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Top 7 Pilates Videos

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Updated June 15, 2007

Pilates is the latest trend in fitness and well it should be. Its yoga-like focus and challenging moves that strengthen every muscle of the body is a nice change from the frenzy of cardio and strength training. This workout will challenge you in a whole new way and is a great addition to a well-rounded exercise program. There are tons of Pilates videos to choose from and these are the best.

1. Pilates Method

This two volume set is led by Jennifer Kries and focuses on shaping the body while strengthening the abs and back. The mat work is geared towards both beginners and those who've done Pilates before. Jennifer demonstrates each move and offers form-pointers and easy-to-follow instructions for the most effective workout.
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2. Stott Pilates - Advanced Matwork

Moira Stott is the forerunner in pilates and shows it in this advanced video. There are no fancy sets or crazy music here, just Moira's gentle voice leading you through a challenging workout targeting the abs and back. It includes standard exercises (like the 100) and a few of them (the 'teaser') are killers! She also makes a beginner video so start there if you've never done pilates before.
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3. Karen Voight-Core Essentials

Karen Voight is known for her no-nonsense style and for her easy-to-follow instructions. This video is a total-body workout with a focus on abs, back and butt. Your arms and legs will get a good workout as well. The workout is 40 minutes long and uses light weights to add intensity. She also uses her 'Green Genie' balls for added weight, but they aren't necessary to get a great workout.
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4. Denise Austin - Pilates for Every Body

I have to admit that Denise Austin is not my favorite video instructor due to her infinite perkiness. But, she's still a great instructor and this video is a good one. You'll focus on the abs as well as the arms and legs using a Dyna-Band. You start with an ab workout on the mat, followed by some interesting standing exercises using the band. As always, her enthusiasm shines through!
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5. Yogilates

Anything that is described using the word 'fusion' sounds interesting, doesn't it? This video is a mixture of yoga and pilates. You start with some matwork (pilates) and move on to yoga postures focusing on breath, alignment and the all important core strength. This video is actually volume 2 so if you want more instruction, consider getting volume 1 first. You'll enjoy the unique 'fusion!'

6. Kathy Smith Pilates for Abs

Abs? Did you say abs? If so, you'll like this video because it focuses on the one thing American can't get enough of--strong abs. Kathy Smith's girl-next-door persona is perfect for leading you through this easy-to-follow pilates workout designed to increase coordination, endurance and strength. It's a short one and a good add-on to a cardio or strength training workout.
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7. Pilates for Dummies

Pilates sounds scary, doesn't it? If you're intimidated by the confusing world of pilates, this is the perfect video for you (and no, I'm not calling you a dummy). This video covers the basics: 18 poses that include form-pointers as well as an explanation of why pilates is so good for you. The pace is reasonable and there's no fancy schmancy lingo or kooky music. Just a straightforward workout.
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