Hi! I'm Larry Wood. Let me tell you about Stretch, Tone, and Balance. I designed this program for people who
want to improve their balance and get back to doing what they used to do without all the pain and stiffness that
comes over time -  like bending down or getting up off the floor. 
This is the program I use to maintain myself. It's a no-impact, non-aerobic workout based on my own experiences
with rehab therapy, gyms, medical advice, personal trainers, fitness programs, Yoga, Pilates, and my own Water
Aerobics class. My philosophy is simple: if you're having trouble doing it, then that's the exercise you need to do
every day, and if you exert a little each time it will soon be easy to do.
If you are new to exercise, you can expect some soreness pretty much everywhere, for a week or so. If you are
NOT new to exercise, you will still have some soreness in the places that need more work. For this reason, this
program will not work well on a part time basis. You need to do it at least twice a week, and in fact I recommend
3 days a week. You only need a 6' space to do it at home. And as with any exercise program, if you only do it
occasionally you may do more harm than good.
If you commit yourself to this program, here's what you can expect: You will have more flexibity and less pain
during normal activities, and in a very short time you will develope better balance and stability when standing,
reaching, and getting up off the floor. It's like getting a piece of your youth back. You can also expect that you
won't be able to do all of the exercises well at first. It takes time. So be patient with yourself. You will also
experience some burning in the muscles during exercises. When that happens, just rest a moment and begin again.
Don't over do it, and after a week of regular exercise the soreness will subside and before long you will see a
siginificant improvement.
Here's how you do the exercises. There's 5 things to keep in mind.
1. All movements are controlled and deliberate. That means you move smoothly from one position to another,
never hurry, and always start and finish each movement with a pause. Speed doesn't matter. Control makes it
2. It's called Stretch, Tone, and Balance, so don't grasp or hold onto anything to keep your balance. Instead, use a
light fingertip touch against a table or wall if you feel unstable. Because to strengthen the balance muscles you
have to use them.
3. Stretches are done only to the point of resistance, then wait for the muscle to relax and lengthen. Never stretch
past the point of resistance. This goes for any stretches, any time, in any class.
4. Know you limitations. Don't bend in any direction your doctor has told you or you know you shouldn't, and
don't do any
exercise that causes sharp pain. There is a difference between the discomfort of exercise and pain. One is good
and the other is not. And never bend and twist at the same time, like reaching for a pencil. Always square up
5. Finally, as you are learning the moves of this program, remember that balance is nothing more than your ability
to keep from teetering and bobbling around. So try not to lean and sway during the exercises. Arm and leg
movements need to be in line with your body. And square up. Some positions throw your hips or shoulders out
of alignment making it more difficult.
One of the keys of balance is to keep your shoulders centered over your hips, hips over the ankles, and your
weight evenly distributed on your feet. It's called “grounding”. If you are well grounded and not moving
unnecessarily, you are well balanced.
My Story