DVD Review: The Method: Pilates Target Zones (Upper-Mid-Lower Body), Jennifer Kries (2003)

November 21st, 2005 11:59 pm by Kelly Garbato

Ab-solutely Awesome Mix of Pilates & Yoga!

five out of five stars

Although I mainly stick to Tae Bo and kickboxing, I also like to throw the occasional yoga and/or pilates workout into the mix for flexibility and strength. I love Jennifer Kries as an instructor – she’s always peppy and cheerful without becoming annoying, and she does a great job of explaining the poses in such a way that even yoga newbies like myself can easily understand. Because I’ve enjoyed Kries’s DVDs in the past, I chose The Method: Pilates Target Zones: Upper-Mid-Lower Body when I needed a dedicated abdominal routine. As usual, Jennifer does not disappoint!

The workout is divided into three 25-minute segments: Abdominal/Centering, Lower Body/Grounding, and Balanced/Lengthening. The segment titles are a bit misleading, however; the first two, Abdominal/Centering and Lower Body/Grounding, focus on the abdominals via a series of “roll ups,” while the last portion, Balanced/Lengthening, is an interesting mix of yoga and ballet. The distinctions between Upper, Mid, and Lower Body aren’t as discrete as the titles would have you believe. Nonetheless, each segment is challenging and effective – I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my abdominal strength and overall flexibility since incorporating this DVD into my fitness program.

Abdominal/Centering, the first segment, begins with some breathing exercises, and then alternates between yogic stretching and increasingly difficult pilates “roll ups” that really (and I mean REALLY) challenge the abs. Lower Body/Grounding is more of the same, but this series incorporates the use of a lightly weighted bar to assist in the standing stretches and give a point of focus in the “roll ups.” Even so, you don’t have to run out and buy extra equipment in order to take full advantage of this workout – you can very easily substitute a broomstick or similar object for the bar (I use my Richard Simmons Ab Roller!). Finally, the Balanced/Lengthening section leads you through various yogic postures, including the Sun Salutation, the Proud Warrior series, and Awkward Chair (this one really works your legs!). Kries also includes a few ballet exercises, such as pliĆ©s and ankle presses (again, great leg work!).

I have absolutely no complaints about this DVD – which is very rare for me! The exercises are great, the instructor is engaging and encouraging, and the DVD format is suitable (i.e., each segment is its own chapter on the DVD, so you can easily customize your workout). Upper-Mid-Lower Body is especially worthwhile for those looking to firm their tummies. Along with Tae Bo: Billy’s BootCamp: Ab BootCamp, this is my favorite ab workout. And it shows – my six-pack is coming in quite nicely!

(This review was originally published on Amazon. Please click through and vote it helpful if you think it so!)

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