Pilates Workout for Dummies-Michelle Dozois

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Pilates is a form of exercise which is extremely popular in America, but hasn't reached the same dizzy heights in the UK over the past few years. Everyone has heard of Aerobics and Yoga, but if you were to stop and ask the average person on the street if they had heard of Pilates, the overwhelming response would be no. However, the last year has seen an increase in awareness of this exercise and the publishers of the FOR DUMMIES books (a widely recognised range of "How To" guides) have decided to take the plunge and transfer their special expertise to DVD. The result is Pilates Workout For Dummies, which is what I am to review.

Exercises
Pilates is a unique kind of exercise, in that it emphasises body alignment and correct breathing. It works the body as a whole, co-ordinating muscles in the upper and lower parts of the body with the centre of the body. Apparently this leads to dramatic improvements in strength, flexibility, posture and co-ordination. Usually Pilates would be taught on a one-to-one basis, making it inaccessible for most of us, so this DVD offers the chance to try out the type of fitness regime favoured by many celebrities these days in the comfort and privacy of our own homes. I had been looking to try Pilates myself so this DVD was the perfect opportunity.

There is a choice of whether to play either the introduction or exercises separately or one after the other. The introduction talks briefly about the basic principles of Pilates and gives a few points to keep in mind while doing the exercises. It also explains some of the terms used in the DVD for those of us who are not familiar with them. For someone who had no idea about this type of exercise that was very useful as it meant that these principles were fresh in my mind as I tried to do the exercises for the first time.

The main part of the DVD is the exercise section, which contains demonstrations of 18 different exercises. These can be done in succession to form a workout. The exercises include well known pilates movements such as The Hundred and The Corkscrew, but if like me you are a complete novice then the names won't mean much to you. Each exercise is explained and demonstrated by Michelle Dozois and then we are invited to try it with step-by-step instructions and a suggested number of repetitions, although she is careful to point out throughout the programme that it is quality, not quantity of movement that matters, and that you should only do as much as you feel comfortable with.

This is one of the main advantages of Pilates. It isn't about the length of time you spend getting out of breath on a running machine, or pushing yourself as hard as possible by doing hundreds of repetitions (yes, I was a gym fanatic for a while!) This workout is much more about making the effort to do the exercises slowly and correctly, while maintaining concentration and breathing correctly in order to enhance the benefits. There is emphasis on mind and body working together on order to give you the most effective workout.

That said, I have to tell you that the exercises are not easy by any stretch of the imagination. I found most of them possible to do, but there are a couple that I still haven't mastered, even after working through them a few times. Then again, that may be due to the fact that I'm pretty unfit and not exactly flexible! Some will probably become much easier over time particularly as I've never done anything like this before. The other thing that is really helpful is that most of the exercises have a "basic" version shown in the corner of the screen at the same time as the exercise is being demonstrated, so that you can gradually build up to doing the full exercise, and once you have become an expert there are "challenges" detailed in the same way to help you get more from the workout once you have mastered the exercise. Throughout the exercises "tips" pop up on the screen to help you and there are also warnings about common mistakes.

kualitas DVD Original
durasi total 59 menit
rilis 2003
detil lihat dipreview

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