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Caution: Exercise discretion

March 29, 2007

I just watched–or rather clicked through looking for something useful–an exercise video. The only other exercise video I have ever watched in my life is the Y-Dan video I deploy daily, and it is excellent. But “Fitness Ball Workout for Dummies” placed my urban defenses on alert; it was as if I had just popped into a strip bar to make a phone call.

The title, “Fitness Ball Workout for Dummies” in no way misrepresents the video’s content. The buxom Liz spills joyfully from her unconfining tank top and navel-gazable stretch pants, squealing “Great job!” as I sit on my Swiss ball waiting for her to do something calibrated to the challenges of my cartilage and joints. I am transfixed on her patent-leather high-top fitness shoes. I want some desperately, but I know styles like that never come in narrow sizes.

I filed the video under “early returns.” I will inform the library that the video should probably be rated for mature audiences.

I was spoiled by the excellent book on Swiss ball routines by Pilates instructor Colleen Craig. Pilates and yoga people like Craig are oriented to a therapeutic motive, while fitness people like Liz are oriented toward body-worship. Colleen teaches the nuances of every movement so it can be done for maximum effectiveness without causing harm. She instructs people with knee and disc problems to avoid certain exercises. She teaches the specifics of breathing to engage proper control over target muscles. But in a book, there is time for this.

In her “Dummies” video, Liz issues no disclaimers but the standard liability limiter, “ask your doctor before beginning any exercise program.” But your doctor isn’t going to sit through a 51-minute video (although he might this one) and selectively caution you as to certain exercises. Liz proceeds with a series of lunge-and-plunge moves any dummy can do. Any crash dummy, maybe.

Liz looks as though she borrowed Anna Nicole Smith’s make-up stylist. Colleen looks as though she acquiesced to a bit of lipstick for the photo-shoot, and her workout gear affords modest coverage. These are useful cues to go by when your personal trainer hails from public library holdings.

  1. heidi permalink
    March 30, 2007 7:34 am

    “I am transfixed on her patent-leather high-top fitness shoes.” I can just see you being transfixed, Lauren, that made me smile very happily.

    Bullwinkle couldn’t possibly be accused of holding one’s attention for the wrong motives (and doesn’t he only wear socks?).

  2. heidi permalink
    March 30, 2007 7:46 am

    I mean on his feet of course.

  3. March 30, 2007 7:55 am

    I’m so awfully glad you clarified that….

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