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Rave Review: Quick Sculpt Pilates DVD with Toning Ball

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I like to do Pilates twice a week. That's the minimum amount of core training I need to keep my persistent back problems at bay and to feel centered and limber. Fortunately for me, I've been teaching two mat classes for the past several years—until recently, that is. One of my classes was recently canceled, so I've been on my own to fit in my mat exercises…only I've been a little lazy about doing it on my own.

Last week I dug through my library of workout DVDs searching for a good Pilates DVD to plug the hole in my routine. The folks at 10-Minute Solution sent me the Quick Sculpt Pilates kit (which contains a DVD and a toning ball) a while ago, and now was the perfect time for me to try it.

I've said it before, but I LOVE doing Pilates with the mini ball. I use it in my classes all the time, and my students really enjoy using it, too. I tested the Bender Ball a couple years ago and loved it, so I had high hopes for this DVD. Still, I was a bit skeptical, because it's not easy to find quality instruction on Pilates workout DVDs. Here's what you need to know about trying this Pilates workout set.

The Ball
The mini ball is small like a playground ball. It comes deflated and has a little straw that you use to blow it up in just a couple of breaths. Easy enough. It seemed similar in quality to other mini balls I have used at home and at the gym, but I did have a hard time keeping it inflated enough while removing the straw and putting in the plug. However, that didn't affect my workouts. And it's bright pink, which I'm guessing won't be appealing to every woman—or man for that matter. Still, the ball is extremely versatile as a tool to increase intensity, challenge your balance, or support your spine, depending on how you use it: between the ankles or thighs, under the feet or back, in your hands, etc.

The DVD and Workouts
The DVD contains five 10-minute Pilates routines that you can mix and match. Both times I tried it, I did all five in a row—what a challenge! Although each workout has a different name and focus, they were all pretty heavy on the abs and core work. The Buns and Thigh Sculptor was excellent and really challenged my outer thighs and hips while still working my core, thanks to that little ball. I was also quite fond of the Standing Pilates Sculpt workout, even though it didn't even use the ball. It would be great for anyone who wants to improve his or her balance and coordination. Here's a preview of what the DVD offers:

All of the workouts were intermediate with a few advanced moves thrown in the mix. In truth, I wasn't able to do every exercise in the workouts, but I liked that because it gives me something to work up to over time.

The ball was used for every single exercise on the DVD (except during the Standing Pilates workout), and the transitions from move to move were seamless. The workouts contained so much variety of movements and uses of the ball—some were new to me, too! It definitely added challenge, but also made the same old Pilates exercises seem new again. As an instructor, I appreciated the creativity of exercises and was able to steal a few new ideas to use in my own classes, too.

The Instructor
I really liked Andrea Leigh Rogers, the instructor on the DVD. She was friendly, succinct in her descriptions, and had amazing form that really made me jealous! She wasn't annoying as some video instructors can be, although she said one really funny line just once that I had to share: "Squeeze your buns to your fullest potential!" It makes me laugh each time! But seriously, that line is not representative of the DVD. Her instruction is very good.

She does, however, talk very fast—I think because she really tried to fit as much as possible into these short workouts. She moves fast, too—sometimes faster than I'm accustomed to in Pilates—and transitions quickly from one exercise to the next. There is virtually no downtime, which adds to the challenge of these workouts. One downside is that 10 minutes doesn't provide enough time for her to describe some of the nuances of each exercise, which is partly why I think this DVD is better for intermediate students of Pilates. If you're new to Pilates, you won't get enough instruction on form or enough modifications (there were almost none) to feel successful using this DVD.

Do I recommend this product? Let me put it this way: I'm going to continue using it as part of my own Pilates conditioning program. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with Quick Sculpt Pilates and its little pink toning ball. If you are familiar with Pilates and want to just try some fun new takes on traditional exercises, this could be a great set for you. If you're interested in trying a mini ball, but aren't as experienced, then the tested the Bender Ball could be just the thing for you.

You can purchase Quick Sculpt Pilates, with its toning ball, for $19.99 at

Have you ever tried working out with a mini ball like this one? If not, are you interested in trying it?

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I don't know about this one specifically, but Netflix has a ton of the 10 min. solution videos on instant (which you can watch on your TV through your Wii----which is AWESOME!). I've never been much of a exercise DVD kinda girl, but out of all of the ones that I have tried on Netflix instant, the 10 minute solution videos are my FAVE! Check it out... Report
I've tried pilates one failure...I would be willing to try with the mini ball. I think the part of me that remains fat (my brain) told my shrinking body that there is no exercise in the world that will change the way you look and feel... I think I need to change my mind to change my perspective! I have just started my visual plan of thinking myself as thin person, ...with layers and as the layers come off, the real thin me will immerge. :)♫ Report
I have been doing pilates for years. To the person who had a bad experience, find a different teacher. My teacher shows all levels, encourages us and makes us laugh. Pilates is great for firming up you abs and making your low back stronger. If your low back hurt after pilates it is probably because the teacher didn't teach about firming your core. I have said many times that Pilates is my secret weapon to weight loss. Report
Yes, I would wait for this item to be at yard sales, particularly in larger cities where there are lots of groups of certain types of people who go for these fad type items. Good to see how they work though, with the professionals using them. Report
I use a small ball in my "Weights In Motion" class I take at my YMCA. It is a strength training class that moves from 1 exercise to the next quickly. We use the ball for inner thigh work and to help keep us stable for some core work. Since you don't feel she can fully explain the moves I think I'll pass on the video and just await yours when you can make one! (LOL) But, I've been wanting a small ball for my home workouts when I can't make it to my class. Thanks, I always appreciate your reviews of DVDs. Report
The video was great, and I do think I can do this using the little ball. I've only used the big ball, but this one seems to be so much easier. Report
Can you recommend a good beginning Pilates DVD that has really comprehensive instruction on proper form? The class at my gym is an intermediate one and I'm not always sure my form is correct. Report
I can't do pilates. It hurts my back too much. Report
Looks like one to add to my list! Report
I'll try to find the Bender Ball at some point on sale at Big Lots or a yard sale. Report
I've never used the mini ball and hadn't really heard much about it till I read this. Definitely sounds interesting I'd love to try it!! Report
Andrea is a fabulous instructor! I have been taking her Xtend classes for the past 2 years and also have this DVD at home for the days I can't make it to class. I hear that the Xtend Barre Workout DVD is coming soon , you will have to try that one next. She has really helped get me in the best shape I have ever been in. Report
I really love Andrea Leigh Rogers! I'm patiently waiting for her to release a Xtend Barre workout! Report
As much as I'd like to incorporate pilates into my regular fitness routine, this doesn't sound like a dvd for me. I've only taken one pilates class and never went back because it was so hard and the instructor didn't help by showing any modifications or anything like that. So, I'd definitely need something for beginners and would prefer something that moves at a slower pace.

Great review, though. Thanks for sharing! Report
Thank you. I just ordered the dvd and ball Report
I have never tried the ball or pilates for that matter. Even though I probably have every pilates dvd made. I would like to try it but as you say for a beginner I feel I need alot of instruction to be sure I am doing the moves correctly. I will take a class one of these days. Report
I love my Yoga classes but adding pilates to my week workouts has been great. Report
Would a small soccer ball substitute? Or a playground 4 square ball? Report
I have a question though, I thought pilates was a strengthening excersise but on our fitness pages, its under cardio.....and it doesnt burn very much. I love doing pilates, but I dont seem to have the time to do it if I have to make sure to get in enough cardio every week. Am I not understanding right? Report
I have not tried working out with the mini ball but I do use the 10 Minute Solutions kickboxing DVD's all the time. I love the option the 5 10 minute workouts give me for creating my own perfect workout. Report
I have the bender ball and totally love it. Can really feel it working. Report
I love that Collage provides previews. Thanks for the thorough review. Report
I have only used a 'big' ball and the Bosu ball at physio.
This does seem like something I would purchase (after ready your review)! It is small, so will fit into my home, and as each segment is 10 minutes - I can tailor the workout length to fit into what I have available for time that day.
Thanks!! Report
No, I never have and I wouldn't spend the money on it since I'm frugal. I'll probably find it at a Yard Sale for a couple of dollars, since people spend LOTS of money on exercise items they never use, and they sell them at Yard Sales. Report