I don't know why this is labeled "for beginners," because this is for all levels. It consists of three 10-minute stretch segments, filmed on a beach somewhere (I forgot where). The three segments are standing, sitting, and lying down. Tamilee makes this video different by not doing the typical run-of-the-mill stretches. The nice scenery and soft music make it relaxing, and the short segments are perfect for tacking on to the end of your regular workout. Grade A+.
This is my favourite stretch tape. It has three
convenient sections, one standing, one seated and one
on the floor. Tamilee covers all the body parts in
each section, and is very non-threatening, especially
for a stretch-phobe like me. She admits she does not
have the greatest natural flexibility herself, so she
sticks with some solid, basic stretches that anyone
can do. You won't have to modify any of these. Most of
the stretches are old standards like back bends,
stretching the triceps behind the head, forward bends
to stretch the inner thigh and knee-back quadriceps
stretches. But she throws in a few creative ones. The
standing section had a very nice rotator cuff stretch
that involved placing a hand on your side, then gently
pulling the elbow forward. The seated section had a
nice outer thigh stretch that involved crossing one
leg over the other and pressing down at the knee. The
floor section had a great upper body stretch that
involved sliding one side of the body under the other
from cat pose. The floor section also had some fairly
detailed and often-ignored form pointers on the foot
flexing exercises. All three sections included wrist
or forearm stretches which was a very nice touch.
I think it was a great idea to mark off the sections
as she's done here because I sometimes skip a stretch
in a workout if it involves getting down on the floor,
and so few instructors indicate that this will be the
case. It is annoying. After an entire aerobics routine
standing up, they expect me to either get on the floor
and get dusty, or pull out my mat and pull off my
shoes? It is a stupid reason to skip a cool-down
stretch, but yet I know it is one of those silly
things that bugs me---and one of those excuses that
has allowed me to neglect my flexibility for far too
long. With this tape, I have no excuse: short and
sweet, but thorough stretches for all occasions. All
three sections together as a full workout, or bits and
pieces when convenient.
My only criticism would be that truly advanced
stretchers might find this tape a little bit basic.
But so many of the hour-long tapes that might work for
them don't work for those of us with not as much
experience, or not a whole lot of natural flexibility
to build on. So to all of you people, this one's for
This video is definitely the most used video in my collection. I love it! Since I began using it, I have become a more advanced stretcher and gained a great deal of flexibility thanks to yoga and other flexibility work, but I still enjoy this tape and use it several times a week. So I think even an advanced stretcher would find it useful. I do like doing the entire sequence of 3 10-minute stretches together for a 30 minute stretch, but I use it most often as a 10 minute add-on to other tapes which have non-existent or inadequate stretch segments or when I work extra hard and worry I will be sore the next day if I don't do extra stretching.
What I really like about the video is that with only a couple of exceptions, she doesn't replicate stretches from one segment to the next even though she does stretch all the same body parts. (There are also different stretches on her Stretch for Flexibility tape). That makes it especially easy to use the tape as a 30 minute stretch tape without getting bored or feeling like you're doing the same thing over and over.
The setting is very pleasant--on a sandy beach by the water.
Tamilee is incredibly encouraging and positive. She explains what muscle each stretch is designed to stretch (this part seems more geared toward beginning exercisers) and also talks about her own reasons for working on flexibility. She is very chatty in this video. She gives good pointers throughout for how to deepen the stretch once you improve your flexibility.
My favorite stretch video. I am, however, pretty easy to please. As long as it's not yoga or anything resembing it, I'm happy, and as an athletic-type stretch, this definitely fits the bill.
The set is great: a beach with a few colorful things in the background, but nothing distracting.
The music is soothing but not sopoforic. (I seem to remember that word from a vocabulary list many years ago. Is it a word? I'm trying to say "not sleep-inducing.") That's major plus of this video, in contrast to some other stretch videos: it relaxes you without putting you to sleep.
My favorite 10-minute segment (there are three) is the last one, the one on the floor. This one spends more time than the others on the trapezius and neck, my favorite muscles to stretch.
Each segment has the expected, normal repetoire of stretches. There are also a few streches that I would not have thought of myself, some interesting positions that are, thankfully, not difficult to get into!
This is a video you can grow with. People with very little flexibility will not have difficulty getting into the positions (no V stradles! Yay!), and flexible people can just increase their range of motion.
Tamilee Webb is pleasant. She has a nice throaty voice, with an interesting accent - midwest? (I love instructors with accents that aren't my Mideast accent.) She is aimiable and neither intimidating nor condescending.
She does, however, seem to be reading off of cue cards most of the time, and not very well written cue cards at that. The times when she's not reading, she looks a little confused. She seemed very at ease in front of the camara physically, but she seemed nervous with her speaking. She stutters and stumbles over her words a couple of times.
She pronounces "difficult" as "diffeecult," which is the only part of the tape that drives me absolutely crazy. Some of her comments are a little strange (how many sumo wrestlers are going to be doing this tape?) or ridiculously basic ("the back of the arm, which we call the triceps") or not well thought out ("just put your hand around your little thigh") but mostly her talk is interesting and welcome. A couple of times she makes me laugh out loud. For example, during one stretch she says, "And I KNOW some of you right now are doing this" - and she demonstrates EXACTLY what I was doing.
November 27, 2003
Of all of my many videos - this little stretch tape is the one I grab most often for a quick little stretch before I head off to bed. It has 3 - 10 minute stretches on it: Standing, Sitting, and Floor. I am hard-pressed to think of which is my favorite because I do like them all so much.
The video is shot on a beautiful beach in the caribbean. Tamilee Webb, as always, is her calm self and she has the perfect demeanor for a tape like this. The stretches are nice - not yoga-y and not too athletic. She has some unique ones that can be easilly adapted into your day when tightness strikes. There is one that she does, where she starts with your hands in a prayer posture and then you turn your hands to face downward - this stretch has saved me many a time when I am working onthe computer to finish up a big project!
Tamilee has two strech tapes in this series and I must say that I love this one and couldn't stand the other one. It felt too much like yoga to me. I like yoga, but when I come to Tamilee - I am not looking for anything yoga flavoured. The DVD has both workouts on it - so I just wanted to forewarn. (I have the VHS still).
Total Body STretch for Beginners
This is my favorite stretch tape so far. It is really versatile (especially with the DVD) because I can jump to the section I want and can do as many or few of the segments as I want. She does three sections: standing stretch, seated stretch, and floor stretch. I also like it because the three sections are not carbon copies of each other – although many of the moves are similar between sections, they appear in different orders and there are unique moves in some of the sections.
Finally, she genuinely encourages me to do what I can. In yoga tapes, there is a general insistence that the legs always have to be crossed. Tamilee lets me know when I can just choose whatever position is comfortable for me.
She is calm and encouraging and gives permission to do as much as you can. It drives me nuts when someone says "Do what you can" and then puts their face on the floor or otherwise demonstrates unbelievable flexibility. Tamilee is like a friend who knows more than me and is probably is more flexible, but is in the same ballpark.
September 4, 2004