JENNIFER KRIES’ PILATES METHOD: PERFECT MIX

2001, $.49, at Goodwill on San Fernando in Glendale

First Impression: Learn to tango with a column!*

Second Impression: *Column not included.

The back of the DVD brags, “Jennifer Kries, your host, helped change the way people exercise by being the first to bring Pilates-Conditioning techniques to home video.” Well, goody goody gum drops, Jennifer.

She sizes us up to see if we’ve got what it takes to learn “three dimensional toning.”

Then this symbol flashes on the screen:

Do the three sides of the triangle represent the three dimensions in which we will tone? Or, more likely, does it convey a multi-level pyramid, vitamin-marketing personal coaching self improvement weekend seminar retreat communal home and spiritual center? Or perhaps, I’m overthinking it and shouldn’t be so rigid, man.

The first of three workouts is Core Contouring. This is old school Pilates, with none of the modern iterations that include pounding music or hyped up shouting. It’s all about the exercises and the high neck fetish leotards.

We move through some classic Roll-ups and Hundreds, then progress to a move I call World of Hurt:

But really, this is just a warmup for the human sacrifice:

Next up is the Metabolic Booster segment. Jennifer Kries suggests, “Let’s start with a complete weight training series that feels like a dance. It’s cumulative in nature,” she adds.

What does that even mean.

We start with some confusing synchronized bends and reaches, accompanied by a generic peppy world beat guitar.  Then comes the dangerous and irresponsible whipping around of hand weights. This annoys me so much that I skip over the rest of that section. 

We’ve made it all the way to Rejuvenation! Here’s what a stretch demonstrated by Jennifer Kries looks like:

Here’s what the same stretch looks like in my house:

The next move is actually called Active Moving Cat. I did not make that up. But the two active moving cats in my house hear and answer the call.  The workout deteriorates from there into a tangle of hip stretches and biscuit making.

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