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Gaiam: Pilates Beginners [Import]
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Pilates is a full-body conditioning exercise program that uses a series of machines and exercises. It works the entire body, both the right and left sides, in unison. It focuses primarily on what Joseph Pilates called the "powerhouse," the group of muscles that begins two inches above and below your navel, then wraps completely around your front and back--kind of like a corset. It also includes your buttocks.
The DVD features the Pilates Beginning Mat Workout, plus a bonus workout and interview with instructor Ana Caban.
"Remember what Joseph Pilates said," instructor Ana Caban says. "'You will feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 sessions, and have a completely new body in 30 sessions.'" Pilates has become very popular and for good reason. By working the core muscles (the abdominal and back muscles in the center of your body) you improve strength and posture and develop a lean, long line.
Certified Pilates instructor Ana Caban is a splendid teacher. First she demonstrates alignment and technique for 10 minutes, explaining the cue words you will hear and how to do the basics, emphasizing how to use the core muscles to strengthen the abdominals and back throughout the workout. Then she introduces a challenging 20-minute series of Pilates moves, instructing clearly, demonstrating beautifully, and continuing to advise you about technique, breathing, and form.
Even though this is a beginning Pilates workout, Pilates is never easy, so these moves will feel extremely difficult if you're new to this kind of exercise. For example, you learn to hold your abs tight whatever move you're doing, and you move only the muscles you're working at the moment, using your stabilizing muscles to hold the rest of the body still (much harder than it sounds!). Another participant demonstrates modifications throughout in case Caban's moves are too difficult or your muscles fatigue. If you've been wanting to explore Pilates and you're willing to put in the effort and concentration, this video gets our top rating. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm not completely new to fitness - I do other activites, like weights, aerobics, and cardio, but I use this video currently for my less demanding days along with an ab stability ball workout. After a few more weeks (about 2 months in total) I will feel ready to be challenged by the Intermediate, but until then, this will definately help me build the balance and stance skills I need to go further into the pilates program.
I recommend this video to anyone new to pilates. This is the video to start with! I should also say that it took me a long time to take up Pilates because I deemed it ....flakey (there, I said it). I was wrong. I am 5'0 tall, and Pilates difinately changes your body type into a sleek, long dancer like frame (yes, even at my height). To optimize its effectiveness, you should do it 3 times a week, and then do cardio 3 times a week (like Taebo, running or walking) to burn off your body fat. Good luck everyone! firstname.lastname@example.org
While the instruction on the poses is good, the progression is very slow and you'll feel like you're lying around waiting for your workout to begin.
The second part of this series (Intermediate Mat Workout) is an excellent workout and the instruction in the dvd is clear enough even if you haven't done this one first.
If your remotely fit and coordinated, I would recommend skipping directly to the second offering in this series.
It is hard at first, I was breathing hard, and hot but afterwards felt wonderful and energized. In fact don't do this too soon before bed or you'll be too zippy to sleep.
I'm now using the Intermediate tape and again doing stuff I never dreamed of.
A great program.
PROBLEM: the production quality for both the video and dvd are really inconsistent. My copy of the intermediate workout has the picture screen changing colors (green to blue to red to yellow) which is really IRRITATING. Some of the editing can be a little sharper on the beginners video. My dvd has picture problems as well. Some friends who also have this version complain of the same things, while some have ok copies. GAIAM needs to address these issues BEFORE releasing their product on the market. Don't buy until they fix it, you might have trouble returning them.
I've since moved onto the Intermediate workout and I agree with the poster who said this one is a lot harder. Be warned! Make sure you can do EVERY stretch before moving on. I made the mistake of moving onto the intermediate workout before I'd mastered the open leg rocker and teaser. I kind of thought I would be doing different stretches than the ones in the beginner workout. Wrong! Not knowing how to do those specific stretches made the 2nd video a lot harder than it should have been. 3 months after starting it I'm finally getting to the point where I can do the stretches without to much difficulty. I'm giving myself another few months before moving onto the advanced workout just to be safe.
Most recent customer reviews
Great beginner DVD. It's was a bit too easy for me, but it's a really good DVD to start Pilates !Published 2 months ago by Marilyn Girouard
Love Ana's pilates workouts. Has modified for very beginner. Only wish the workout was a bit longer. (25 min) Does have a bonus mat workout which I have yet to try...(12 min).Published 23 months ago by Sarah Dover
I had this workout on VHS but could not use it on my new tv. I looked everywhere for it on dvd but finally found it here! Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!!Published on Feb. 10 2013 by Jan Mindlin
I bought this as a first-timer, and found her very easy to follow along to. She has one of her students doing the exercises with her, tailored to beginners or less-flexible people,... Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2013 by Kate
I bought this dvd because I wanted to add some variety to my workouts. The description says that this is instructed by Ana Caban and included an Energy Boost program. Read morePublished on July 14 2012 by SRT
There are 2 skill levels presented simultaniously, so you don't have to be able to balance on your tailbone with your feet in the air RIGHT AWAY. Read morePublished on March 31 2007 by Amazonaholic