Buy It & Try It: Pilates

(Columbia) May 8, 2003 - Pilates, the most recent "it" workout, has plenty of star adherents, "Daisy Fuentes, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover," and Windsor Pilates claims working along with its tapes in only three weekly workouts of 20 minutes apiece it can "Sculpt, tone, strength and lengthen practically every muscle in your body."

Shelby Brown, 24, says she's motivated to get in shape, "I will have to admit, it did intrigue me."

Pilates instructor Erica Del A O of Specialized Fitness in Columbia helped Shelby through her first video workout, "Use your hands to help you roll down, vertebrae by vertebrae, until you're flat on your back," just to make sure she's got the moves down.

Pilates is a series of controlled movements focusing on strength, balance and the powerhouse: abdominals.

Shelby says she was feeling it, though her form early on needed a little work, "I wasn't expecting it to be easy, but I was pretty surprised that I actually felt a little bit of burning, especially in my abs. ... The tapes kept my interest, and hopefully I can stick to it."

Del A O said the tape would be a good for traveling and gave it an overall good rating. She says it would probably be helpful for novices to attend a class, maybe as often as once a week to make sure they have the proper form, though the tape is an able substitute on days when time is short.

After two weeks using the Windsor Pilates tapes, Shelby's thigh sized remained unchanged at 22 inches, but her waist shrunk from 33 to 32 inches and her hips decreased from 39 to 37.5 inches.

How does the workout measure up? The WIS smart shopper says at a cost of about $40, Pilates is worth the cash if you stick with it.

Shelby says there are several reasons she likes it, "It's quick and convenient. In 20 minutes you can get a workout in if you don't have time to go to the gym. It's low impact so if you aren't used to running or a stairmaster you might find it good." Keep in mind if you are a person who wants to break a sweat, you might not get that with Pilates.

by Judi Gatson
Posted 6:00pm by Chris Rees