Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Chantal Donnelly
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
30-minute strengthening and stretching routine — 7 Minutes to Save Your Knees abridged workout — Exercise modifications for all fitness levels — BONUS! Exercises and techniques — PREVENT AND REDUCE KNEE PAIN — Knee pain is not ... more »
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Excellent information, but too many commercials
Shannon B Davis | Arlington, MA United States | 06/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Strong Knees turned out to be more of an informational video than an exercise video. Yes, it contained strengthening and stretching exercises, but much of the video was instructional. Apparently it is part of Gaiam's Body Insight series.
Each muscular group that supports the knees was described, and how weakness in those areas could cause different types of knee pain. Then, for each group, one beginner and one advanced exercise were performed. There were not enough repetitions for true strength-training and stronger people may need to add weights. However, I believe the purpose of the video was to learn the exercises and then put them into your own exercise routine, not to use this video as an exercise program. I did learn a lot, however, even as an experienced exerciser and dancer. I did not know that the calves, hip adductors and gluteus muscles could impact the knees, always focusing in the past on quads and hamstrings. I also learned about alignment during exercises that really made them far more effective.
Some of the exercises were new to me. Others were familiar from my previous experience with boxing training and from dancing (particularly ballet). So, I will be adding these exercises to my daily practice, either as part of dance practice, or in front of the TV as many of them are compatible with sitting in front of the TV (and don't we all do that sometimes?)
Next, the stretching routine stretched each one of the muscles and explained how tightness in those muscles could also lead to knee pain. This section felt great. I was happy that many of the stretches that are part of my current yoga practice are good for my knees. There is no need to do this special stretch series for me.
The instructor was very intelligent, well-spoken and made sure to cue proper alignment at all times.
The DVD also contains a 7 minute abbreviated workout and a section on IT band massage.
My major problem with the video was the two minutes of required commercials. I will not do this video again - when I have time to work out, I do not want to spend 2 minutes waiting through commercials. I don't mind commercials on a DVD but if I do it multiple times, I want to be able to skip them. Unfortunately, this "feature" has become all too common on mass-market fitness DVDs. Can you imagine if you wanted to do the quick 7 minute workout on this DVD and had to sit through that many commercials? That is the reason I am degrading the star rating on this product and I hope that Gaiam will sit up and take notice that consumers do not appreciate the commercials. After all, we just spent 20$ on a DVD, why should we have to watch commercials? Advertisement for other DVDs should be an optional experience, or one that is included in the paper insert for the product."
Better than Physical Therapy!!!
CarlaVeg | 02/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm very excited about this dvd... I have been having "crunchy" knees for a while now and I have been ignoring it. I was told that I have very tight IT bands (Iliotibial bands) and that's what's causing the pain and the cracking.
I didn't really do much about my knees until, after working out, I heard a really loud pop coming from my knee cap that hurt A LOT... OUCH! The pain was pretty bad and I couldn't lock my knee or walk right... I was afraid I tear a ligament or had something serious. The doctor said that I have an imbalance in my leg muscles and very tight IT bands and that all I needed was physical therapy (2-3 times a week for 6 weeks).
I was glad it wasn't a more serious condition but at the same time I wasn't thrilled about the co-pays for every physical therapy session ($25). I went to PT a few times when I realized I couldn't really spend $450 worth of co-pays. That's when I started searching for cheaper options and found this GREAT and amazing dvd!!!!
To my surprise this dvd had ALL exercises I did in my physical therapy sessions and MORE!!!!!! I WAS SOOOOO THRILLED about finding this DVD. I quit going to PT and did this dvd exclusively almost every day in the comfort of my own home!!! After 3 weeks I can say that my knees are basically back to normal!!!!! This DVD definitely saved my knees!!!!
Chantal explanations of the knee anatomy is very important to understand why we need to do the exercises. No doctor or therapist explained to me why the exercises were important for my recovery; therefore, I never believed that the exercises would actually cure my knee problems. Now I do believe that these exercises are the way to go, thanks to Chantal!!! She is very knowledable and down to earth. I love doing this DVD with her every day!!!
I usually do the 30 minute routine... if I have more time, I do some of the exersices twice. And if I'm pressed with time, I just do the 7 Minute Save your Knees workout! This option is great!
She also explains how to do IT band massages using a tennis ball... I like this method but I also enjoy doing the massages using a foam roller.
I recommend this DVD 100% if you have pain in your knees. This DVD has helped me tremendously... and the best part, it cost me less than 1 session of physical therapy!!!!
Thanks Chantal for producing such a great DVD!!!!
Well worth the money!
K. Hartley | Arizona | 12/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is very thorough and well produced. It covers both weakness and tightness of Quad muscles, Hip flexors, Inner Thigh muscles (adductors), Ham String muscles, Calf Muscles (upper calf and Achilles Tendon), Gluteus Maximus muscles, Gluteus Medius muscles, and the IT (Illiotibia) Band. Doing the main program, you will quickly discover which muscles are tight and/or weak! You will need a mat, bath towel, stretching band or long belt, sturdy chair, and a wall (for the wall slides). The advertising at the beginning of the DVD is a little annoying, but can be skipped very easily using the "skip" or "next" button on your DVD remote (you will need to push this button a total of three times in order to skip all three ads). The "7 Minutes to Save Your Knees" exercise routine found in the Bonus Section is excellent if you don't have time to do the full program on any given day. It includes the modified leg raise for the quads, an inner thigh stretch, hamstring stretch, a combined exercise for the gluteus medius and maximus (leg lifts and circles), a standing quad stretch, upper calf stretch, and IT band stretch.
I was surprised at all the reviewers complaining that there is no option to do the main exercise routine without all of the explanations and diagrams! Apparently, these reviewers never checked out the "Design Your Own Program" in the bonus section. All 10 exercises (including the stretching segment) are listed in here and you can select any that you want in any order (including repeats) up to 10 exercises. If you just want to play the main exercise program without all the info, just select each exercise in order using your "select" button and "down arrow" button on your DVD remote. After you select the 10th exercise, the program will begin to play with just the exercises. It only takes 20 seconds to do this and it is a lot easier than constantly fast forwarding past parts that you don't want to see. If you're rushed for time or you just want to focus on a few trouble spots, you can select only those exercises that you want to do and push "done" to start your program. You can even repeat an exercise within your custom program by selecting that exercise twice. If you just want to do the stretch program, just select "stretch" and "done" and it starts to play. LOVE THIS FEATURE! Here is a breakdown of the exercises in the main program:
Modified Leg Raise (3min31sec, beginner level exercise works quads, hip flexors, & inner thigh)
Wall Slides (3:02, advanced level exercise works quads, hip flexors, & inner thigh)
Bridge (2:45, Beg. hamstrings)
Bridge on Chair (2:37, Advanced hamstrings)
Double Heel Raises (1:26, Beg. Calf))
Single Heel Raises (2:06, Advanced Calf raises, a little tough on the ankles!)
Clams/ Side Leg Lifts/Side Leg Circles (4:58, Beg-Advanced routine for Gluteus Medius)
Standing Hip Extension (2:12, Beg. gluteus maximus)
Prone Hip Extension (2:40, Advanced gluteus maximus)
Stretching (14:08, covers all of the previously worked muscles plus IT band and Achilles Tendon)
To do the entire program without the extra diagrams and talking takes just under 32 minutes. The Stretching segment includes:
Inner thigh stretch
Gluteus maximus and minimus stretch (one stretch for both groups of muscles)
Hip flexor stretch
Upper calf stretch
Lower calf stretch (Achilles tendon)
IT (illiotibial) stretch
There is also a massage for the IT band that you can access from the "Bonus Features" menu. Don't forget to check out the very short segment under the bonus features menu explaining what "Proprioception" is and why it's important to knee strength. It includes 2 exercises to test and strengthen your proprioception. I thought my proprioception was great because I used to be a gymnast. Boy was I humbled to find out that my proprioception was no longer as good as it used to be. Before I bought this DVD, I was already aware that I had tight hamstrings and calf muscles. I was very surprised to find out (after doing the DVD) that I also had weak quad & calf muscles as well as tight hip flexors. All in all, an exceptional video for your knees. I learned a lot and enjoyed the exercises and stretching! Best of all, my knees no longer hurt going up stairs or squatting to pick up things from the floor."
J. E. Albert | Studio City, CA | 12/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Buy this DVD for anybody you know who has knee pain or wants to avoid knee pain in the future. The exercises are great and easy to follow. Chantal is a Physical Therapist and wonderful instructor and the routines are well rounded to improve all areas supporting the knees. The DVD looks like a million bucks and is very informative so you can be proud to give this DVD as a gift. And don't worry, this DVD is for any fitness level so if you are a in top shape or you are 65 year old grand-dad, it's for you!"