Hollywood Trainer: Core & Stretch It Out

Jeanette Jenkins
Year Released: 2007

Categories: Abs/Core , Athletic Stretch

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Two workouts, one all abs (no equipment needed except a mat or soft flooring) and one an athletic stretch workout. Jeanette uses a 'stretching strap' (canvas yoga strap) but you could substitute a towel, a band or not use a strap at all. Both workouts have Jeanette front and center, backed by a diverse cast - men and women, older (one exerciser is 62) and young, slim and heavy, racially/ethnically mixed as well. In the intro to each workout, the backgrounders introduce themselves.

The Core workout is mostly traditional abs, lots of crunch variations, with some plank work at the end. It's beginner to intermediate level. It clocks in at 21 minutes. This is not a workout that 'reps' you endlessly, as many of the exercises are only done for 8 or 16 reps.

The Stretch It Out workout is very comprehensive and runs 35 minutes. Most is lower body stretching, with lots of hamstring and lower back work, with some upper back, arms, shoulder and neck stretches too. The workout starts with floor stretches and finishes with a few standing stretches. Jeanette holds each stretch through several breaths, quite long enough to really relax and go deeper. These are not yoga-based stretches or anything 'new and improved', just your standard straddle stretch, overhead hamstring, cross-legged glute/hip, etc. but her form is good. The workout is for all fitness levels, but Jeanette is not great about giving specific form pointers, so beginners might have to look at the screen a lot more to see what everyone is doing. Intermediate/advanced exercisers, who've seen all these stretches before, will have no trouble correcting their own form.

Overall, I found the abs workout basic and pretty boring. The stretch workout is better because the stretches are held long enough to improve flexibility. I doubt I'll ever do the Core workout again - I have more challenging and more fun abs workouts with instruction that's better. Stretch It Out is a keeper for a no-frills but thorough athletic stretch.

Instructor Comments:
Jeanette has a voice that you either hate or can tolerate. I really hated her in the Core workout. She's YELLING THE ENTIRE TIME, like there's not a microphone right there, and she has an unpleasant edge/timbre to her voice that makes it grating. She speaks at normal volume in the Stretch workout, so even though she talks a lot, it doesn't set my teeth on edge.