Easy Stretch by Buns of Steel

Greg Smithey
Year Released: 1995

Categories: Athletic Stretch

I just finished doing this video and I really do feel great, but the smile on my face has less to do with how great I feel than it does with how unintentionally amusing Greg Smithey is in this video. Let me describe the workout first. Greg starts with dynamic, fluid stretches for the upper body and torso, "reaching and pulling" types of movements. There is some very gentle toning included. I am quite sore in my entire upper body today and it felt very nice. Then you go to the floor for some traditional stretching, mostly quadriceps and buttocks. This is very nonthreatening stretching, folks, definitely appropriate for the less flexible exercisers among us. The "thunderstorm in a jungle" background music is very nice and relaxing as well. Greg's voice and demeanor are very gentle through the video. After the floor stretching, though, things degenerate. Greg goes into a very long, very repetitive spiel about how your voice tells your conscious mind something, and your conscious mind tells your subconscious mind, and your subconscious mind tells all the cells and tissues of your body. Once is OK, 100 times gets a little irritating, especially since he has this wonderful birdsong track going on in the background. It would be very relaxing to just lie there and listen to the birds and focus on relaxing, but who can relax with someone coaching you about this voice-mind-subconscius-body thing over and over? I just wanted to say "GREG, SHUT UP!!

There were a few funny moments, like when he says "breathing is very relaxing" --I just started laughing out loud thinking "yeah, if you can't breathe it's kinda hard to relax!!" And there was another time when he says
"You don't stretch ballistically"
"You don't bounce"
He sounded as though he were talking to a small puppy or a disobedient two year old! Again, I got a good laugh out of that! And I wanted to ask him "If I get hit by a Mack truck and my voice tells my conscious mind I am fine and my conscious mind tells my subconscious mind that I am fine and my subconscious mind tells my cells and tissues that I am fine are my cells and tissues going to believe it???"

In closing, I think a lot of VFers would throw this tape on the pile of "tapes to take to VF get-togethers to get a good laugh out of". I have to admit, however, that I kind of liked it! I think Greg's sincerity and gentle personality save him from himself in this video. It sure does feel good on a very sore day, even though it wouldn't be much of a challenge otherwise. It is, after all, designed to be an "Easy Stretch" and it does so quite well. And the giggles I got out of it only endeared it to me.

Instructor Comments:
Greg has a wonderful, gentle personality. His tone is very simplistic and almost condescending, as though he is talking to a bunch of preschoolers. In spite of this, his sincerity is very appealing and his gentle approach is soothing. He is a combination of sixties hippie and eighties New Ager in his approach.

susan p