Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern
August's Top Workout DVD: Essentrics Class of 2012
Best for: Anyone who wants to get long and lean muscles and just can't seem to find their yoga sweet spot.
Why it's a star: Essentrics is a workout that combines ballet-inspired moves with toning exercises to challenge your body in a unique way. It’s named for the eccentric movement in exercise where you are lengthening and strengthening each muscle. Co-creator and Essentrics expert Sahra Esmonde-White says these movements help slenderize your figure while building strength–what more could you ask for? Though skeptical at first, wondering how difficult stretching and sashaying could really be. I popped in the DVD on a weeknight after work thinking it’d be a calming workout, but it definitely wasn’t easy. Sahra isolates every muscle, focusing on stretching it out and toning it up. If you like the challenge of power yoga or Pilates, Essentrics is a fun way to mix it up and test your body in new ways. The next morning, my abs were sore, along with my buns and my triceps. Talk about a full-body workout! You don't have to don a tutu, but the workout does require a certain degree of grace and coordination. Sometimes I’d be balancing on one leg while reaching forward, getting in touch with my inner ballerina, when all of a sudden I’d lose my footing and snap back to reality. That’s the best part about working out at home–no judgment! Plus, the only equipment you need is a chair. No dumbbells, no stability ball, just your body weight. A mat is helpful if you've got hard floors during the ab workout, but a towel would work in a pinch.
Where to get it: essentrics.com, $19.95