10 Minute Solution: Pilates Workout DVD Review

Posted by Faye on March 31, 2011 in Workout DVD Reviews |

10 Minute Solution: Pilates (with Lara Hudson)

Released: 2004

Difficulty Level: Rating: ★★☆☆☆ A few challenges

Sweat-o-meter: Rating: ★★☆☆☆ A little warm

Overall rating: Rating: ★★★★★ Highly recommend

Length of workout: 56 minutes

Equipment needed: Mat, light hand weights for the sculpting workout

Not familiar with Pilates? It’s a great non-cardio workout that is easy on your muscles and joints. Its many benefits include strengthening your core and building flexibility.

This workout is part of the 10 Minute Solution series of workouts, created specifically for people who don’t have time for a long workout. If you lead a busy life, you can fit a 10-minute workout in between your activities. So I don’t want to hear any more excuses about not being able to find the time to work out. I always make the time to do the entire 56-minute workout.

Lara Hudson leads the workout, which is divided into 5 segments: Abs, buns/thighs, sculpting, Pilates burn, and flexibility (stretching). Within each segment she always demonstrates an easier modification for beginners.


Lara starts the workout with the Pilates hundred and the rollup. Next are double leg stretches, side twists, the criss-cross, scissors, and corkscrew. All of these relatively easy exercises are done lying on your back. The killer part of the ab workout is the rollover. I’ll admit, there are some days I have to cheat and push my butt to get my legs to go over my head. This might be a more advanced Pilates move, but you have my permission to cheat if you’re a beginner. The ab workout finishes up with the teaser, probably the hardest ab move next to the rollover.

Buns & thighs

This video will show you what to expect in the buns & thighs workout; it’s the actual 10-minute segment of the workout.  Starting with old-school leg lifts; then leg circles, ronde de jambe (a fancy term for forward and back leg lifts), and lower leg lifts. Next is the grasshopper, shoulder bridge, hip press, and leg press. The segment finishes up with straddle and butterfly stretches. But don’t just take my word for it; watch the video I included in the above link; you’ll see what to expect.

Sculpting pilates

Grab your 2- or 3-lb. weights for this one. You’re also in luck, I found another video for Lara’s sculpting set so you can see what that looks like. You’ll do the zip-up, bicep curls, arm circles, “shave the head,” (you’ll have to watch the video to see what that is) and tricep kick-backs. There is a brief arm-stretching segment before she moves into “boxing” a shoulder press, and the “bug.” Killer move alert: Lara makes you pulse your arms mid-air. And with 3-lb. weights in your hands, it’s really a b****, uh, challenging. The last move is the Superman lunge – a move that combines a side step with arm raises, all while holding the weights. The sculpting set winds up with a few stretches while bending over and relaxing your arms. You will feel this tomorrow.


Cool! I found another 10-minute video on YouTube of the actual segment for your previewing pleasure. This workout starts you at the back of the mat, and makes you do a lot of the work on all fours. And then out of nowhere, Lara sneaks in some push-ups, my least favorite exercise.

Next are curls, leg & hip presses, hamstring kicks, and those pesky push-ups again, this time on one knee. Swimming, side stretches,  leg circles, and hip stretches wrap up this segment. This is actually the best all-around Pilates workout because it incorporates your entire body into the workout. And I’ll grudgingly admit those push-ups really are good for you.


Regardless of how many of the above workouts you do in one session, you need to include this segment at the end of your workout. It’s all about the stretching the muscles you previously worked. It’s kind of like the dessert at the end of a good meal.

If you’ve had a stressful day, this is an excellent 10-minute workout to just unwind.

Although many fitness experts say that you won’t burn a whole lot of calories doing Pilates, you will definitely strengthen and stretch your body, which is what the exercise was initially designed to do.

Have you tried this workout yet? I would love to hear your opinions about it. Thanks for reading!

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  • J. Daitch says:

    Finally, I have found a video that I can stick with. The instructor is pleasant and encouraging without seeming like an exercize nazi. You can switch the order of the 10 minute segments and do as little or as much as you can. I usually do three segments at a time. And I can see results. I even look forward to exercizing, now, which never happened before.

  • dnk says:

    I picked this up in part because I wanted to take a look at the ten minute cardio segment, and in part because the instructor was featured in the Lotte Berk releases, and I wanted to see if she brought any of that here. Having done some of it, I think it’s a great, varied program that can fit into a lot of people’s schedules and, as a bonus, will work more than just your abs.

    The first section doesn’t include one single crunch but still has an athletic feel. This features pushups, front planks, forearm planks and side planks, with lifts for the hips (for side planks) or limbs (front planks). Of all of the sections, this was the one that felt the most Lotte Berk to me as she threw in some reminders about tucking the hips and pushing the weight back. I really liked this section, but then I like anything that doesn’t require crunches. Seriously, I felt this entire segment through my back, arms and buttock as well as my abs.

    The second section featured Pilates movements. I’m pretty sure that the instructor isn’t a certified Pilates instructor, but she stuck to enough of the fundamentals to be respectable. This section included the Hundred, some of the Stomach Series, Roll Ups and a modified Teaser. Bonus: she also included some work for the back, noting that Pilates was not all about the abs.

    The third section was the cardio segment I’d been curious about. On preview, she doesn’t look like she’s moving fast, and she does break several times to instruct, but it still gets the heart rate up. It felt like a hybrid of standing ab work and kick boxing, with an emphasis, obviously, on kicks and knee lifts. Here, too, she also included instructions for the tuck familiar to Lotte Berk practitioners.

    The next section was pretty much classic, straight up, gym-style crunches. As I’ve said, these are my least favorite way of training my abs, but if that’s what you’re about, she packs most of the traditional variations in here: classic crunches, side crunches, crunches with one knee up, double crunches, etc.

    The last section is a mix of the first and the fourth, with some of the planks and crunch variations. This would be a great way to get in some traditional as well as functional training for the abs.

    Whatever your preference for training, this dvd should give you some enjoyable options.

  • RAB says:

    I had tried one other pilates dvd and didn’t like it but since I enjoyed other 10 Minute Solution dvds I thought I would give this one a try and I am so glad I did! The time flew by for each segment and I really enjoyed Lara as an instructor. You also add hand weights to some segments which is nice. In fact the only equipment needed was a carpeted floor or pilates mat, and light hand weights. Plus you are able to do this workout bare foot, a nice change of pace. My only complaint is that I could not do all the moves in the cardio segment, too advanced for me but hopefully in time I will increase my flexibiity. I highly recommend this dvd for an intro to pilates or for those already at intermediate levels. I found it relaxing but could feel the burn afterwards.

  • Over the years, I’ve come to like the 10 Minute Solution series. This is quite a good one, but not my absolute favourite.
    You will challenge your entire ab section in different ways. Plank work for the transverse abs and Pilates for the core, combat aerobics to hit and burn the fat and then regular crunches and ab curls and a little more pilates. I like having a dvd that concentrates mainly on abs because you can do these whenever you want – daily if you’d like. If you’ve done your walk or aerobic work, it’s great to put this on when you’ve got a little spare time and it’s easy enough but you still feel good for it afterward. The instructor Suzanne is good – her cuing is helpful and on the mark and it makes this easy to follow. I think this would make a good addition to your other workout dvds.

  • Mrs. W says:

    I am a fan of the 10 Minute Solutions series and was intrigued when I saw this one was coming out. I was curious to see whether it would live up to its name and if it would keep my attention and not bore me with endless crunches. I have tried it and can definately say without hesitation, this is another winner. Each of the 5 workouts has effective and creative moves that really work and are fun to do. During each workout, I could feel the muscles working and could see a difference afterward. The last two workouts are more traditional, incorporating crunches, but they do so in a way that is not monotonous. The instructor is pleasant, but not annoying and she gives good modifications, if neccessary, along with direction as to how to do the exercises properly. I really am glad that I have added this to my collection and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to tighten and tone their waistline!

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