Exercise DVD focused on stretching?

OMG! Is that … is that … forty around the corner?!

Mrs. Dvl and I are staring down the end of our thirties, and it’s starting to feel that way. This has been exacerbated by i)moving out of the city and into the country (and hence no more walking three miles a day) ii)working from home (and not even walking to the car every day), and iii)quitting smoking (and ending up with about twenty to thirty extra-but-worth-it pounds).

So we’ve been plodding along on the treadmill four or five times a week and have plans to add more elements one step (heh) at a time. At this point we’d like to incorporate a more matriculated stretching programme.

We’ve read lots of Web pages and have a good idea of what to do, but having something to dronishly follow along would be a great help — especially if there is an expert helping out in setting the routine. (Oh, note that since we work from home and now live in the sticks, going to a gym or getting a personal trainer is not an option.)

From looking about, it seems physiologists should team up with physicists, because the infinite quantity of videos, tips, gadgets and gewgaws being produced clearly violates the second law of thermodynamics.

A little help and guidance please?
[ul][li]We’re not looking to compete in the Olympics.[]We don’t want buns, abs, or any other body parts made of inorganic materials.[]We have very low tolerance for faddish, gimmicky, hip, or trendy shtick.[]We don’t need to be talked to with extraordinarily exuberant enthusiasm, or like we’re four years old.[]We’re not stuck in the fifties, where only clinical, Approved by Mr. Science methods are allowed, and we’re fine with color.[]We don’t care how famous the presenter is, but we do care how educated the person is.[]We don’t have all day to devote to exercise, but thing compressing an entire workout into twenty minutes is silly. Twenty minutes of just stretching is just fine.[]We don’t bore easily, but one twenty minute routine on an entire DVD may be a bit underwhellming.[]Props, if any, should be kept to an absolute minimum.[]All we want at this part is post-workout, all around stretching. Other things will be added later.[]We are absolute beginners fitness-wise, so any video or yoga posture that requires a hint of flexibility is right out.[/ul][/li]
Any suggestions?



Yoga For Dummies is a good beginning stretchy thing. I’m a big fan of yoga in general, so I’m biased. There is also AM Yoga and PM Yoga, which you may need props for.

I have a DVD that’s nothing but stretching.

It’s called a.m. & p.m. stretch and the instructor’s name is Madelaine Lewis. This isn’t yoga at all, it’s really truly stretching and might be a good place to start before you pick up yoga. Each session is 30 minutes long and it’s super easy to follow.

Otherwise, if you want to jump right into yoga, try any of Suzanne Deason’s DVDs. Just pick the appropriate level for your fitness. She’s very good about showing modifications so you can do the poses where you are now, not where you hope to be.

Yoga is fairly interesting (I took a yoga class back in college. It was offered across the street at Barnard, a women’s college :slight_smile: My last semester was filled with Asian humanities, ceramics and other arts classes, and meditation. Ah, to be a student again.) But I think we’re looking for something that is geared more to post-workout stretching.

Sounds great, and I would love to someday get to the point where I’m waking up at dawn and doing sun salutations before starting out. But I’m kind of thinking of something to do right after getting off the treadmill, or in a month or so when we reach the Picking Up and Putting Down of the Heavy Objects stage – stretching that will be more targeted to that.

Or am I putting artificial perimeters on things? That is, are these comprehensive programmes that will result in stretching/working the same basic muscles, tendons, cables, and duct tape that would go on in gym classes the world over? Am I making a mistake in narrowing the focus like that?

And by the way, has anyone here ever gone from flexible as a Popsicle stick to bendy as a rubber band? Well, we’ll settle for moderate to fairly flexible, but what is the timeframe like? We’re in this for the long haul several times a week, but are we looking at weeks, months, or years before, say, basic limberness is attained?

I used the a.m. & p.m. stretch mostly to make sure I was properly stretching all the “same basic muscles, tendons, cables, and duct tape that would go on in gym classes the world over.”

In a nutshell although I’m a woman I am most definitely NOT a Gumby so stretching makes a huge difference for me. Yoga is fantastic and my fitness level is now to the point where I automatically incorporate good stretching as part of my work out (running 3x a week and yoga/Pilates/strength 3x a week).

BTW doing all this at your age ensures when you get to my age (48), you won’t be that brittle stick.

I’ve been looking for good stretching instruction as well; I am extremely inflexible, and have been that way since high school. I cannot sit on my heels, for example, and “pushup handles” have made all the difference in doing pushups because my wrists do not bend back sufficiently. I’ll have a look for that DVD.

Sunspace, she does a wrist stretch that will be difficult for you at first but it’s worth doing. IIRC she offers a modification to that one, so if you do it just know you don’t have to do it like she does.

“Pilates on the ball for inflexible people”

I’m not trying to be a jerk - but why are you looking for purchase a DVD? There are any number of perfectly good stretching routines available on the web, for free.

Anecdotal, story here, but with regular stretching you’ll see significant improvements in weeks. If you keep it up for two or three months the difference will be drastic - but keep in mind that you’ll lose that newfound flexibility just as fast should you stop your routine.

If you’re the typical not-quite-as-active-as-they-should-be American, I suggest putting particular emphasis on adjusting your posture. Sedentary lifestyles and office work mean that just about everybody I see has some degree of anterior pelvic tilt which is a Very Bad Thing in general. Generally correcting this will require extensive stretching of the quadriceps and hip flexors. Strengthening up your posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, lower back) also helps.

But, as usual, YMMV, and IANAKinestheticologist

Some of us prefer the big screen TV–the OP did say 40 approached! :smiley:

Ah, but there’s no computer in the exercise room. We’ve tried printing routines and watching online videos to see what to do, but there’s something missing for us. It’s really hard to describe in a few lines why we’re looking for a DVD. It’s one thing to hop on the treadmill for an hour — there’s a timer right on it. But for some reason, a good stretching routine has evaded us. Minds wander. Time passes between stretches. Things are done for indeterminate counts. Keep in mind that we work from home, so have a good grasp of our discipline and abilities. Plus, we’ve quit smoking, so really know our I-don’t-wanna side very well. This is one of those aw-shucks-let’s-succumb-to-authority areas… having someone telling us “ok, now put your left elbow inside your ear for ten … nine … eight … hold it … seven … breath … six … BREATHE DAMMIT!” holds some intangible benefit.

So, while there is definitely a desire for the demonstration aspect of things, the walkthrough bit has a strong pull. If we were still in the city, hiring a personal trainer would be a no-brainer, but now that we’re in the sticks, this is the next best thing.

It’s irking how much focus is on things being miraculously easy or only needing to be done for eight short weeks to get killllllleerrrr abs. Or how wonderful the music is and how beautiful the scenery is. Yeah, whatever. I just got off the treadmill … is this going to stretch my quadrupeds? I just did eleventy pushups … will this stretch my bicamerals?

Oh, and what’s with the infusion of new age rigmarole? One tells me that “when we free up our hips, we free up our possibilities and we can move forward in life, towards fulfillment.” Yeah. I got your fulfillment right here. Look, I’m already sold on the benefits and wonderment of fitness and flexibility, and having been steeped in African percussion and associated ritual for years I’ve got new age shamanistic frou-frou bits pouring out my ears. Can’t someone just come out and say “here’s this posture, it’s been done for two thousand years. It’s called Look Silly but Graceful (on One Foot), and it works the following muscle groups…”

Hey, wait a second. I think I’m ranting here.

The AM&PM look good, by the way – thanks.