OT: Pilates

Does anyone do Pilates? I’m looking at the Winsor Pilates DVDs. Any recommendations?

I haven’t used them, but I have heard decent things about the Winsor pilates line.

I used to work for the company that took orders for those DVDs and found that a LOT of people were calling after a friend of theirs recommended them. Seemed that there were a lot of people seeing success of their friends and wanting to try it on their own.

My suggestion would be that if you are going to, order them online if you can. The people at the call center are required to try to upsell you all sorts of extra videos and such. Last time I heard anything, the number of upsells was crazy (on all the products they process orders for)…and they are required, in most cases, to make a second attempt on each one. So if you can avoid that by getting in a store, or online…DO IT! It will save you and them the pain of having to deal with it…lol

I have this DVD and it is GREAT! I’d never done pilates before so it’s really good as far as clear instructions, great demonstrations, and a good challenging workout with two intensity levels demonstrated and also a bonus 12 minute ‘energy boost’ workout.

Thanks for the comments! I recently found out I have some arthritis in my spine as well as some disc damage, and I’ve been told to exercise and work on “core strengthening.” I thought Pilates might be the way to go.

I did quite a bit of research when I was looking for exercise videos for myself, and there are a few I would recommend instead of pilates:

Classical Stretch. Ignore the first review because I don’t think they know what they’re talking about. Miranda is a consultant to many pro athletes and seems to have a very good understanding of physiology. More info here. She has one volume that focuses on back pain, but I haven’t tried it.

Callanetics. And oldie but a goodie. Some of the comments seem too good to be true, but it actually does change your body in a significant way – I know this from experience. Available in DVD, but the link I put has more reviews.

The Bar Method. There is also a two-pack available that includes another workout.

My primary goal was not to lose weight, but toning and slenderizing. I tried a couple of different highly-rated pilates programs but like the ones I’ve listed here better. They are in no particular order, though if you have back pain, you might want to try classical stretch first, followed by callanetics (Callan Pickney actually developed the exercises for herself because she had a bad back.)

My mom has arthritis as well and she used the Windsor Pilates and liked it. I’ve never used it but have heard good things about it.

:muah: Thanks.

My sister bought them and LOVES them…

She’s now pregnant so has loaned them to me… :smiley:


I have this Pilates DVD and I really like it. I’m getting back on the wagon, so it’s a little hard to not be able to do the things I once could…but I know it won’t be long. That is one really cool thing about Pilates – whenyou start, you think, “there is NO WAY I am going to be able to do this!” but if you stick with it, in a few weeks you’re able to do these things that seemed really hard and out of reach. :thumbsup:

Good luck!

yeah i have some… never even opened them… sad i know. i will one day. :teehee:

I have used the Windsor Pilates and they do work. I really enjoy them. Only one problem, they hurt me :oops: But Im out of shape :shrug:

I LOVE pilates! And those are supposedly the best DVDs of the bunch. I’ve heard they really stick to what Joseph Pilates “invented”. It’s a mixture of calisthenics, isometrics, and yoga, really.

Pilates is the one thing that has really worked for me. I went from being out of shape to in shape really fast. And I don’t mean to say that I lost a lot of weight, but I did replace a lot of fat with muscle. In the first week alone, I gained enough muscle to replace the fat on my legs …so much so that I could barely fit into my favorite jeans anymore. And my butt got rockhard really fast. I have to say though that I am only about 20-25 pounds overweight, but I am 5 feet even.

It was hard in the beginning, but it is so worth it once you get past the aches. I need to get into it again, I have been missing it, but I have lost muscle and gained weight to replace it, so I know that when I get back into it, I will gain more muscle underneath all the fat that my clothes, at first, will be tight again. Because I will not lose the fat until I do cardio. That’s just how the body works. But if you do cardio and pilates together, you have a goldmine.

So if you want to tone up without being really beefy, and to help you gain muscle to loose fat faster, I’d definitely go with it. It also immensely improves posture making your back aches go way down, and it makes you seem about an inch or so taller. You also become incredibly flexible and controlled.

I definitely agree with Julie. I thought I’d never be able to do some of the stuff that is done, but with practice and determination I’ve been able to!

Thanks so much for the responses!

humblestumble: I work out aerobically on my elliptical trainer about 3 to 4 times a week. I also try to get in one day of step aerobics per week. I haven’t been as consistent with my hand weights as I should be (and my husband keeps nagging me about it), but I’m working on that. I can’t wait to order the Pilates DVDs now!


I have been doing pIlates now for about 7 months (since my baby was about 3 months old) and I have gotten my pre baby body back and then some, abs and all.

I LOVE them. I have also found that my posture is much better and a constant ache I had in my lower back is now gone.

I Highly reccomend taking a class from a reputable instructor to help you get the positions correct. It is one thing to watch them on a DVD and another to have someones hands on you making sure your hips and so on are in line… hard to see from our own eyes! :slight_smile: Once you get the hang of the breathing, and all the proper places to tighten etc, then the DVD’s are awesome. :slight_smile:

I go to Pilates 2 times a week (more if I have a sitter) and I continue to see improvments to my body. I just love it!!!

good luck!!

I loved them too. I did them consistantly for a while and had great results. (Now I’m weight lifting, but I still do them now and them)

Anyways, look at the reviews on collagevideo.com and videofitness.com
You also might be able to find a better deal on collagevideo.com That website is fantastic.

I’ve been trying to get into pilates too. I haven’t yet found a video/dvd I would suggest (they’ve gathered some dust while I went out to yoga class etc. :oops: ) BUT I wanted to suggest that you also check your local public library.

Many libraries have pilates, yoga and other workout videos and dvds. It gives you a chance to test drive it before buying it. It could also be a good filler for if/when you get sick of what you have.

I very, very, VERY much recommend this DVD. It’s not flashy or new age-y, just straight-ahead mat Pilates as developed by Joseph P., with various ability levels provided. I remember reading a review that complained about Bob Lieken’s accent, of all things, as he talks you through the moves. Okaaaay… but anyway, I was doing this DVD and then accompanied my mother to a Pilates class (I got her one for her birthday a few years ago and now she goes twice a week to classes) and was able to work out with the instructor there without any problem.

:oops: I need to get back to doing this… :oops:

You’re welcome Rhonda. It sounds like you’d definitely get something out of Pilates then. I do agree with Cara, it’s a very good idea to go to a Pilates Studio or Gym that has pilates classes to learn the breathing technique and the proper technique and alignment for the moves. I was going to it at my gym, and it helps a lot having someone there telling you how to perform and breathe a certain move, plus there’s usually a large mirror to compare yourself to those people around you. Once you learn the basic breathing and posture, it’ll be smoother sailing. I have a DVD at home, but I don’t enjoy it as much as the gym class.

Also, if you go to a studio, they usually have the pilates machines there, which is nice to be able to use. I’ve never been to a studio, but I do know that half of pilates has to do with using machines. Mat work is awesome in and of itself though.

You could still get the DVDs and try them out though before going to a class, then you can decide for yourself :wink: You may understand how just by watching the DVD.

I try to do at least one reformer class and one mat class every week. Both are very different and work you out in different ways. I strongly believe in getting a really good base on the mat before getting into the reformer machines becuase it is even harder to hold (and concentrate on) your positions and alignment when your legs are hooked through straps and so on! heheh!