Wednesday, September 17, 2008

10 Minute Solution: Pilates Perfect Body

THE WORKOUT: 10 Minute Solution Pilates Perfect Body ($12.99 at Amazon.)


WHO CAN DO THIS: A rank beginner to fitness might have a hard time with the concepts but anyone else should be able to make it work.

THE BREAKDOWN: Holy sadist, Batman. Who knew 10 minutes could feel like such a long time?

OK, just kidding about the sadist. But this workout is tough enough to make me feel OK about myself if I manage just one 10-minute workout in a day.

I’m a Pilates neophyte. I’ve done a DVD here and there but haven’t yet taken a class, so I can’t tell you how this measures up to a real class. However, I know enough to keep my muscles fully engaged through this DVD, which has five chapters: Arms, Belly, Buns & Thighs, Stretch and Silhouette, which is a full-body workout.

None of the chapters was a cakewalk for me (mmm, cake…). Even the arms segment using piss-ant one-pound weights had me gritting my teeth to finish up, since the weights are held shoulder height for a fairly long stretch without a break. There were a few “you must be kidding” moves, such as a reverse push-up with one leg held straight up in the air. Ha ha. No thanks. In some places, a demonstration of a reasonable modification for weaklings like me would have been appreciated.

I can’t come close to even approximating the exactness with which instructor Suzanne Bowen executes the moves but the exercise is in the trying, yes? Maybe someday. I also found her pacing a little annoying in spots—I’d want to keep going and she’d be going through a whole “ready, set, go” between sets. But that’s nitpicking. Generally, this is a solid 50 minutes of ouch.

THE SWEAT FACTOR: I work up a nice glow even doing just one 10-minute chapter and I’m soggy after the full DVD.

BUT IS IT FUN? Not fun in the traditional sense of the word, but any program that can make me feel the burn in 10 minutes is happiness inducing.

WHEN IT'S OVER: You will be aware of your muscles.

GEAR AND APPAREL: Mat and light weights.

FINAL WORD: I keep this one handy for quickie workouts--usually at least two chapters--on busy days or as an adjunct to the day’s power walk or cardio.

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Irene S. Levine, PhD said...

Came here to visit but I find the pictures a bit intimidating :-)


Sophie said...

Nobody really looks like these women. I would post photos of myself working out but that might be frightening in a different way.