Video Fitness

Stretch and Flex

This tape contains two stretching routines. The first is a yoga- and dance-based programme, led by Kylie Gates. One of the other team members demonstrates easier versions of the stretches. This part lasts about 25 minutes.

The second routine, led by Steve Schiemer, is athletic stretching, and starts off with a warming up (about 3 minutes). He starts with standing stretches and then moves to the floor. He shows modifications to the stretches to accommodate different levels of flexibility. This part lasts about 30 minutes.

He introduces PNF stretching (proprio neuromuscular facilitation), which uses muscle strength to help improve flexibility. You contract the muscle before doing a stretch, so that when you relax you get a better stretch. He says it can help improve flexibility by up to 30% more than ordinary static stretching. This method is applied to stretches for the chest, back and hamstrings. I’m starting to notice an improvement in my hamstrings.

Both routines are suitable for all levels, because they offer options for different levels of flexibility. I think the second is probably better for beginners as it has more thorough instruction and explanation of the functions of the muscles. The second routine is my favourite, but they’re both good and very relaxing. This tape is excellent value, and I highly recommend it.

Instructor comments: Kylie Gates is very flexible! She gives good descriptions of what to do.

Steve Schiemer is a likeable instructor. He gives good explanations and demonstrations of how to perform the stretches properly, telling you what and why you’re stretching. He says “fantastic” a few times, but not as often as he does on the Cross Train tape, I think!

Glynis van Uden
gvanuden@worldonline.nl
2 March 2000



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