We Tried It: Yoga Tune UpPosted on Feb 16th 2011 10:00AM by Kristen Seymour
The downside to this, of course, is that my muscles are generally really, really tight. My flexibility is laughable, even though I do make a point to spend at least a few minutes stretching after most of my workouts. The obvious answer is to get a massage, but, well, my budget is more of the DIY variety.
Yoga Tune Up is designed for people like me -- people whose muscles desperately need the knots worked out but aren't likely to seek out a professional to do it. There is an Upper Body Therapy Ball Series and a Lower Body Therapy Ball Series, or you can get the Full Body Therapy Ball Series, which includes both Upper and Lower, which is what I tried.
The kits include two small rubber balls that you use for massage, along with audio CDs (Upper Body and Lower Body are each 45 minutes) and visual guides. The visual guides show you the different positions for the balls and how you should hold your body and move while the balls are in those positions.
The Upper Body Therapy Ball Series has three sections focusing on the upper back, shoulders and rotator cuffs, and neck and jaw. The Lower Body Series is also split into three sections, working with the lower back, hips and buttocks, and claves and feet.
Pluses: This has done a world of good for me, especially for my neck and shoulders, which tend to get especially tense. After just one session, I noticed less discomfort and increased flexibility. It's also quite simple to modify -- if you have an area that's particularly tight, you can pause the CD and stay on that spot, or if there's a muscle that's overly tender, it's easy to just use less of your body weight while rolling over the ball.
I also found the calves and feet section helpful -- I've had issues with plantar fasciitis in the past and have done some similar work with tennis balls for recent flare-ups, but there's something about these rubber balls that really seem to get in there and loosen things up.
Also, once you've used the audio guide a time or two, it's easy to just grab the balls and do a quick massage on your own to target the areas that really need it. Because, let's face it, we don't all have 45-90 minutes to spare for a massage every day!
Minuses: I had a rather hard time figuring out the placement of the balls for the lower body and hips and buttocks. I have a basic knowledge of anatomy -- pretty average, I would say -- but I found myself referring back to the visual guide over and over to make sure I was doing it right. That being said, I did not have that problem with any of the sections in the Upper Body Therapy Ball Series, so I don't know if the problem was more with my inability to picture my own lower back and booty or if the directions weren't as clear.
Takeaway: The premise is so simple but tremendously effective. And considering you can get the Full Body Therapy Ball Series, including the balls, for $44.95, I can't recommend this enough. How often do you come across something easy and affordable that's truly beneficial to your health?
Interested in winning your own Yoga Tune Up Therapy Ball set? We're giving the Upper and Lower Therapy Ball Series away to a lucky That's Fit reader. Head over to the original giveaway post to enter, but hurry -- the giveaway ends Friday!