The Best Pilates DVD/Videos Reviewed - Top 3
Dec 19 2007
Pilates videos are in high demand right now - I’ve seen them everywhere from the grocery checkout to fitness specialty stores. Videos are a great way to supplement pilates training on your own as well as an excellent stocking stuffer (or Hanuka, Kwanzaa, or New Year’s gift.) Since most of them claim to slim/burn/trim/tone with a big pearly white smile, the question is this: How do you select the best video? And if you’re not a pilates pro yourself, or are simply short on time and want the best workout ASAP, which video is worth it?
To answer that question for my readers, I looked at the top twelve, best-selling pilates videos as listed on Amazon.com, and worked out to each one (tough job, I know…) I will give you a professional pilates instructor’s take on how they measure up; they’re listed below in order from #1 (the best) to #12 (the one I least liked.)
What’s my criteria, and how will it help you? Well, remember that how pilates is taught can make a ginormous difference in what you get out of a workout. One video may leave you feeling refreshed and “worked out” while another will feel like a frustrating waste of time. A workout is generally an hour long, and I want to make sure that you spend your hour in the most effective way - just as I’d want my clients to feel after a private. So I have closely looked at each video’s:
- pace - the speed of the workout
- level - how difficult the workout is
- clear breath cuing - are you told exactly when to breathe?
- inclusion of pilates principles - for safety and effectiveness
- explanation of the goals of an exercise - why are we doing it?
- what you get out of doing an exercise
- target muscles - the muscles focussed on in a particular exercise
- common errors to avoid in specific exercises
As pilates continues to grow as a practice, the level of instruction gets increasingly better. At this point there are videos on the market which actually teach pilates, similar to going to a group class with an educated professional instructor. However, there are still pilates videos on the market which act as a follow-along tape - and these are far less worthy of your time.
Now, here are my recommendations, from the best to not-so-hot, of pilates videos; the top 3 I recommend, and the other 9 I have problems with:
- Stott Pilates Intermediate Matwork with Moira Stott-Merrithew
- Pilates Workout for Dummies with Michelle Dozois
- Beginning Mat Workout with Ana Caban - Gaiam
- Winsor Pilates Accelerated Pilates Workout
- Stott Pilates The Secret to Weight Loss
- Karen Voight: Total Body Training
- Classical Pilates with Peter Fiasca
- Hillary Burnett’s Pilates Intermediate
- Jennifer Kries Pilates Method: The Perfect Mix
- Denise Austin: Hit the Spot Pilates
- Rapid Results Pilates by 10 Minutes Solutions
- Crunch: Hit the Spot Pilates with Ellen Barrett