Treat While You Train

Jill Miller, Kelly Starrett
Year Released: 2014

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Instructional / How To Videos

This DVD set had been on my Wish List for a long time before a friend gifted me a copy. I have been a fan of Jill Miller's since the early days of her minimally produced Yoga Tune-Up DVDs (she has since changed the name of her brand to "Tune Up Fitness"). I was not as familiar with the other instructor on this DVD, Kelly Starrett, but I had seen some of his YouTube clips, and I knew he was a highly respected physical therapist in the fitness industry, particularly for his work on mobility issues.

Be advised that if you obtained this DVD set independently like I did, you MUST purchase several sets of different-sized therapy balls in order to utilize the programs described within. For me, I already owned a set of Miller's original Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls, and I also had a larger-sized ball that worked for me to use with her Coregeous workout, so I didn't feel the need to purchase the Tune Up Fitness Coregeous® Ball separately. The only thing I was missing was the Yoga Tune up Alpha Ball; however, I had other sized balls and thought I could make do, but most users will want to purchase 1-2 of these balls as well. That's FIVE total balls to use with this program.

As noted above, the set itself offers two different DVDs. Each are broken into segments. The first DVD has several informational segments plus three instructional ball rolling sections, whereas the second DVD focuses on ball rolling instruction only (4 total segments). During the instruction, Miller and Starrett take turns offering information, using a model for demonstrations. I have provided additional details below.

DVD #1
*Introduction - Overview from Miller and Starrett
*Ball Overview - Miller and Starrett describe the various types of balls used in the program
*Ball Techniques (9:28m) - Miller and Starrett review the 7 different methods for using the balls. These are as follows: 1) compression, 2) contract/release, 3) stripping, 4) shear (aka skin rolling), 5), cross fiber, 6) tack & floss, 7) pin, spin, & mobilize
*Global Shear (12:07m)
This is the first instructional segment. Miller and Starrett recommend starting with this or doing only this routine when short on time, and they spend several minutes discussing the benefits. The technique involves warming up the tissues of the trunk with the Corgeous ball. The ball starts on the navel with a contract/relax technique, moving to the rib cage, shoulders, and low back.
*Upper Torso (25:18m)
In their introduction (about 3.5m), Miller and Starrett explain how this section helps to create space around the shoulders, neck, and head. They begin by addressing the upper carriage and include a move called "loosen the noose." Areas that are addressed include both the back and the front of the neck.
*Shoulders and Chest (18:22m)
Again, Miller and Starrett begin by providing an overview of this area (about 3.5m). Their model Greg uses a glass table to demo the moves, which address the chest, deltoids, triceps, and lats.

DVD #2
*Elbows, Wrists, and Forearms (9:36m)
After a detailed introduction (3.5m), Miller and Starrett have their model perform rolling on a tabletop. The movements start from above the elbow and travel down to the forearms, including a "spin" movement right in the eye of the elbow.
*Lower Torso (24:48m)
This segment addresses the lower spine and pelvis, including the hips. Miller and Starrett do quite a bit of talking here, including a long discussion of the quadratus lumborum muscle interrupting the middle of the practice.
*Knee and Its Neighbors (23:28m)
This section includes seated glute work, lateral thigh (quad), above the knee cap, and top of calf.
*Feet and Ankles (12:56m)
For this final instructional segment, Miller and Starrett begin with a short introduction (2.5m) that includes some anatomy basics, such as noting that there are 33 bones in each foot! The exercises in this section are first performed seated, but the remainder are standing.
*Message from Jill and Kelly (<3m) - In this brief conclusion to the DVD, Miller and Starrett recommend engaging in these practices for just 10 minutes a day (a bit odd since almost all of them are longer than that!). They also encouraged viewers to become a part of their online communities for continued support.

This DVD set is extremely highly produced--maybe too much so, in that I found myself somewhat disappointed. Jill Miller, who I highly respect, almost seemed more of a prop, as Kelly Starrett did most of the talking, and Miller seemed more like an overly made up prop. (Don't get me wrong, I like Starrett and find him knowledgeable too, but it felt like the two were not given equal footing.) Plus, there was just TOO MUCH talking overall. Unlike Jill Miller's Yoga Tune Up Massage Therapy Instructional DVD, a similar 2-DVD ball rolling instructional set that I use often, I did not really find "Treat While You Train" to contain follow-along segments. Miller and Starrett are more suggesting techniques that one might try, but they don't really allow enough time to actually do them, particularly in going from one side to the other. If anything, this is an instructional/teaching set, one that might allow you to learn the techniques and then practice them on your own, but personally, that's not what I wanted, hence my disappointment.

Instructor Comments:
As noted above, I really like Jill and have many of her DVDs, but I felt she talked too much here and wasn't really the star, if both of those things are possible. I liked Kelly too, and he actually seemed more low-key to me.

Beth C (aka toaster)