Roll Up to Unwind

Lisa Westlake
Year Released: 2000

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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Not only was this my first stability ball video, but also it was my first non-yoga video devoted entirely to stretching. I found it to be a good basic introduction to ball workouts as well as an excellent stretching program.

Lisa starts in a standing position, holding the ball overhead and doing some simple full body stretches to warm up. She then moves to a seated position on the ball for a variety of shoulder and hip openers; this entire first section lasted about 12 minutes. Next comes a 10-minute segment with more of a focus on back work, first kneeling with the ball in front of you (there are some additional shoulder openers in this section as well) and then lying to incorporate some hamstring work.

At this point, Lisa asks you to lie relaxed in a prone position--similar to savasana in yoga--and leads you through a guided relaxation which ends with a period of silence. This 3-minute segment would have been much nicer to have at the end of the routine; it seemed a little odd coming in the middle like it did, as there are another 8 minutes of stretching following it. After the relaxation, you lie over the ball for some additional back work and then move back to a seated position, repeating some of the stretches from the beginning.

Overall, I felt that this was a very good stretching program. Although the majority of the stretches included will be familiar to experienced exercisers, the ball provided a nice addition and facilitated many of the movements. I particularly liked that time went by very quickly; overall, it was a nice, relaxing way to spend 33 minutes. This video is appropriate for both new and seasoned stability ball users as well as exercisers at any level.

Instructor Comments:
Lisa was pleasant, with a nice voice and soft Australian accent. Her instruction was simple and clear. She works out with three background exercisers--one of whom occasionally shows modifications--in a sunny poolside setting.

Beth C (aka toaster)


This video is 35 minutes long and uses a large balance ball throughout. Lisa Westlake is very pleasant and professional. She has 3 backgrounders. The setting is outdoors in front of a large inground pool. The music is instrumental. The video starts with a few minutes of standing stretches with the ball and side to side lunges. My heart rate was up a little. You move to seated work on the ball, then kneeling, then laying down, back to kneeling, then back to sitting. Between the laying down and back to kneeling there are a few moments when you lay still and concentrate on deep breathing. There are many stretches for the back, but the rest of your body is not neglected. I felt so good when I was done and also very relaxed. Lisa gives a lot of form pointers and some modifications. There is one backgrounder who performs the modified moves. I am probably one of the least flexible people on earth, but I have no problems with my back so I didn't really have any difficulty with any of the moves. To compare it to Dynamic Stretch on the Ball: the production quality is somewhat better and it is more relaxing. I think that you go into deeper stretches for your legs and hips with Dynamic Stretch, but this video puts more emphasis on stretching out your back. I really like this video a lot and look forward to doing it again frequently.