Yoga Tune Up: Quickfix Rx

Jill Miller
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Special Health Conditions , Yoga



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NOTE: Originally, Quickfix Rx was released as a single, 2 DVD set. Later, Jill Miller released this two DVDs separate as QF Rx Upper Body and QF Rx Lower Body. I am writing a review for the UPPER BODY *only*.

I have and like much of Jill Miller's media. In fact, that's what made me so hesitant to pick up this DVD--i.e., the idea that it would duplicate material that I already owned. But, now that I finally did break down and purchase this DVD, I feel like the previous reviewer, Lindsey; I can't believe that I waited so long! ;)

Quickfix Rx Upper Body addresses four "micro regions" of the body: Neck, Shoulders, Upper Back, and finally, Hands/Wrists/Elbows. Here is what you will find on the Main Menu:

About Yoga Tune-Up
Introduction
Play All Quick Fixes
Neck
*Quick Fix Videos
Shoulders
*Quick Fix Videos
Upper Back
*Quick Fix Videos
Hands, Wrists, & Elbows

If you select any of the "Quick Fix Videos" options, you are taken to a submenu. Here is what a sample submenu looks like for Neck:

NECK

*Quickfix Introduction
*5 Minute Quickfix

*Quickfix Introduction
*10 Minute Quickfix

*Play Both Quickfixes
*Back to Main Menu

As you can see, these menus are NOT the most user-friendly and a bit unwieldy to navigate! The Introductions to each Quickfix segment are generally quite brief (30-40 seconds), but it also seems completely unnecessary to have them as separate menu sections.

Although Kath has already provided some breakdowns, I offer my quick take below, along with actual time information in paratheses (some of the segments aren't actually 5 or 10 minutes long).

NECK
5 minute (5m): starts with a stretch, incorporates self-massage using a ball, ends with an isometric stretch
10 minute (10m): seated in chair for series of isometric contractions from all directions; also includes some stretches, and ends on the floor for upper back rolling

SHOULDERS
5 minute (5m): very quick-moving series of shoulder circles (both front/back and lateral), milking shoulders, and bridge arms in standing
10-minute (12m): opens with pranic bath; incorporates new moves such as "blockhead" and "railroad piston arms" as well as moves which appear on Jill's other DVDs, including open sesame and reverse crucifix; ends with cow-face arms and ball work on floor

UPPER BACK
5 minute (6m): starts seated for cat/cow, adding rotation and deep side bending; finish with forward bend
10 minute (9.5m): start on hands and knees for cat/cow, then move into child's pose variations; also includes cobra, drunken table, and massage work with balls

HANDS, WRISTS, & ELBOWS
5 minute (5m): several gripping moves work hands/fingers plus several moves to stretch the forearms
10 minutes (7.5m): starts with a hula wave and forearm self-massage ("squeezing the toothpaste"); continues with eagle arms and a wrist stretch on the floor

Again, I am really happy that I finally purchased this. Although some of the material IS familiar to me from Jill's other DVDs--for example, as noted above, the 10 Minute Shoulder Quickfix has exercises which also appear on Jill's Post-Athletic Stretch Routines, another DVD of hers that I own--there is plenty here that is new as well. Furthermore, I really like the short length of the practices (as opposed to the DVDs in Jill's Yoga Link series, which I enjoyed but eventually got rid of because I wasn't using), AND I also like the fact that all of the 10-minute practices (except the hand/wrist/elbow one) offer a combination of postures and ball work. If you are on the fence about this DVD, I highly recommend it.

Instructor Comments:
Jill is down-to-earth, self-effacing, and fun. Her teaching style combines an impeccable focus on anatomy with a layman's understanding of these issues--quite an accomplishment indeed! :)

Beth C (aka toaster)

07/08/2011

This is a 130 minute two disc set that is chaptered extremely well. Each body area specific segment has a shorter and longer w/o and each has a brief intro chapter that explains the upcoming exercises & their benefits. Jill leads this workout alone in a living room. Recommended equipment includes: yoga block, strap, and Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls- but Jill offers equipment substitutions as well.

The sections included on these dvds are: neck, shoulders, upper back, hands wrists & elbows, lower back, hips, feet and ankles, and stress relief. Very handy menu so you can pick and choose the sections depending on which body area is troubling you. The exercises are performed sitting on the floor or chair, standing, and lying.

In my opinion, this is more of a physical therapy session than a yoga workout (in a GOOD way!). Though she does include yoga inspired moves that target specific body areas. I have sometimes serious neck issues and nothing ever seems to help, until I found this dvd. I am seriously kicking myself for not getting it sooner. I really like the format -the intro is separate so once youve done the w/o a few times you can just select the w/o directly from the main menu. And the fact that each body area has a shorter (5ish min) and a longer (10ish minutes) option- do them separately depending on your time availability or combine them for even more therapy.

Its hard to rate this workout because like I said- its more like a heavenly physical therapy session than a workout-but I will say intermediate and appropriate for ALL fitness levels. Jill is obviously very knowledgeable and really knows her stuff! She provides lots of great information on how to properly perform each exercise, tells us which muscle were targeting and why it will help alleviate our pain. I like her personality and look forward to more from her.

lindseylu8

03/15/2011

Okay, I love this 2-DVD set. Admittedly, I have and use all of Jill's media output, but this set is such a unique crystallization of Jill's approach. The 5 and 10 minute segments (and the 5 minute is not simply a reconfiguration of the 10 minute) zero in on their targets with Miller's interlacing of flexibility, strength, mobility and even coordination.

Standouts for me are the lower back and foot segments. Those are particular problem areas for me but, really, I'm sure I'll get fixated on the rest as well.

Jill is very smart and her presentation is clear and fun. For years I've found her DVDs and CDs helpful as support structure for my long-standing yoga practice (way over 10 years, mostly alignment styles, teacher training as well) and was quite happy to see the same principles adapted to shorter formats.

Even though I concentrate on yoga, I think the material presented here would be quite adaptable and accessible to other fitness disciplines

Instructor Comments:
I'd suggest looking at some clips of Jill's stuff her website: www.yogatuneup.com, or elsewhere, to get an idea if these routines might be right for you. It's hard to describe how Jill's focus differs from other media approaches to yoga -- a little like yoga meets physical therapy.

Sharon Frost

02/27/2010

I知 reviewing this workout after all of the segments at least twice each.
It痴 going to be hard for me to do this program full justice, between the amount of material and my lack of knowledge on this subject, so bear with me during my attempts at an adequate overview.

General workout breakdown: This DVD contains over 120 minutes of material designed to strengthen, tone, release tension, and massage 7 specific microregions of the body plus 2 breath meditation practices to reduce stress. Jill combines yoga with physical therapy and other bodywork, like Shiatsu, as well as other movement systems, including modern dance and Pilates.

- Neck
*5 Minute Quickfix will help reduce tension in the major and minor muscles of your neck, including the levator scapulae and sternocleidomastoid. Done seated in a chair, you値l stretch your neck to the side, use a ball to massage that strenocleidomastoid, use your hands to stretch the muscles along the front of your neck, and use your hands to both stretch and strengthen the back of your neck.
*10 Minute Quickfix stabilizes and stretch your neck and upper back muscles to realign your head with your spine. Done seated in a chair, you値l do isometric contractions in all directions and stretch the levator scapulae in several positions; you値l then move to the floor for self-massage with 2 balls (and a block or book), shimmying and chugging along the upper shoulders, performing phantom arm movements with the balls, and then protracting and retracting your arms, ending with a self-hug.

- Shoulders
*5 Minute Quickfix warms up the shoulders, including the rotator cuff and trapezius, as well as chest. Done standing, you値l roll your shoulders in several directions, milk your shoulders [a move familiar to Ana Forrest fans], circle both arms, press hands into your block as you raise it, and clasp arms behind the back to stretch the chest.
*10 Minute Quickfix strengthens and lengthens your shoulders. Done standing, you値l take a 菟ranic bath (a set of flowing arm movements to warm up your shoulders and arms), extend your arms behind you and draw them towards each other to tone your triceps, hold a block behind the head to stretch your external rotators (and strengthen your neck), and make piston arms to strengthen your deltoids and the rotator cuff; on the ground the reverse crucifix and 登pen sesame stretch the shoulders and pecs. You return to standing for internal rotation with arm behind the back, triceps stretch with arm behind head, and cow痴 face pose (arms only), before resuming a position on the floor with two balls for self massage with arms lifting and lowering and then snow angels.

- Upper Back
*5 Minute Quickfix loosens up your upper back with poses aided by deep breathing. Done seated on a chair, you値l do cat and cow (including a twisting variation), a couple variations of super slow side bends, and a rag doll forward bend.
*10 Minute Quickfix counteracts a less than active modern lifestyle and targets the erectors, rhomboids, lats, and serratus to strengthen and lengthen them. On the floor you値l do cat and cow on all fours, side-leaning child痴 pose, twisted child, shalabasana mini-vini, drunken table (sometimes called bird dog), cobra in traction, easy seated side bend, and self massage with two balls with protraction and retraction into a hug plus trident arms.

- Hands, Wrists, & Elbows
*5 Minute Quickfix boosts circulation and improves function in your hands and wrists. While standing you do gripping work for your hands and forearms, a turn table-like move, wrist exercises with hands in flower bud-like positions, and a twisting forearm stretch.
*10 Minute Quickfix stimulates blood flow throughout the hands, wrists, and forearms; Jill mentions this may be helpful to counteract the repetitive stress that contributes to carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. While standing you do a hula wave, articulate the fingers, 都queeze the toothpaste (massaging the forearm down to the wrist while opening the hand and reverse), candle flame arms (sometimes called eagle arms), and then come down to the floor with wrists turned out to peel palms away from floor.

- Lower Back
*5 Minute Quickfix strengthens the low back, tones the core, and stretches out muscles in this area. You begin on your back on the floor on the blanket for sidewinder for the obliques, revolved abdominal pose, side-bending savasana, locust mini vini, child pose, and then use two balls for flexing and extending the spine.
*10 Minute Quickfix tones the muscles supporting the low back, or the core (rectus abdominals, obliques, and transverse plus quadratus lumborum), to ease low back pain plus tractions spine. You begin on your back on the floor on the blanket for sidewinder with momentum, revolved abdominal pose with top leg stretching, revolved abdominal pose variation with straight legs moving independently (bringing inner thighs into the party), side half boat, mega plank (on forearms), locust mini vini w/ hands clasped behind back, boomerang stretch, and supine leg stretch with leg across body; you end with two balls and a block or two for flexing and extending the spine, then a shimmy, skim, and drop of the buttocks.

- Hips
*5 Minute Quickfix loosens and strengthen hips to improve posture and efficiency of movements by increasing circulation and relaxation. You begin on your back with knee spirals, then flow between half happy baby and reaching across the body to 都aw open the hip socket. This ends with two balls massaging out the piriformis by shimmying buttocks across the balls, then adding in a knee drop.
*10 Minute Quickfix hits the hips from different angles, awakens and balances the iliopsoas, a hip flexor, and tone the low abdominals and buttocks as a bonus. You begin on your back for bicycling legs to tone hip flexors as well as legs and abdominals, bouncing knee to chest to soften hip flexors, and held knee to chest. You move onto all fours with one knee on block for hip hiking, then holding leg out to side. You stand with one foot on block for a forward bend into a twisting variation. You値l end with a ball rolling along the outside of your leg for an IT band massage [I find I prefer the foam roller over the TTD balls for this one].

- Feet & Ankles
*5 Minute Quickfix stretches out the calves, shins, and feet and increases circulation in the feet; Jill says these moves are good to prevent plantar fasciitis or counteract high heel wearing. With legs strapped, you sit back on your heels with your toes curled under you and then with your feet stretched out behind you. You stand at a wall for a calf stretch, then grab two balls for massage at the top and back of the arches on the feet.
*10 Minute Quickfix focuses on rebalancing the distribution of weight across and articulation of the many bones of the feet; Jill mentions these types of moves will help prevent ankle sprains. You begin sitting with legs out in front for ankle circles, dorsiflexion and extension, inverting and everting soles, and alternating big toes and the little toes in separate directions; you then bring up one foot for interdigitation to stretch your foot痴 webbing and cranking your ankle. You move to standing for calf raises, then walking around on heels, inverted feet, everted feet, then stretching the calves at the wall (two variations), toe flicking to massage the toe bones, and ending with rolling across the whole foot with a ball.

- Bonus: Stress Relief
*5 Minute Quickfix teaches you the technique of abdominal breathing, done lying on the back, with a bolster or blankets under your knees, to help you release stress and allow your body to heal itself.
*10 Minute Quickfix improves lung capacity and breath awareness as well as relieving stress; done entirely on the back, you値l do bridge with arm raises on the inhale and lowers on the exhale, then moves into supported corpse for 3-step or 3-part breath.

Level: I壇 recommend this to people with some prior yoga and/or bodywork and/or similar experience plus a decent sense of their own body and its issues, but you certainly don稚 need to be 殿dvanced in yoga or anatomy or anything like that. As always, check with your regular medical / health care provider, physical therapist, etc., before proceeding if you have any pre-existing conditions. Not all of these segments are going to work for all situations, so proceed with caution if you have concerns with any particular micro-region. As Jill reminds you, let your own body be your guide and never let 殿 comfortable amount of discomfort become pain or anything serious.
This is more accessible than much of Jill痴 other media, both in terms of assumed starting knowledge and experience as well as starting strength and flexibility. Those who find the Yoga Link DVD or even her Yoga Tune Up DVD-R series too overwhelming will most likely find these more approachable and less grueling, and those who find her full Tension Tune Down series too strong may find this more tolerable, too.
I致e been practicing yoga for a long time (almost 8 years now) and still have some strength and flexibility limits plus one or two physical issues. I found these all doable. I especially love the material for the hands and feet, which were lacking attention in my current collection and rotations, and I always appreciate material to release tension in my neck, shoulders, and upper back, usually tight spots for me. The only series that doesn稚 work as well for me are the Low Back ones; Jill痴 approach, while good for building core strength, just happens not to be as helpful for my particular condition (I pulled or strained a muscle in my low back about a year ago, and core strength wasn稚 a major factor in my injury). I have found, however, that using them to warm up before Pilates rather than to release tension, stiffness, or soreness makes more sense for me.

Class: Jill alone. She instructs live in all segments but the stress relief, which is taught via voiceover.

Music: none.

Set: neutral-colored pleasant living room-looking set.

Production: very clear picture and sound (although Jill痴 mic, worn on her person, gets almost out of range or muffled in a few poses), helpful camera angles.

Equipment: The DVD says you only need 2 yoga tune up balls (substitute: tennis balls; 2.5 Hi Bounce Pinky Sponge Balls, which you can find at Amazon and some toy stores, are pretty much what Jill sells on her site), 1 yoga block (substitute: thick book), and 1 yoga strap (substitute: tie, dressing gown belt, towel). What it doesn稚 say is that as shown you値l also need a mat (depending upon the surface on which you do this), an additional yoga block, a chair, a blanket (and, if you have carpet or puzzle mats or some other surface that prevents sliding, a large, thick garbage bag or, as someone on the VF forum suggested, a plastic painter痴 drop cloth), and a wall or something else to lean against for balance (you could just use that chair).

Space Requirements: Some of these segments are very compact, needing no more space than what you use standing and sweeping your arms out to the side and overhead or lying down with limbs extended. You値l need more clear space for some of the hip and lower back segments, where you池e moving your legs fully out to each side.

DVD Notes: This actually comes with 2 DVDS: Neck, Shoulders, Upper Back, and Hand / Elbow / Wrist are on one; Low Back, Hips, Feet & Ankles, and Stress Relief are on the other. The 2 discs are in a normal-sized plastic case, with one on each side. I知 very glad these aren稚 packed so that they overlap, which is a popular trend with 2-DVD sets, because I will be using them more or less equally, and I would hate to scratch them up simply trying to get them out of the case.
The main menu contains all options, which means no wading through sub menus, but it also means that everything is on one screen. If your TV or monitor doesn稚 deal well with widescreen (letterbox) editions of DVDs, or isn稚 currently set to handle the 16:9 aspect ratio, this menu will crowd the screen with small letters. I have this problem with my older model TV, but I have no such problem with my widescreen laptop. Of course, the fact that I知 not up close to my TV compounds the problem, so I just have to make sure I have my contacts in or glasses handy when using this in my usual set-up.
Each disc has the Introduction and About Yoga Tune Up. Each microregion has a picture of Jill in action in that area (which as a very visual person I like, especially when I知 having trouble reading the screen from across the room) plus the Quickfix Intro [to the 5 min. Quickfix], the 5 min. Quickfix, the Quickfix Intro [to the 10 min. Quickfix], and the 10 Min. Quickfix. Note that if you choose the Quickfix Intro the related practice starts automatically afterwards.
On my laptop I was able to find chapters within these practices; my regular DVD players and TV had trouble with them, however.

Comments: These are the same segments available for streaming at Jill痴 site (yogatuneup.com) under 轍uickfix videos.

Yes, this is pricey, but this is one of my best purchases from 2009 and is destined to be one of my most used DVDs ever. The lengths here are so easy to fit into my schedule, and Jill helps you accomplish a lot in those 5 or 10 minutes.

If you have all or a lot of Jill痴 other media you値l recognize a good deal of what she does here. Some of the same exercises appear in her Yoga Link DVDs or older Yoga Tune Up DVD-R series, and the mini massages using the balls are usually shortened versions of moves that appear in her Tension Tune Down CD series. That said, there痴 a good bit of new material here, plus Jill has combined both of her methods, making this a good place to start if you池e new to Jill, a good option if you can稚 decide which approach to use today, or a good way to expand your collection of her media.
If you池e looking for expanded versions of her TTD rolling sequences, this isn稚 it. If you池e looking for something more relaxing than her usual stuff, this isn稚 really it (although the Stress Relief practices could work well for that sort of thing, and I have been known to pair up one of the microregion segments with the related practice off of Barbara Benagh痴 Yoga for Stress Relief if a particular physical issue is keeping me awake at night). If you池e looking for a disc that痴 easily programmable to allow you to design your own workout, this isn稚 really it, either; you値l be less frustrated if you use one, two, or maybe three segments at a time rather than trying to string these together into a longer practice. All that said, if you like Jill痴 stuff but find you don稚 often have the time (or strength and/or flexibility) for her other videos, this may be just what you池e looking for.

Those with chronic conditions may find best results come with consistent, regular use, but these also function well as one offs, which has been primarily how I致e used them. The Quickfixes work as stand alone practices but may also be integrated with your other fitness or physical therapy routines. Although I often use these after being active, including my usual workouts, or a long day sitting at my desk, I have also used segments beforehand, too, as part of warm-ups.
A hypothetical way to use this might be to incorporate one of low back segments into your strength routine 2-3 times a week to strengthen this weak spot, alternate between the hand / wrist / elbow segments when you get home from your work that requires computer use, adding on one of the neck and upper back segments one day when they池e extra tense and adding on one of the feet & ankles segments after wearing high heels to a meeting, pulling out one of the stress relief segments one night when you can稚 fall asleep because your mind is racing, and so on.

The closest thing I have to these on my shelf other than Jill痴 other offerings is probably JB Berns Rehab Your Body at Home (also known as the Freedom Restoration Series). The two cover many of the same areas, but JB痴 practices are in general a little longer and a little more athletic in background: he starts from personal training and physical therapy, to which he adds in yoga, Pilates, etc. His segments are more rehab-focused, with the second sequence building on the first. Jill, on the other hand, starts more from yoga and related disciplines. Her segments are easy to use as quick fixes because of the short length. Although some of the 10 min. sequences share exercises with the 5 min., the 10 min. are often just deeper explorations, and you can easily alternate between the two without feeling that you need to do the shorter ones first. Other differences: JB mirror cues, uses less equipment (just a chair and a mat), is joined by background exercisers, has musical accompaniment (generally not considered the highlight of his DVD), and wears shoes for most, if not all, of his routines. I see value in both, especially since they include different exercises and some different areas: JB has more for the knees, while Jill has more for the neck, for example. Both instructors know what they池e doing and have produced methods that will prove effective for a lot of people, so you can稚 go wrong with either. Personally if I had to choose just one I壇 choose Jill痴 because I like her sequencing (which involves less of the up, down, up, down that plagues some of JB痴 routines), choice of exercises, and personality a little better, plus I have more need for quick tune ups rather than rehab (knock on wood!).
From reading reviews it sounds like another similar program is Debbie Siebers and Chad Waterbury痴 Total Body Solution from BeachBody.
If you池e looking more for regular yoga poses used in a therapeutic manner, Desiree Rumbaugh痴 Yoga to the Rescue might be more your style.

Instructor Comments:
Jill is a great teacher, and I always find her approach informative. I appreciate that she uses the technical names for muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, taking time to explain them and thus helping you become better educated about your own body. She demonstrates an intelligent, intuitive knowledge of anatomy, particularly muscles in motion. Her respect for and internalizing of yoga and similar systems is apparent, and yet she manages to make her practice her own without making it feel like she痴 being different for the sake of being different. There is real method behind her madness (and she痴 definitely not mad, at least IMHO).
Jill has a warm, encouraging personality; she痴 professional but not stilted, lively but not peppy, and interesting to listen to but not out there. I happen to enjoy Jill痴 real world images and sense of humor: she describes one posture as the 8th grade graduation pose, another posture as 釘arbie doll foot, and a common point of tension along the upper back as 鍍he area of the psychic bra strap. Her language is likewise straightforward, although she uses scientific names for body parts as mentioned, some Sanskrit terms for appropriate poses, and the occasional more metaphoric phrase. She speaks here as if she痴 leading you in a class or workshop, in a more conversational way; she even stops a few times to note something that痴 just happened to her, such as a crack in her back that was a 吐ree chiropractic adjustment.
Jill cues for her right and left, rather than the viewer痴; she usually faces the viewer, although she will turn around for poses done along the back side of the body to give you a better view or do the ones on the floor with her side to the camera. Her instruction is clear enough that I don稚 have an issue with the lack of mirrored cuing; I find it easy enough either to follow her verbal instructions or mirror her movements.

KathAL79

01/24/2010