Cool It OffDebbie Siebers
Year Released: 2003
Categories: Athletic Stretch
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
I did Cool It Off last night and it's 57 minutes. This is a comprehensive total body stretch video. Deep traditional stretches are combined with several yoga moves and back strengthening exercises. All stretches are held for a very long time. Every single muscle is fully stretched. Like the other videos, this one starts with the same 5 minute warmup to increase blood flow. This review will be shorter than my others; I'll only discuss a few highlights (and lowlights).
This video didn't speak to me as much as the other videos. There's a new set of background exercisers who seem devoid of personality. In the other videos, Debbie jokes a bit with her cast. In this video, she doesn't do that. I'm thinking she didn't have much to work with.
Honestly, I'm glad I did this video though. It pin pointed areas that I needed to work on. After doing the other workouts, my hamstrings and upper back had become very tight. I would have largely ignored this if it weren't for this video. The deep stretches were well needed. Also, I absolutely LOVED the neck stretches. Debbie's sister, who is seen in Shape It Up, is a physical therapist. I'm pretty sure Debbie received plenty of free consulation on which stretches are the best and tips on proper execution. The neck stretches are different from what I've ever seen and I plan on doing them everyday. There's also a wonderful new stretch for the inner thighs in the latter portion of the workout which I'll be doing more often.
Stretching is absolutely necessary but I'm not sure if I'll be doing Cool It Off that much. I'll probably replace it with another yoga/stretch tape.
This hour-long tape is part of the Slim Series collection. It is a stretch tape meant to be done on your rest days. Like the other tapes in the series, it is taught by Debbie Siebers, who works with a class of two background exercisers, one of whom occasionally shows modifications for the less flexible. Like all beachbody.com productions, it also features a message bar along the bottom of the screen that occasionally shows form pointers or motivation notes, and an on-screen clock that counts down the time left in each section, and in the workout as a whole. There is also some sort of dot graph up the side of the screen but it is not clear just what time increment these dots represent.
Debbie leads the class through a quite thorough stretch that works the entire body. The stretches are all static stretches---you get into position, then hold the stretch without moving for about 30 seconds per stretch (some are a bit longer and some a bit briefer). A chime sounds at the end of stretch. There are no flow sequences except for one exercise that is roughly equivalent to a yoga child’s pose/cobra sequence. If you like flowing yoga, this tape will not be for you. On the other hand these are solid athletic stretches held for a long time, and regular use of this tape would definitely increase flexibility. Debbie moves from standing work, to a short sequence on a chair, then floor work lying on the stomach and floor work lying on the back. It ends with some seated work and a final side stretch. A few of the stretches get repeated more than once, including a long section for the neck.
I did not bond with Debbie the way I did with the other main beachbody.com instructor, Tony. I think that people who found the Firm series a little “Stepford” might feel the same way about Debbie. Although she smiles throughout the workout, she was a bit stiff and serious. She makes a few small cueing mistakes (suggesting a cobra modification for a bow pose, then not actually showing a cobra until a few minutes later, and more amusingly, instructing you to turn your head so you are looking into your armpit, and then “inhale deeply.” Ewwwww). More problematic to me were the fact that she does not mirror cue (i.e. when she says left she means her own left, not yours) and she will occasionally say “release” when she means “exhale” which is a bit confusing because the rest of the time release means stop doing the stretch.
The dvd has a music off feature which I think I will use next time as the music was this kind of annoying faux-country instrumental. Otherwise, I had no issues with the production or presentation. I think the main strength of this workout would be its thoroughness, and the fact that every stretch is held for a really long time. Debbie is not a fabulous instructor in my opinion, but she is not a terrible one either, and the routine is certainly well-constructed. I would do this workout again. But at an hour long just for stretching, I am not sure how often.
This is a wonderful stretch workout with some added back strengthening and knee stabilization moves. It is LONG at about an hour, but doesn’t drag.
You could possibly do just the floor or just the standing stretches if in a hurry.
Debbie holds some of the stretches for a very long time. One stretch, the “bow” pose from yoga is a bit advanced and I often skip it and do a regular cobra. She emphasizes breathing deeply throughout the stretches. Modifications are shown for the tougher poses. But, I think Debbie could have added more form pointers here and there.
My only gripe is the out-of-place country music in the background. Let’s face it, BeachBody is NOT known for the great music in their workouts! I usually turn the sound option off and do it music-free. Or play some nice Ateeka yoga music.
Here is the DVD chapter breakdown:
2) Warm Up (3:45)
3) Standing Stretches (17:20)
4) Seated (on chair) Hip Stretch (3:20)
5) Core Stabilization (6:05)
6) Lying Prone Stretches and Lower Back Work (9:45)
7) Lying Supine Stretches (9:45)
8) Seated Stretches (9:00)
9) Standing Stretches (2:00)
Debbie is as friendly as ever. More low-key than in any of her other workouts. Thankfully, she doesn't make a lot of goofy jokes to dread (Millenium Stretch, anyone?). So you can do Cool It Off every day if you want.
I would have like a few more form pointers.
This is old now, but it stands the test of time. I did it today with a friend who I am introducing to the world of video fitness. She was delighted with it, and commented when we'd finished "Was that an hour?!?!" It is thorough - though, as others have mentioned, the music isn't either good, or particularly appropriate - but the "Music Off" option is there for those who feel the same way.
I would NEVER put this in the giveaway pile.
The lack of extraneous comments means that Debbie will not begin to annoy after the 57th time you do this - and who can resist smiling when she shows her dimples. :)
A solid, basic stretch routine that takes you from a brief dynamic warmup to standing stretches, then floor work, and back up for the final stretches. Slowly and deliberately you will do athletic-type stretches for every part of your body. There is nothing yoga-like about this workout at all - no woowoo, no particular flow or sequencing between moves - so if you're looking for a relaxing yoga-style stretch, this is not the workout for you.
Debbie Siebers leads two backgrounders (a very flexible man, an average-flexibilty woman) through the workout. There is a countdown timer. The music is pretty bad - elevator Muzak, much with a country influence - but I didn't find it distracting. There is a Music Off option. You need a mat. Debbie uses a chair for one hip stretch, but you could sit on the floor and do the move just as easily.
I found the beginning part of the workout to be a little slow, but then I relaxed and went with the instruction. I built up a light sweat in the middle of the workout and felt pleasantly warm by the end.
Debbie is low-key in this workout. She talks a lot but there's not much nonsensical chatter; most of it is cues. She does NOT mirror-cue in this workout, so you have to decide if you want to follow what's on the screen or listen to the right/left cues and do your own thing. She has a very calming voice and a great camera presence.