I think workout DVDs get a bad reputation.
Yes, they’re cheese-a-rific. Yes, they’re not as intense as a good run or a really dedicated workout at the gym. But, I also think that there are some really great things about them that can augment any training routine, especially for those runner (eh hem…me) that have zero upper body strength.
Fitness DVDs are the “strapped-for-time” gal’s secret and you can genuinely make them as easy or difficult as you want them to be (use heavier weights, press pause to catch your breath, give it your all without looking like an idiot at the gym). As you can now tell, I heart exercise DVDs (as well as Comcast’s OnDemand “Sports and Fitness” channel where you can watch the DVDs for free). That’s why I’m going to start reviewing exercise DVDs every now and then. First up is actually a DVD that I reviewed a while ago but is still wildly popular: “Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred.”
Well known for her Biggest Loser fame and supposed “hard ass-ness,” her “tough” exterior inexplicably makes me laugh throughout the whole DVD. It’s two parts awkward and one part confusing. Anyways…the woman does know her stuff.
Like I mentioned above, I have z-e-r-o upper body strength, which is why this DVD was good for me. It consists of seven, six minute circuits, all executed at a fairly fast pace so there’s some solid cardio involved. There weren’t any exercise that you’ve never heard of, she offered beginner and advanced modifications, and her chirpy little back-up dancers smiled the entire time! Someone on Amazon was nice enough to list out all of the sets, so here they are for you:
Circuit #1- Shoulder & Legs
– Squat with Shoulder Press
– Backwards Lunge with Side Shoulder Raise (repeat on other leg)
– Chair Squat with Front Shoulder Raise
– Front Shoulder PressOuts
Circuit #2- Chest & Abs
– Chest Press with a Crunch
– Chest Fly with Double Leg Raise
– Bicycle Crunches
– Squirms (lying down with knees bent. lift head and shoulder blades off ground and alternate bending to the side and tapping your heels).
Circuit #3- Biceps & Butt
– Deadlift with Hammer Curl
– Static Squat with Concentration Curl
– Front Lunge with Wide Grip Curl (repeat on other leg)
– Side Lunge with Biceps Curl
Circuit #4- Thighs & Triceps
– Chair Pose with Triceps Kickback
– Sumo Squat with Overhead Triceps Press
– Surrender (step back and down to kneeling position then stand up again)
– Forward Lunge with Triceps Pushback (repeat on other leg)
Circuit #5- Core
– Double Crunches
– Twisting Plank
– Plank with ToeTaps (repeat with other leg)
– Windshield Wipers (lying down lift both legs and move from side-to-side)
Circuit #6- Upper Body & Core
– Plank with Back Rows
– Scissor Kicks
– Pelvic Thrusts (repeat on other leg)
Circuit #7- Lower Body & Core
– Side Plank
– Side Lying Leg Raise
– Inner Thigh Raise
– Donkey Kicks
– Fire Hydrant with Kick
Again, as you can see…you could do all of this on your own in your living room, but it’s the DVD’s pacing that really make it worth the buy.
Fourty minutes later I can honestly say that I felt as if every muscle group was hit. Not exhausted, not sore, but a good overall body awakening. All-in-all, I’d give in four out of five BLAMs!