Video Fitness

Weight Watchers: Low-Impact Aerobics

Aileen Sheron

This is a pretty nice beginner level aerobic video. It consists of 4 blocks of choreography that are developed individually and then connected together. The moves are truly low-impact and you can make the routine more rigorous by modifying up when you need to by adding impact or bigger moves. When I first started using fitness videos, I came across this (and the other two tapes in the series.) I found that it was a great video to learn all the basic moves that are used in many more advanced videos, and the pace of building the routine also helped me understand how moves are built then integrated, and how routines are “broken down.” Aileen Sheron gives only occasional pointers on form, but always exhibits good form, so if you match your moves to hers you will be doing well on form. Also, the cool down and the stretch at the end of this tape is more thorough than many other aerobic videos out there. Now that I am more of an intermediate/advanced exerciser, I find the tape still very useful. Because of the low-impact moves I find I can use it when I’m on the upswing from recovering from exercise injuries, and illnesses. Also, the fact that it is low-impact makes it easier to use in “apartment” living situations.

Instructor comments: Aileen Sheron has a pleasant demeanor and is encouraging.

Lisa Kucharski
eenah@aol.com
12/18/99

This beginner/intermediate, low-impact aerobic workout is split into sections. It starts with a 7-minute warm-up and stretch, followed by an exertion check. Then there are four aerobic sections of about 5-6 minutes each, with exertion checks after the second and fourth sections and a talk test. In the first three sections you learn a few steps and then put them together in a short routine which you repeat a few times. In the fourth section you put all the routines together and run through the entire combo three times. The cooldown is followed by a pleasant 5-minute standing stretch. The workout lasts about 40 minutes.

The steps used are not difficult to learn, and include grapevines, mambos, V steps, cha-cha, as well as more athletic moves such as knee up and hamstring curls, so it's a nice mix of easy dance-type and athletic moves. Although she doesn't teach all the steps, it's not hard to follow what she does and catch on to the routine after a couple of tries. The start of each section is clearly indicated on the TV screen, and beginners might want to work up to doing the whole tape gradually (IMHO it's probably very challenging for a beginner).

The workout doesn't take up a great deal of room, and it's easy to modify if you are a bit cramped for space. Their set is a bit roomier than mine, a small studio with a slightly raised platform and a large letter W on the back wall. There are a couple of windows, but no view outside, just a pinkish glow.

Aileen Sheron is accompanied by two background exercisers, who don't say anything during the workout.

A few years ago I bought Vol. 3 in this series, but it didn't really hold my interest and so I ignored Vol. 1, until I read favourable comments about it on the VF Forum. This is definitely much better than Vol. 3, and not a tape a beginner will grow out of in a hurry. (Vol. 2, the step workout, also makes Vol. 3 look rather out of place in the series as regards level of difficulty and "fun factor".)

Instructor comments: Aileen Sheron cues well enough, and encourages you to keep going. She looks friendly - sort of like the nice girl next door.

Glynis van Uden
gvanuden@home.nl
9 May 2001

This is a very nice beginner (not absolute beginner, though) or easy-day video. It truly is all low-impact, although most of the moves are easy to modify to high-impact. The music is nonvocal early 90s techno-y, but not annoying. It is about 40 minutes long, with a stretch at the beginning and a thorough, longer-than-usual stretch at the end. Great care is taken to warm you up and cool you down. There are two background women behind the lead. They are not young and not super skinny. They're very pleasant to watch. All three of the women are wearing leotard-like clothes, and the lead has puffy hair, but the overall appearance is not dated or eighties-ish. The set is brown with some blue and some plants, very pleasant. There are no pitches for weight watchers, in fact there is no talk about dieting or about appearances at all during the workout. The cueing is not brilliant but it gets the job done. The instructor is friendly and perky but not hyper, and she speaks very clearly. The format is take-it-from-the-top, but there are several different combinations to keep things moving. I like how the instructor sometimes does this neat little kick thing with her leg to signify the end of a specific move. The choreography is much more complicated than the Firm, for example, but still very, very simple. There are some knees, hamstrings, mambos (one of the background women demonstrates a turn version of this) - those kinds of common but fun moves. One things that is a little annoying, in my opinion, is that quite often during the tape (maybe 4 times?) there is a perceived exertion screen that comes on with a chart graphic asking you to rate your exertion level. It says things like, "A little difficult" and it suggests you "Slow down!" It's only after maybe 20 minutes that it tells you you're doing a good job if you're breathing hard. I think that's a little silly. But anyway - overall I recommend this tape.

Natalie

December 12, 2003



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