The Bender Method of Selective Core TrainingLeslee Bender
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Abs/Core , Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball
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“Bender Method of Selective Core Training” is led by Leslee Bender and consists of 3, five min. segments for: upper abs, lower abs & obliques. The menu allows the user to play all of the segment of just select one segment at a time. This workout is included w/ the Bender Ball set that is sold in stores (packaged w/ a ball & two other videos: Core Training and Strong Healthy Back). Leslee does use the anatomical terms when referring to the upper abs: rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis for lower abs, and unfortunately she does frequently keep saying the terms repeatedly (says often for a 5 min. segment) it just seems odd/forced. And she likes to comment how using the ball w/ the exercises will target deep (as opposed to light, seems like such a hype-driven statement but maybe because she has a pilates background, they commonly say that) into the abs muscles, I wish she would have cut back on the extra chatter (did not add to the workout). All of the segments incorporate a squishy med ball (her version is the Bender ball), and there are two background exercisers, one does demo modifications for lower intensity. The first segments has a brief warm-up (one exercise), the others do not (jump right into workout). The stretches after the work portion of each segment is completed is very brief, too (all consist of one exercise).
The good thing about this video is that each ab segment is short, so the time goes by quickly (and so there are not many exercises to learn for each segment). I used these all strung together (15 min. workout), one could use one segment after a primary workout or complete two of them (one seems too short to do alone). I liked the upper & lower abs segments, the oblique segments feels like there are not enough reps & less fluid in sequencing than the other. I had bought this set to learn some new exercises w/ a squishy med ball, not sure that I would use these segments often (but will use some of the exercises into other routines).
Equipment: squishy med ball (6-9 inches in diameter)
Music: light instrumental
Set: similar as the Gliding Discs workouts, has beige carpet w/ grey walls (false windows) w/ green & purple lighting
Upper Abs (5:09 min.)
Standing crunch: ball is held in both hands at level of face, w/ bent arms> perform center crunch (squeeze ball w/ each crunch) & reverse motion.
Roll backs: start seated on floor w/ bent knees, ball placed next to small of back, arms extended, modification: hands placed under thighs> roll/lean back onto ball (C-curve spine) & reverse motion> add overhead arm sweep to lowered position, then sweep arms forward & reverse motion (lift upper body off of ball)> pulses on ball> continue to alternate two exercises> isometric hold in lowered position w/ overhead arms> 5 counts to roll up/lift.
Reverse crunch: start lying supine (face-up) on floor w/ bent knees lifted in air, arms to side of body & ball held between thighs & calves (crook of knees)> perform reverse crunch (lift hips up off floor & pull knees into chest), modification: smaller lift off floor/range of motion> isometric hold in lifted position> stretch: overhead arms w/ ball held in hands, legs extend to front.
Lower Abs (5:20 min.)
Start lying supine (face-up) on floor w/ bent knees lifted in air, arms to side of body & ball held between knees> lower toes to floor & pull back w/ abs to reverse motion (spine neutral, stays on floor), modification: toes do not tap floor, much smaller range of motion> increase the reach of toes w/ tap on floor (more forward) for intensity> stretch: hug knees into chest.
Plank: start in quadruped position (on all fours, prone) w/ ball between knees> tuck toes under and extend legs into plank position> lower knees to floor & reverse motion, modification: stay in quadruped position & squeeze ball> add ball squeeze when lowering knees to floor> isometric hold in plank position w/ single leg off floor (4 count hold each side).
Start lying supine (face-up) on floor w/ bent knees lifted in air, ball placed under lower back & bottom, arms to side of body> lower toes to floor & pull back w/ abs to reverse motion, modification: alternate single leg lowering to floor> extend both legs (straight) in air, alternate single leg lowering to floor> stretch: hug knees into chest, then overhead arms w/ hands holding ball & both legs extended.
Obliques (5 min.)
Side reach: start lying supine (face-up) on floor w/ bent knees lifted in air, ball placed under lower back & bottom, one arm is bent w/ hand behind head, other is next to side of body> reach free arm to foot w/ side crunch & reverse motion, repeat on other side.
Bow & arrow: start seated on floor w/ bent knees, ball placed next to small of back, arms extended, modification: hands placed under thighs> roll/lean back onto ball & one arm bends & elbow reaches to back, gaze is over shoulder, then reverse motion, alternating sides> Side to side (twists): roll back w/ bent arms (palms face each other) & alternate small side crunches/twists, then roll up w/ same arm movement> alternate the two exercises.
Side plank: start lying on side w/ stacked bent legs, ball is held between knees, top knee is held off floor, while bottom elbow is on floor, other arm is bent w/ hand on head, modification: top arm rests on floor for support> lift & lower hips> squeeze ball w/ lift of exercise to increase intensity> add overhead reach to side w/ lift for more intensity> isometric hold in lifted position, repeat on other side> stretch: side stretch to same side as toes face (of the bent legs), both sides.
Leslee seems like a competent & experienced instructor w/ clear cuing, but her constant chatter I found annoying (does not inspire to try more of her workouts).