The Exhale Spa's collection of Pilates videos includes some of the highest-rated titles available. While Exhale: Core Fusion -- Pilates Plus isn't a traditional ab workout, reviewers say it will transform your abs and work your core better than any other DVD.
Calm and but knowledgeable. 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 their calm, low-key instruction that focuses on breath and alignment, and say Halfpapp and DeVito work in tandem to create a mellow but effective atmosphere.
Train muscle groups, but focus on the core. This DVD contains five 10-minute routines that work different parts of the body while always training the core. It particularly appeals to viewers who want a challenging abdominal workout, but like a routine that's lower in impact and intensity than a traditional exercise video. The movements 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 session. Exhale: Core Fusion -- Pilates Plus comes with no additional materials. Production value is excellent and intimate, set in a tranquil spa-like space. Viewers can turn the DVD's music off if they prefer an even quieter workout.
1. Collage Video.com
Review Credibility: Very Good CollageVideo.com posts feedback from 11 viewers and one certified fitness instructor, who give Core Fusion -- Pilates Plus an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The DVD is selected as a staff favorite but user reviews are mixed. Some say the calm instruction is welcome and the workout is solid; others call this style boring.
Review: Exhale: Core Fusion Pilates Plus, Editors and Contributors to CollageVideo.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Nearly 70 customers review Exhale: Core Fusion -- Pilates Plus at Amazon.com, giving it 4.3 stars out of 5. Most say the video provides a challenging but low-impact core workout. Some say it isn't for those of advanced fitness levels, but it's an interesting alternative to most ab routines.
Review: Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus, Contributors to Amazon.com, Contributors to Amazon.com
3. Woman's Day
Review Credibility: Very Good Cuffey selects her favorite must-have exercise videos, from dance to yoga to strength training. Although her comments are brief, she has clearly tested each one. Exhale: Core Fusion -- Pilates Plus earns high praise. Cuffey says its five 10-minute routines tone abs without 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 selections, but gives no details about how they're chosen or tested. In addition, it's unclear whether a ranking system is used. Magno says Pilates Plus will "transform your stomach," and you'll also get 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 Smith selects seven fitness DVDs as her top picks in this undated roundup. She says the videos are tested, but doesn't specify by whom or how many are evaluated in total. Categories include "fastest overall routine" and "best tension eraser." While Exhale: Core Fusion -- Pilates Plus is named "best gearless DVD," Smith provides few other details.
Review: The Best Workout DVDs, Sarah Smith, Not dated