The Slimnastics Workout Book and DVD (sold separately) combines cheerleading and gymnastics-style balancing, strength and cardio moves with yoga-based toning that requires no equipment other than your body weight. Each chapter is broken down into two to three toning moves with a one-minute cardio interval, with photos of each move. The DVD is not a traditional workout video, but offers demonstrations of each exercise and instructions on how to put together the intervals described in the book.
Paperback, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1466497306. DVD; color; 60 minutes
Personal trainer Nicole Glor’s The Slimnastics Workout book and DVD feature several of the hottest trends in fitness today, including yoga, cardio intervals and bootcamp-style workouts. Incorporating her experience as a former college cheerleader, Glor is a quietly motivational and inspiring trainer. And, with her connections to the military and awareness of wounded soldiers, as well as her own personal experience in dealing with a post-pregnancy infection, she is emphatic about encouraging participants to exercise “because you can!”
The Slimnastics Workout book and DVD mostly mirror each other, with each providing explanations and photos/demonstrations of the exercises featured in the workout. The first 25 pages of the book also include motivational advice and tips, such as working out when injured and multiple variations of the plank to increase core strength. Glor is very open about the fact that this workout is not designed for beginners, but she does include specific “shape-up” instructions for those who want to get into shape to do the Slimnastics Workout. Also included are tear-out sheets of tips for incorporating fitness into your life; how to progress to doing 100 push-ups at a time; exercises to protect the back; and inspirational tips for “exercising your soul.”
The workout itself begins with variations on yoga’s Sun Salutations, which serve as an effective warm-up. The bulk of the book is then devoted to explaining the explosive, gymnastics-inspired plyometric cardio drills (e.g., jumping lunge kicks, jump tucks, spring squats). These moves are interspersed with a variety of toning/strengthening moves, including balance challenges such as tree pose, crow pose and forearm stands. The workout ends with a yoga-inspired stretch and cool-down.
It is important to note that the DVD is not a traditional workout video—it is more of a demonstration of the moves (although it is possible to follow along, and Glor urges viewers to choose their own music and do the workout with her). Much of the video is of Glor sitting in front of the camera, describing how to perform each exercise, as the camera cuts to shots of her performing the exercise. But it would likely frustrate most exercisers to try and perform this workout with her because there is very little cueing when one exercise moves into the next. This can be a particular source of frustration when you’re in downward dog and can’t crane your neck to see whether or not she’s moved on to the next exercise.
The fact that the DVD is not a traditional workout video, however, does not discount the quality of the workout itself. Unquestionably, not everyone will be able to perform some of the moves she includes—particularly the x-jumps or firefly pose. Glor does offer modifications or alternatives for many of the more challenging exercises. Additionally, her explanations for each exercise are thorough and include safety tips.
Ultimately, The Slimnastics Workout is a fun and challenging way to incorporate cardio, strength and flexibility training in a single, total-body workout that requires no extra equipment. The combinations are interesting and many of the moves are unique, providing a nice change of pace from more traditional workouts. The Slimnastics Workout book would be a good choice for those who need help getting in shape prior to performing the actual workout, as well as for those looking for additional motivational tips. The DVD, however, offers a better opportunity to see the moves in action and helps the exerciser execute proper form for each move. Perhaps in the future, Glor will consider doing a more traditional-style workout video that will enable exercisers to enjoy following her lead in this fun and effective workout.
What we liked:
- A fun and challenging way to incorporate cardio, strength and flexibility training in a single, total-body workout that requires no extra equipment.
- Motivational instructor offering detailed instructions for each exercise
- Instructor makes it clear that this workout is NOT for beginners, and offers a “shape-up” plan in the book to help readers establish a sufficient base of fitness
What we didn’t like:
- DVD is not a traditional workout, but more an explanation of all the exercises, which may leave some viewers disappointed
- Relatively high price for the book and DVD combined