The Best Pilates DVD/Videos Reviewed - Top 3

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, 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:

  1. Stott Pilates Intermediate Matwork with Moira Stott-Merrithew
  2. Pilates Workout for Dummies with Michelle Dozois
  3. Beginning Mat Workout with Ana Caban - Gaiam
  4. Winsor Pilates Accelerated Pilates Workout
  5. Stott Pilates The Secret to Weight Loss
  6. Karen Voight: Total Body Training
  7. Classical Pilates with Peter Fiasca
  8. Hillary Burnett’s Pilates Intermediate
  9. Jennifer Kries Pilates Method: The Perfect Mix
  10. Denise Austin: Hit the Spot Pilates
  11. Rapid Results Pilates by 10 Minutes Solutions
  12. Crunch: Hit the Spot Pilates with Ellen Barrett

The Buzz {2 trackbacks/pingbacks}

  1. Pingback: Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog Carnival 29 |'s Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog on December 26, 2007
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