An excellent supplement to your workout routine, fitness DVDs can be a fun (and sometimes challenging) way to try out a new form of exercise like yoga or dance.
There are many different kinds of exercise that can be taught through the television, so if you enjoy exercising within the comfort of your home gym, or face gymtimidation at the thought of looking like a newbie at the health club, give a fitness DVD a shot.
Here is a look at three popular workout videos that cover different fitness areas, along with pros and cons for each one.
“HiiT” is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training — a form of exercise can be an excellent way to burn fat without muscle loss. Since most of the exercises are filled with high-impact moves, this video is recommended to people of intermediate or advanced skill levels.
This fitness video follows the traditional HiiT premise by pushing a person to the limit for a short amount of time, then resting before getting back to work. There are three different workouts to choose from: 40/20, 30/30, and the Double Wave Pyramid. They are all very efficient and will challenge the cardiovascular system. And while very few videos manage to capture a true HiiT workout, this DVD provides functional exercise routines that are good alternatives to the classic ideas of biking or running.
- Cathe Friedrich sets an energetic mood with her encouraging demeanor
- Excellent upbeat music
- Timer is displayed on the screen to show the amount of exercise and rest
- Good balance of warm-up and cool down
- The exercises may be too difficult for some exercisers to follow and maintain their heart rate in the fat burning zone
- Many exercises center around the aerobic stepper, which can be an expensive piece of equipment
Pilates is a form of exercise that encourages the balanced development of core body strength and flexibility. It’s a great form of exercise for people who have back or joint problems.
This particular video targets the hips, thighs, abs, buttocks, and waist. Even though Pilates is low impact, the exercises in this video are challenging. It is geared for a person with an intermediate level of fitness but can be used by a beginner who is willing to work hard.
- No equipment is necessary
- The seven chapters can be arranged in any order, which offers variety to a workout
- After learning the moves, there is a “Music Only” option that allows a person to hear only the music without spoken instructions
- All moves are well explained
- Moves may seem pushed together, somewhat lacking the traditional Pilates focus on posture and good breathing
- Some may dislike Denise Austin’s constant speaking, but this is a feature that can be turned off
This one is perfect for those who love to dance, or want to see how dancing can be a great form of exercise.
This DVD provides dance moves that target trouble spots in a fun manner and focuses on firming and defining the lower body. There is a five minute warm-up, 20 minutes dedicated to the hips, 20 minutes dedicated to the legs, and a five minute cool down. All steps are simple to follow, and the choreography is explained well by the instructor Kimberly Mullen. This is why the routine can be performed by all fitness levels — even beginners. Basic ballet moves are used to create a toned lower body.
- The dancing is fun, so time flies quickly without really realizing that you’re working out
- Easy-to-do steps provide a solid workout
- The exercise is guided by a voice-over instead of a speaking person
- The cuing sometimes makes quick changes tricky to follow
Do you have a favorite fitness DVD or series that you use? We’d love to hear about it; tell us in the comments.