totally unsolicited exercise dvd review
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
just wanted to pass along my experience with a new DVD i bought--"liquid grooves" from petra kolber. i am a 50 something lady in relatively good shape. my life is active most of the time and while i have some mobility issues--a back and shoulder that give me trouble occasionally, i don't have any real problems.
i viewed a preview of this video on the collage site (if you haven't looked at this site to purchase videos, i recommend them) and decided it looked interesting. i like petra--her attitude is positive and she is a very skilled instructor. this video is quite a bit different from most movement based exercise videos--it borrows a lot from the principles of tai chi and yoga. the movements are graceful and sweeping and there is a constant emphasis on breathing, and synchronizing breath to movement. this is also an "earth centric" (is that i word??? i just invented it if it isn't) style of exercise--you don't jump and try to get off the earth--instead you sink into the ground and the energy of movement comes from that. as a very "earthbound" person, i liked this approach a lot.
years ago i worked with COPD patients, and i came to learn the benefit of tai chi like movements in designing exercise programs for them. tai chi is based on slow movements that pit muscle groups against each other. the movement is controlled and looks gentle, but if you do it right, you really ask a lot of your muscles. it is much more aerobic than it looks as well, because you have to balance and constantly compensate for changes in position. the idea that tai chi could be incorporated into a "western" exercise video was interesting to me.
i have to say i like everything about this video--it is 54 minutes long--the last 5 min. are a cooldown/meditation that you just follow the movement--there is no talking, only the music and movement. you could do this part seperately as a meditation whenever you needed it. the rest is a movement sequence where one set of movements is explained and then built on another--i don't know the exact count but by the end i would say there are about 20 movements linked in the sequence. the movements are all flowing and gentle--there is a lot of arm movement involved so if you have mobility issues in your shoulders or upper back you might be better off not trying this. there are constant reminders to breathe deeply and synchronously with the movement.
today was the third time i have used this video and i have just about mastered all the movements. this is definitely a video that you need to concentrate on doing the movements correctly to get the maximum benefit from. it would be entirely possible to just stand still and wave spagetti arms around and not do yourself much good. petra and her two helpers are all good exampless of how to do the movements, so if you watch them and model their movements it will help.
by the end of the 55 min. i am sweaty and can tell that my muscles have been working at a good intensity--its certainly not one of those crazy extreme workouts where you feel like you are going to die--but its a good solid exercise. it leaves you feeling tired but ready and willing to do the workout again, rather than dreading the next encounter.
as an aside--the set is very nice, and i like the music--it complements the exercises very well. most of it is instrumental, although there are a couple songs with lyrics. none of them is a familiar "exercise" song to me.
so if you are looking for something a little different you might want to consider this video--the collage site has a little snippet you can preview if you want to "sample" it. it is also voted a staff favorite. i think i paid about 18 dollars for the dvd. don't know if there are used ones available from anywhere--but searching the usual "used" websites might turn up a copy cheaper.
hope this is helpful!