Winsor Pilates: Basic 3 DVD Workout Set
with trainer Mari Winsor
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.
All of the workouts in this program include a model doing a beginner version of the workout as well as instructions on how to do this modified version. Thus, the workouts can be used by those just starting Pilates or who are just starting to get in shape to those who are intermediate level Pilates students and already in good shape. Winsor makes a few jokes during the workouts and has a somewhat upbeat and perky personality compared with other Pilates instructors.
Winsor also spends more time explaining proper form and the purpose of the move and less time counting repetitions or cuing the movements than instructors in other videos. The instructions on proper form are good if you are just learning how to do Pilates, but you will need to count on your own or look at the screen often to be sure you are following along correctly. Because Winsor is careful to explain the correct form for each movement, the transitions between movements are longer than in some other videos. However, you are not simply lying there during transitions, but waiting in an active position with your core tight. You will not feel like you are wasting time during the transitions because your body will still be working. The workout simply moves a bit more slowly, requires you to have more control over your body, and has a more savory feel (as if you are not in a hurry to finish and you are simply enjoying the movements). Winsor also includes more hip and glute work than I have seen in other Pilates workouts.
The only equipment used in these videos is your body! It is an ideal workout to take with you when you travel. 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.
Individuals of all fitness levels will be able to try this program. Winsor shows all of the standard Pilates moves alongside modified versions. If you are inflexible, have a tender neck, have weak core muscles, or any other difficulties, Winsor will give you tips on how to do the movements safely for your current level of fitness.
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 Winsor Pilates: Basic 3 DVD Workout Set compare to other similar programs?
This is 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. It also includes the longest Pilates workout I have found. If you want a wider variety of workouts, 5 Day Fit Pilates includes four different intermediate workouts that are all about 25 minutes long and one 13 minute beginner workout. 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 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.
BETTER FOR YOUR BOOTIE
Winsor Pilates Bun & Thigh Sculpting
5 Day Fit Pilates
MORE WORKOUT OPTIONS
Maintenance Pilates for Weight Loss
BEST FOR LEARNING CLASSICAL TECHNQUE
Classical Pilates Technique
SHORTER WITH NON-PILATES MOVES MIXED IN
10 Minute Solution Rapid Results Pilates
MORE CHALLENGING NON-PILATES MAT WORKOUT
Ballet Beautiful Total Body Workout