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Not What I Expected ...
on 7 October 2014
After a few years relying on jogging to maintain my fitness (about 3 miles an night) I never felt that I was in shape and it seemed that I should mix things up a bit. It's many years since I've been to an exercise class so I thought a well rated DVD might be fun. I spent quite some time researching the various offerings and reviews and this one is certainly popular. I'm quite strong for my age (49) and come from an athletics background in my 20s and 30s, which did cause some wear on my knees as a result. I feel this is where this particular DVD comes unstuck. Whilst I fully expect a section on legs to contain some squats and lunges, I was completely unprepared for the fact that all of the modules were based on these moves! My experience of each section is as follows:
CARDIO - squats, lunges, and jumps, but fairly ineffective at getting my heart rate up as far as I expected. The knee raises and running on the spot I enjoyed but these appeared for only a couple of minutes. Demanding perhaps for a beginner, but I doubt a person with good overall fitness will benefit.
LEGS - based almost entirely on squats and lunges - and none of the floor work I would expect which can be so helpful for working specific muscle groups in the lower body. Unfortunately I could not do most of the moves without my knees burning intensely (despite ensuring I was doing the exercises correctly).
ARMS - good, finally something I will be able to manage and enjoy. Unfortunately, most of the moves again involved squats and lunges. I can do some of the arm exercises without involving my legs of course, but it's a shame nevertheless.
CORE - I was looking forward to this bit, thinking there'd be some useful floor work and my knees would get some respite. Oh no, the first half was once again squats and lunges. Finally some floor work involving 'planking' - where the wrists are bent at right angles bearing the weight of the body in excruciating style. Even Davina was cringing and massaging her wrists. In fact my wrists are still hurting. Mercifully the last couple of minutes involved some good old traditional non-threatening crunches (just as well, because the standing exercises and planks appeared to do little to work my abs).
STRETCHES - the best bit and it's important you do this.
I feel there should be a warning in the description of this workout DVD, so that anybody with a potential knee weakness can avoid it. And if you have an underlying knee weakness which you may not be aware of, then do take things carefully if you start to twinge. I will also add that the moves are not very well explained and the routines flowed very quickly from one to the other - of course with practice you can coordinate yourself but I feel the explanations were lacking.
Not for me - too hard on the knee joints and not particularly effective at working key muscle groups. And Davina, lovely as you are, you were a bit annoying at times!