This is a 40-minute stretch workout, and it's very
relaxing and thorough. You'll stretch muscles you didn't
even know existed (your ileo-tibial band (sp?)). You'll
also stretch places you never think to do on your own,
like your forearm and inside forearm. Some of the
stretches are just *so* delicious. For stretching the
base of your neck, you lie on your back with your head in
your hands (like in situp position). Then you pull your
head up with your arms (not your neck muscles), and you
feel a wonderful stretch at the base of your neck. I
could do this for hours, it feels so good!
Each stretch is held for at least 30 seconds so you
chance to really relax the muscle. During the stretches,
Charlene tells you interesting things about the muscle in
question. Charts pop up on the screen showing you exactly
where the muscle is located -- I think this helps in
making sure you're getting the right spot.
Modifications are shown for most of the stretches,
sometimes even two or three modifications. She also gives
tips for pregnant women.
This is one of my favorite stretch tapes because it's
so thorough. It gets an A+ from me!
I got this tape from the exchange & it is so thorough. We not only stretch the more common muscles like quads & hamstrings but little unknown ones too. We hold all the stretches long enough. During the stretch Charlene shows anatomy charts of which muscle is being stretched. She also shows tests to determine how tight you are in certain muscles. Modifications are shown if a certain stretch doesn't feel comfortable or if you want more of a stretch. She also does PNF stretching. This tape covers everything. One of the background exercisers is a 64 year old woman. She is very motivating. You can tell she lifts weights & Charlene says that she is such a good example since she hasn't lost any upper body flexibility. She says that most people do as they get older & that's why they slouch forward. The stretch session is 45 minutes long. Some negative points is that Charlene might be too chatty for you. This tape doesn't leave me with a relaxed feeling. This is probably because of Charlene's personality. But there are other stretching/yoga tapes that do that.
Instructor comments: Charlene is chatty as usual. I learn so much from her. By explaining what muscles a particular stretch is working on, I try to concentrate on feeling the stretch in that area. Sometimes I wish other instructors would do that as well.
Stretching is something as a beginner that I didn't do enough or long enough (most stretches on videos are brief). However, a recent injury ("runner's knee" -IT band friction syndrome) and suggestion from the athletic therapist prompted me to stretch frequently daily and begin a developmental stretch program. (He told me that working a muscle hard shortens it and if it's not stretched enough, it will remain shortened. My muscles are also naturally tight :( .) Several VFers recommended this video to me.
Homestretch is a thorough developmental stretch tape. (45 minutes long) Charlene stretches most muscle groups . While holding the stretch, she gives information about the muscle in question and a diagram is displayed. She also stretches opposing muscle groups in succession. She offers modification for intensity (greater/lesser) and standing variations. I'm naturally quite tight, so I followed A.J., the cast member who is also less flexible. (I could not do some of the more flexible variations.) Charlene recommends you use this video after 20-30 of cardio or if you are unable to do cardio because of injury, have a hot bath first to increase flexibility.
This tape is not a "relaxation" stretch tape (as many are and helpful for that) but a detailed, informative athletic stretch tape. (Charlene even says which muscles group tend to be tight in which sports. She also includes flexibility tests for various muscles.)
Charlene states on the box, "if you don't like to stretch, you need this tape! Generally tight people find stretch uncomfortable and avoid it...Take heart, Homestretch provides support, understanding models and most important, modifications and alternatives for the inflexible". Boy, she just that right! I'd recommend this tape to all VFers, especially beginners starting an exercise program or people who have naturally tight muscles.
Instructor comments: Charlene is very talkative but informative. She gives a lot of information about each muscle group and occasionally banters with the cast. (I like her friendliness and as a beginner, I found the information helpful.)
If you are looking for a non-yoga, athletic type stretch tape I would highly
recommend this one. Others have broken down the tape, I'll just add my
Charlene delivers tons of info about how and when to stretch. She includes
flexibility tests and diagrams of the muscle being worked. I learned that
my tight hamstrings are what keep me from being able to do those yoga
seated forward bends properly.
She explains how flexibility exercises help your body avoid back, neck,
and knee pain and injury.
This tape is best done after an energetic aerobic type workout. The
stretches are held for a long time. Long enough to laugh at the wacky
outfits that yell1980's
Instructor comments: Charlene's chattiness is just her way. It seems natural to me. (Not forced
perkiness or phoniness like some instructors). Especially in this tape as
she has to give out a lot of information. I find her unique - a grown woman
who loves to exercise vigorously and seems to really love life.
This is a 45 minute long athletic stretching
video. Charlene and her class are in an all
white room (walls and floor). She starts
with stretches for the large muscles in your
lower body, then moves to your back, upper
body, and ends with wrists and calves.
Charlene shows pictures of the muscles as you
stretch them which I find helpful. She also
talks a lot about which sports require you to
do certain of these stretches regularly
(tennis, golf, and running). Flexibility
tests are shown for many of the muscles, as
well. This is a very thorough stretching
video, Charlene doesn't leave anything out.
What I really like about this video is how
long the stretches are held. The only thing
I don't care for are the outfits (very bright
and dated!), but this is easily overlooked
for what a great stretch I get from this
tape. I would recommend this to anyone
looking for a very thorough athletic
Instructor comments: I really like Charlene. I find her
"chattiness" to always be very interesting
and informative. She's so friendly and
motivating, too!Danielle S
I just finished doing this video for the first time and felt compelled to
write a review. This is an EXCELLENT stretch tape, and I personally think it
should be a "Hall of Fame" video or at the very least a "VF Favorite". I
think this tape should be the first athletic stretching tape one should get
if looking to increase flexibility. I wish I'd gotten this one before "Pure
and Simple Stretch" because the moves are held longer, more modifications
are shown, more muscle groups are stretched, and more information is given
about each muscle group.
I recently broke down and purchased this tape because I was looking for a
good stretch tape to improve my flexibility (which is horrible!), and had
seen many favorable reviews. Boy am I glad that I did! Nearly every muscle
is stretched (except maybe your fingers!). The *only* group I feel was
neglected were the shins. I wish she'd done stretches on the shins, which
can be a problem area for many walkers and runners (I'd been having problem
with shin splints from walking, myself), she mentions how the other muscle
groups are tightened by running, so it puzzles me why she forgot the shins!
Nevertheless, everything else is great.
As others have said, Charlene is
very chatty (as usual) in this tape, so you don't get the relaxing ambience
as much as with "Pure and Simple Stretch". However, I've already planned to
just turn the volume down, and put on some nice New Age music to go with the
tape when I really get tired of hearing Charlene talking :-) The only catty
comment I have to make is the attire of the cast, but this was 1988,
*although* I can't believe any guy would wear the outfits that were featured
in this tape even in the 80's, but it didn't distract from the superb
stretching, so I'll say no more.
Modifications--both easier and harder--were
shown for every stretch, and a towel is needed, and a table--but a tall box
or step would probably do. I know that I personally have *much* work to do
as Charlene would do a stretch and tell you that you would only feel it if
you were very inflexible, and boy was I feeling it! I liked the fact that
she would also tell you that you might not feel certain stretches, depending
on your level of flexibility, then demonstrate more intense exercises to
feel the muscles. This was the case for quite a few stretches I've seen done
in other videos and wondered why I didn't feel the muscle group being
All in all an excellent video. I give it an A++ (I would've given it A+++,
but she forgot to stretch the shins :-))
This is a great 45 minute developmental stretch workout. Except for the shins, Charlene covers all the major muscle groups pretty thoroughly. Before beginning the workout, Charlene advises you that for best results, you should use the tape after a workout, or at the very least, after a hot bath. During each section, a diagram of that particular muscle group is shown. Rather than just telling you to stretch, Charlene also tells you why that stretch is important, and which stretches are particularly important for certain people (ie. runners, cyclists, etc.)
Charlene pays close attention to safety and form, often reminding you not to arch your back or hunch your shoulders. She gives quite a few modifications for those who are pregnant or have difficulty lying on the floor. There are also variations for those who are more flexible and want a more intense stretch. Those who are less flexible can follow cast member A.J., and Charlene reminds you to do only what is comfortable for you. She includes quite a few stretches that I haven't seen in other workouts, like forearm stretches, and stretches for the postural muscles of the neck.
Those who enjoy athletic stretch and who like Karen Voight's Pure and Simple Stretch may want to give this one a try as well. Charlene does most of the same stretches, and then some. I think that the stretches are held a bit longer here, too. Granted, I don't think this video has the same relaxation factor as P & SS, since Charlene talks the entire time. However, what she has to say is very informative, and worth listening to at least once. After you are familiar with the routine, it would be simple enough to mute the TV and put on some relaxing music instead. If you don't have time for 45 minutes of stretching, you could easily break the routine into sections. Although this video is not available through Collage, you can order it through Charlene's web site.
I really like Charlene. I know that some are put off by her chatty manner, but I find her to be very likeable, and although she talks a lot, what she is saying is generally pertinent to the workout and fitness in general. She comes across as very genuine and down to earth. I like the fact that her cast members wear mikes also, so you can hear what they have to say.
I truly believe that this is one of the
most thorough, athletic stretch
programs you could ever hope to pick
up! It is about 40 min long and totally
gets into every little nook and cranny on
I really like the way I feel after doing
this tape, but i will admit that it is the
last stretch tape I ever grab, becasue of
how long it is. The time drags by. It is
great that the stretches are held for a
really long time and that she reaches
some of the muscles that we seldom
think about stretching, but I get so
bored that it feels more like a 2 hour
long stretch tape to me. If I'm going to
do such a long strecth, I'll do it in Yoga.
Charlene is great and I love the fact that
I learn so much from her.
February 28, 2004
Due to an injury I've become good friends with all my stretching videos. I just added this one to my collection and I'm glad I did. I think it runs about 50 minutes. However, there is no warm up although she discusses the importance of warming up or taking a hot bath/shower before stretching.
I wont' attempt to break down the video but I think it is the most thorough stretching video that I own. It stretchedsareas that other videos don't address and the PNF (think that's what it's called) technique really increased my range of motion. Although I only used this tape one time, some of the areas that have given me chronic problems have really improved. I'll use this video again and I'm glad to have it in my collection.
Charlene is thorough and knowledgable. I don't mind her chattiness during this video because most of the chat is while we're holding a stretch.