Video Fitness

Sit Down and Tone Up

Jodi Stolove

This is part of the "Chair Dancing" series, and I bought it on impulse when I bought the Chair Dancing aerobics tape. I'm glad I did, because this video is an excellent upper-body video for people in the beginner or beginner/intermediate range. Thigh and abdominal exercises are also included, but the emphasis is on the upper body. The video "class" is made up of people at different exercise levels; some use dumbbells, others don't. Classical guitar music makes a nice, no-pressure background. All exercises are done in an armless straight-back chair. The video begins with leg work, then quickly moves to the heart of the program -- upper body. You'll do nine different exercises, with two to three sets of eight repetitions. You'll work your biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and upper back. I especially like the upper back work, because that's an area that succumbs to stress when you work at a desk, and it's a place where osteoporosis can develop if you don't do resistance exercises and consume enough calcium. After the upper body work, you do ab crunches, pelvic tilts for the lower abs, combination upper and lower ab crunches, and finally work your obliques. (I never knew you could do ab work in a chair!) Finally, the stretch segment is wonderfully relaxing. The entire workout only takes 20 minutes. Since the concentration is on the upper body, I have been alternating this video with a floor work video for my butt, hamstrings and inner and outer thighs. I'm a longtime exerciser and bought the Chair Dancing video set because I had foot surgery. I recommend this video for anyone who can't do a regular standing workout because of being overweight, disabled or injured, or for any beginner or intermediate exerciser who wants a relatively quick toning workout.

Instructor comments: Jodi is a nice, non-threatening instructor. Her form doing the exercises is excellent, and she seems genuinely concerned about her viewers' well-being, by providing periodic relax-and-stretch intervals. She has a cheerful attitude, and I think she's great for beginners or people who are unable -- for whatever reason -- to exercise standing up.

Lilly Anderson

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