Video Fitness

Richard Simmons: Ab Formula

I found this video disappointing. Simmons is his usual bouncy self, and the music is terrific, but he provides almost no instruction or pointers on form. After a warm up, he jumps right to a series of basic pelvic tilts, crunches and curls. The exercises themselves aren't bad, but this is a tape for beginners, who probably need more help. He never goes into detail about the proper form for a crunch, for example, just goes through the reps. The computerized "Mr Anatomy" was a nice touch, but only stayed on the screen a few seconds, not long enough to see the proper form. The exercise booklet that came with the tape was a little more helpful, although the ab bar was not much use. There are some good exercises on this tape, and I liked the way he stretched after each set, but there are better tapes if you're just looking for a basic ab workout. Simmons usually does an excellent job in reaching the out of shape beginning exerciser, but a beginner who hadn't done ab exercises before would probably find this tape more frustrating than helpful.

Karen Wheless

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