I have been using this DVD for a couple of months' now, and I am still working hard to improve on my form and to do the exercises exactly like the instructor. I really like Lara Hudson's calm, pleasant demeanour and careful instructions. This is on par with Lara's other pilates DVD: 10 Minute Solution - Rapid Results Pilates [DVD
]This looks easy but is anything but! I would rate this as intermediate to advanced, but saying that it is one to build on and work up to. I find that exercise dvds that are too easy won't really challenge you at all.
I was a bit dubious about using a band DVD as I had problems using bands before - I have found that the band slips about, rides up, bunches up etc and I have trouble moving from position to position. This DVD is different - the instructor has addressed these problems and designed it so you don't have to tie it the ends up into a loop, you just hold the ends. Saying that, I found the band still bunched up a bit around the toes, so I have to pause the DVD to straighten it out. Not good! Note, if you are tall like me it is much more of a challenge - I have to really pull the ends to get the same extension as the instructor. This is a great DVD - there are loads of exercises I have never seen before, its really effective.
There are five sections:
TIGHTENED & TONED CORE: The band enhances stomach exercises by really stretching the moves that little bit further. The whole of the stomach area is worked hard whilst doing roll ups with the band.
DEFINED ARMS & SHOULDERS: This is so hard! I found my arms ached in a completely different way from using dumbbells, I found I was begging for mercy as my arms felt like falling off! I couldn't believe that a band could be so hard!
TRIM & SLIM LOWER BODY: This tightens, tones and firms the thighs, bum and legs. This is the hardest section (and, to me, the least enjoyable) of the lot as you need to be pretty fit to lean on your side and extend your arm and leg whilst pulling on a band - the core strength required for this move is very much one to work up to. Lots of leg lifts etc.
TOTAL BODY TONER: This is a standing routine which improves your posture, with some lovely leg moves to really stretch the legs out. Trying to stand on one leg whilst doing exercises with a band is difficult when you are wobbling around!
LONG & LEAN STRETCH: my favourite! If you do any sports or need blessed relief from tired muscles or niggling injuries this will really stretch your legs and hips out. The final back stretch really stretches the back out effectively with the band. I can thoroughly recommend this after a run, you will recover a lot quicker and feel less tired afterwards.