Information About Pilates' Video Training

These reviews have been written by Judd Robbins.
If you wish a review of your video included here, please send a review copy to Judd Robbins at P.O. Box 1152, Talent, OR 97540.
I will include information about it as soon as possible after receiving and reviewing it.


Equipment Videos

Mat Videos

PHYSICALMIND® INSTITUTE, 84 Wooster St #405, New York, NY 10012

Click Here to Learn About the PhysicalMind Institute's Latest Set of Videos
Reform It!!! --- A 40 minute, extensive demonstration of the entire Reformer repertoire found in the Institute's printed Encyclopedia of Universal Reformer exercises. An excellent reference for teachers and a good reference tool for advanced students. Intermediate students will require the printed Encyclopedia to benefit from the tape.

Cadillac Choreography --- The exercises demonstrated are choreographed to create a workout that flows; one movement leads to the next without delay. Included are: Roll Back Series; Spine Lift; Breathing; 100ís; Sit Up Combo; Swan Dive; Cobra; Cat; Bend and Stretch; Tower; Monkey; Mini-Reverse Tower; Flying Eagle; Double Leg Springs; Short Spinals; Long Spinals; Magician Series; Single Leg Springs Supine; Sidelying Leg Springs; Spread Eagle; Hanging Up; Hanging Down; Cat Walkover. (NTSC Video - 55 min.)

Gait Workshop Video and Book: Created by Marika Molnar, PT. The average person walks several hours and steps day! Help your clients use these steps to their advantage, and break out of poor postural habits that are reinforced with every step. Developed from the Gait Workshop held at the Institute in Santa Fe, this video and book package teaches you how to analyze and correct the gait of your clients using Observational Gait Analysis and specifically developed Pilates exercises. (NTSC Video-46 min. with 40 page book.)



Bodymind Matwork --- Novel and creative, this first ever animated Pilates video offers a computer generated series of Joe's exercises. With modest amounts of verbal cueing, the video cuts down the time necessary to get a flavor for each of Pilates' exercises. Although breathing cues are de-emphasized, the visual alignment and technique elements are effectively presented.

Polestar Education, LLC.

Conditioning Techniques for the Studio Reformer --- 76 minute, slow paced but thorough introduction to reformer use --- An excellent presentation of fundamental Reformer exercises, including careful instructions and top-notch visual demonstrations.

Allegro Setup & Safety (45 min), Allegro Introductory & Level 1 Workouts (90 min), Allegro Level 2 Workout (95 min), Allegro Level 3 Workout (85 min) --- A superior series of 4 videos aimed specifically at owners of the Allegro Reformer from Balanced Body Inc. Although Elizabeth Larkam created this terrific set of videos to demonstrate Pilates-Evolved Training on the Allegro reformer, there is very little reason why owners of other reformers cannot readily adapt her precise, careful training techniques and exercises to any other reformer that might be used. The widest range of possible exercises appear here, and her emphasis on form, alignment, and breathing are a credit to her educational skills.
Fit & Flexible --- A 90 minute presentation of 20 mat oriented exercises that offer a wonderful first level instructional opportunity for the new student. Elizabeth Larkam's focus on breathing, precision, and flowing movement accurately reflect what I believe was Joseph Pilates original aims. An excellent choice for a first or a refresher video.

STOTT CONDITIONING, 2200 Yonge Street, Toronto Ontario, M4S 2C6
1-800-910-0001       0800-328-5676 (in the UK)

Essential Reformer --- An excellent 58 minute introduction to Reformer exercises. It includes standard beginner techniques plus a series of both long box and short box exercises. Moira Stott herself demonstrates the exercises and cues each exercise wonderfully. She includes both guidance and precautions and the tape itself has some interesting video insets to demonstrate variations in form.

Power Reformer --- A vigorous yet smooth-flowing workout for advanced students who have already mastered torso stabilization and abdominal contraction, in all positions of spinal flexion or extension, both standing and lying down. Includes an excellent introductory section on use of the Reformer, its props, and the variety of possible adjustments during exercise.

Fitness Circle Workout --- Although only 25 minutes long, this tape is a surprisingly engaging blend of fitness principles and her Fitness Circle® exerciser for resistance. We teach a strength and tone class that uses a variety of bands, straps, tubes, and balls for resistance. As Pilates instructors also, we were very pleased to see a range of exercises demonstrated in this workout that can blend Pilates exercises with strength and toning techniques. The exercises can easily be used by us in training our clients with this Fitness Circle® , or modified in some cases to be used in conjunction with our traditional equipment.

Arc Barrel Workout --- 35 minute workout set using the barrel as both a prop and an exercise modifier. Ranging from simple to advanced (stretching and strengthening) exercises, Moira emphasizes breathing and modifications appropriate for spinal as well as knee support. For those of you with access to the barrel, this tape offers a fine adjunct to your regular mat or equipment workouts.

Power Fitness Circle --- A top-notch application of Pilates' exercises to advanced use of and coordination with the Fitness Circle. Smooth-moving, 38 minute workout. Worth every minute.
Essential Matwork --- Another excellent tape that features Moira Stott demonstrating a fundamental set of Pilates' exercises. Her cueing and explanations are exceptional.

Intermediate Matwork --- The follow on tape uses the same methodology as the Essential tape. In 44 minutes, you will explore additional exercises and variations on the exercises introduced in the first tape.

Advanced Matwork --- This final tape in the series presents some of the most advanced Pilates' exercises, along with more challenging variations. Video insets complement Moira's emphasis on both technique presentation, smooth transitions between exercises, and interesting modifications for both students and teachers.

Power Mat Workout --- A very professional workout for advanced, knowledgeable students. Excellent cueing of fundamental body mechanics, breathing, posture and positioning while guiding you through an extremely smooth sequence of Pilates' exercises, emphasizing transitions from one exercise to the next.

Ultimate Back-Care --- Superior focus on back stabilization and protection while presenting a 46-minute range of Pilates-related mat exercises.

Flex-Band Workout --- A wonderful 55-minute workout using the flex-band in a series of Pilates-derived exercises, mostly simulating Reformer-based exercises by using the resistance of the flex-band. Sort of a "poor man's reformer" alternative. Take this one on the road with you.

Mary Bischof and Garton Video Productions, P.O. Box 566, Vail, CO 81658

Cadillac ("Trapeze Table") Workout --- Whew! They don't call it the 'cadillac' for no reason. And this tape presents a very clear explanation and demonstration of the wide-ranging series of exercises that can be done with the multi-faceted aspects of this device.

Low ("Wunda") Chair Workout --- Great presentation of the extraordinary range of Pilates' exercises that can be performed with this apparatus. Emphases on movement (with good attention to muscular engagement), breath, and fun.

Beginning and Intermediate Reformer Class --- An excellent beginner's tape. Well paced for following along, this video incorporates continuing suggestions for posture, alignment, muscle awareness, and flow (including transitions) from technique to technique.

Advanced Mat & Reformer Workout --- Wonderful demonstrations of an extensive series of exercises for the advanced Pilates' practitioner. Good cueing, cautions, and coordination with breathing.
Beginning and Intermediate Mat Class --- Solid introduction to Pilates' mat exercises. Excellent emphasis on breathing (and smiling).

Advanced Mat & Reformer Workout --- Wonderful demonstrations of an extensive series of exercises for the advanced Pilates' practitioner. Good cueing, cautions, and coordination with breathing.


The Pilates Institute of Australasia, P.O. Box 1046, North Sydney NSW 2059 Australia
Phone: 61 (02) 8920 2622; Fax: 61 (02) 8920 2633

Pilates Principles --- An excellent introduction to many of the fundamentals, from breathing to imprinting to spinal curling, that underlie the Pilates exercises. This tape is particularly good for introducing Allan Menezes' concept of the "B-Line" for abdominal control and postural enhancement.

Pilates for Athletes --- An advanced demonstration (I liked this tape a lot) of Pilates exercises that are suitable for athletes in other disciplines who wish to do some effective cross training with Pilates based exercises. Not suitable for athletes who have any back problems.

Pilates for Beginners --- A very good introduction to Pilates' work, especially for those who haven't been exercising and whose addominals need some attention and focus.

Pilates Intermediate Program --- As you'd expect, this extends the Beginners tape by repeating a number of exercises, offering some variations, and then adding some new exercises to the presentation.

Pilates Advanced Program --- Although the range of exercises incorporates a number of Joe's advanced techniques, the selection of students who demonstrated the exercises was a little disappointing. We think that the demonstrators should have been more proficient in what they were doing so as to be more effective examples for emulation by the video viewers.

Pilates for Lower Back Pain --- A pretty basic tape that does not live up to its title. There should have been a good deal more focus on back issues, answers, and precautions than we found in the tape.

Pre-Natal Pilates Program --- Insufficient explanations, advice or precautions for the pre-natal crowd. We cannot recommend this tape to anyone who is pregnant.

Reviews of Other Pilates' Videos
A combination product, "Pilates Magic Circle with Video" is now available from OPTP at 800-367-7393 in Minneapolis. Only one of their many fitness and therapy products, it can be purchased from Unlike other Pilates' videos, this one comes with the increasingly popular "magic circle", a sprung-steel resistance ring that enables you to strengthen key Pilates' core muscles through effective isolation and novel activation exercises. Through three different sets of stand-alone, equipment-based, and mat-based, exercises, you can target key peripheral muscle groups in the arms, legs, and neck, while strengthening core muscles simultaneously.
This superior presentation called "Flow Pilates" of Pilates-based exercises draws heavily on breathing fundamentals. The video can be previewed and purchased from The presenter, Carolan Brown from the UK, coordinates breathing cues beautifully with explanations and demonstrations of back and abdominal strength movements and pelvic stabilizations. All in all, a very controlled and careful instructional video with enhanced guidance for beginner to intermediate students. However, many instructors would benefit from viewing her presentation at least once to absorb her effective, unique, and valuable cueing.
A wonderful new video from Lindsey Jackson in the UK, called "Pilates in Pregnancy" is available from Enhance in the UK at 00 44 1937 586685, or via their website, Clearly a labor of love, Lindsey is herself in her third trimester during the shooting of the video. She focuses on pelvic floor strengthening, abdominal strengthening, postural elements, and highly focused breathing techniques. An excellent production, adapting many basics of Pilates work (and some fine yoga/stretching fundamentals as well) to the varying needs of pregnant women. The video is divided into several sections, adjusting the exercises presented to pre-birth, both before and after 'showing', to post-birth and recovery exercise awareness. A very well selected series of excerpts and exercises from Pilates work, that flow nicely, are presented with a gentle, relaxing voice, and are accompanied by a finely tailored set of cautions and considerations for the pregnant woman.
"Yogilates - Workouts One and Two" are two videos from Jonathan Urla that are now available at His offerings represent a fusion of gentle and safe exercises drawn from traditional hatha yoga with the increasingly popular Pilates techniques of balance, alignment, and core strength. Workout One is almost entirely hatha yoga based, while Workout Two introduces some of Pilates' easier introductory movements while maintaining the tape's primary focus on an intermediate yoga workout.
Here's a little historical gem that we've just happily discovered: The "Eve Gentry Workshop" video is available from Momentum at 505-992-8000 and is a fascinating perspective on Pilates exercises and principles from one of Joe's original students.
"Pilates Mini-Ball Workout video is a wonderful new video from The Pilates Coach (, starring Leslee Bender. Drawing on traditional Pilates movements, Leslee makes effective and smooth-flowing use of a portable, mini-ball for alignment and focus training. The video emphasizes support, resistance, and alignment, beginning with a warm up engaging the abdominals and continues with a nicely balanced series of exercises that make quite enjoyable and effective use of the portable blow-up ball (included in the package for sale on the website)."
"Jennifer Kries' Precision Toning video is a part of her series entitled The Method. It's a very enjoyable introduction to a series of introductory to intermediate Pilates exercises. She foregoes any emphasis on breathing, preferring to suggest that you just 'breathe naturally' and follow along. This is perhaps the greatest weakness of this tape when compared to the choices above. However, it's hard to beat the price since it sells at Target stores in the $10-$12 range. The only other tape that is really close enough to Pilates' exercising and therefore worth taking a look at is her Balanced Zones video."
"Colleen Craig's On The Ball video is indeed an innovative ball workout based on the work of Joseph Pilates, as is claimed in both her video and her book of the same name. It is quite true to Joe's original exercise program, emphasizing breathing while holding the ball and performing standard Pilates' exercises, first on the ground, then seated on the ball for postural emphasis, lying on the ball for back extensions, and finally straight on and over the ball for strength and coordination. This is a more challenging workout and is recommended for more experienced Pilates' students seeking both innovation in their workout and challenge to their skills."
"I have both the Balanced Body Mat video (produced by Current Concepts with Elizabeth Larkam) and the PhysicalMind II video. I've also seen the Precision Toning video. All af them have something to offer and cover approximately the same material. If you are trying to learn the matwork exercises on your own, I recommend the Balanced Body Video. Elizabeth Larkam does an excellent job of explaining and demonstrating the moves. She talks and moves slow enough that you can really learn. The problem with this tape is that it only covers 18 of the original 34 mat exercises.The PhysicalMind video covers all of the exercises (well, 32 of them) but moves at a faster pace. This may be fine if you are already familiar with the movements and need a refresher. I also found the tape to have lower production quality than the Balanced Body tape.The Presicion Toning tape moves very fast and I would not recommend it for beginners. This tape also goes the fartherest from the original sequence of exercises. Jennifer Kries does however provide excellent demonstrations. They may be a bit intimidating for beginners."
"My wife and I have used the BalancedBody Matwork video and have enjoyed it very much. While she (Elizabeth Larkan) only presents 18 of the original 34 exercises, her verbal instructions are excellent. If you are a beginner, the pace is good. If you are a bit more advanced, you may find that she moves too slow. The reformer workout videos are also good and work quite well with the personal reformer that Current Concepts sells. We are both very pleased with what we've purchased from them. You can contact Current Concepts by emailing at, or calling them at 1-800-PILATES. The website is"
Another beginner's mat video is The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, found at the web site.
Hilary Burnett's "Mind Body Mat: Exercises in the Tradition of J. Pilates" is a 41 minute follow-along workout that incorporates a Level I and II workout, preceded by a short warmup and followed by a short stretching set. Rather than a formal training approach, she adopts the more relaxed technique of simply taking the viewer through a modest workout routine. Lacking formal instruction with advice on precautions or modifications, this tape is only suitable for someone who is already familiar with Pilates' strengthening exercises and basic stretching exercises.
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