DVD Review: Alisa Wyatt Intermediate and Advanced Pilates Mat Workouts
If you’re a Pilates purist, I feel confident in saying you will enjoy Alisa Wyatt’s Pilates workouts. I’ve tried the Intermediate and Advanced level workouts, and both were excellent. The Advanced workout in particular is a work of athletic art. Alisa is so skilled in Pilates, and it’s amazing and inspiring just to watch her do the exercises. My four-year-old daughter is transfixed every time I turn it on and lets me do the whole thing undisturbed.
Alisa is a self-proclaimed Pilates purist, with an impressive training background. She was a student of Romana Kryzanowska, one Joseph Pilates’ students, and has been teaching Pilates for more than a decade. She has trained several professional athletes and also runs a website called Pilatesology, which is dedicated to teaching people about classical Pilates.
On her website, Alisa notes:
The purest form of Pilates is the mat work. It was the first thing that Joe Pilates created and all of his apparatus was invented as a way to get people to do the mat better. The mat is what Joe taught you first when you visited his studio and you were expected to do it on your own every day.
In that spirit, both of these DVDs are mat-based, and don’t require any additional equipment, except for a good mat. You really do want to have plenty of padding for your spine, especially if you’re like me and your spine sticks out like a dinosaur. The format for both DVDs is very simple: Alisa has a brief introduction providing some Pilates basics, followed by a 40 minute workout. The exercises flow into each other at a fast pace, and I found the workout actually went by pretty quickly.
The Intermediate DVD is ideal for those who have experience with Pilates and a solid core foundation. If you haven’t taken Pilates before, or if you have any lower back problems or core issues that would compromise core strength, I would not recommend it. For example, I would not have been able to do this workout nine months ago because I was still recovering from a c-section. I got through the whole workout without making any modifications, but it was definitely a challenge. Alisa also has a beginner DVD if you haven’t taken a Pilates class before.
The flow is fast-paced, but she does provide just enough recovery time after the intense exercises. I like the way that Alisa cues throughout the workouts. The narration is constant, just like in a regular Pilates class, which might be annoying for your husband sitting in the other room trying to read. However, since you are lying on the ground for many exercises and can’t see the screen, the verbal cueing is absolutely necessary and helpful.
The Advanced workout is definitely advanced. I couldn’t do some of the exercises for the entire duration. I would recommend the advanced workout for Pilates students with a lot of previous experience and even instructors who need a good at home or travel workout. If you are a yoga enthusiast or dancer, you might also benefit from this DVD. The sequence of exercises is almost identical to the intermediate DVD (it follows the classic sequence from Joseph Pilates), but with more challenging modifications.
These DVDs are not flashy – there isn’t even any background music - and you won’t find Hollywood instructors and frilly sets. But they don’t need to be, because the workouts are solid and the emphasis is on proper execution of movement. What you will find is top-notch instruction in the fundamentals of Pilates, as well as cuing from an experienced Pilates trainer. If you’re a Pilates enthusiast looking for a classic workout that will challenge you, don’t pass up these workouts.
"Intermediate Pilates Workout" and "Advanced Pilates Workout" are available at AlisaWyatt.com for $14.95 (download only).
Photos provided by Jack Coble/Pilatesology.