Stott Pilates Express Series: Basic Pilates

Moira Stott Merrithew
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Seniors/Seated , Special Health Conditions

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This DVD is the same VHS workout that was originally titled Stott Pilates 22 Minute Matwork for Beginners, released in 2001. It was re-released on DVD as Basic Pilates with the Express series (Sunrise and Revive workouts.)

Moira is alone and performs the exercises on a raised platform, indoors. I knew I’d seen it before!

Workout length:28 minutes

Difficulty level: on a one to five scale, it is rated as easy or level one. Suitable for anyone new to pilates, who prefers a slower paced workout. If you want to elongate your muscles, strengthen and tighten your core, and have that mind/body connection pilates is wonderful choice!

Music: Soft piano, relaxing.

From the menu:
~Each exercise is pictured and named
~Bonus: Sunrise workout preview

Warm-up Preliminary exercises
~Imprint & Release
~Cat Stretch
~Elevation & Depression
~Arm Circles
~Head Nods

Basic Exercises
~Ab Prep
~Breast Stroke Prep 1
~Shell Stretch
~The Hundred
~Half Roll Back
~Roll Up
~One Leg Circle (legs bent)
~Spine Twist
~Rolling Like a Ball
~Single Leg Stretch
~The Saw
~Side Kicks
~The Seal
~Push Up (on knees)
~Mermaid Stretch

The “Express” series does not mean that the exercises are performed too quickly, but that the workout itself is shorter than Moira’s previously released longer matwork titles. They are an excellent choice for anyone new to pilates, whether young or old.

While this is rated slightly easier than the Revive workout, a couple of the exercises are a little more of a challenge from the other express workouts. The full Hundred is done with legs bent, but for the entire 100 counts. Also, the full Roll Up is done from a reclining position. And, Rolling Like a Ball and the Seal each have ten reps. So, while the exercises are fewer, the reps are a bit more.

For me, the flow is a bit better in the Sunrise and Revive workouts, which were released a few years later. I also prefer Moira to instruct, and have other models perform the exercises. It seems to break the flow a bit when Moira has to re-position herself and explain what she’s doing. And (while on the subject of timing) the fact that Moira is working on balancing flexion and extension moves, you’ll be switching between lying on your back or stomach, and back again. That either works for you, or not (depending on the style of pilates you’ve done.) The only trouble I’ve noticed is that when you first start out, you’ll be looking up at the TV to see what Moira is talking about for some things like the Breast Stroke and shoulder warm-up exercises. It would therefore be helpful, to fully preview the workout first, or have a good book with the pilates exercises pictured, at your side.

The value in each of the Express workouts, is learning the fundamental principles of pilates. Knowing and practicing these preparatory exercise will help you in the long run, if you plan to add more intermediate and advanced exercises. Starting with some good and detailed instruction is important, in the beginning (and also is a nice refresher, to reacquaint yourself with. The only downside to this DVD is that once you know the basics, you’re ready to move on. But, you’ll have the foundation necessary to do so.

Instructor Comments:
Moira is once again very thorough with her subject. She's soft spoken and quiet, but very much the authority on what she teaches. In the Pilates community she is very well respected. Her knowledge is your gain!