Healing through Movement: Pilates Head to Toe

Zayna Gold
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength , Total Body Workouts

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This 44 minute routine minute routine is made for those with Chron's & Colitis, and focuses on increasing muscle tone, strengthening the core, and preventing bone loss. This is a great routine for any exerciser looking for a gentler but effective workout. Zayna works out w/ 2 background exercisers and you will need dumbbells for this workout.

You first perform an upper body routine, then a lower, then combo the moves together or multi-muscle exercises. Exercises include military press, front raise, lateral raise, upper back fly, kickbacks (unweighted lower body): pliets, squats, knee up, static lunges. Core work incudes: bike, arm waves, leg scissors, leg rops, and a table top & plank series.

This is a beginner routine with tons of great instruction. The pace is slow and allows you to transition easily from exercise to exercise without being at all rushed. Great workout for its purpose or for anyone that needs a gentler routine. I received this dvd to review.



NOTE: I received a free copy of this DVD to review for the web site Metapsychology.net.

This DVD is the latest release from Zayna Gold, owner of Boston Body Pilates and instructor of two prior fitness DVDs, Boston Body Barre and Boston Body Barre: Sculpt Express. In her Introduction to this newest video, Gold maintains that Healing through Movement is intended to provide healing by means of Pilates. She explains that because there are many nerves located in the spine, a healthy spine can aid in healthy digestion and thus impact common conditions such as Crohn’s disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (which she refers to in the DVD as “IBD”).

The Main Menu of this DVD offers options for “Play All” or “Select Chapter.” The chapter options are as follows:
Cycle One: Upper Body
Cycle Two: Lower Body
Cycle Three: Full Body Workout
Healing through Movement Core Workout
For all of the workout segments, Gold is teaching live in the corner of a barre studio, and she is accompanied by two background exercisers. They use 2-pound weights for some of the sequences and mats for the core section. I have described each of the segments below, along with approximate times.

CYCLE ONE: UPPER BODY (12 minutes)
Gold and crew use 2-pound weights here for a series of basic upper body exercises. She moves slowly through overhead press, front raises, side raises, rear delt raises (which she called “rows”), bicep curls with optional balance, and triceps kickbacks.

CYCLE TWO: LOWER BODY (12 minutes)
This segment does not use weights. Gold again moves slowly through a series of traditional lower body exercises including wide pliés, squats, half lunge to knee up, and static lunge. She suggests repeating this set a second time on one’s own.

Here Gold again picks up the weights for combined upper and lower body exercises, including wide plié with overhead press, squat with front raise, side raise with balance, half lunge with rear delt raise, and full static lunge with bicep curl and then triceps kickbacks.

This segment was the only section of the DVD that looked at all like Pilates. Gold begins lying on the mat for the Pilates “Series of 5.” She performs highly modified versions of these exercises, but she is very difficult to follow, because 1) she does not mirror-cue to the viewer, and 2) her mat is placed perpendicular to the viewer, affording the viewer with a vantage of her feet only, thus making it very difficult to discern her exact movements. Gold follows with abs work on hands and knees (she notes that for those who have abdominal discomfort, it is important to work the abs in different positions), doing a version of the Pilates Hundred on all fours, and then also doing a version of the Hundred while in a forearm plank. She concludes with a very challenging series of knee dips while holding forearm plank.

If all the segments are performed together, this is a 43-minute workout, one that offers no warm-up or cool-down stretch. The subtitle “Pilates Head to Toe” is misleading, as only the Core section offers recognizable Pilates moves. Otherwise, Gold simply offers a basic total body strength workout at a beginner level. This may in fact be useful for those who have health limitations and are in need of a more gentle fitness regimen, but I see nothing here to benefit digestive conditions in particular.

Instructor Comments:
I haven't tried either of Gold's prior two releases, although they seem to have gotten good reviews on Amazon. Frankly, I found her to be quite disappointing; although the strength segment was okay, her instruction of the mat work was really quite poor. I definitely expected more of someone who owns her own Pilates studio.

Beth C (aka toaster)