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At some point during my adult life I've been through just about every exercise fad there has ever been. Callanetics didn't pass me by either and in the eighties when it was all the rage and I was a teenager I bought several of the books written by Callan Pinkney on this new, exciting form of exercise that was supposed to tone your body beyond recognition. I still have the books but they now sit dusty and unused on my bookshelf.
I was unable to decide if I should choose one of my books to review but as they are all very similar in the exercises I decided to plump for this "general Callanetics" section instead.
Callan Pinkney created Callanetics after she herself had back problems but something I didn't realise at the time is her back problems were from excessive lordosis which is too much arching of the lumbar area of the spine and of course she designed the exercises to suit her particular problems.
This is a problem for lots of us because nowadays with our sedentary lifestyles and spending hours sitting at the computer (typing reviews for Dooyoo...) lots of us have the opposite problem and use too little lordosis and tend to flex our spines instead. This means the Callanetics method of tucking the pelvis under into a posterior tilt is actually exactly what we don't need to be doing.
The exercises use a series of tiny movements to achieve the toning, so you would position yourself so the muscle is contracting and then move it further into contraction by a movement about a quarter of an inch to push the muscle further. The books and DVDs vary in the areas they cover but usually it's the common problem areas such as the glutes, the abs, the bingo wings and the legs. Some programs are an hour long and some less and some require 100 reps of each exercise and some less than that.
When I was a carefree, pain-free teenager these exercises were something I did when I got home from work. I'd do them before I ate and after a few weeks of doing them I did indeed have a fairly flat stomach but sadly not the peachy buttocks she claims you will have. The exercises are hard, don't ever assume they are easy because they are such small movements. The whole holding the position so the muscles contract leads to cramps if you're not careful and the muscles aren't used to doing these particular types of movements so they fatigue rapidly.
After your first few sessions of Callanetics you will have pain! The muscles groan at the thought of another session and areas hurt that you previously were unaware of!
I would say if you have too much of an arch n your lumbar spine these would be ok for you to do until that problem decreases but if you have a neutral arch or a back prone to flexing or being flat these are dangerous for you. I notice a few reviewers have compared Callanetics to Pilates and say Callanetics tones much better. It does but the pelvic position of Pilates is much better for your back. It's much more advisable to do Pilates style positioning and if you need extra toning use resistance bands to do the exercises. As far as abdominal work goes Pilates will tone the abs just as well as Callanetics anyway and teach the muscles to support the spine in its proper position instead of a flexed one.
The whole craze of Callanetics has died down now, these days the majority of people recognise the neutral spine position is far superior so I'm sure lots of people have dusty, unused books on their shelves too! However lots of the books and DVDs are still available online for a few pounds even if classes of Callanetics aren't commonplace anymore.
Overall it's a good method of toning the outer muscles and will make a difference to them in a short space of time but the amount of difference is limited. After a few weeks of Callanetics whatever you have achieved is pretty much as far as it goes, or that's what I found anyway. It's fine for people with too much lordosis but if you're a spine flexer and let your back slump into a C curve shape when you sit you should give Callanetics a wide berth.
It's hard to rate it really, I'll have to give it about 2 stars as it is effective for some and dangerous for others. I won't be pulling my Callanetics books out anytime soon except maybe to take them to the charity shop to make space for more up to date and safe exercise books.
Callanetics is a totally unique and incredibly effective exercise method. It was famous in the 80's for the speed in which it tones the body and for the safety of the exercises. Even though the DVD's look a bit dated now the exercises are still better than anything else I have ever tried. Pilates just doesn't compare in terms of toning power and speed of results. The great thing about Callanetics is that there is no danger of injuring or straining yourself. You just work at your own pace and watch the inches drop off. There are two new DVDs that have just been released called "Callanetics Evolution" and "Cardio Callanetics". I've got them on order and as soon as they arrive I will do a review of them. Anyone looking for quick and impressive results should definitely give Callanetics a go. You won't be disappointed. Go try it today!
I used to do lots of other workouts, aerobic, cardio, pilates etc, but they never worked! When me mam mentioned Callanetics, I looked it up on the net and got pretty interested so I bought the book (1p off amazon! mega bargain =] ) After just about 5 days of doing a half of all the exercises I'd lost almost 2 inches off my body, but I guess there wasn't much to lose, being size 8 at the time. I just have a few dodgy areas. I've exercised since being about 8, am 14 now. After about 2 months, I'm size 4 (At 5ft 7"!!!) =D YAY! My friends are amazed but I'm keeping this a secret. I would definately recomend this cuz it gets you SO taut and flexible, I even feel more energetic! =] (no more back twinges either, even fixed me knee injury through this!) IT'S FANTASTIC! Totally unbeatable. A couple adults I am friends with noticed my book and asked, so I introduced them to the callanetics. Sadie went from size 14-16 to size 8-10 in just over 2 months, me Auntie went from size 18 to size 10 in 2 and a half months, me mam's friend went from size 14 to size 4, she's a wee bit petite so it's ok! Me main Physical Education teacher asked me if I knew any good methods for weight loss, as she just had triplets, so I told her about callanetics and she was back to size 6 in no time! When me mam was younger, she did these and maintained a size 6, despite having a huge appetite! Problem is, she cant anymore due to virutally incurable injury on her pubic bone due to my violent natural birth =[ it would have been ok if the nurses gave her the proper exercises for post-me-being-born care.. Pilates is slowly helping to regain strength, along with loooads of supplements, like Chlorella, Spirulina, Silica, MSM etc etc etc. With Callanetics, you don't really NEED to go on a diet, but if your looking for quick inch-loss, then it's recomendable, it's always good to be healthy! I'm eating more food now cuz I know I won't gain weight, but I don't pig out at fast-foods places, I eat healthy food and am vegetarian, sometimes vegan, just depends =] I am definately more graceful and flexible, I feel like living plasticine sometimes.. that's a good thing! And I'm sure the spine stretches have made me an inch taller.. =D I did used to have terible posture though, I let me bum stick out horribly and that gentle spine curve near your bum (I think thats lumbar..) curved FAR TOO MUCH! But now that I pay special attention when it comes to the pelvic moves, me spine is much straighter, and I always pull me pelvis upwards/forwards which makes your tummy go mega-flat! trust me =] Mind you, if your really weak and have got ABSOLUTELY NO MUSCLE, I would recomend building up some core stability etc. I better stop nattering on, but just know that these are the best exercises known.. and thats coming from me, hate exercise, hate diets.. hate the wait! These just smash it all!
katerinakam - 29.01.08I am a certified Callanetics teacher and I teach Callanetics method for over one year now, in Greece.I have only seen people feeling great after a Callanetics hour.Instead, I have complanes for back problems after pilates classes. The inches lost in less than a month-three hours a week Callanetics lessons is fantastic.You should only trust a certified Callanetics teacher.I have best resalts myself too,and pictures of my clients to prove it. Thank you. All comments for this review
I did Callanetics for years and, yes, it did work. I certainly toned up my flabby bits and became more flexible. I then went through a very unhealthy period and became very unfit indeed! When I got back into exercise the fitness world had moved on and I decided to try other things. It's then I realised what a complete waste of time Callanetics had been. I did four one hour sessions a week of Callanetics and they actually took longer once I had moved all the furniture around to set up a makeshift barre etc. Callanetics involves no cardiac work whatsoever so anyone who is into fitness would need to add on some aerobics sessions. I have found that I can achieve the same results nowadays with short workouts using weights. The complicated and uncomfortable Callanetics bottom-toning exercises have been replaced with lunges. The worst thing about Callanetics is that I constantly suffered from back pain when I did it. I rather stupidly thought this was due to being unfit and it would soon go. Recently I picked up a fitness magazine and read a piece on how Callanetics had lost favour with the fitness world and back problems was one of the reasons. If you do still fancy Callanetics I'd advise you to go to a class (if they still have them), but you'd probably be better off doing pilates.
I dug out my Callanetics video having not done them for about eight years and I was pleasantly surprised at it's impact. The repetitions are well, repetitive, but if approached with a relaxed mind and plenty of time in hand, then it's very enjoyable. The results can be almost instantaneous. I felt tauter and believe it or not, taller after two weeks. The only thing that seemed dated on the ten year old video were the dreadful kit they were all wearing, but other than that, it had stood the test of time very well.This is Callan Pinckney, as mentioned in a previous opinion.
I have been doing this exercise programme for about 5 years now. It is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, as it is non impact, and several videos are available for different levels. The videos are taught by a woman called Callan Pinckney, who developed the whole program herself. Callanetics consists of many repetitions of tiny movements which target specific muscles. The main areas are stomach, legs, hips and bum. The exercises may look easy, but actually take quite a lot of effort, but the results are well worth it.