Step One: are videos for you?
There are some awful videos out
Sometimes it seems like every celebrity and
has-been has an exercise video out. What do
celebrities know about exercise physiology and
instruction? Not much, usually. The smart ones
team up with an expert instructor, the less savvy
rely on their name and face to sell the product.
There is also a growing problem in the industry
with unscrupulous marketers who repackage a 10
year old video, give it a new copyright, and sell
it as new and innovative. Many such videos are
dangerously unsafe and don't incorporate the
knowledge that's been gained from recent research
in exercise physiology. Always consult the Video Fitness reviews before you buy!
A video instructor can't correct
It's very important to listen to the video
instructor's cues on form, especially if you've
never taken a class with a certified instructor.
Bad form can result in injury and decrease the
effectiveness of the workout, so carefully view
any instructional segment on proper form at the
beginning or end of the tape, and try to imitate
the instructor's form as closely as you can. Be
aware that some of the instructors starring in
outdated or "bargain bin" exercise
videos could use a lesson in good form.
Video stretch segments are often
Some videos (and even some live aerobics/step
classes) do not allow enough time to properly
stretch the muscles worked in the video. It's
usually the stretch segment that gets
short-changed, though some tapes have relatively
short warm up and cool down segments, too. It's a
good idea to stretch more thoroughly on your own
after completing a tape, provided you know how to
Some people will find video exercise repetitive and dull. Others
feel that a library of well chosen, varied workout videos can
provide ample variety and prevent them from getting bored of their fitness program. You'll never know until you try!
Step Two: Choose the right activities