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TURN-ONS AND TURN-OFFS IN CURRENT HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES : VIDEOCASSETTES : Excellent Good Fair Poor

October 28, 1986|DEBORAH CAULFIELD | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

Times writers take a look at a new batch of exercise videos released in time for the '86 Christmas season. Why do workout/fitness tapes keep on coming? Partly because they sell, and sell big. Beyond that, the growing emphasis on "low-impact aerobics" incorporates alternate and newly developed methods (the "body band" is one of the latest crazes) and takes into consideration safer and more efficient ways of shaping up the old bod. Above all, exercise videos make good sense and--if they're used properly and regularly--healthier people, destroying the conception that all TV watchers are couch potatoes.

"The American Academy of Family Physicians Bodyband Workout." Warner. $39.95. "Kathy Smith's ToneUp." JCI. $29.95. This fall's hot new exercise gimmick is apparently the plain old rubber band--in enlarged form. The theory holds that stretching with elastic bands gives muscles the "resistance" they need to tone up.

"Bodyband" is the video ticket if the idea of "aerubbercise" grabs you. The packet contains necessary bands, a thorough printed guide to the exercises and the endorsement of KNBC-TV doc Art Ulene. The video is easy to follow, with two programs (stretching and flexibility) that can be alternated daily or used together. Information: (818) 954-6000.

"ToneUp," gorgeous fitness expert Kathy Smith's third hit video, has a bewildering approach. Emphasis is more on aerobics than rubber bands (an enclosed mail-in coupon is redeemable for four of these), and Smith pre-explains nothing as she bounces from one dizzy exercise step to another. If the insets showing close-up footwork are supposed to help viewers, they don't. Information: (818) 889-9022.

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