DVD Review: Fascial Fitness – Tiger Body Workout

TigerBodyReview by Carrie Gaynor. Fast forward to your future. What body do you want to have in 5 - 10 years?

Fascial Fitness – Tiger Body Workout (the second release in the series) features the work of the dynamic duo of fascial researcher Dr. Robert Schleip and movement specialist Divo Müller.  Together they share the anti-aging wisdom in the new exercise science of conditioning our fascia, not our muscles.

They say the results are echoed over time, adding a fascial fitness practice at any age will result in an improved ability to move with a more sensuous, supple, strong, elegant and injury resistant body like… well, a tiger!

You should know that while I am a believer in fascia as the unifying network of the body (and it’s companion model, tensegrity),   I reviewed Tiger Body Workout for its potential benefits for my 52 year old  frame.

First off, if you are new to the word “fascia” or you relate it only to myofascial release (a soft tissue technique used by manual therapists everywhere) you will want to start by watching with the Interview with Robert Schleip.

In this segment, Schleip takes talks us through the fundamentals of fascia –  an essential element to understanding the content on this DVD. For example: you will want want to know that fascial fitness builds over time. Also the safe practice guidelines of adding fascial fitness exercises in increments of 3-5 minutes per exercise at a frequency of 1- 2 workouts  per week.  It is implied that more could lead to soft tissue injuries.

With that crucial piece of information in place, Tiger Body Workout  is a progression from the exercises found in Schleip & Müller’s Fascial Fitness I. Let’s look at the three main workout segments, with my thoughts about actually doing these workouts.

Warm Up: approximately 13 minutes

Divo Müller walks us through an experiential introduction to the principles of fascial fitness. Key concepts include: fascial “melt”; soft, quiet “bouncing” and the push and pull of long myofascial chains. These are full body movements involving multiple muscles vs isolated stretches.

Beginning Workout: 15 minutes

This is a full workout for stretching / engaging the long myofascial chains. For me, it  produced a light glowing sweat. Great on its own for a quick morning romp or in addition to a more traditional workout.

Advanced Workout: 22 minutes

This Is just what is says. Divo ups the ante (and tempo) for a stronger, more powerful workout; loading your tissues for strength.

Specifically, the Tiger Walk (called “Elephant Walk” the first Fascial Fitness DVD) is powerful, elastic and adds a valuable practice for any yoga practitioner. The Flying Sword adds hand weights to increase the strength and pliability of the lumbodorsal fascia.

The Chair Work part may look intimidating but I actually found it very accessible and fun!  So much so that I’ve permanently added it the repertoire in my movement portfolio. I loved this whole routine.

BlackRoller Routine:  Since I didn’t have this oversized foam roller used in the video, I simply added a folded fleece blanket over my foam roller to do this routine. I found this exercise very useful for widening my proprioception.

The two things I most noticed after practicing the full scope of the Tiger Body Workout:

  • Overall sense of well being, spaciousness and vitality.  I also experienced many new sensations in my body during the workout.
  • No adverse effects or muscle soreness other than sensitivity at the fronts of my ankles.

DVD Pros:

  • Inspiring New Workout! – This is what we do for ourselves over the long haul. It is very  different from the “fast result” mindset.
  • Short routines are easy and fun to include with anyones fitness routine.
  • Great Science – Understanding fascia and its biomechanics can get kind of techie, but our guides understand the value of “not too much, not too little“ and get the balance just right. They bring back the ‘bounce factor’ that so many of us grew up with and introduce cool new science about collagen fibers and the ‘crimp factor’ - both of which are essential to the rejuvenation and sustainability of our tissues.

DVD Cons 

  • Sound Quality - sometimes difficult to hear, could be better mixed.
  • Do Both Sides – in each of the beginning and advanced program, the first exercise is presented one-sided. This  requires the participant to stop and “rewind”  the section to include the other side. This step is minimal, but it would have been a more pleasant experience for users to have had them be consistent with a full routine,.
  • Visual  Distractions – I found myself distracted by Divo’s sound belt. Also the set design could have been better.  The intended ambiance leaned in the direction of Zen but was ambushed by door frames, glaring lighting and well used white walls. The flow of the routine would seem more congruent in a well-balanced, warmer atmosphere.

Final Thoughts:

Yoga students are no strangers to fascial fitness, though they may not think of yoga that way. In my yoga classes I was able to incorporate the standing chair work and foot work to better teach the soft impact, ‘tiger like” movements inherent to the practice of TriYoga

flows and my own signature series, Yoga - For the Health of It. Additionally, other forms of yoga utilizing wave-like spinal movements, martial arts, dance, Continuum and conventional sports will all definitely benefit from this workout.

As a host and guide Divo Müller is a fresh new face. Both sincere and fun she clearly has a cat-like body (a mesomorph in her 50s) and is a healthy, vibrant artifact of her craft.

In her video presence, I am left with “I want that” .

Bottom Line:  Two (fascially fit) Thumbs Up

Order your copy of Fascial Fitness – Tiger Body Workout

Carrie Gaynor BSN, RN, E-RYT, BCSI, CFST has been working with people and their body's relationship to structure for over 20 years. She is a senior faculty member with Kinesis, teaching their Anatomy Trains program. Both on the mat and the treatment table she is known as "The Space Maker". Find out more about Carrie here.