Video Fitness

Total Body Stretch

Cathe Friedrich

Total Body Stretch consists of 3 fantastic stretch segments. Each segment is about 12 minutes long. The first is done without equipment and the second and third segments use the stability ball. I think this is one of the most relaxing and effective stretch DVDs available. It's appropriate for all fitness levels, although the stability ball segments are better suited for people who have some degree of familiarity with the ball.

You can do one, two or all three of the segments (I did all three; the time flew by and I felt well-stretched and relaxed afterwards). I will do this DVD after my cardio and strength workouts, but it is also great on a day when you just want to do some stretching.

Cathe combines athletic as well as yoga-inspired stretches, and uses the stability ball in creative ways. The stretches, especially the ones on the stability ball, will help with elongating and releasing tension in the spine, and improving posture. There are lots of excellent hamstring stretches, as well as hip openers, quad stretches, inner thigh stretches, lower back stretches, and variations of cobra using the ball. There are upper body stretches for chest, shoulders, arms, upper back and neck, using the ball.

Cathe and her participants are calm and serene, and demonstrate great form. The instrumental music is very good, and reminds me of the music on some of my favorite yoga DVDs.

I highly recommend this DVD to anyone and everyone. It rates an A+++ .

Instructor comments: In this DVD, Cathe is sweet, calm, gives clear instruction, and looks happy, pretty and fit. She has good flexibility and demonstrates the exercises well.


September 4, 2005

Since starting stretching regularly, I have seen some real flexibility gains and have loosened up my neck and shoulder area, always a problematic area for me. In putting together a combination of tapes, I have several athletic stretch tapes/DVDs and several yoga workouts that are mostly stretch oriented.

Cathe is relaxed and seems to enjoy doing these segments. She gives good explanations of what she is looking for and is good with form pointers. She is backed up by four exercisers, all of whom are good in this DVD. Cathe has no interaction with them. Each segment lasts around 12 to 13 minutes and is good for a stand-alone stretch or an add-on after other workouts. There was music, but I canít tell you anything about it.

The basic stretch was okay. But I really enjoyed the two ball stretches. She does a good variety of stretches and the ball gives that added range of motion that I enjoy.

I tried Stretch Max and had an initial good reaction. But, over time, I found I didnít reach for it much and ended up putting it on my trade pile. I like this workout, and definitely like it better than Stretch Max. I donít love it though and enjoy workouts like Slim & Limber more. Weíll see if I end up keeping it with time.

Instructor comments: She seems calm and relaxed. She gives good form pointers throughout the segments.

Laura S.

March 2, 2006

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