Pilates Videos

Pilates Vintage Video

Pilates teachers and clients

Sometimes we forget our roots in any discipline, and think that somehow we invented the wheel! I see it in new teachers all the time now, especially those trained out of the United States, since they are simply further removed via time and distance from Uncle Joe and his original work. That's why it is crucial to keep viewing the archival materials. Here is some video of Joe Pilates himself teaching Romana Kryzanowska. Enjoy!


Pilates for A Flat Stomach Fast

According to the "Food Coach" Lori Corbin of ABC's LA affiliate, both food changes as well as added exercise are necessary to achieve flat tummy nirvana. "'One thing that you can start doing right away is Pilates,' said fitness expert Jill Brown from the Sports Club LA.

Brown says there's no equipment needed. Just grab a mat or lie on carpet to try a reverse crunch in order to train the deepest level of your abdominal tissue; as standard crunching might not be effective.

'If you're doing crunches all day long, 1,000 crunches a day or what have you, you're only working the six pack. But that's not actually going to shrink the width of your belly or flatten your tummy,' said Brown."

See a video of great tummy flattening Pilates moves on the station's website.

DVD Review: The Pilates Master Trainer Series by Jennifer Kries

Article first published as DVD Review: The Pilates Master Trainer Series by Jennifer Kries on Blogcritics.

Pilates and Yoga teacher Jennifer Kries and I have been orbiting around one another for the past two decades. When she was in New York City I was in Philadelphia, and then when she relocated to Philadelphia and opened her Hot Body Cool Mind Studio I was already in the Caribbean. My first recollection of Jennifer Kries is from her very well known and then widely distributed "The Method" pilates videos. She has trained under first-generation pilates instructors Romana Kryzanowska, Ron Fletcher, and Eve Gentry.

As a pilates teacher trainer I am always on the lookout for great teaching resources both for myself and to recommend to newly trained teachers. There are simply not enough great teaching tools out there. So when I saw her Pilates Master Trainer DVD set, I just had to check it out.

This collection covers the classical Pilates exercises on the mat, chair, reformer, cadillac, and barrels. Each DVD covers beginning, intermediate, and advanced exercises with model Kim Reis demonstrating the exercises as Kries teaches and talks about what she is doing and why.

If you need visual stimulation there is not much. Literally you are looking at Kries and Reis in a beige studio setting with just them and the equipment or mat. The set up is more like a lecture; it's as if you were at a seminar in Kries' studio.

Kries focuses on cues and hands on assistance, breathing, proper form,
explanations of different breath options, tempo, and why we do each exercise. She discusses using language to help clients visualize what they need to do for the exercise — “growing”, “lifting”, "lengthening", "energizing", as well as offering a basic checklist of movements and spring tension for each exercise.

I am a hands-on teacher and I enjoyed Kries' demonstrations and explanations of when, where, and how to place hands on a client along with a discussion of why. Additionally, Kries notes conditions that will benefit from an exercise as well as contraindications, and offers variations for different purposes (i.e., single arm backward press on chair for people with scoliosis).

Kries is engaging, funny, and clear, while Kim Reis' form is so perfect you can see every adjustment and movement perfectly. Watching Kries take exercises and break them up into tiny component parts while discussing exactly what is happening with teacher, client, and equipment will make even complex exercises seem easier to teach for pilates teachers of any level. These DVDs will also help teachers learn to take clients into exercises that they may not be comfortable teaching, such a tendon stretch on the chair.

I highly recommend this series for any Pilates teacher of any lineage and experience level. You will learn something new in almost every exercise that will be of value to you and your clients.

Daily Core Workout Video

So many guests have asked me for a simple "core" stabilization workout. Here are some suggested exercises:

1. Bird Dog Also do with hands on foam roller

2. Plank Add lifting one leg and holding. Then progress to straight arms. Then progress to hands on roller.

3. Bent Knee Side Plank Add lifting top leg

Then progress to Straight Knee Side Plank Add lifting top leg

4. Bridging Add leg lifts.

Lifting Your Head in Pilates

A lot of the Pilates mat exercises are performed with the head up and this is a problem for many people. If you do not curl your head up properly in conjunction with your cervical spine and ribcage, your neck will hurt and impede you from completing the exercises. Follow the instructions here and you'll have an easier time.