When it comes to exercise, more isn't always better. Spending 30 to 60 minutes doing repetitions of questionable quality won't get you results. Plus, a lot of people don't have the time to devote hours to their workouts. And, what with fitness recommendations that suggest you participate in regular cardio, strength, flexibility and neuromuscular training weekly — how can you be expected to fit it all in?
Cover the flexibility and neuromuscular training with Pilates, a form of exercise that helps develop functional core strength, flexibility and balance. A series of DVDs known as the "10-Minute Solution" offers Pilates for the time- and attention-challenged. Whether these videos work, however, depends on your expectations.
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What is 10-Minute Pilates?
Designed by instructor Lara Hudson, the "10-Minute Solution: Pilates" features five different workouts, each lasting 10 minutes minutes. Each workout features a different focus — abs, butt and thighs, arms and shoulders, cardio and flexibility. You can do each 10-minute segment on its own or string them together for a longer, comprehensive workout.
Several other selections in the 10-Minute Solution series exist, including "10-Minute Solution: Pilates for Beginners," "10-Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates," "10-Minute Solution: Slim & Sculpt Kit with Pilates Band" and "10-Minute Solution: Tighten and Tone Pilates." Some feature instructor Suzanne Bowen instead of Lara Hudson. Each provides the standard format of five 10-minute workouts.
A Working Model
"10-Minute Solution: Pilates" offers a lot of value, especially to people challenged to find time for a full workout. Some of the positives of the DVD workout include:
- the ability to target specific areas;
- an engaging, knowledgeable instructor;
- challenging but accessible exercises; and
- limited equipment required.
The DVD is a good source of Pilates-inspired exercises, but veers quite a bit from the ordering and precision of classical Pilates. This could bother Pilates purists.
Other drawbacks to the video include:
- only a live instructor can help you with your personal form;
- transitions between the exercises are relatively swift;
- it's not for beginners (stick to "10-Minute Solution: Pilates for Beginners"); and
- no modifications for regression.
Does It Work?
The "10-Minute Solution: Pilates" is only going to work if you do it. Taking the DVD out just once every couple of weeks isn't enough to inspire your body to change.
Pilates is an entire exercise system that includes mat work and equipment, such as a Reformer and Pilates chair. These videos may offer some targeted mat moves, but are a far cry from a comprehensive Pilates practice. The DVDs don't go into theory nor do they build your strength up, so you can properly execute the exercises. As a result, it's impossible to say if they'll give you tremendous results if you're not already a Pilates regular and doing additional workouts along with them.
If you find you never get a chance to work out, but can spare the time to do the exercises on the DVDs, it's better than continuing to remain sedentary. You'll likely see some minor strengthening, better posture and core control by following the workouts. However, you're best off seeking out a live instructor who can help you learn the method properly and modify exercises for your particular needs.
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