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Michael George

Professional Fitness Expert

How to Pilates DVDs & Best Pilates DVDs

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Are you searching for a Pilates DVD? But you’re not quite sure which way to turn? Well here are a few options: 1. You can go online and spend endless hours reviewing the different clips from some of the most popular DVDs, or 2. You can rent several DVDs and choose one which works best for you or better yet, 3. You can continuing reading this article and perhaps make a more informed decision in less time... and I have also chosen some of my favorites, to perhaps narrow down your search.

First let’s start with a little background information on Pilates, originally called “Contrology” by its inventor Joseph H. Pilates in the 1920s. As quoted by Joseph Pilates, “Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities… Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.”

There are six principles well known in the Pilates Community that should be incorporated in all Pilates exercises: breathing, concentration, fluidity, precision, control, and centering. These principles apply whether you are working with a floor mat or using Pilates equipment.

Today, Pilates is one of the hottest fitness trends on the planet and is ideal for practically everyone, young or old, the extremely fit or the not so fit. It is highly applauded by many who have chronic pain, injuries, or even asthma.

Pilates is an intense workout with low impact and concentrates on building strength and flexibility, improving coordination, balance, and posture, and increasing stamina. Pilates movements are initiated by muscles in the abdominal area (known as the powerhouse or core) and are designed to work the smaller muscles that support larger ones, while stretching and lengthening the entire muscular package. Performed correctly, most Pilates workouts are safe to do every day.

Most Pilates DVDs are very affordable, however, please be sure that you are prepared and have the necessary equipment to perform the exercises demonstrated on the DVDs.

Before moving forward with your selection process determine which category best describes your fitness level: Beginner: just starting out, very overweight, or haven't exercised in over six months; Intermediate: active in sports, dance, or any regular exercise at least 2 – 3 times per week; or Advanced: very active in sports or consistently works out four or more times per week. If you are in the Beginner category, it is suggested that you consult with your health care provider before starting on any new exercise regimen.

Searching for how to pilates DVDs doesn't have to take all afternoon with help from our experts who scour the Web for the best pilates DVDs. We suggest many pilates work out videos that offer how to pilates expert advice.

Best Pilates DVDs by Michael George

The Best You Can Get

  • New York Style Pilates Beginners Workout DVD

    Michael says: Taught by Certified Instructor Jonathan Urla.

    This DVD is at the top of the list because it lays down the groundwork in key areas such as breathing, core development, and spinal placement, before moving on to the full mat work. The pace of this video is slower and clearly defines the fundamental movements which allow the beginner to integrate the Pilates principles, such as breath, concentration, and flow.

    • This DVD demonstrates a good foundation in the principles of the Pilates movement
    • Model demonstration of modified versions of the exercises
    • The class develops in a safe, instructive way at a relaxed and focused pace
    • A portion of the DVD breaks the workout into sections
    • Some of the exercises have optional props
  • Rael Pilates System 17, DVD – Intermediate Level

    Michael says: Taught by Master Rael Isacowitz.

    Rael Isacowitz has been teaching Pilates for over 25 years. Rael is said to be one of the only Masters who can perform the whole Pilates repertoire. This instructor’s style embodies the strength, flow, and grace of the Pilates method.

    • Clear demonstrations that make the principles of the exercises, easy to understand
    • Encouraging and motivating
    • The exercises in System 17 include: leg circles, pelvic curl, shoulder bridge, and front support
    • System 17 is the intermediate level of a 3-part program
  • Pilates Beginning Mat Workout DVD

    Michael says: Taught by Certified Instructor Ana Caban.

    This DVD presents both Beginner and Advanced programs. Two instructors perform modified versions of the work out routines, which allow you to start at a simple level and progress.

    This DVD allows you to strengthen and tone muscles without joint stress.


    • Introduces the basic principles of Pilates and proper form
    • Demonstrates several ways to adapt the workout to varying levels of fitness
    • 60-minute Pilates beginning mat workout
    • Contains a bonus Energy Boost workout
    • Fun, motivating, and easy to follow
  • Winsor Pilates Super Sculpting DVD

    Michael says: Taught by Certified Instructor Mari Winsor.

    Mari Windsor is well known for developing a technique called "dynamic sequencing", a combination of exercises done in a specific order and rhythm to produce maximum results. Mari Windsor’s area of concentration is weight loss.

    • Accelerated Fat Burning Workout – similar aerobics style routine that has good music and is easy to follow
    • 20-minute Circle Workout - more challenging with the circle - great for muscle tone
    • Advanced sculpting circle routines
    • A great workout with many inventive ways of using the sculpting circle
    • Equipment needed: Windsor Sculpting Circle
  • Advanced Pilates DVD

    Michael says: Taught by Certified Instructor Kathi Casey.

    This instructor’s technique blends Western strength training with ancient Oriental practices for a total mind/body program that is designed to build stamina, increase vitality, strengthen your core body, and improve circulation.

    This is a challenging and fun, 30-minute DVD for those looking for the next step to a complete Pilates workout and want to build a more challenging Pilates practice. The DVD includes a strength training portion using your own body weight.

    The traditional Pilates 100s is done as a combination of the 100s, Roll up and Teaser all in one - working lateral, lower and upper abs, legs, and buttocks at the same time.

    • This is a strenuous program and it's not necessary to complete every exercise or do all the repetitions at first
    • The instructor encourages you to listen to your body and take your time as you move through each exercise
    • Core body and spine strengthening
    • Breathing is a very important part of the program and is stressed on this DVD
    • Equipment recommended: Wrist Aids for body weight lifting

You will be happy with any of these

  • Stamina Pilates Lower Body Workout Series DVD

    Michael says: Taught by Certified Instructor Marjolein Brugman.

    Marjolein Brugman has been credited with bringing Pilates into the home. “An accident ten years ago taught her about the profound benefits of Pilates as she rehabilitated her own hips and watched her life change.”

    • 30-minute workout video for use with Pilates Reformer
    • Strengthens the muscle groups of the lower body including thighs, buttocks, stomach, legs, lower back, and abdominals
    • Improves flexibility, balance, and core strength
    • Adds strength without bulk
    • Equipment required: Pilates Reformer
  • Denise Austin's J.H. Pilates Matwork DVD

    Michael says: Denise Austin mixes exercises inspired by J.H. Pilates with yoga, creating two meditative, twenty-minute workouts for people of all ages and fitness levels.

    Relies on your own body weight for resistance. Streamlines muscles without putting stress on your spine or adding bulk.

    • Includes two 20-minute workouts
    • 10-minute lower-body workout
    • Strengthens the back and hardens abs
    • Easy to follow
    • Challenging and relaxing
  • On the Ball: Pilates Workout for Beginners

    Michael says: Taught by Lizbeth Garcia.

    Lizbeth Garcia fuses Pilates with the Stability Ball to give you a practice that you can enjoy for years and years to come. Lizbeth studied under master teacher Rael Isacowitz.

    • The combination of Pilates and the stability ball allows for a fluid and centering practice
    • Improved posture and centering as well as a strong and toned body
    • Precise alignment instruction
    • The instructor encourages you to listen to your body and take your time as you move through each exercise
    • Equipment needed: Stability Ball
  • Pilates for Weight Loss DVD

    Michael says: Taught by Certified Instructor Suzanne Deason.

    Winner 2005 Self Magazine Fitness DVD Award: Best Pilates DVD.

    Burn calories. Build lean muscle. Boost your metabolism.

    • Target trouble areas
    • Each exercise is demonstrated for three skill levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) so you can progress at your own speed
    • 180 minutes
    • Bonus instruction segments
    • Creates mind/body centeredness
  • Pilates Level 1 Workout Video - DVD

    Michael says: Taught by Certified Instructor Marjolein Brugman.

    This workout is ideal for anyone who is just beginning to use a Pilates Reformer. Choreographed and demonstrated by Pilates expert Marjolein Brugman.

    • Learn proper form and recommendations for the number of resistance cords to use for each move
    • Start off with a warm up, then work your legs, upper body, and cool down
    • All moves engage your core or powerhouse for toned, firm abs
    • This workout is the first in a series of three
    • Required equipment: Any Pilates Reformer

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Choose how to pilates DVDs from our suggestions that help you find the perfect pilates workout. Our experts search the Web for the best pilates DVDs for beginners to advanced students. With these how to pilates exercises DVDs, you'll be toned in no time, all in the comfort of your own home.