Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Center of the heterosexual universe
OK Alan, you asked for it, now you're going to get it. My oversimplified, but honest, review of MM.
First, let me say this; I owe the fact that I can actually run today to the MM DVD. That is not a gush, per se, but a statement of fact. But, before I tell how this DVD restored my ability to run (something I consider to be a curse/blessing), I'll review the contents.
The DVD is broken down into 3 categories of movements; easy, medium, and difficult. This is done as a means of taking someone from little ROM and basic activation to full, or better, ROM and higher activation of the large muscles.
The easy movements include some yoga moves (cat/camel, yoga twist) and other "spine flossing" movements to loosen up the spine. Also included are birddogs, fire hydrants (dirty dogs) and supine bridges to help activate the glutes.
The medium movements get more into developing ROM and basic flexibility. The emphasis here is on dynamic stretches (leg swings, windmills, pull back butt-kickers, cradle walks) and advanced activation movements (single-leg supine bridges, hip corrections, mini-band walks, scap push-ups). Again, the idea is to move the athlete into better ROM and activating the larger hip flexors.
Finally, the difficult movements build on the foundations from the previous sections. Instead of leg swings, you get toy soldiers; instead of high-knee pull backs, you get high knee skips. Some of the movements are labeled "difficult" because the average Joe may not be able to do them without looking like Squidward doing interpretive dance at the Krusty Krab Talent Show (I watch a lot of TV with the kids). Anyone with an average athletic ability should be able to do these without too much difficulty.
The very last part of the DVD shows the only three static stretches they recommend; the warrior stretch, a IT band stretch, and neck stretches. All are explained in the same manner as the movements in the DVD.
Each movement is clearly explained with demonstrations from 2 angles (front and side). Additionally, the rationale for each movement is set out in detail along with the muscles and connective tissue involved. Robertson and Cressey are extremely knowledgeable in this area, yet their explanations are easy to follow; obviously targeting the layman, like me.
If there's a weakness to the DVD, it's in the lack of sample warm up routines. I would have like to see suggestions for different problematic areas, or how to start if you're a beginner. Knowing that these guys train athletes, perhaps a little anecdotal information would be nice as well. Thing is, the DVD does not suffer from these weaknesses. Actually, I'd be hard pressed to call them "weaknesses" in the first place.
The one surprising thing I found out from this DVD is just how accessible its authors are. I e-mailed Eric Cressey to give him a "thumbs-up" for the DVD and a question about achilles' tendonosis. I had a sneaking suspicion that pain in both achilles' could be traced to tight hip flexors. To my amazement, he e-mailed back a day later confirming my suspicion and gave me a routine using the several of the movements from the DVD. Long story short, I have used this as part of my warm up every time I go to the gym and the pain in the left achilles' has disappeared; the right is much more mobile than before and I can run and sprint (or as close to sprinting as I can get, being big, white, and slow) without pain.
In the end, is this DVD worth $49.95? To me, it's a resounding, "Yes." It has changed the way I look at warm ups and has increased my ROM in all major lower body joints. The bad thing is, I'm probably going to buy Mike Robertson's "Inside/Out" DVD for my upper body and have the wife go ballistic once again.
That, I can live with. Being 55 and unable to get out of a chair without block and tackle help, I can't.