Video Fitness

Body Bar Express Innovative Stretch

Clare Dunphy

There is nothing really wrong with this tape, I suppose, but it didn't excite me. I think I was expecting to much cleverness, and I was disappointed to realize that almost all of the exercises were things I could have figured out on my own if I fiddled with the bar long enough. I also don't see the mini body bar being useful enough for weight work, being light and small; so it's your call whether you want to shell out for more toys just for one tape, or whether you or someone you know are clever enough to make one. The tape was ok. A lot of the work was standard stretches simply holding on to the bar (and many of them could have been done just as well without it). The stretch they show in the collage catalogue was pretty good. But overall, this tape struck me as a lot of the same, and not nearly as "innovative" as they might have us think. But of course, you would not have bought it if it was called "adequate stretch," would you?

Joanna C
9/11/00

This tape is 30 minutes long and is a blend of yoga, dance and Pilates-based stretches. You definitely don't need a two-foot weighted bar for this workout (I had my brother saw me a two-foot wooden dowel from an old broomstick), but I recommend some sort of short pole/dowel because it will help you get more into the workout and help with proper body positioning.

The stretches are not held in one position for a long time like Millennium Stretch or Dynamic Stretch. Instead, the movements flow one into another.

The stretches are interesting and I enjoy this workout. The speed did help warm up my muscles and make them more limber although I would like to have seen the movements held a bit longer as the workout has a bit of a rushed feel about it.

The tape said that it is for all levels, but I would not recommend this tape for beginners as some of the moves require a good amount of flexibility and range of motion. Clare Dunphy says to modify any exercises you find difficult, but neither Clare nor her background exercisers show any modifications.

Typical CIA set with nice music selections.

Sharon H.
9/12/00

This is a 30 minute tape using the mini-BodyBar. (A dumbbell would not work, and a regular BodyBar would be too heavy. A broom handle might work as a substitute.) I agree with the title that it is innovative, and it does involve stretching.

It does have some serious negatives, though. Several of the movements are not at all safe; she does a move where literally all of your body weight is on one bent wrist and you are sideways---ouch! I feel the ache in my wrists still. Luckily she forgot to do the move on the other side! There is a stretch where the front leg is bent inward while the opposite leg is stretched straight out back. This one is not safe for the knees. You must have amazing dancer-like flexibility to have this one be effective and not potentially dangerous.

What I did like was some of the music; I think some of it was the same as in one of the Karen Voight Body Reform tapes; very mellow guitar music. I liked some of the stretches with the Bar, but sometimes found the weight of it distracting. She incorporates moves that require good core strength and flexibility. This is definitely not a beginner tape. My husband did the tape with me and was saying stuff like, "These people are dancers! Her leg is inches from her face!"

It's an okay tape, but there are better stretch tapes out there.

Abbe G
4/8/01

I wish I had read the VF reviews before I bought this one! There is nothing relaxing about this "stretch". I like the idea of using a body bar for stretching. But she goes way too fast. I had to stop halfway through because I didn't want to hurt myself. I think this would be big trouble for someone with back problems. Especially if you don't have a strong core.

And, as stated by other reviewers, some of the positions are tough on the wrists. I guess "innovative" means no form pointers and no modifications.

Instructor comments: She has a dry, straightforward manner.

Alta

7/3/02



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