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412 of 420 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darcey Bussell: Pilates for Life DVD
Excellent! I highly reccomend this DVD. Darcey Bussell is a great example and inspiring teacher and the workout, even though disarmingly easy, is extremely effective! She is also very precise in her execution, which makes me confident that I am also learning it correctly. After 4 sessions, I can see and feel better tone and strength in my hips, pelvis, and abdomen. It's...
Published on 31 Jan 2007 by B. L. Nielsen

versus
268 of 296 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely photos - Seems more suitable to Dancers & People of Average Fitness
Ms Bussell's appearance and movement are an inspiration and education to anyone hoping to improve in Pilates or any bodywork. To watch this DVD is like watching and anatomy of movement class. You can learn so much about how the body is positioned and is supposed to work when doing the pilates exercises.

But this is a programme for the already decently fit, or...
Published on 15 July 2006 by Dendera


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412 of 420 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darcey Bussell: Pilates for Life DVD, 31 Jan 2007
By 
B. L. Nielsen "Middle-aged beauty" (Bagsværd, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent! I highly reccomend this DVD. Darcey Bussell is a great example and inspiring teacher and the workout, even though disarmingly easy, is extremely effective! She is also very precise in her execution, which makes me confident that I am also learning it correctly. After 4 sessions, I can see and feel better tone and strength in my hips, pelvis, and abdomen. It's also helping my posture and balance. She has warm-up and warm-down sequences, and the choice of a 18 minute mini programme or the full 50 minute programme, which she recommends doing three times a week. After a day a the office, this DVD puts my body back together.
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277 of 291 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars keep it up and you will be hooked, 2 Nov 2006
This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
I have a bad record for keeping motivated with exercise dvds at home, however, this one has me hooked. I noticed results after a couple of sessions and having done the exercises at least 3x a week for the last few months it really is transforming my shape - there is nothing quite like results to keep you motivated! I find the whole dvd is calming, almost like meditation and Darcy does not talk throughout the exercises. Now I am familiar with the routine I find I can get completely absorbed by each exercise. I have also started to appreciate classical music, at first I found the music choice quite depressing, now I find it quite beautiful!
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85 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginners. Highly recommended!, 17 July 2007
By 
Mr. PAUL ALLOTT (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
I was very pleased with the DVD. The instructions given by Darcey are clear and simple and all the moves are well shot allowing you to see exactly how you should be performing a particular exercise.

I suffer from a bad back which is a lot stronger and pain free since I have been doing this DVD. The full program is a lot more vigorous than you think but you will see results over time and feel as if you are progressing.

The mini programme is ideal if you can only spare a few minutes. Even doing the mini-programme you will see and feel the benefits.

You will also find that the moves relax you - the accompanying sound track also helps.

It's just a pity that there isn't a follow up as I am really pleased with this disk overall.

If you only get one beginners Pilates DVD get this one!
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84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - relaxing, de-stressing and great for your body, 8 May 2006
By 
I. Jimenez "Isa" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
I had never done pilates before, but have a great amount of respect for Ms Bussell that I thought I'd give it a go, and if I didn't like it then I would sell it on.

I was slightly worried when I first started off, but after just 3 weeks I've already lost weight, I feel completed de-stressed and I find it SO relaxing.

I have never been to a pilates class and due to shift work it's difficult for me to attend something on a regular basis so this DVD fits perfectly.

The warm up section is exactly 15 minutes - and it certainly warms you up. Each section within the main programme (there are 6) are 10 minutes each, with the exception of the legs section which is 20 minutes and the arm section which is about 5 minutes. The warm down is only 5 minutes, but focuses on the key areas, so doesn't need to be any longer.

I have personally recommended this DVD to friends and they find it more relaxing that anything, which for me is a key thing. You don't sweat as you would in a gym, and to begin with you think that it's not doing anything, but trust me...it is.

Thanks very much Darcey!
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good workout!, 25 July 2007
By 
J. Fear (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
As an ex dancer myself I was a little dubious about this DVD but reading the reviews here I decided to give it a try. I have to say it is brilliant. The exercises are clearly explained and easy to follow, and there is plenty of time to follow all instructions. The mini workout is great if you only have 20 mins to spare. Highly recommended.
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246 of 271 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Pilates dvd to date!, 10 Oct 2006
By 
M. Caitlin Hayes (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
I'm quite a fan of this dvd and in fact, I think it's the best available.

The workout is complete, well explained, and easy to follow. Someone mentioned in their review that Darcey doesn't tell you when to switch sides, but they failed to mention that once each exercise has been explained, she DOES verbally tell you how many reps to do on each side. She is also changing sides herself on screen. With no offense meant to the reviewer mentioned, I think one would have to be rather dim not to follow along and change sides properly. The complete workout is great for thorough toning, and the mini workout is impressive too. Although short, the exercises really give a great concise workout for the days when I'm on the go. The menu layout is divided nicely for those who might not want to do the entire workout but focus on specific areas instead, such as arms, abs, etc. Aesthetically, the dvd is relaxing and refreshingly taseteful. It has a sleek, contemporary look that is minimalist (thank goodness no flashy colours and annoying distractions in the background!). The classical music is relaxing and provides a subtle accompaniment to Darcey's instructions. The only reason I give this review four stars instead of five is that the warm down looks a bit of a sloppy afterthought. For those who don't have a background in dance/yoga/exercise, it is rushed and insufficient. However, even for an absolute beginner, I wouldn't hestitate to recommend this dvd! Just be sure to do a few more minutes of relaxed (not hurried!)stretching on your own. Great buy!!!!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCREDIBLE!! I saw results after only 3 days!!, 26 May 2012
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This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
To start off with, I should admit that the last time I did any proper exercise, other than the occasional brisk walk, because I'm running late for something, was probably about 7 years ago. And even then, I took to working out like a horse would to hair dressing. The closest I'd coming to seeing the inside of a gym would be during an episode of I Used To Be Fat.

I'd been to see my doctor for a check up, who told me I had weak hip muscles and she suggested I try Pilates. I had heard of it. In all my time not doing any exercise, I have managed to squeeze in some reading of educational literature, including Cosmopolitan and Heat. However, I had absolutely no idea what it was and couldn't bare the thought of going along to a sports centre full of lycra clad super-model wannabes and embarrassing myself.

So I jumped on to Amazon and started searching for a DVD that I thought I might get on with. I wasn't sure what it was that I was after, but I did know what I didn't want. I didn't want a DVD aimed at weight loss (I'm one of those disgusting people who can eat the combined body weight of the 6 nations rugby teams in 1 sitting and not put on a pound), nor one with an overly enthusiastic american/canadian/australian, nor one that was targeted at just beginners, where you would therefore be forced into buying a whole series of DVDs.

That's what attracted me to this one. Firstly, it didn't make claims of dropping X number of dress sizes in Y number of months. Secondly, Darcy Bussel is English and has a lovely soft voice (you can hear her interviewed on youtube) and finally it was 'for life'.

When it arrived, I put it on and fell in love. Darcy Bussel was a ballet dancer and therefore performs the exercises gracefully. She doesn't patronise, nor does she spend the whole time telling you to inhale and exhale. She explains the exercises clearly so I don't even need to look at the screen. She doesn't perform the exercises and talk at the same time, but instead talks over with some lovely, relaxing classic music.

The DVD has a full warm-up and warm-down and then a main programme (1 hour) and a mini programme (15 minutes). The main programme is divided into 6 sections, so you can either play them all at once or pick and choose what you like. The sections are abdominals, stretching and sitting (for flexibility), four-point kneeling (for balance and your bum), prone (further stretching, particularly for your back), balancing and lifting (for your thighs) and arms. The mini programme takes a couple of exercises from each section and puts them together.

The first time I did this, I over optimistically put on the full programme. It was hard going, but the order is well suited so that when you're getting to the point where you fear you may be dying, she moves on to another part of the body. Day 2, I did the mini programme only. Day 3, I did the mini programme and 1 of the sections from the main programme (with the warm up and warm down, this made about 45 minutes). Have I seen results? Like you wouldn't believe. On the first day, she asked me to curl myself down as far as I could, aiming for the floor. I could reach about half way down calves. Olympic gymnasts, eat your heart out. By day 2, I could just about touch my toes. By day 3, not only could I easily touch my toes, but I can place my hands flat on my feet. Ok, so I'm not as flexible as Darcy, but give me time.

Not only am I gobsmacked by how quickly I've seen results, but more importantly, it's made me want to exercise! I feel so could after doing this, that it's addictive. My muscles feel firmer, my bum's definitely perter and my posture has gone through an almost magically transformation. Who knew I was so tall?

Absolutely, 100%, worth every penny.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent dvd, 20 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
I am 55 years old and have wasted a lot of money over the years on exercise dvds but this is by far the best. Don't be put off by the fact that Darcy is a trained ballerina because she demonstrates the moves clearly and precisely. I have only used this dvd a few times but the chronic back pain that I usually suffer with has already eased. The stretches feel really lovely and the background music helps relaxation. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
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268 of 296 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely photos - Seems more suitable to Dancers & People of Average Fitness, 15 July 2006
This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
Ms Bussell's appearance and movement are an inspiration and education to anyone hoping to improve in Pilates or any bodywork. To watch this DVD is like watching and anatomy of movement class. You can learn so much about how the body is positioned and is supposed to work when doing the pilates exercises.

But this is a programme for the already decently fit, or people with a dance background. It follows the classic Pilates routines and offers some (little) adjustments for beginners, but not really adjustments for people who turn to Pilates for rehabilitation from injury or postpartum. As there are so many such people about these days (me included), I believe it is important to mention that. There are even some moves that could be damaging to certain injuries that bring people to Pilates for relief, and Ms Bussell's monologue and instruction are very, very light on basic stabilisation and positioning.

In short, this is a beautiful DVD to watch, educational. And it is suitable for those with weaknesses and instabilities who are already initiated into general exercise, bodywork or other movement disciplines.

But I cannot recommend it to the true beginner who needs more instruction on technique than is forthcoming here, or to those with clinical complaints looking for relief.
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Pilates DVD, 19 May 2006
By 
C. Sharp (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pilates For Life [DVD] (DVD)
This is a really excellent Pilates DVD, both in presentation and in substance.

The presentation (of the main- and mini-programmes, warm up and warm down) is extremely attractive and induces a calm atmosphere (see other reviewers' comments). The exercises are clearly explained and easy to follow. I do not agree with other reviewers that the instruction is inadequate: I find it very thorough, and there is plenty of commentary. Contrary to Lise, below, I found that there was no need to stay glued to the screen after a couple of sessions doing the DVD - all it takes is a little concentration to begin with.

I found that there was enough detail about the core muscles to get me started, and to inspire me to find out more by extra reading and classes. No exercise DVD can be completely comprehensive, but this provides a really satisfying programme of simple and progression exercises. They can be supplemented with classes - but need not be.

For a DVD that aims to be "a practical introduction to the core programme," Darcey's Pilates For Life does exactly what it says on the tin - and more besides!
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Pilates For Life [DVD]
Pilates For Life [DVD] by Darcy Bussell (DVD - 2006)
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