Amy Cady
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Pilates/Core Strength

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Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

Skinnylates is a circuit-style workout for Pilates enthusiasts who want a different type of workout that includes Pilates strength work. This workout alternates cardio segments with Pilates matwork.

Amy Cady is the lead instructor and there are two background exercisers, one of whom demonstrates easier modifications. I thought this modifier was pretty effective at showing options. All you need is a mat and you can do it barefoot - the exercisers in the DVD did. I thought the music fit the workout well. Its driving beat fit the cardio and made the matwork seem to flow. It is not what a lot of people would call "good music", music they really like, but it did seem to be a good match to the workout.

The workout is chaptered by segment so that you can skip a section you don't want to do. The main menu gives you the choice of playing the entire workout or choosing segments from a submenu of segments.

I had problems with Cady's cueing, mainly because she didn't do much of it. She would announce moves and sometimes we would do the moves given and sometimes it seemed like she would give a category of movements that you would just have to follow along with because she didn't cue the moves as they came up.

The cardio was on the repetitive side. She did every move in the first cardio section that appears in the workout. Then, you do those same moves in various ways in the other cardio sections. Fortunately, the moves she chose were fun to me as they included some punching segments and repeater knees.

The matwork segments actually included Pilates-like movements. She would include traditional Pilates moves and then flow into other moves that were not as traditional. I thought these segments flowed well and were creative in general. I thought the last Pilates floor section was a bit on the long side and it wasn't as fun as some of the earlier segments.

I liked this workout less than I had hoped, mainly because I am not a strong enough Pilates person to make the frequent matwork fun for me. However, I think this is a really creative and different workout that should appeal to Pilates enthusiasts who enjoy fusion type workouts It is well-done, although, if she does more workouts, I hope that shse will cue more.

Instructor Comments:
She is encouraging and professional. She just needs to cue more.

Laura S.


Skinnylates is a unique circuit-style workout by Pilates instructor Amy Cady. It combines Pilates-style matwork moves with simple low-impact cardio for a complete full-body workout all in just under 35 minutes. You will only need a mat for the workout, and Cady and her two background exercisers, Julianne and Tracy (who show modifications), are performing the routine without shoes.

The Main Menu of this DVD offers options for Play, Chapters, or Slideshow. Selecting "Play" allows you to complete the entire routine, although brief slides flash on screen introducing each chapter. I have described the segments according to the chapter breakdowns below.

INTRO/WARM-UP (5.5 minutes)
Cady, who teaches live, explains in the intro that this workout combines low-impact cardio with Pilates strength work. The first 2.5 minutes of the warm-up starts with some standing stretches (e.g., rolling the shoulders) and then moves into some simple matwork moves such as a hundred variation, butterfly, crunch, and half rollback. The final part of this segment includes stretches for the hip flexors and hamstrings.

Here Cady introduces all the cardio that will be used in the workout, broken down into two separate 3-minute segments. The first cardio series includes step backs, knee repeaters with punches, and plies with side-to-side taps. The second series focuses on the obliques by including more twists: from a second position plie, Cady performs punches across the body, then overhead, then double-time

PILATES ABS (3.5 minutes)
In this matwork segment, Cady combines variations on the Pilates Hundred (she does a two breath version and uses different leg positions) with the Pilates Series of Five exercises.

Here the first cardio series (step backs through side taps) is repeated at a slightly more up-tempo pace

This section focus on Pilates mat work. Cady performs traditional Pilates exercises such as leg lifts, front-back, and large circles, but she adds in arm movements.

This is a repetition of the second cardio interval (standing punch series), although it begins with a single round of the repeater knees.

PRONE WORKOUT (3 minutes)
This series starts lying face-down for swan, arm/leg raises, and swimming; Cady also moves to side-lying for hip drops.

CAN CAN ABDOMINALS (4.5 minutes)
Cady starts leaning back on the elbows for a kick series, first alternating kicks with bent knees, and then moving from a frog position to cross legs. After a transition with rollover, Cady repeats the series, this time with the hands place flat behind you. She again transitions with rollover and completes another set on the elbows.

COOL-DOWN (3.5 minutes)
Here Cady repeats most of the stretches from the warm-up in reverse, including butterfly, hip flexor and hamstring stretch, and shoulder rolls. The entire time for this workout is 34 minutes.

I liked this workout more than I had expected. Although the cardio was a bit repetitive, I didn't mind, as I liked the simplicity of the moves, and I enjoyed the punching. I also liked Cady's twists on the basic Pilates matwork. Furthermore, because the workout segments are so short, the total time flew by! In fact, the only thing that I really did NOT like was the Can Can segment, which was longer than any of the others (and which I also found more different). However, because this DVD is so well-chaptered, I could easily skip over that section in the future.

Cady does move quickly through the moves with little instruction, so prior familiarity is a must, but the moves themselves are mostly beginner level. I would recommend this workout to any experienced Pilates practitioners who enjoy fusion-style workouts and who would be interested in a unique interval-style routine.

Instructor Comments:
I thought Amy was fine as an instructor. I read elsewhere that she seemed "frenetic," but I really didn't find that to be the case. I did think that she moved a bit too quickly through the warm-up, but otherwise, I think the pace of this routine should be fine for those with at least some Pilates experience.

Beth C (aka toaster)