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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 3 June 2003
After about a decade of unfitness due to a busy life and a general and lifelong aversion to exercise, I have finally found an exercise programme that I have stuck with it for 3 months, and that I truly enjoy. I had no experience with yoga or pilates, and was seriously out of shape with a recurring back injuury made worse by a desk job, and had done minimal exercise in recent years. At first my level of flexibility was very low, although right from the start the combination of yoga and pilates was deeply relaxing for me and helped 'destress' me from the very first run, and the beginner programmes which focus on, respectively, the abdominals, arms, and legs noticably improved my muscle tone, much to my suprise, within the first 3 weeks. More importantly, I was able to do these workouts without injuring my back, and found that my back strength increased with time. I actually look forward each day to doing the video, unlike previous forms of exercise I have tried which took great effort of will to do, and now work out every day, since the workouts wake me up in a way that coffee used to, minus the caffeine jitters. After eight weeks of doing only the first three workouts which felt for the most part fairly effortless, and which improved and strengthened my back, I have graduated to the advanced programme 4 which is more strenuous but hugely satisfying to do, involving a variety of integrated postures and movements, and lets you know just how much your tone and flexibility has been strengthened. Yogalates is a great exercise for individuals who need to improve their muscle tone as well as to learn to relax, and for those with an injury that prevents them from doing other types of exercise; the video is well paced and well edited (although now I fast forward over the discussions of breathing and spinal alignment),and Solomon's presentation is extremely soothing. I know I also need to integrate some higher- paced cardio workout into my life to complement my yogalates workouts, but yogalates has been the first step for me to healthier living- my back problem is much better, and my stress level is much reduced. I have not lost weight, but I have lost literally inches due to enhanced muscle tone and now can wear a bikini without cringing for the first time in 10 years!
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on 3 January 2003
In common with many people, I tend to buy exercise videos and lose enthusiasm rather quickly. So far I am very impressed by the Total Body Toner DVD. The exercises are quite hard to follow initially - I am new to both disciplines - but the detailed instructions given mean there is little need for craning your neck round to see the television screen which may reduce the risk of serious injury. I find the whole process very relaxing which I had not expected, and am getting the hang of the breathing - slowly - and discovering that deep down in my post-natal bulge there are actually still muscles! Most importantly, there's no leaping round to complicated routines, and no irritating music.
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on 2 October 2003
this video has 4 short sessions or "workouts" as they are called by the presenter, this facilitates either a short daily practice or a longer one by doing the sessions in sequence.
the video is beautifully presented, in terms of asthetics, plus the sessions themselves are well thought out and coreographed. the clear instructions can be followed easily whilst exercising ie no need to crane the neck to figure out what your meant to be doing.
the instructions for the "breathing system" are clearer on this video than on Yogalates 1.
a really excellent physical exercise video.
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on 30 November 2005
I have tried to tone up for years now, using different videos, gym classes or gym work outs, and this has been the most effective of all. Within a few months, without really changing my diet, I found I was slimmer and more toned. Because you can choose how you want to combine the workouts it's easy to fit into any schedule and it works without straining or sweating! I live in Greece, so anything that makes you sweat in summer is a definite no no! I would advise anyone to buy the DVD but would just suggest that you take time to watch Louise Solomon do the exercises first, before you attempt them, as she can't describe every position in absolute detail. If you feel something isn't working or is wrong, stop the tape/DVD and watch it again. It also helps if a friend (when they stop laughing at the silly positions you are getting yourself into) can look at what you're doing and comment on whether you look the same as the people on the TV screen. Finally, some reviewers have moaned about Louise's voice and the time you have to take to do the breathing. Well, if you are concentrating her voice begins to fade into the background as you become familiar with the exercises and the breathing time is also working your abs - so it's not a waste of time at all!
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on 25 February 2003
I had my doubts about the workout when I first switched on and did the abdominal section. It didn't really feel like I was benefiting from any of the moves. However, the rest of the sections I could feel my body working more and was more of a challenge, especially the final part.
Having done both Pilates and Yoga individually, I was curious to see how Solomon had combined the two. Overall, it felt "more Yoga" due to the fact that it felt more like continuous movements rather than exercise after exercise.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and there is always someone doing a simpler, basic movement, whist Solomon herself shows the more advanced options.
I have only done this video for the first time today, but I can see myself doing it again and again, especially the final section. The meditation at the end was wonderfully relaxing!
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on 25 April 2006
I found this gem of a DVD and bought it - thinking it would be perfect for me while expecting. It's not intended for pregnant women however! I did the video for as long as I comfortably could. The reason it isn't good for pregnant women is because most of the first three workouts are floorwork/mat-based and that just isn't good for a heavily pregnant woman. You can cut off oxygen supply to the baby, and injure your back.

Some people find that Louise Solomon talks too much - I liked and valued her instructions because with these types of exercise if you are not familiar with things, you can so easily injure yourself.

I also like that she states the beginner's modifications and the modifications for people with neck and back problems. That is a wonderful advantage to her style of teaching. I feel that it shows she knows what she is talking about. As well, her program shows that anyone of any level can exercise! When you follow the video as she recommends, you feel the results immediately AND there is no stiffness or soreness at all. It is a nice relaxing way to exercise and you don't break a sweat!

After the baby was born, I started back a little too soon, and my abdominals were sore so I waited a few more weeks then started it again. It is wonderful. The video is broken down into 4 easy workouts. The first workout targets the abs and pelvic floor muscle groups, the second targets the upper body, while the third targets the lower body. The fourth, which should not be done for at least three months into this program is a total body toner. Each workout is about 15-20 minutes long, and you can do them all together, or one or two at a time, depending on your schedule. A flexible workout that helps you become more flexible.

For this program (dvd) you don't need any equipment (your own body weight is all you really need), except a cushion, a handtowel and a strap (my bathrobe/dressing gown belt fits the bill here) and the strap is only needed for the fourth workout (if you need it to aid your stretching). I have even used just a regular bathtowel as my stretching aid - just to see if that would work and it is just as effective as my bathrobe belt. So again, no need to spend a whole lot of money on things that you have to store. I liked this program so much that I even bought a copy and gave it to a friend, who in turn enjoyed it immensely.

This program works your body out from head to toe and you don't have to jump around, lift heavy weights and risk injuring joints and muscles to get in shape. If you get this video to do after having a baby, wait a few weeks after the birth before starting up the program and if you have had a c-section, follow your doctor's advice to the letter BEFORE doing any sort of exercise program.
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on 9 October 2004
I found this DVD tricky to follow initially as I am quite new to pilates (but not yoga) so had to follow the first section a few times to get used to the breathing and core strength work. This is not a strenuous workout but concentrates on using the poses from Yoga and the basics of pilates to tone and strengthen the whole body. The instructor's voice get's on my nerves after a while but overall I have found this DVD excellant as an introduction to Pilates. I can definitely feel the difference on my tummy after only using this a few times.
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on 20 August 2004
I've now used the video for a few months around twice a week but still find the first 3 workouts "toning enough" for me. I really enjoy the sessions and the instruction is done in a nice, clear way. Contrary to another reviewer I find the initial alignment and breathing sessions really crucial and that they make an enormous difference to how much good the subsequent exercises do. The exercises are much more difficult (but feel more effective and satisfying) when you really concentrate on breathing and alignment throughout.
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on 6 September 2005
I bought this video about a year ago, and I used it a few times then but found it a bit boring, so I gave up but I have just started using it again.
I found it a bit tricky to do the breathing and positions correctly but I am persevering with it. I would say if you are willing to persevere with the moves/breathing it would be worthwhile. After last nights exercise my arms and stomach felt like they were definately more toned.
If you like something quite relaxing get this video.
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on 2 July 2012
I chose this as I had a trapped nerve in my neck last year which has left me with ongoing problems, as a massage therapist myself I'm constantly telling people to take up yoga/pilates to strengthen their core and help with back related issues so I thought it was time to take my own advice! I can honestly say that after doing this dvd 4 times in the last week I have seen an 80% improvement in my symptoms, I can feel massive improvement in my posture and the workout goes so quickly I don't know where the time went. I wish I'd taken it up ages ago. I'm going to purchase some of the other titles in the series as I think after a few weeks I'll want to change it up a bit and maybe try something a little more challenging as this is fairly easy, even for a beginner like me. However this is a great starter and I will be recommending it to my clients!
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