Sweat It or Skip It: Scott Cole, Discover Tai Chi for Balance & Mobility
This week's DVD:Scott Cole, Discover Tai Chi for Balance & Mobility
Sweat Summary:Tai Chi and fitness expert Scott Cole guides you through 30 minutes of gentle, therapeutic Tai Chi exercises. The first half of the workout consists of full-body movements that connect the breath with each flowing motion, while the second half integrates a chair into the soothing mind-body practice.
What We Liked:All are welcome! The low-impact, easy-to-follow exercises makes this great for any age and ability level. Cole gives top-notch instructions and his charming personality shines throughout the workout.
What We Didn't Like:As a newbie to Tai Chi, you’ll walk away feeling refreshed, but we wished it was a little more challenging.
[sidebar]Rating:Sweat it, 2.5 remotes
Full Review:Tai Chi may evoke images of people standing in the middle of a field on one foot doing elaborate circular hand motions, similar to Karate Kid training. But after just a few rejuvenating minutes into the DVD, any preconceived notions about Tai Chi will be thrown out the window.
Scott Cole leads the workout in a modern living room with relaxing instrumental music playing in the background. (Be sure to watch the bonus segment for fellow demonstrator Claire’s inspiring story on why she started Tai Chi.)
Expect to bend, twist and stretch the body in a slow, flowing motion. But unlike a yoga class, you never hold a position for longer than a second. Deep breaths are integrated into the movements and you’re encouraged to vocalize the big exhales—it feels immediately invigorating. During the second half, you’ll focus on balance with one-footed stands using a chair for support and stability. The addition of the chair adds a fresh element to the workout and allows anyone who is coming back from an injury to work on balance without fear of falling.
Tai Chi is sometimes described as “moving meditation” and thus if you’re looking to reduce stress, this workout could be for you. And, new research has shown that the calming martial art influenced movements can boost heart and brain health! If you’re brand new to exercise, the low-impact movements and emphasis on balance training makes for a great starting point. Available at store.scottcole.com ().
1. Stand with feet parallel and slightly wider than hip-width apart knees slightly bent and shoulders and arms relaxed. Place hands on lower back, fingers pointed down.
2. Slowly twist torso down and to the left, bringing chest toward left thigh (pictured). Once torso is parallel to the floor, begin to rotate in clockwise circle, bringing torso to the front and then to the right, and back to standing.
3. As you reach the upright position, straighten legs and gently press hips forward, continuing through the next circle.
4. Do 5 circles. Repeat, doing 5 circles in opposite direction.
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