Average Rating 5.0/5
Review by dumpling
This is a general review for the Callanetics (Book & DVD) exercise program. Given all the 80s revival I thought it was appropriate to post a review of my favourite form of exercise (I hear Jane Fonda is bringing out a new DVD!) that I have been doing off and on for over two decades. First let me begin by saying that this program is neither exciting nor easy to master, what is however, is extremely effective.I have tried many forms of exercise to varying degrees of commitment (gym,running,Pilates mat based & reformer based, Yoga),but this is the only one I always come back to.The beauty of this program is that it works really fast , is cheap; all you need is a secondhand book & DVD, and you can do this anywhere the only equipment you need is a chair and maybe a towel. When I first tried this back in the 80s I found it really hard to do as I hadn't the Video, when I used both the book & Video I finally understood what I was supposed to be doing.If you have done Pilates before you may find this a little easier to do, though they are quite different techniques but they both emphasise the core, and utilise slow ,tiny repetitions that work the muscles deeply.I much prefer this to Pilates even though I used to have private instructors (some members of the Spanish Royal Family, and the Barcelona FC captain both used my studio) because I found Pilates took a fair bit longer to show results than Callanetics, though I think Pilates is better therapeutically for the back and other issues, also there were tonnes of pilates moves and the Callanetics program has far fewer. As I previously mentioned it can be a bit tricky to master, but if you really take it seriously the benefits are truly impressive.This exercise regime is not cardiovascular but if done correctly you look as though you've lost weight, and indeed some heavier people report losing weight as a consequence but that clearly is down to personal metabolics. I have always been slim around a size zero , maybe a 2 now that I'm older and have had two kids. But even though I am naturally of small build I do have a tendancy to have bulky upper arms and cankles and a flat butt (perhaps to do with my Asian genes!) I haven't exercised regularly in a year or so, but even after a couple of sessions I can see and feel the difference. My posture is better, I feel really limber and energised and my body is more toned, my clothes also are a bit looser.I aim to do two hours a week because anything more is unrealistic for me as I am horribly lazy and the kids make it hard to do stuff during the day- can't do this in the evening as it makes me too alert.When done regularly it really tightens and lengthens the body and I feel much happier about wearing shorts and bathing costumes as it really gives you a streamlined shape, the best thing is that it gives me an awesome behind- high, round and firm! In all, if you are prepared to do 2-3 hourly sessions a week you can have a great figure regardless of size. Not only do I feel great afterwards, I find that my lung capacity/breathing improves and I can 'sing better' when I go to Karaoke as I can hold notes for longer. I've read that athletes sometimes to the program as a warm up . Oh, and the founder of this program Callan asserts that doing this regularly will have a pronounced effect on libido, I have to say I concur......Edit: Ha, ha just read the other review, so true ! the footage is beyond dated, actually it is super cheesy, but don't let the porn-ish muzak and bad styling put you off, it really works. Some people also find Callan (the instructor) really annoying but all I can say , she was pretty old then and her body was amazing ;strong, lean and as agile as a dancer I would post photos if I knew how .Also, if you check out the book/DVD you can see an elderly lady (Midge) Callan's Mum who must have been in her 70s or 80s at the time of this video and her body is really elegant. Also forgot to mention the book is out of print now but you can easilly find it on ebay/Amazon and DVD's are fairly easy to find. There are some Callanetics studios around but not that many, I guess because it is so unfashionable but it still has legions of loyal fans read the reviews on Amazon for more info.Despite the naffness of this program (my husband finds it hysterical , so I can only exercise if he's out) it is worth persevering with.