watching her closely.
Cool gray tones, somewhat industrial, clean lines. The only real color is on the instructor.
1. Both workouts have live cueing AND voiceover
2. They don't seem to cue side (they said "other")
Workout 1 with Bea
shoulder circles and arm circles in both directions
rolling down and up, grab weights at last rep
releve', arms straight by side
chair pose squats with front arm raise, pulse
-palms up/extended, alternate heel lifts
-raise both heels, raise and lift arms
1st position/feet in V
-balance on 1 leg, make circles with arms (that travel up and down)
-repeat other leg
Some repeater-like move (slow), with front arm raises
Standing 100 (balance on 1 leg)
1st position w/ one leg forward (triceps work)
-palms facing back, lift straight back/together
-palms facing each other, lift straight back/together
1st Position w/ standing C-Curve
Lift 1 leg forward (tabletop), then bend forward and extend it straight behind you
-chest flies w/ first side
-upright row, 2 arm on 2nd side
Standing side stretches
Standing straight/1 foot forward
-arm/shoulder rotation from MP position and then military press (MP) on 2nd side
Roll down, drop weights
Forward bend (with straightening alt. legs for ham stretch)
Spine stretch (holding behind knees, cat stretch)
roll up and down
side twist, 1 arm extended to ceiling
I felt this segment was more challenging than the first segment (probably more intermediate). It moved quickly. The instructor describes this segment as being pilates AND ballet, a "flowing" workout.
Arms extended overhead, alternate pulling elbows down to waist
Wide plie', hands on thighs, bring shoulders toward opposite knee
Place hands on floor in the middle, roll up
*Using chair for balance*
Wide leg plie', pulse
*then some move where you lift one leg up (like squat-leg lift), repeat sides
Some standing work with leg extended behind you, then to the side
(standing pretzel, "karate" kicks, side lifts, circles)
Curtsey-type lunge w/ quick front toe touch with back foot (repeat side 2)
1st position (small V feet), arm using chair for balance
-extend leg to kick side while arm extends to the side for a kickback
-leg lifts to side, don't remember what arm does
*there is a mini-plie' between each rep of these
*moves chair and mat*
Pretzel (bent knee, straight leg)
Stretch (then repeat other side)
On back, heels on chair
-2 heels on chair, lift hips
-1 leg straight up, lift hips
-2 heels, hips lifted, open/close knees
Stretch on back (leg overhead, hamstring...knees fall open, inner thighs)
Do More Pilates Standing presents two routines (one for upper body, one for lower body) based on Pilates exercises performed standing rather than on the mat. Numerous balance challenges are incorporated into each routine (particularly the upper body one), which works the core muscles as they kick in to stabilize the trunk of the body.
I would rate the difficulty level as intermediate, not so much because of the moves themselves but mainly because I found the instruction level not always the best in this DVD. Some familiarity with barre workouts, and with Pilates and ballet terms, would be helpful in getting the most out of this workout.
I am not a Pilates student. I’m not sure how traditional the idea of “standing Pilates” is. To me both routines have more of a “fusion” feel to them, although there is certainly a strong Pilates influence.
Bea Wood leads the upper body routine, and Niece Pecenka the lower body one. They each instruct solo, both live and in voiceover. I noticed Niece did not mirror-cue, but actually there are very few “right/left” instructions so this wasn’t really an issue for me.
Equipment is minimal, just one set of light hand weights for the upper body section, and a chair for the lower body section (both the chair back and seat are used in the routine). A single light weight is used as a counterweight for one lower body exercise, but I would consider it optional. Both Bea and Niece do the routines barefoot.
The set is a big gray and black industrial space, with a large grid backdrop. It’s on the dark side, but both instructors are easily seen. Music is not memorable; it’s mainly there to keep the beat.
The DVD is chaptered as follows:
-Fundamentals (2:21 minutes): Proper Pilates stance is taught.
-Segment I (Core, Balance and Arms) (19:55 minutes): Bea leads this routine. Shoulder rolls, roll-downs (picking up the weights on the last one), then chair pose with front shoulder raises. Plies with chest flies, incorporating heel lifts. Legs in first position, raise one leg, arm circles moving up and down. “Standing 100” balanced on one leg. Legs in first position, one leg forward, triceps work (nice!), then triceps kickbacks in a standing C-curve. Chest flies and upright row with one leg extended behind the body. The routine concludes with a rotator cuff exercise, military press, and stretches. The emphasis is on the upper body, but a few of the moves also involve the lower body and the numerous balance challenges work the core throughout.
-Segment II (Core, Glutes and Thighs): This routine is led by Niece. After a few warm-up moves she begins a series of standing leg work, beginning with plie pulses, then single leg lifts to the back and side with the lifted leg in various positions (attitude, turned out, etc.) and doing lifts, kicks, small circles. It is somewhat reminiscent of barre work, except Niece uses a larger range of motion (e.g. Tracy Anderson). Next she moves to the floor for a brief pretzel series. The routine concludes with bridge work with first two feet on the chair seat, later lifting one leg to vertical for increased challenge, followed by a brief stretch.
-Interview with instructors (2:41).
Bottom Line: I like the upper body routine (Segment I) on this DVD a lot and plan to use it regularly. I consider it an easier version of V-Core’s Basics section. I don’t care much for the upper body work in most of my barre DVDs, so I like subbing in Segment I, which besides including a much greater variety of upper body exercises also provides additional balance training and standing core work. (I also really like that there are no pushups or triceps dips, moves that my wonky elbow doesn’t appreciate.) I feel mixed about the lower body routine. As noted, I found the standing portion somewhat reminiscent of Tracy Anderson’s Mat Workout, with the larger range of motion, and which I think makes a nice complement to the small pulses used in Lotte Berke-style barre work. This part was fairly short, however, and not particularly well-instructed – I often felt some confusion as to just how my lifted leg should be positioned for the exercise. The pretzel section was also too short to feel much of anything, and I didn’t think the bridge work was anything special. I would have preferred some Pilates side-kick series floor work instead.
As of the date of this review, Do More Pilates Standing is available at Amazon and also through the instructors’ website (see below; you can also see a clip here and also on YouTube).
As far as I know, this is the first fitness DVD for Bea and Niece. Both are certified Pilates instructors, and they present as polished and professional. It appears they plan at least one more DVD. Their website is www.domorePilates.com.