Lisa Hubbard Total Body Pilates Review

A Mini Ball Will Take Your Workout to a New Level

Element Total Body Pilates.
Element Total Body Pilates. Amazon

Element Total Body Pilates includes two Pilates mini ball workouts taught by Lisa Hubbard, a certified Pilates instructor with more than a decade of experience. You might already be familiar with Hubbard. She's a featured model in several of Rael Isacowitz's Pilates DVDs and in his books: "Pilates" and "Pilates Anatomy." She's also been on the cover of Pilates Style magazine.

One of the reasons why Hubbard has been in so many DVDs and books is that she demonstrates Pilates exercises with clear form.

In this DVD Hubbard demonstrates the exercises in motion, which is even better. She's an excellent teacher.

I really enjoy this workout DVD. After having done the workouts several times, I still enjoy them, feel good afterward and am always surprised how quickly the time has gone by.

Element Total Body Pilates DVD Review

In many of my recent Pilates DVD reviews, I've been saying that I don't care much about the DVD's workout setting. "I don't need oceans and palm trees. I'd just as soon view a video shot in any clean looking studio," I said.

Well, I take it all back. This video is filmed in as pleasing a setting as you can get: by a pool in a lush garden overlooking a placid ocean. Take me there, even for the 20 or 30 minutes of the videos, and I feel better.

For the whole thing to work the workouts have to be enjoyable, too, and they are. They have a nice flow and pace to them, and include a well thought-out selection of strength, stretch and stability challenge exercises.

I have to say this DVD has sold me on the mini ball. Lisa Hubbard does a great job of combining traditional Pilates mat exercises with the mini ball in ways that use the ball to enhance muscular engagement. This can be very helpful in learning something new from an exercise you've been doing for a while.

I recommend this DVD for students with some Pilates experience and for teachers looking for mini ball exercise ideas. The workouts are solidly intermediate level. They aren't suitable for beginners. While the 20 and 30-minute workouts aren't too taxing, there is no introduction to the basic techniques specific to Pilates that you must start out with, even if you're fit. This DVD assumes that you are already familiar with the fundamentals of Pilates.

That's not to say there isn't plenty of instruction. As Lisa demonstrates the exercises, there is a soundtrack of her reading along with it in which she packs in exercise choreography, placement cues, information about the benefits of the exercise and a few words of encouragement. There is thankfully no small talk, making it easier to use the DVD regularly without getting tired of extra chatter.

There is music, too. This might as well be the review where I give up and stop complaining about the techno, new age music that is all too prevalent in fitness DVDs. At least this music changes occasionally.

Purchase Element Total Body Pilates on Amazon

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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