Sometimes schlepping to the gym feels like...schlepping to the gym. When it feels like that, don't go! Whether you're rushed or just dragging from a long day, give yourself a break with a workout that's time efficient and gym-free. You're going to need the perfect workout DVD, which like the perfect man, can be hard to find. But you deserve it so I went ahead and flexed my matchmaking muscles for you. Take a look...you might find your DVD soulmate!
ARE YOU WHAT THEY CALL A YOGI? GOT ANY TIGHT SPOTS?
Your DVD soulmate: Shiva Rea A.M. Energy
About the workout: This workout DVD is like the bible of vinyasa flow yoga because you're constantly transitioning from one pose to the next, activating and stretching your limbs and core in both beginner and advanced moves. The experience is more than slightly spiritual in a relaxing heat-your-muscles-up kind of way. It's great if you love yoga, need a mood-boosting AM workout, and/or crave a new body-lengthening stretching routine. The Shakti Flow practice, which includes yoga trance dance, is my favorite section. It's weird and kind of amazing because it helps you really let go. Even though this workout DVD isn't high intensity like power yoga, you will perspire a bit from all the movement. I suggest skipping the first cleansing practice and diving into more active parts of the DVD like the Vira Flow. You'll find a deep stretch that you didn't know your abs, thighs and butt needed. Learn something new everyday!
You'll dig it because: Shiva Rea's instruction is exceptionally clear and soothing, the visuals of her are easy to follow and the workout is thorough to say the least. You'll get a lot of mileage from this DVD. There are 3 20-minute practices that you can spread out through your week. Or you can just power through 71 minutes of killer yoga flow (including the bonus sections). However you do it, you'll love how you feel afterwards. Major benefits are renewed energy and improved circulation--2 things your mornings should never be without.
There's always a catch: Making a selection from the menu screen is confusing. It's annoying unless you read the directions provided for "easy" navigation.
How much? $19.99
ARE YOU A MOVER & SHAKER? BORED BY MAINSTREAM STUFF?
Your DVD soulmate: Hemalayaa: Bollywood Party Workout
About the workout: Did you like the end of Slumdog Millionaire when everyone breaks out in dance? If you love to dance and tantalize on the dance floor, then this is the workout for you! It's energetic, fun and sexy. Your host, Bollywood fitness star Hemalayaa, is charismatic and inspiring. She teaches you how to work out and connect to your feminine side with Indian dance moves that are fun and cardiovascular. The workout is celebratory and if it doesn't put a smile on your face, I'm not sure what will. For 50 minutes, Hemalayaa is decked in metallic gold pants while you're smacking your hips to and fro, building up a sweat and defining your curves. I can't think of a better scenario. I suggest doing the workout barefoot and maybe closing the blinds. Voyeurs WILL gawk.
You'll dig it because: It's not boring! It's an engaging way to tone your trouble spots and burn calories. Hemalayaa's vibe is positive and confidence boosting in a way that might seem cheesy but is actually quite endearing. The dance steps are a cinch to learn and you'll want to smack your hips around in newfound ways. Even the best tools are worthless unless you know how to use 'em.
There's always a catch: Metallic gold pants not included. Bummer.
How much? $16.99
ARE YOU HELL BENT ON LOOKING & FEELING FOREVER YOUNG?
Your DVD soulmate: Ageless with Kathy Smith – Staying Strong
About the workout: Put simply, this is an age-fighting workout and antidote to muscle loss (which begins to hit in our 30's and 40's). Kathy Smith's workout is designed to help increase bone density and stamina. If you haven't heard of her before, she's a legend in fitness. I'd take her advice if you want a body like the one she sports. The woman defies gravity! Ageless can do the same for you with four 15-minute strength training practices (arms, legs, glutes, core) that can be combined or performed separately. You might as well do them all together...let's face it, the clock is ticking! Grab a light set of weights (I used 2 pounders) and say hello to your thighs.
You'll dig it because: It's a workout that will help you build and maintain muscle no matter what age you are. Kathy is totally inspiring, relatable and anything but forced--even for a younger audience. And lastly, you'll begin to take a liking to inappropriate stares from younger men and maybe even add MILF to your resume.
There's always a catch: The video's background music is not my favorite but I guess Oldies would've been out of the question.
How much? $16.99
ARE YOU A REALIST WHO APPRECIATES A GOOD LAUGH?
Your DVD soulmate: Body by Bethenny
About the workout: We all know what it is--a workout DVD with a celebrity face attached to boost sales. But wait, it's more than that. It's a a moderately-sweaty and sarcastically funny workout. For those of you who can't relate to Shiva Rea and Hemalayaa, reality all-star Bethenny Frankel might be your girl. She's funny as a host, never sugarcoating an exercise move. The workout you'll do with her and Kristin McGee is the actual workout she does on her own to stay trim and firm. I like the honesty of this DVD, which combines yoga followed by light strength training. But most of all, I like Kristin McGee--the real fitness star of this DVD. She's a friend of mine who trains a long list of celebrities using a similar approach. Like Tina Fey's body? Then do this workout.
You'll dig it because: It's carefree and feels like you’re working out with your girlfriends. Your DVD comes with a cute recipe booklet. So, now you know how to make an "Easy Beet Salad".
There's always a catch: Bethenny's wrap up towards the end of the DVD falls short. Sometimes things are better left unsaid. Selling her Skinnygirl brand for 120 million is all the inspiration I need from Bethenny. Kristin would've done a better wrap up.
How much? $16.99
ARE YOU A BARRE-FLY THAT CAN'T GET ENOUGH?
Your DVD soulmate: Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled
About the workout: If you're addicted to barre fitness then get your next fix with Xtend Barre. But watch out, 'cuz it's hard! This workout doesn't stop for breaks and even though it's inspired by dance, the dance-work mostly applies to form. So prepare to tone your arms and legs with speedy repetitions of lifting, jumping, holding and extending. My favorite part is the upper-body section because I thought the arm exercises were innovative and different than what I'm used to seeing in most barre classes in NYC. But go easy on the hand weights your first time around otherwise your arms might fall off. Build up in weight as you become more familiar with the routine. This is definitely one of the most challenging workout DVD's I've done but the tight-body results are worth it, and I promise you'll sweat!
You'll dig it because: There's a tutorial that explains everything before your workout starts. It's a no-nonsense workout and you'll see results quickly, especially if you do it several times a week.
There's always a catch: Next day soreness but c'mon, you can take it!
How much? $16.99
FYI: The 5 fitness DVD's above are by Acacia, a major player in the yoga and fitness DVD world. So if none of these DVD's tickled your fancy, check out the rest of Acacia's offerings HERE. Personally, I love Acacia's DVD's for their amazing production quality and range of female expert talent. Acacia works with a lot of inspiring fitness women whose workouts are all unique and results oriented. Check out trailers of Acacia fitness DVD's before making a purchase.