Obviously, one of the reasons Lisa has done so many photos and videos is that she demonstrates Pilates exercises with clear form. In her Pilates DVD, Total body Pilates with Mini Ball, we get Lisa demonstrating the exercises in motion, which is even better. Lisa is a good teacher in her own right.
In my Pilates DVD reviews lately I've been saying that I don't care much about the workout setting. "I don't need oceans and palm trees. I'd just as soon view a video shot in any clean looking studio," I say. Well, I take it all back. This video is filmed in as pleasing a setting as you can get - by a pool, in a lush garden, overlooking a placid ocean. Take me there, even for the 20 or 30 minutes of the videos, and I feel better.
Actually, for the whole thing to work the workouts have to be enjoyable, too. And they are. They have a nice flow and pace to them and include a well thought-out selection of strength, stretch and stability challenge exercises. Also, I have to say this DVD has sold me on the mini ball. Lisa Hubbard does a great job of combining traditional Pilates mat exercises with the mini ball in ways that use the ball to enhance the muscular engagement that should be there. This can be very helpful in learning something new from an exercise you have been doing for while or forever.
I recommend this Pilates DVD for students with some Pilates experience and also for teachers looking for mini-ball exercise ideas. However, the workouts are solidly intermediate level. They won't be suitable for beginners. While the 20- and 30-minute workouts are not too taxing, there is no introduction to the basic techniques specific to Pilates that you must start out with, even if you are fit. Here it is assumed that you are already familiar with the fundamentals and with Pilates mat exercises in general.
That's not to say there isn't plenty of instruction. As Lisa demonstrates the exercises, there is a sound track of her reading along with it, in which she packs in exercise choreography, placement cues, information about the benefits of the exercise and a few "good jobs." There is, thankfully, no small talk, making it easier to use the DVD regularly without getting tired of extra chatter. That Lisa is speaking from a script is a little unnatural sounding at times. But overall, I think it works and lets her get a lot of information out in a cohesive way. There is music in this soundtrack as well. And I think this might as well be the review where I give up and stop complaining about canned new age/techno music in fitness DVDs. At least this music changes occasionally.
My bottom line: I've done each workout several times. I enjoy them, I feel good after, and I'm always surprised how quickly the time has gone by.
This DVD is part of the "element" series from Anchor Bay Entertainment. Other Pilates DVD titles is that series include:
- Pilates Weight Loss for Beginners, with Brooke Siler
- Slim and Tone Pilates, with Kara Wily
Total Body Pilates DVD with Mini Ball List Price: $21.99. Package includes one DVD with two workouts and one mini ball.