With the holiday season upon us and the year quickly coming to a close, we decided to take a look back at some of the best new fitness DVD’s we’ve reviewed here at ACE over the last few months. From high-intensity workouts to routines designed to strengthen and sculpt the entire body, here are three of our favorite newly released (or soon to be released) workout videos.
In this day and age where everyone seems to be so pressed for time, who wouldn’t want to maximize their results by making the most of their time spent exercising? As a follow-up to the wildly successful Breathless Body: The Ultimate Cardio Burn, this second installment in the series, Breathless Body 2: The Edge, provides a challenging 55-minute cardio workout that will work your entire body, pushing you to your limits, while helping you to take your fitness to the next level. Using a cardiorespiratory training technique known as high-intensity interval training (which is personally one of my favorite ways to train) and involving no equipment at all, this workout is divided up into four different sets, each featuring three dynamic drills. Progressions and regressions options are offered for each of the drills, allowing you to customize your experience by choosing the movement option that is best suited for your fitness level. Amy also urges exercisers to pause the video at any time if they need additional time to recover between drills. Each drill is performed for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest, and the sequence of three drills is repeated three times to complete one set. Amy ups the challenge in this workout by following the four sets with one final six-minute set that revisits all 12 of the drills featured throughout the video. Given that this workout is high-intensity in nature and involves various plyometric exercises, safety and proper technique is of the utmost importance, this DVD is best suited for those who have an established base of fitness.
Where to buy: www.amydixonfitness.com
As a big fan of Chris Freytag’s 10 Pound Slimdown Xtreme, which released late last year, I thought I’d be hard-pressed to come across another DVD that offered the same level of quality, detailed instruction and effective exercises—that is, until I got a sneak peek at the new 10 Pounds Down Better Body Blast, which releases on December 4th. With a similar-sounding name and featuring another dynamic instructor, Jessica Smith, this DVDdelivers fun strength-training routines that are conveniently divided into three 20-minute segments (arms, abs and legs), and require nothing more than a pair of dumbbells and an exercise mat. With the option to tackle each workout individually if you’re pressed for time, or the ability to combine them together to create one awesome full-body workout, this DVD is jam-packed with innovative, functional exercises that will undoubtedly have you breaking a serious sweat.
Where to buy: www.gaiam.com
For those seeking a mind-body approach to health and fitness, STOTT PILATES® Intense Body Blast: Pilates Interval Training Level 1 provides a total-body workout that focuses on quality of movement along with integrity of breath. With a run time of just over 30 minutes, this routine can be integrated into even the busiest of schedule and, requiring only a sticky mat, can easily be performed in a relatively small space. The workout begins with a dynamic warm-up and is followed by an assortment of exercises designed to strengthen the musculature of core and enhance both stability and mobility, while also strengthening the major muscles of the body. Instructor PJ O’Clair does an amazing job cueing each movement, continually focusing on proper alignment and helping to ensure the effectiveness of each exercise. She also seamlessly transitions from one movement to the next, creating a well-rounded, easy-to-follow beginner routine that is sure to work your entire body from head to toe.
Where to buy: www.merrithew.com
3 Tips for Giving the Gift of Fitness
If you’re choosing to share the gift of fitness with your loved ones this holiday season, selecting the right DVD for that special someone may seem like a challenge. Here are few simple questions to ask yourself before choosing a workout DVD that will help you make the best choice:
- What types of activities do they prefer?
Whether they love to dance or prefer a gentle yoga practice, having an understanding of what type of activities he or she enjoys is imperative to selecting the right workout DVD and ensuring your recipient makes the most use out of it!
- What are their fitness goals?
From wanting lose weight to simply seeking an option to unwind and de-stress after a long work day, knowing what health- and fitness-related goals that special someone in your life has will help you to navigate the plethora of workout options available.
- Does the DVD require any specific equipment (e.g., medicine ball, workout mat, stability ball)?
If equipment is needed to perform the exercises included in the workout, it’s important to know whether the individual you are buying for already has the necessary equipment. If not, you may want to consider purchasing those items along with the DVD to create a complete gift package.
Having a hard time choosing the right DVD for you? With advances in technology, streaming fitness videos are another great option to help you stay on top of your fitness this holiday season. With the ability to access them anytime and anywhere, online exercise videos offer the flexibility to access an assortment of fitness modalities, such as Pilates, kickboxing and cardio dance, all taught by a variety of quality instructors and without the need to commit to just one DVD!
Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYTContributor
Jessica Matthews, M.S., E-RYT is assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College. As a leading fitness expert, writer and educator Jessica is a regular contributor to numerous publications, including Shape and Oprah.com. She holds a B.S. in physical education teacher education from Coastal Carolina University and M.S. in physical education from Canisius College. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as well as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) through Yoga Alliance and trained stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga instructor. Prior to teaching at Miramar, Jessica worked full-time ACE, serving in a number of key roles including exercise physiologist, certification director and senior health and fitness editor. Her past work also includes serving as aquatics director at Conway Medical Wellness and Fitness Center and designing health and physical education curriculum for grades K-12. Full Bio Jessica Matthews »
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