Karen Voight Pilates

Karen Voight is another popular fitness video personality who has added a few Pilates titles to her collection. She's not a certified Pilates specialist, but she does a good job explaining the concepts behind the method. Soft music and a calming voice guide you through the moves that are geared for beginner to intermediate exercisers.

Each tape includes warm-up stretches, the main workout, and then a relaxing cool-down. You'll feel invigorated and relaxed after these mind-body sessions.

Titles include:

Karen Voight's Pilates Abdominals and Back DVD is a 50 minute video focused entirely on matwork. The matwork Pilates helps you sculpt long, lean muscles without the use of weights or the development of large, bulky muscles. The routine combines a great mix of stretching and toning exercises that firm and flatten your abs. Karen explains each movement thoroughly and provides great cueing. She also explains easier modified versions of each movement and has an assistant demonstrating more challenging versions. This DVD is available on Amazon.com for about $9.

Total Body Training is a Pilates-based mat workout that includes the use of a flexible ring which helps to build strength and flexibility. The video is a total body workout that also contains exercise sections that focus on particular trouble spots including the buns and legs. There is a 50 minute total body training section, as well as a 50 minute abdominals and back session. Although the VHS title claims to say that it is a total body workout, it does seem to focus more on your lower body, especially the thighs. So if your thighs are your problem area, then you'll love this video!

If you're looking for a well rounded, Pilates-based exercise program then Core Essentials is right for you. It integrates the movements of Joseph Pilates with yoga and ballet-style sculpting techniques. It contains all the classic Pilates exercises only they have been refined and presented with a new twist. It does include the use of a pair of Genie Balls and five pound weights that need to be purchased in order to do all the exercises on the VHS. The movements target the entire body including the arms, back and torso, and the legs and buttocks. This Pilates video prevents boredom with bright, imaginative backgrounds and cheerful music.

Finally, Karen Voight's Total Body video contains two exercise programs in one. The first section focuses intensely on the legs. It includes using a Pilates Magic Circle to get a great inner thigh workout. The second workout on the video concentrates on the abs and back. It is best suited towards an intermediate fitness level and may be a bit challenging for beginners initially. Her Total Body DVD can be purchased on Amazon.com for approximately $13.

Karen Voight uses a soft, calm voice to instruct you through each sequence of exercises. She has a pleasant, relaxed personality that subtly encourages you to attempt these challenging exercises.

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