Callan Pinckney's lo impact excercises are
purported to be safe for troubled backs and knees.
Pinckney developed this regimen of deep muscle stretches
after dealing with back problems of her own. I know this
system works, and works relatively quickly, having had
friends who shaped up with her video. Muscles get firm,
elongated, and strong (not unlike with ballet or yoga.)
The video does not offer much in the way of aerobic
conditioning, which was OK with me, as I was going to use
it to supplement a jogging regimen. My major complaint,
however, is that it's BORING. Pinckney has a formal, calm
demeanor that would make me want to have cocktail chat
with her as opposed to get fit with her. The new age jazz
is also TOO soothing. This video is probably geared to an
older person, eager not to jostle themselves around.
If you're very self-motivated, this could be a good
program for developing flexibility and strength. If you
need some pep, I'd try something else.
This video will help you tone your muscles and become
flexible! Everything in this video is very low key.
Callan is a very caring instructor, with a very soothing
voice. The movements are *extremely* small, 1/2 inch at
the most during most of the exercizes. This forces you to
maintain control during the movements and not get carried
away by the momentum. The exercises look very easy, but
when you actually get down and try them in the proper
form, you are likely in for a challenge! This video
manages to work muscles that one never knew even existed!
Do they work? YES! I can feel the difference in my body
when I do this workout regularly! The music is very soft
and low key, but if you are like me, you find yourself
unconsciously going to the beat of the music when you do
most workouts. The low-key music avoids that and instead
puts the focus back on working your body at it's own
pace. After about 2 months, I stopped using the video
because silence helped me relax more and move more at my
own pace instead of following their on-screen counter.
There is an Advanced Callanetics video that I haven't
seen yet, instead I use her Callanetics book and
Callanetics for Your Back book to get new exercizes and
stretches from. I have become so flexible from this
video, that in a step aerobics class I visited a while
ago, during the stretches, I heard "Wow, she's so
flexible" during the cool down - and that was from
the instructor! It has also helped me tone, especially
the abdominals. I highly recommend this video for anyone
who wants to tone their muscles in a very slow, deep way
and for anyone looking to improve their flexibility!
Callan's voice is very soothing, and has somewhere
between a Southern and British accent. She seems to
really care about her students in the video and about
helping you achieve the proper form for each exercise.
The Video: I really don't like the video quality - and poor Callan's orange leotard just does awful things for the color scheme. The music is a bit silly - at least its quiet. The participants all have very real, but nicely toned bodies. They range in age form 18-76, and there is one man.
The Exercises: The exercises are really quite effective. But they are not typical American Fitness exercises - very very slow, tiny pulsing movements, emphasis on balance and flexibility, nothing aerobic. They *really* work, though. You muscles become longer and leaner and stronger.
I like using the video, even though I learned the exercises from the book, because it keeps me on track, and helps me follow through with the whole hour program.
There are four exercised described in the book that she omits in the video: Two hips and behind exercises, "open and close" and the calf stretch. (I hear they re-appear in "Super Callanetics.")
Instructor comments: Callan is very interesting person. According to her book, she was raised a Southern Belle, and then ran off to Europe and Africa. She now has a British/Southern Accent. She's very much into making the body supple and flexible - not athletic.
Callanetics are exercises that consists of very deep and precise contractions followed by intense stretching. They seem to be surprisingly effectively. All during the video Callan tells you to "tighten the behind THEN tilt the pelvis up. This really straightens the spine and isolates the targeted muscle so you really can only move it 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch.
The warm up begins with breathing, some intense tricep work, side and leg stretches and some gentle neck rolls. Ab work follows . Again it looks like a crunch but it's not. You try to round your chest into the ribcage. The leg exercises are variations of the ballet plie. The pelvic tilt is crucial. If you do these two right, you will feel as if youv'e done some heaby squats the next day. These are follow by some deep leg stretches on the barre. One exercise show a variation use a coffee table.
Then comes the"wonderful hips and behind." These are tough. Your leg will feel as if it just won't move. It took several video session with the video . The buttocks muscle is so isolated that you can see the actual shape of it and feel it, it's really not as big as you thought but you will need to take a breather. More stretching follows. There is a nice pelvis rotation that i can't do because of my knees. The video ends with another intense exercise, an innter thigh squeeze. A chair is used in the video, I use the edge of a wardrobe chest.
After the end of each segment are some rather cheesy photos with a comment from Callan. This is to encourage you to keep going. However, there is one of a pupil named Jean who had some really serious saddlebags, a definate candidate for a liposuciton. I hope I have the same result because if this is to be believed, these exercises seem to work better than plastic surgery. And for the price of a video, it a helluva whole lot cheaper. Another thing I did like was Callan's choice of words, no negativity here,
About the butt, instead of saying goos or flab she says "turn that pear into that precious little peach."
About the video itself, the studio is nice but there is no co ordinated exercise wear and Callan's leotard seems to be designed to emphasis how much pelvic movement is necessary. I have Super Callanetics (which I didn't do yet, but it does have more exercises from her book. Now that video is well produced. But more on that later.
I would recommend this video for women who have that bottom that just won't lift and simply if you want to improve flexibilty. Acutally I consider this to be a stretch video more than anything else.
Instructor comments: Callan Pinchkey is a Southern belle and maverick. Her accent is a cultured southern laced with British. She is a thorough teacher and demonstrate excellent form and like a traditional dance master, she walks among her students checking and correcting their form. She also give good encouragement throughout the video. Callan Pinckney was 47 when she made this video and a recently bought a book, "Callanetics, Fit Forever which was published in either 1995 or 1996. She's still in great shape. This clearly shows that we women can keep their shape and stay in shape all throughout our lives.
Jean Leslie Wakefield
I purchase this tape with the purpose of increasing my flexibility. It claims to tone your body as well. On the cover is a suggestion to do this workout at least twice a week. I have done it several times by now, but only once every two week or so. It will bore you to tears. Not that I donít like it. I think it is effective if and only if you can do it more often. Every exercise is good and I never fail to feel my muscle warm. When finishing, my muscles feel tightening for all day. Some exercises are tough, such as the pelvic rotation. What I donít like about this tape is that I have to ff all the time. There are some pictures or modification thrown in between sections. It would be better if all of these to show in the beginning or the end of the tape. I am thinking to tack some of the exercises after strength training. This way I can do it more often. If any advance exerciser wants to try Callanetics, I think you can jump right into the Super Callanetics, which is more advanced. I donít have that tape, but I guess from the nature of the workout.
Instructor comments: Callan Pinckney is likable. She reminds me of a teacher when I was young. Fussy but good intention. What Callanetics really true to its claim is that it is back friendly. Some weeks ago I had back pain from high impact. Doing Callanetics did not stress on my back and helped to relieve the problem.
The soft new-age atmosphere lends a helping-hand in enabling the viewer to carry-out the exercises in the soft pulsating method that Callan punctuates repeatedly. The key to the regimen is the minute movements and stretches that require you "to stretch up two inches higher than you think you can". All of the laudatory comments I have gotten on my streamlined shape will forever keep me on the Callanetics program and away from the line-backer producing high impact aerobic programs. I'll go for long and lean any day over short and squatty muscle tone. I endorse this video and her books emphatically.
Instructor comments: Callan gives a dignified look to people's pursuit to regain vitality. She is a testimonial to her emphasis on strengthening, lengthening and non-bulking exercises.
I have used her tape for years. My hips, legs and flexability and long line muscels have inproved. I also teach yoga to my senior classes. I need to purchase supercallanetics for more exercised. I have acheived the "coin positions" in 4 places as shown in video.
Instructor comments: I like her style. She is an enspiring teacher, very easy to follow . At her age in video she looks great. A muscle strengh video is what I needed then and now.
Your first impression of this video will probably be that it looks out-of-date: the set, clothes, and even instructor Callan herself all scream 1980s. If you can get past that, however, you will find that this tape still offers a great workout for today's exercisers. Callan's method can be compared to traditional ballet barre work, Pilates, Lotte Berk, and even yoga, and in fact it borrows a little from each of these areas. The focus is on very small movements--often just 1-2 inches--combined with a high number of repetitions--sometimes up to 100.
Callan begins the workout with standing stretches, with the first one looking a little like yoga's sun salutations. Also included in this section area side stretches and an arm stretch that you will definitely feel in your triceps for days afterward. Next, Callan moves to the floor for several exercises for the "stomach"--what's now more commonly referred to as abs work. These exercises are very similar to Pilates, with the first and last in particular being almost exactly like "The Hundred," a traditional first Pilates exercise. Unlike in Pilates, however, Callan instructs her students NOT to pull in their stomachs, which goes against the emphasis in Pilates to keep a firm midsection. These exercises are also quite strenuous on the neck, but at the end of the tape, there is a note that the hands can be kept behind the head if needed to support the neck.
Following this, it's back to standing exercises using a ballet barre. A sturdy, high-backed chair can be substituted here (which is what I used), but Callan also shows how even a low piece of furniture would work. This series includes stretches for the legs and hips and then further standing work for the thighs and buttocks. Following this, Callan returns to the floor, and (still using the bar), does several additional moves for the hips and buttocks. The workout ends with several forward-bend type stretches as well as a few more strenuous moves for the pelvis.
This classic program offers a nice change from today's exercise videos; at the end of the workout, you will likely feel long, lithe, and very proud of yourself.
Callan is a supportive teacher who is constantly instructing you to only do what you can without pushing your body too much. She gently corrects her students on the proper form while also offering motivating comments about their progress.
Beth (aka toaster)
December 15, 2003
I am a former dancer and had to stop due to knee problems. My mother gave me this video after I had my son and not only did my knees stop bothering me, but I toned up within weeks.
I recently picked this video back up and again cannot believe the results. My flexibilty has improved, as well as my posture. I also find this similar to yoga in that, I mentally feel more relaxed while and after doing this workout. The video is from 1986, but if you can get past the leotards, it's really not bad. The music is soothing and there is an on the screen countdown.Some of the exercises inclue:
Flatten your tummy
Reduce your hips
Lift & Tighten your behind
Eliminate your saddle bags
Tighten your inner thighs
Firm your chin
Improve your posture I have used gyms, done kickboxing, danced, and yoga and I can honestly say if you're looking for results, you will not be disappointed. This WILL reshape your body.
Callan Pinckney is very informative. She explains things clearly and contiues to motivate throughout each exercise. She is a dancer and found that alot of these exercises helped her with her own knee and back problems.
This workout starts out with 5 warmups. Every move in the workout is numbered, so there are 5 warmup moves. The first section is "stomach". I'm sure she means abs. I certainly don't want a rock hard stomach!! The ab section is terrific and reminded me a lot of Pilates, specifically The Hundred, Single Leg Stretch and Double Leg stretch. Each move is "pulsed" 100 times. The ab workout had 5 moves and was fairly intense.
Stretching is sprinkled throughout the workout, and each stretch is held for 50 seconds. The leg work was odd: squats standing with your heels together. This caused my knees to go over my toe and made my knees hurt. Other leg work included variations of the leg lift, again using small movements for 100 pulses. One of the more odd movements involved sitting with your knees together, heels under butt and then leaning back and sort of doing a belly dance type move. Again, I couldn't the impingement on the knee joints.
It ends with more stretching, which was actually quite good and thorough.
All in all, this is an ok tape for a day you don't want to put much in to a workout. I don't see how doing the lower body work would transform me the way Callan thinks it will. Theres just not enough of it. I am used to doing squats and lunges. This is a more ballet inspired workout with zero upper body work. I'd keep it for the ab section, but thats about it.
The workout was made in the 80s and looks it. There's actually a backround exerciser named Midge!
I found none of the physiques inspirational. (But I prefer a more defined look)
Personally, I'd like to feed Callan some quality protein and put her through a REAL exercise regimine and I think she'd look awesome.
As it is, she looks like a starved bird. Workout grade C- because of the dangerous moves for the knees.
I had never seen Callan before this tape. I must be honest, my first reaction was horror. She is alarmingly thin. Her upper body looks atrophied in they way you see with anorexics. Looks aside, she's an okay instructor, not irritating or robotic.