with trainer Ana Caban & Jillian Hessel
You will love it if:
These are fairly classical Pilates workouts. Pilates is ideal for protecting the spine, improving core strength and posture, and offering a no impact workout that can be done in a tight space. It is also virtually impossible to hurt yourself while doing Pilates mat work. Pilates is a very specific workout routine developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. While the workouts included on this DVD diverge slightly from Pilates’ original vision, they do not diverge greatly from Pilates’ method, so you will see a lot of the same moves repeated during each of the workouts. So this video series offers enough variety to allow you to spice up your workouts a little if you plan to do Pilates every day, but in order to stay fairly close to the Pilates’ method, they are a bit repetitive.
Ana Caban instructors 2 of the 3 workouts. She has a nice, soothing voice, and gives good instructions and reminders throughout the video. She does not crack jokes or shout messages of encouragement—so she has the perfect personality and voice for a relaxing workout. Jillian Hessel’s voice is not quite as soothing as Caban’s, but her instructions and cuing are extremely clear and she has a pleasant personality. Though the workouts feel relaxing, Pilates is anything but easy when it is done with proper form. Pay attention to the instructions and pointers, use control while doing the movements, and you will get a great core workout.
Two of the workouts on this DVD (AM Pilates and PM Pilates) can also be found on the 5 Day Fit Pilates DVD.
One of the workouts requires a chair. You also have the option of using a body band to make the movements easier. The other videos do not require any equipment. However, you will want a soft rug or workout mat to perform the workouts on since you will be lying on your back and/or side for each of the workouts.
The workouts require very little space. If you can lie down on your back and extend your arms overhead and out to the sides, you will have enough space to complete this workout.
If you have already have experience with Pilates and know you can do the standard Pilates mat moves, you will be able to try these videos. If you have never done Pilates before, but you can easily touch your toes and hold a plank position for a few minutes without resting, you will also be able to start with intermediate level Pilates videos. However, if you have trouble imitating other people’s movements or maintaining proper form, you may want to watch some instructional videos on YouTube or buy a program that includes an instructional DVD—I would recommend the instructional video that comes with the Winsor Pilates Basic 3 DVD Workout Set.
What NOT to Expect
Do not expect to get a cardiovascular workout or strength in your arms and legs. Pilates does not target the muscles in your arms and legs—it focuses on the butt, hip, back, and abdominal muscles. It is also a toning video that is done in a slow, controlled manor. Your breathing will also be slow and controlled and your heart rate will increase only slightly during this workout.
How does AM-PM Pilates compare to other similar programs?
This is a good Pilates program to try if you want to add more Pilates workouts to your collection. 5 Day Fit Pilates includes 2 of the 3 workouts on this DVD plus 3 additional workouts so you will have a greater variety of Pilates workouts to choose from each day. One drawback to 5 Day Fit Pilates is that, with the exception of the Pilates for Beginners workout, all of the workouts are about 25 minutes in length. Maintenance Pilates for Weight Loss also includes one of the workouts from the 5 Day Fit Pilates DVD and is a bit more versatile since it includes 3 intermediate workouts of different lengths—8 ½, 15 ½, and 27 minutes—and the 8 ½ minute workout is an audio workout that you can add to your i-pod and do from anywhere (the beach, the park, your backyard…). If you have to choose between the three DVDs, I would recommend Maintenance Pilates for Weight Loss. You can then add AM/PM Pilates to your collection if you want additional workouts. (Last I checked, it was cheaper to buy both Maintenance Pilates for Weight Loss and AM/PM Pilates than 5 Day Fit Pilates.)
If this is your first time trying Pilates, I would highly recommend Winsor Pilates: Basic 3 DVD Workout Set. This is definitely the best Pilates program for teaching proper form, and Winsor shows you how to both beginner and intermediate versions of every move during her workouts. This allows you to start as a beginner and progress to an intermediate level. If you’d like something longer than 27 minutes, Winsor Pilates: Basic 3 DVD Workout Set also includes a longer 52 minute workout. If you are a Pilates enthusiast or really want to learn Pilates according to the classical method as Joseph Pilates intended for them to be done, you might try Classical Pilates Technique: The Complete Mat Workout Series.
5 Day Fit Pilates
MORE WORKOUT OPTIONS
Maintenance Pilates for Weight Loss
BETTER FOR BEGINNERS
Winsor Pilates Basic 3 DVD Set
SHORTER WITH NON-PILATES MOVES MIXED IN
10 Minute Solution Rapid Results Pilates
BETTER FOR YOUR BOOTIE
Winsor Pilates Bun & Thigh Sculpting
BEST FOR LEARNING CLASSICAL TECHNQUE
Classical Pilates Technique
MORE CHALLENGING NON-PILATES MAT WORKOUT
Ballet Beautiful Total Body Workout