Exhale Spa's collection of Pilates is some of the highest-rated on the market. While Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus (*Est. $15) is not a traditional abs strength training DVD, reviewers say that it will transform your abs and work your core better than any other video or DVD.
Calm, but knowledgeable instruction: Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus is co-taught by the creators of the Core Fusion workout, Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito of New York's Exhale Spa. Reviewers praise Halfpapp and DeVito for their calm, low-key instruction. The instruction focuses on breath and alignment, and users say the co-instructors work in tandem to create a mellow, but effective atmosphere.
Work muscle groups, but never lose focus on the core. The DVD is broken up into five 10-minute workouts that work different parts of the body while always working the core. This video particularly appeals to reviewers who are looking for a challenging abdominal workout, but like a routine that is lower in impact and intensity than a traditional exercise video. The moves take cues from ballet, yoga and -- of course -- Pilates. If you prefer higher-energy workouts, look to Jillian Michaels' 6 Week Six-Pack (*Est. $9).
Tune out the music for a calmer workout. Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus comes with no additional materials. Production value is excellent and intimate, set in a tranquil spa-like space, plus there is an option to turn the music on the DVD off, if you prefer an even quieter workout.
1. Collage Video.com
Review Credibility: Very Good CollageVideo.com features the feedback from 11 users and one certified fitness instructor, giving Pilates Plus 4 out of 5 stars. The DVD is also selected as a staff favorite, though user reviews are slightly mixed, with some saying the calm instruction is welcome and the workout is solid. Others comment that this style is boring.
Review: Exhale: Core Fusion Pilates Plus, Editors and contributors to CollageVideo.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Amazon.com contains nearly 70 customer reviews of Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus. They give this workout DVD an average of 4.2 stars out of 5. Most reviewers say the video provides a challenging, but low-impact core workout. Some remark that it is not for those with an advanced fitness level. Still, this is an interesting alternative to most abdominal workouts.
Review: Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus (2008), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2012
3. Woman's Day
Review Credibility: Very Good Woman's Day magazine's Abigail L. Cuffey selects her favorite must-have exercise videos. The DVDs cover a wide range of categories, from dance to yoga to strength training. Although her comments are brief, she has clearly tested each video. Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus earns high praise. Cuffey notes that the five quick 10-minute routines tone abs without falling victim to the boredom factor that hinders so many other Pilates DVDs.
Review: 10 Best Fitness DVDs, Abigail L. Cuffey, March 3, 2010
4. Fitness Magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good This roundup of yoga and Pilates exercise videos includes 16 different selections. Unfortunately, there are no details regarding how these videos were selected or tested, plus it is unclear whether there is a ranking system or if these are organized randomly. Reviewer Marianne Magno says that Pilates Plus will "transform your stomach," and adds that you will also receive the benefits of a leg and thigh workout.
Review: Our Best Yoga and Pilates Exercise Videos, Marianne Magno, March 2009
5. Real Simple
Review Credibility: Good Real Simple magazine's Sarah Smith selects seven workout DVDs as the top picks in this undated roundup. She notes that the videos were tested but does not specify who tested them or how many videos were tried in total. Workout DVDs are selected based on abstract categories such as Fastest Overall Routine and Best Tension Eraser. Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus earns the honor of Best Gearless DVD, though the reviewer says little else.
Review: The Best Workout DVDs, Sarah Smith, Not dated