Element Total Body Pilates with Mini Ball

Lisa Hubbard
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Pilates/Core Strength

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This DVD is led by Lisa Hubbard. It offers two Pilates routines, one 20 minutes and one 30 minutes (different footage), both using a small inflatable mini Pilates ball. Hubbard instructs both routines via voiceover cuing. She is teaching in the same outdoor set featured in the other Element workouts--a pretty garden overlooking the ocean in the background.

The Main Menu offers the option to choose either the 20 or the 30 minute routine; I have described each in detail below.

Hubbard begins this routine seated with the ball between the knees for partial rollbacks. Moving the ball to between the shoulder blades, she performs chest lifts, adding in a twist, and a version of the single leg stretch. She then switches the ball to between the feet for the hundred. Following this, Hubbard completes a sequence with the ball placed under the sacrum: exercises here include the scissors, helicopter, and bicycle. After a brief mermaid/side stretch and a set of tricep push-ups (hands on the ball), Hubbard transitions to lying on her stomach for back extensions and butt lifts. She concludes the workout with single leg Teaser 2 and a hip flexor stretch.

Hubbard starts this workout standing, transitioning to the floor with a hamstring stretch. With the ball between the knees, she performs a modified rollback, hip raises, knee drops, and pendulum. Moving the ball to under the shoulder blades, Hubbard moves through several modified series of five exercises. She then returns the ball to between the knees/feet for rollover, corkscrew, and rolling like a ball. Coming to a seated position, Hubbard performs the spine twist, spine stretch forward, saw, and open-legged rocker. She then moves into a side series which includes oblique lifts, clam, and additional glute work with the ball behind one knee. The final series is performed face-down with the ball placed under the sternum for breast stroke prep, moving into full breast stroke. Hubbard concludes with push-ups and the same hamstring stretch from the beginning of the routine.

I really enjoyed both of these routines. Hubbard uses the mini ball much more effectively than some of the other Pilates workouts I've tried; I found that the 30-minute routine incorporated the ball particularly well into the movements.

Hubbard teaches both workouts on this DVD in a steady flow. I have been doing Pilates for years and am at an intermediate level; I found the pace ideal, but it would probably be too fast for beginners who are unfamiliar with the exercises. Therefore, I would recommend this DVD for advanced beginners/low intermediates and beyond.

Instructor Comments:
This was my first exposure to Lisa. Although you don't get much of a sense for her personality through these routines, I liked her, and I thought she instructed well; I also did not find her to be overly chatty (mentioned on some reviews elsewhere).

Beth C (aka toaster)


This dvd comes with an inflatable mini ball and is led by Lisa Hubbard. The dvd has one 20 minute total body w/o and one 30 minute total body w/o. The dvd is voiceover and the Lisa works out alone outside in a beautiful lush green set, with a view of the ocean in the background. You will only need your mini-ball for this pilates mat w/o.

20 Minute Total Body Workout: Lisa uses the ball for all the exercises in a variety of positions (in both w/o's). Exercises include: C curve, oblique crunches, hamstring pull, the hundred, pelvic tilt, toe drops & scissors while on the ball, bicycle leg drops, mermaid, side & cat stretches, tri pushups on the ball, low back extensions, single leg teaser 2, and hip flex stretch. Great core work!

30 Minute Total Body Workout: Different exercises than the 1st w/o. Exercises include: pelvic curl to bridge, side knee drops, long leg drops to sides, cork screw, supine mermaid, double & single leg stretch, roll like a ball, saw, side leg lifts, superman, breast stroke, etc. I really felt the work in my lower body & core.

This is def a new fav pilates w/o for me! I love the use of the mini-ball with this! It really amps up the intensity in my opinion. I would rate this an intermediate pilates routine. I really like Lisa- great demeanor, form, pointers, and cuing. The set is gorgeous and Lisa does a fantastic job of creatively using the ball in a ton of different ways to enhance the exercises, really making this an effective & unique pilates workout. Received this dvd to review.