Get Stronger

Karen Holden
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Seniors/Seated , Total Body Workouts

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This DVD presents a gentle 38-minute strength routine (done without any equipment) which incorporates flexibility and balance work. The exercises include isometric contractions, as well as elements of yoga and tai chi/qi gong.

The workout is led by Karen Holden. Karen is the mother of Lee Holden, who leads a popular series of qi gong DVDs under his Exercise To Heal brand, and she appears with Lee in his Qi Gong For Seniors. Get Stronger is part of Karenís own Age-Defying Workout Series, a 4-DVD set aimed at older beginning exercisers.

Karen demonstrates the routine on a platform set in the middle of a koi pond Ė itís lovely! (This same setting is used for several other Exercise To Heal DVDs.) The soundtrack is New Age-y, similar to other Exercise To Heal productions Ė very peaceful and soothing. Karen instructs in voiceover (her voice is a little raspy but not unpleasant to listen to) and she mirror-cues.

Most of the routine is done standing. Karen recommends that those who need it keep a chair nearby for balance. The last 10 minutes or so are done seated. Karen does the routine barefoot. If you do so also, you will want a non-slip surface such as a yoga mat for a couple of the exercises.

The DVD is chaptered simply: Introduction, Routine and Product Previews. Product Previews are clips of other Exercise To Heal DVDs by Karen and Lee.

Get Stronger begins with centering breaths and gentle stretches. A series of squats follow, which Karen varies by lifting alternate legs to the front, then side (challenging balance). After isometric rows and side bends for the obliques, Karen moves into a series of warrior poses incorporating arm exercises. More isometric work for the biceps follow, then Karen transitions to a very nice series of exercises and stretches for the hands, wrists and forearms. Moving to a chair, Karen works the core with seated sit-ups and leg raises. The routine concludes with seated stretches, body tapping, and a few minutes of meditation. The routineís pace is deliberate and Karenís instruction very clear and encouraging.

Bottom Line: Get Stronger is a well-presented, safe, simple strength routine designed primarily for senior novice exercisers (who will likely appreciate that it is presented by someone from their own age group). It would also be appropriate for anyone very new to exercise, who has significant physical limitations, or who is recovering from serious illness or injury.

Get Stronger is from Karenís Age-Defying Workout Series, geared towards senior exercisers. There are three other DVDs in the series: two stretching workouts (one standing and one floor) and Full Body Shape-Up (which presents three short workouts, including an extremely gentle cardio routine).

All of Karenís DVDs are available at (the same website as Leeís DVDs). At the website you can see a breakdown of the exercises presented and a YouTube clip. (A pamphlet in the DVD also includes the breakdown.)

Instructor Comments:
Karen Holden is a certified yoga instructor. She is the mother of Lee Holden. Karen instructs clearly and presents in a pleasant, encouraging fashion.