Body Bar: Elements Of FormClare Dunphy
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Body Bar , Pilates/Core Strength
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This is a great workout that really stresses the basic prinicples of pilates and is the easiest of the body bar pilates workouts. I've been doing it for months and can tell the difference when I skip a few weeks and then know I need to go back to it. The purpose of the body bar is primarily to help with alignment. It does help. A lighter body bar is probably best. A modifier uses a short body bar and for some moves I use half of mine (it separates in the middle). My fingers get numb holding the bar up sometimes, so I just rest my arms and put them back a minute or two later. In the beginning I had no idea of my postural alignment, slowly I am gaining awareness. Clare's cueing is right on. The workout does seem long and the last standing part is easy enough to skip (although I tend to include it and the review of principles as well). It's a great place to start and offers plenty of room to grow. Happily Body Bar has said that they're looking into converting this to DVD so with any luck I can continue to do for a long time.
I am kind of surprised that I liked this workout. I am an
intermediate exerciser and a Pilates drop-out. (I
consider Pilates the exercise equivalent of watching paint
Yet this was interesting and even enjoyable. I found the 12 minute instruction section in the beginning very informative. All about posture, breathing, keeping the hips and shoulders squared, belly button to the spine and buns tight.
Then the workout is a nice balance of mostly slow moving strength and stretching moves. I used my mini-bar and it was just right. I could not do all the roll-ups, but was able to do most of the other moves. Not many modifications are given, but there are many form pointers. This would be good on a hot day when you don't want to do something very strenuous, but still want a functional wo
Clare is much more engaging and warm in this video than in "Innovate Stretch". She obviously loves this kind of movement and teaches it well.
This is the introductory video to a series of BodyBar videos by Clare Dunphy. Her other video's include Innovative Stretch, Balance Line and Strength, and the newest tape, Ripple. Clare is a certified Pilates instructor with a dance-type background.
I really enjoyed Elements of Form. The first 15 minutes are a very basic review of posture, alignment and how to work from ones core. Then there is an extremely deliberate and slow total body workout using a bodybar. There aren't many repetitions. Clare comments that "the body loves variety" and I think she's right about that.
This video achieves what the Method videos only attempt, which is to intelligently and deliberately introduce pilates based movements to the newcomer. Her focus on form and alignment were unfailing, she has terrific cueing and she's quite calm and encouraging, without being condescending. There is alot of active stretching in the tape and I felt really good afterwords.
I'm really glad I started with this tape rather than diving into, say, Ripple. It's a great foundation that I'm glad I didn't overlook.