The Bottom Line
- Allows students to "feel into" exercises without stress
- Provides versatile support for stretch and strength work
- Pain Free Pilates DVD covers a lot of good moves with the Stretch-eze
- Band comes in 3 sizes
- DVD is instructive but unclear what level class it is and for whom
- Band can be complicated to use
- The Stretch-eze Band is a wide band of stretch lycra sewn in a circle
- Stretch-eze band comes in 3 sizes
- Stretch-eze band: $29.95 - $35.95
- Pain Free Pilates DVD includes two workouts - core strength and stretch
- Pain Free Pilates DVD: $24.95
- The Stretch-eze band and Pain Free Pilates DVD can also be bought as a pack that gives a 40% discount on the DVD.
- Wholesale is available.
Guide Review - The Stretch-eze band and Pain Free Pilates DVD
Pain Free Pilates...I wasn't so sure about the implications of that title at first. If Pilates is painful, it means someone is not teaching it correctly or a student is attempting to perform exercises beyond their ability. But once I watched the video tried the Stretch-eze band, I got excited about the possibilities the Stretch-eze offers students who aren't quite up to certain exercises, perhaps because of an injury or muscular imbalance. For them, Pilates can be frustrating, even painful.
I found that I could get just enough support from the Stretch-eze band to perform certain exercises, Roll up for example, more easily and gracefully, without losing the muscular focus of the exercise. The value in that is not to make people dependent on the Stretch-eze, but to give students the chance to get a feel for an exercise -- to use the right muscles, without overload, and without tension creeping into other areas.
The Stretch-eze is also an interesting resistance tool for stretching, and encouraging extension into exercises. Like other resistance props, such as the exercise band or the magic circle, Stretch-eze gives valuable feedback about how the muscles are engaging. And, the width and softness make it more pleasant to use than regular resistance bands (but you don't get a much spring back from it).
Because Stretch-eze is relatively inexpensive and so convenient, I think it will be a popular tool for Pilates instructors in the studio, and for those working out at home who want the extra support. Actually, I found the possibilities the band offered intriguing in general.
If you get the band, do get the DVD. The Pain Free Pilates DVD is a wonderful exploration of the various things you can do with the Stretch-eze. It gives a lot of info about how to use the band effectively - things you might not discover on your own.