Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of exercise regimens from hot yoga, pilates, kick-boxing boot camps and elliptical machines to home workout DVDs. And while most have fallen by the wayside, the one constant has always been my DVDs.
Here are some of my all time favorites:
I started doing Firm videos about 30 years ago, and they really stand the test of time. I’m still doing The Firm “Time Crunch – Volume 4” from 1996 on videotape. It’s a compact 45 minute workout that alternates box aerobics with light weights (3-5 lbs) with heavy standing weight (10-15 lbs) intervals and it has one of the toughest ab routines I’ve done.
Complete Aerobics & Weight Training combines kick-boxing style aerobics sections with 14″ step-up box intervals using heavy weights. This video runs about an hour and also has a solid ab section at the end. Firm videos always have a gym class atmosphere background extras and usually one person who demonstrates beginner modifications.
Pump, Jump & Jab alternates kick-boxing aerobic segments with weighted standing floor work like reverse lunges and squats. The instructor, Kelsey gives excellent que-ing so you do the moves properly. Uses relatively light weights for a firm video (8 lbs. max.)
Get Chisel’d is more of an aerobic workout and less of a sculpting workout because it utilizes small 3, 5, and 8 lb. weights. The high-intensity short burst aerobic sections really get the heart pumping!
Tracie Long Training
Defined Lines is a lighter intensity workout. In it Tracie uses a 7 lb. medicine ball and 3-5 lb. weights along with innovative movements to target different muscles than those worked in the standard DVD. Tracie is a no-nonsense instructor who’s sweating along with you… it’s like working with a personal trainer!
Leaning Out has it all. An opening cardio segment gets the heart rate up, then the balance of the workout is a multitude of heavy muscle toning for both upper and lower body that keep your heart in the aerobic zone. You work each muscle in all directions and Tracie always has some new moves.
Back Up focuses on the back side of the body… but not just the glutes. This workout has an innovative small weight section that works the small accessory muscles in the upper back as well as a floor section that strengthens the lower back.