Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Product Review: Magnificent Mobility

Magnificent Mobility, by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson

Magnificent Mobility is a DVD and manual that cover dynamic stretching. There is a DVD and a manual available. This review is of the DVD only, which sells for $49.95 plus shipping and handling.

The DVD includes 36 exercises - 33 dynamic stretches and 3 static stretches recommended for use as warmups. These exercises are meant to be done before your workout, building into a flexibility and warmup routine that will improve your mobility. The focus is largely on the hips and lower body, unlike it's companion, Inside/Out.

The dynamic stretches, listed by difficulty, are:

Yoga Twist
Side Twist
Bent Knee Twist
Side-Lying Trunk Twist
Calf Stretch
Fire Hydrants
Supine Bridge

Single-Leg Supine Bridge
Anterior-Posterior Leg Swings
Side-to-Side Leg Swings
Supine Scorpion
Prone Scorpion
Hip Corrections
High Knee Walks
Pull-Back Butt Kicks
Mini-Band Side Steps
Cradle Walks
Scap Push-ups
Overhead Broomstick Dislocates

Toy Soldiers
Single Leg RDL
Reverse Warrior Lunge w/Twist
Walking Spiderman
Alternating Lateral Lunge
Crossover Overhead Reverse Lunge
Running Butt Kicks
High Knee Skips
Deep Wideout Drops
Supine Leg Whips

Production value on the DVD is high. The pictures are clear, the narration is clear and in sync with the images, and the music isn't too loud or too annoying. Each exercise is shown from multiple angles at the same time. This makes the proper form very easy to discern. Each exercise ends with a summary screen - this lists the spoken cues, advice, and a suggested rep count.

The major downside of the DVD is that it lacks programming advice. There isn't anything to let you know which exercises to choose and why, or which to avoid. While they are grouped into three levels of difficulty, that's insufficient. It helps you know which to do early in a program, and which are difficult to do, but not to assemble them into a warmup.

Substance: 4 out of 5. A great guide to dynamic stretching, marred only by a lack of programming advice.
Presentation: 5 out of 5. Good visuals, clear explanations, easy to navigate menus.

Bottom line: I'd recommend starting with the free resources available on the web for dynamic warmups. Once you exhaust those and determine you need more, go for Magnificent Mobility. It's expensive but it delivers.

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