Just Right: Flex PostureAnna Benson
Year Released: 2003
Categories: Athletic Stretch
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This is the 2nd fitprime I tried out of the pack of all 8 dvds I ordered. The package made it sound like a hybrid workout of pilates, yoga, strecthing and light toning moves. It sounded like something Kari Anderson or Karen Voight would put out, or like a Method workout, only easier and more beginner oriented. I had a headache, and had already done a ood workout, and just wanted something gentle and stretchy to do to wind down. While this fit the bill as gentle and stretchy, for the most part I didn't care for it at all. Its hard to describe this workout. Its a series of different yoga poses and strecthes down at a fairly mild pace. It doesn't have any pilates to speak of (one or two moves down for a few reps doesn't seem like Pilates should be listed on the label). Anna's packaging says this workout is a toning workout, but there's no real toning at all. You may get a little toning effect from some of the yoga positions, but not much, and she states that the workout is good for bones but there's no exercises that are known to build bone included. I just don't think her claims match the workout. The workout seems to be targeted for beginners but some of the positions would be hard for a beginner and Anna doesn't offer modifications.
Although the music was good, it was to loud for this type of workout and obscured Anna's instruction. And it was too fast so you never move with the music. Now, Anna's instruction, well, that takes us to a whole new set of concerns. I'd always wondered why she didn't make any videos as the leader for the Firm. And now I know- she just isn't that good. She constantly says "push pull" without explaining what you're pushing and pulling, she says to keep your head between the legs biceps when her head is clearly between her arms.
She tries to explain how to do pelvic floor contractions but never talks about how to do them or what it should feel like- she says to imagine your pelvis is a basket and to hold the basket. While more experienced exercisers will probably get it, this is a beginners tape and I wondered how many beginners would really understand what they were supposed to do based on that. At times, she seemed to be having trouble with the positions herself. Her form had problems, as she wiggled and shifted and hitched to try to stay in her poses. I really wondered if she figured- hey I can teach yoga, I've taken classes for a few years- but never went through any licensure program or specific teaching coursework. I often felt confused by the images she tried to use since she didn't usually match them up with instructing the move. The image is helpful when teamed with good form instruction, not just used on its own, which is how she used it. Overall, I spent most of the workout wondering what I was supposed to be doing (though I figured it out by watching, but I have done some yoga) and just saying "WHAT!?!?" at some of her images and cues.
Overall, this workout does some of good moments in it, but I'm not sure it'll ever see light of day in my house again. For my 40 exercise minutes, I'd much rather do a tough cardio or weights dvd/tape, but for those days I want something easier or different, I'd be far more inclined to grab Karen Voight, or one of the yoga or tai chi workouts I have on hand than this. Anna's strange cues and occassionally pompous tone put me off at times, and her frequently smug expressions annoyed me when she had a hard time using effective instruction and had form problems. The packaging of the fitprimes I've done thus far has been hands down misleading- in this case, this is a yoga based stretching/ body awareness workout, not the toning yoga pilates blend promised on the box.
This is probably best used with another workout, but at 40 minutes long, it takes up a lot of precious time. And on its own, I'm just sure most exercisers will get want they want for their bodies out of this. I've also found the production to be wanting. I don't mind the sets or anything like that, but I haven't been try some of my fitprime workouts since the dvds are flawed and I have to get them replaced. Given that these dvds are priced around $25 a piece, I can't imagine why they couldn't have ensured that they were transfered properly. I have 3 damaged dvds in my 8 pack- almost half. And on the collage forums, there frequently seem to be posts with someone asking about replacing a defective fitprime dvd. I'm hoping I have a better experience when I try Tracie Long's fitprime workouts, because as it is right now, I won't recommend these workouts to anyone with any sincerity at all. There were a few nice moments in this workout when I got a good strecth or into a position that was relaxing or felt strong, but most of those moments would then be interrupted by a bizarre comment from Anne and the moment was ruined. There are better ways to spend my 40 minutes.
She's a quirky instructor. She gives visual image cues but doesn't always put them together with solid form instruction. Her own form seems shaky at times, she did not inspire confidence as an instructor. Much of the I felt confused by her cues/instruction. She seemed fairly warm, though pretentious, which I guess I expected after reading her Firm for Life.