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Crunch - Super SlimDown: Pilates Yoga Blend

4.7 out of 5 stars 342 customer reviews

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(Dec 26, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Certified Pilates and fitness instructor Ellen Barrett presents a workout combining yoga moves with Pilates exercises to help tone, strengthen, and burn calories.
Genre: Exercise/Fitness
Rating: NR
Release Date: 7-FEB-2006
Media Type: DVD

So here's a portrait of yoga in the 21st Century: this ancient discipline, created thousands of years ago to enhance the meditative experience (the asanas or poses commonly used in hatha yoga were in fact designed to enable meditators to sit quietly, calmly and comfortably for hours on end), is now "a total body blast," with users urged to "get hard core" and "feel the groove," all so "your torso will look buff." At least that's how Ellen Barrett, the relentlessly sunny instructor featured in Crunch Yoga's Super SlimDown: Pilates Yoga Blend, sees it. But while that approach may sound pretty frightening to traditionalists, this can't in fairness be viewed as a typical yoga video; nor does Barrett, who commingles power yoga moves and what she describes as "core-conditioning power pilates," make any claims that it is. Many of the poses--including Warrior II, extended right angle, cobra, locust, and others--will certainly be familiar to yogis. But instead of holding these poses for several breaths, as is common, Barrett takes a more aerobic approach, "pulsing" in and out of positions as if this were a calisthenics class; while that doesn't do much to promote stretching, it does generate a lot of heat and calorie burning. Same goes for the pilates portions, which involve a lot of leg lifts, abdominal work, and other mat-based exercises. One might wish that the instruction were more detailed when it comes to proper breathing, alignment, and so on; it's also a bit paradoxical that while the "Crunch philosophy" states that their fitness programs are designed for "people from all walks of life regardless of shape, size, or ability," the only folks we see onscreen are uniformly attractive, bare-midriffed young women in amazing shape. But hey, whatever. Call it what you will, this is a fast-moving, reasonably challenging program that will likely find favor with many. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ellen Barrett
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: December 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 42 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CEXF8I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,803 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I was pleasantly surprised with this workout, it is invigorating and relaxing but you will feel it working too. Ellen Barrett, who is known for her Crunch and more recently Self magazine workouts is back in what I feel is her best workout ever. Ellen is joined by 7 other ladies including Marni who shows some beginner modifications.

This 40 minute workout begins with some power breathing and standing backbends before moving into the first yoga series. You will move into warrior 2 and pulse while in that position, therefore called the "warrior pulse", then you will move into side angle pose, then reverse warrior, and sweep your arms around and down to the center for some power breaths up before repeating on the other side. This series is repeated a few more times, but with less warrior pulses. More power breathing finishes this series.

The next series is somewhat similar, but you will begin in triangle pose this time. Once in triangle, you will move back to warrior 2 but twist to the front and raise the arms up, hold them before lowering and twisting back to the front. This is repeated several times on the same side before doing on the other side. Next is the zigzag, Ellen's favorite move which targets the core. You will face front and extended your arms from side to side then scoop down and do the same thing. Then you will repeat the triangle series on each side again followed by the zigzag once more. Then you will move to triangle once more before moving to plank pose then do some knee cross crunches. Then you will stretch out first in downward facing dog, then childs pose.

The next series is the willow series which is much harder than it looks. You will begin in childs pose, then lift up your torso up while trying not to lift your rear from your heels.
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Format: DVD
I literally just walked off my mat from doing this program and wanted to give my freshest impression of it.

I've been doing Yoga daily for about 10 years and I added Pilates to my daily routine a little over a year ago. The combination is incredible (I also weight train intensely twice a week).

I've also got well over 100 Yoga and Pilates programs so I'm very familiar with much of what is out there.

I've liked some of the crunch programs I've done in the past and I also enjoy doing fusions of Pilates and Yoga (I have programs like Yogilates and several of the New Method programs). I thought this one looked very interesting so I picked it up when I saw it.

To start with, Ellen Barrett really impressed me as a teacher. She gives clear yet concise instruction and keeps the flow moving throughout the program. I found her to be motivating without being too peppy (I can't stand overly peppy and cheerleader like instructors).

The program is really cool, it starts with flowing yoga sequences where she takes several Yoga poses and links them together into a flow. This creates a lot of heat in the body and allows you to warm up and move deeper into the poses as you go through the sequences. I always like to start by playing my first edge in any Yoga pose and then move deeper into it gradually. With these sequences I liked the fact that I could do this same sort of deepening but with each sequence as a whole so by the time I was into the final sequence I was really deeply into the poses.

The entire program is done using this effective sequencing in both the Yoga and the Pilates inspired sections. I say Pilates inspired because while she uses Pilates exercises this is not traditional Pilates.
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Format: DVD
This is another great workout from Crunch and Ellen Barrett. She's great in all the workouts of hers I have. She cues very well and this is no exception. This starts with standing yoga and moves onto floor/mat Pilates. The Pilates section is a little longer, and it includes mix of Pilates classics and weight-room-inspired toning routines. This is a good and effective mix of Pilates and Yoga. I really love this; it's relaxing and easy to incorporate into your other workouts about 4 times a week. All up, it's about 40 minutes.
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Format: DVD
Ellen is very upbeat but calm, great presence, she won't bore you & not a fake/chatty instructor. It's set in the usual Crunch stage w/7 other women, one doing the modifications.
Warm Up: is some breathing w/raised arms, tiny back bends & small amount of squats.
Standing yoga: warrior 2 a lot, side angle, slight back bend on that leg placement, breath w/hands & squat & then repeat on other side. Do this 4x on each side. To rest is breathing w/raised arms & down to squats, then small spinal rolls from standing to squats.
Standing Yoga 2: Triangle, warrior 2, warrior 1 & repeat 3x more on that same side. The zig zag is simple arm reach up & down for rest & stretch, very easy/cute. The triangle, warrior 2, warrior 1 on other side 4x & zig zag again. Plank w/knee to chest several times, downward facing dog & child's pose to rest.
All fours Mat work 1: Child's pose to kneeling position w/arms always raised is called "willow" & done a few times. Next is dolphin which is plank on your elbows. Do those 2 exercises 3x more. Next is table yoga on hands/knees & balance on 1 hand & knee w/flexing the raised limbs slightly up.
All fours Mat work 2: Do locust (on stomach raise legs), next is only raise the torso a few times. Then from lying on stomach, go to child's pose back/forth for a spinal loosener & arm toning several times. Locust again with legs moving in scissor then the lying on stomach/child's pose again a few times, repeat 3x. Lying on stomach, leg circles & child's pose.
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