Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.
Confession: I’ve never done Pilates. I’ve gone to plenty of yoga classes and just about every other type of group exercise sessions, but somehow managed to avoid Pilates. I figured Ellen Barrett’s Grace + Gusto ($12 at collagevideo.com) would be the perfect way to ease into this new (to me) fitness regime. The barefoot workout fuses Pilates moves with ballet basics to create a 45-minute cardio-heavy session. The DVD starts with simple stretches, the kind of moves perfect for a morning workout that’ll help you ease into the day. The pace picks up (but never becomes exhausting) to include quicker movements and poses, such as the chair and tree poses. There’s lots of movement, and you’re never in one pose for too long. Barrett is pleasant and encouraging throughout the workout. Even when I wanted to lower my arms and stop doing twists, her friendly demeanor kept me motivated. By the time we get to the end of the workout (about five minutes of ab work), I’m feeling energized rather than exhausted—and intrigued to check out a proper Pilates class.