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151 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Innovative Pilates routine using weights and standing moves
on August 24, 2004
This is Ellen Barrett's third Crunch Pilates video and the first which incorporates weights into the workout. Similar to in her previous video, Crunch Fat-Burning Pilates, many of the traditional Pilates floor exercises are performed here in a standing position, although Burn & Firm Pilates does include a separate matwork section (see below). The workout begins with a 5-minute warm-up consisting of simple movements such as marches and plies (there are A LOT of plies in this video!). Following this, there was a 7-minute segment that is difficult for me to define; it was too slow-moving to be cardio and might best be described as light toning. In this section, there are additional plies plus some basic ballet-inspired leg movements.
Next comes the "meat" of the workout, a 24-minute cardio segment using light weights to increase the workload. The first series includes alternating side leg lifts (the "saw") with a "swan" movement that involves raising one arm overhead and lifting the opposite leg. Although Ellen stated that we should be feeling this in our inner thighs, I found that it was actually my OUTER thighs and hips that were burning! Next comes more plies interspersed with two moves from the Pilates side series, rond de jambe and leg circles, both performed in a standing position. Continuing on, there is a segment involving knee lifts which turn into lunges and combine with a front arm raise. After that, it's back to MORE plies! This time, a standing Pilates arm zip is performed in-between sets. The finally cardio segment provides even more work for the arms: you will do a front and side mambo that turns into a front and side lunge (a bit awkward to the side) while performing bicep curls the entire time. The cardio section ends with a few additional exercises for the arms such as circles. Overall, I found the intensity of the cardio to be about the same as for the cardio segment of Crunch Fat-Burning Pilates, although this would not have been the case without using the weights.
The final 8 minutes of the video are performed on the floor, starting with arms and abs work in a seated position with the weights. Next, you move on to your back for two additional exercises, knee drops and leg straddles, using the weights as anchors. Finally, there are just two traditional Pilates matwork exercises, the single leg stretch and the single straight leg. The workout ends with a very short (1-2 minutes) cool-down in a seated position for a total of approximately 44 minutes.
I enjoyed this video and liked the addition of the weights, especially since I have been trying to add light weights to many of my cardio routines. What I did NOT like was the absence of a traditional Pilates matwork sequence; I would have much preferred to leave out the light toning segment early in the video and devote this time to mat exercises instead. Although the exercises are a bit more repetitious here, most fans of Crunch Fat Burning Pilates will probably enjoy this video as well.