January’s Top Workout DVD: Sexy Abs with Kelly Rowland & Jeanette Jenkins
Best for: Those thinking ahead about (and seeking amazing abs in) their spring break bikinis; anyone with aches and pains in their lower back.
Why it’s a star: Celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins and her crew, including Kelly Rowland, Grammy winning R&B singer and judge on The X Factor in the UK, teach you fun and challenging exercises that will leave your ab muscles burning. You’ve seen some of these moves before (bicycle crunches, roll-ups and planks), but the nonstop pace, focus on lower back pain-prevention and the sprinkling of innovative exercises makes this DVD worth an encore in your sweat schedule. You’ll feel the burn throughout your core the next day!
Bonus: You can join the #SexyAbsChallenge on Twitter with @KELLYROWLAND and @JeanetteJenkins now for five weeks of healthy tips, meals and motivation as Kelly gets ready for the Grammy Awards in February. She’s nominated for her song “Motivation!”
Where to get it: $19.95, thehollywoodtrainer.com
More from FITNESS: Look like Brooke—our January cover girl—with this total-body strength routine!
May’s Top Workout DVD: 10 Pounds Down Total Body Tune Up
Best for: Reluctant strength trainers; circuit lovers.
Why it’s a star: This is one well-rounded DVD! Certified trainer Jessica Smith begins with a nice warm-up, then moves into a 50-minute routine that alternates compound, fast-paced strength moves with quick cardio bursts. A few of our favorite exercises? Twisting curtsy lunges (turn upper body toward your back foot while at the bottom of the move) with an overhead press and burpees with a 180 degree jump in between each rep. Both really get your heart pumping! The program wraps up with a great core routine and cooldown.
Where to get it: jessicasmith.tv, $14.95
Want to learn more about the 10 Pounds Down program? Check out Jessica’s blog over at Fit Sugar.
I recently got to check out this cool new workout machine: the Biggest Loser Arc Trainer from Cybex. If you haven’t tried an Arc Trainer yet, it’s like an elliptical but with less impact on your knees (and you thought the elliptical was less impact on the knees than using the treadmill—well wait until you try this one). You’re also able to burn calories faster, with less perceived exertion, than any other cross trainer too. How so? Well on the Arc Trainer, you’re on a constant flow of movement since the way your feet and legs are moving is the same as that on an elliptical (AKA no pounding the pavement), except, there’s no bottom platform that your feet are sliding up and down on. You’re pretty much running in mid-air, while staying stationary. Pretty cool. It’s an easier way to get your heart rate up and maintain that speed for a longer time too. (Or you can achieve a higher calorie burn in less time than you would on an elliptical.) But, gym machines are like sports bras—we all have a preference to what feels most comfortable when getting our burn on. So if you haven’t tried an Arc Trainer yet, don’t be scared, hop on one the next time you’re at the gym and tell me what you think.
Have you tried this cool new machine yet? Leave a comment below with your own review!
April’s Top Workout DVD: Bob Harper’s Ultimate Cardio Body
Best for: No-nonsense exercisers seeking a challenge; those looking for an at-home routine that will burn major calories.
Why it’s a star: You’ll alternate kettlebell-inspired moves (don’t worry, a pair of dumbbells is all that’s required), traditional yet effective cardio like high knees and mountain climbers and plyometrics (think jumping lunges and squats holding weights). All of these high-energy moves will have your quads shaking and heart pumping! And since it’s a combination of cardiovascular and strength work, you’ll torch plenty of calories during and after the workout.
Where to get it: mytrainerbobdvd.com, $14.98
Bonus DVD! We also recently tried out Bob Harper’s Kettlebell Cardio Shred and loved that too. The smart, contoured design of the bell makes “racking” moves much less painful. Read more about it on page 80 of our new May issue, on newsstands today!
Now tell us: What is the best fitness DVD you’ve ever done?
March’s Top Workout DVD: Xtend Barre Lean & Chiseled
Best for: Those who enjoy dancing; at-home fitness fiends who don’t have a room full of free weights.
Why it’s a star: The 55-minute routine, designed and instructed by Xtend Barre founder Andrea Rogers, hits all of the major “trouble zones.” You only need light dumbbells for the upper body segment and a chair for the barre workout. But don’t think this DVD is a breeze because it doesn’t require much equipment—the quick pace and challenging moves kept us from getting bored and made the time fly by.
Where to get it: acacialifestyle.com, $16.99
Now tell us: Do you prefer to tone up with heavy weights or body weight exercises (such as push-ups, planks or attitudes—like the one Andrea is performing on the cover)?
Looking for a fun way to burn extra calories? Check out the latest video game craze: Xbox 360 Kinect puts a spin on gaming by eliminating the need to hold a controller to play—you simply stand in front of the device as it scans you, and then YOU become the controller. Since there are no wires or wands to manage, you can just focus on the game—as you move to play, your hand, arm and leg movements are copied on screen.
Microsoft recently invited me to test out Kinect’s new get-fit titles and sweat alongside trainer and fitness DVD star Jennifer Galardi. On offer: The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout (Bob and Jillian guide you through the routines!), Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, EA Sports Active 2, and my fave: Kinect Sports.
Jennifer and I chose to battle it out in a boxing match, jabbing our way to a KO—after 3 rounds, I barely inched past and won—the surprise? My biceps and triceps actually felt a burn, and I had started working up a sweat! Though there are other similar titles out there on competitor’s game systems, playing without holding a controller takes the experience to the next level by getting your entire body in on the calorie-burning action. In addition to boxing, Kinect Sports lets you choose from soccer (“kick” the ball and see it fly!), beach volleyball, bowling, table tennis and track and field. If you’re looking for a more tailored workout with personalized training, check out the other fitness titles above—each one delivers results while making it fun.
Check out Xbox.com for more info—if you already have an Xbox 360, you can easily upgrade to Kinect by purchasing the sensor only and hooking it up to your game console.
So, tell us: what’s your favorite active video game? Do you feel the burn when you play?
Here at FITNESS, we have a shelf where editors place all the samples people send to our offices once we are done reviewing them. Frequent items include books, spandex, sports drinks and snacks. Snacks! Today’s table is inundated with tasty treats of a bizarre assortment. In no particular order, we have:
Muscle Milk Light, Cafe Latte flavor. At 160 calories, this drinks packs 20 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbs. This stuff is no joke. My advice: Do not, I repeat, do NOT, drink the entire bottle before a hard workout if you are not used to it. Things will end…badly.
RW Garcia’s Flaxseed Tortilla Chips. They’re organic, wheat and gluten free and contain no trans fats. They’re also nearly 1000 calories in one bag (7 servings) which makes this a good choice for someone else to keep on their desk!
Mann’s Sugar Snap Peas. Pre-washed, ready for crisp crunching right at your desk. Directions on the back of the package suggest spraying snap peas with cooking spray, adding BBQ seasoning, shaking them around and “you’ll think you’re crunching on your favorite flavored chips—without the calories!” Can’t vouch for that, as have neither cooking spray nor BBQ seasoning at my desk. (Anyone else want to try it? Report back in the comments!)
Reddi Whip Fat-Free Whip Cream. Five calories a serving. Wish they’d sent it with a sundae to squirt it on.
Alo Exposed Original Aloe Drink. Name kind of says it all. No preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. There are, however, some unusual opaque things floating around in the bottle, slivers of aloe, perhaps? 120 calories in the bottle and a big dose of aloe vera in case you’re missing any in your diet.
Michael Season’s Reduced-Fat Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. Tangy, crunchy and satisfying. Probably why there was a case of them on the table a minute ago, and now there are just two bags.
So there you have it – this morning’s goodies. With all that distraction, it’s a wonder we get any work done around here!
February’s Top Workout DVD: Aerobarre
Why it’s a star: This knockout of a workout will tone you up from head to toe with a routine that fuses ballet and boxing. Each “round,” 11 in total, will keep your heart pumping with moves like punches with light dumbbells and graceful ballet jumps. Plus, having the DVD split into so many short bits makes time fly! It takes a try or two to keep up with the quick-moving choreography, but once you nail it, the workout only gets more fun.
Where to get it: aerospacenyc.com, $20
More from FITNESS: Our testers chose this as one of the Top 10 Workout DVDs of 2011! Pick up a copy of our March issue—on newsstands today!—to see what else made our list and enter here for a chance to win all 10 of our favorites!
Several months ago, I was sitting in the auditorium of a cruise ship, watching and listening to a performer—a hypnotist—give instructions to some fellow passengers on stage. And even though I was only in the audience and not a participant, I was apparently in a trance myself, according to my boyfriend after the show. I agreed with my bf, noting how weird I had felt during the show. Tired…relaxed…and above all, unamused. While the audience had roared with laughter at what they were watching on stage, I had felt totally indifferent and spacey. So I began to wonder: Could be “sensitive” to hypnosis?
In the latest issue of FITNESS—the February issue, on stands now!–one of our writers explains how hypnosis can help athletes, women going into labor or surgery, and people with fears or phobias. She gives a few tips on self-hypnosis, and even shares her own weight-loss attempt. I was so psyched to see the article that I thought I’d jump in and share my experience about hypnotherapy. After that cruise ship experience and then doing some research online, I gave in to my curiosity and went to a few hypnotherapy sessions in the fall…
Click “Read More” to find out what I learned: Read more
Jenna and I, your fearless fitness crew here at The Fit Stop, will be sampling the latest workout DVDs and highlighting our top picks here each month. Want to sweat along with us? We’ll also give you the lowdown about what equipment you’ll need and where you can pick up the DVD yourself!
January’s Top Workout DVD: Michelle Dozois’ Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn
Best for: Those with short attention spans, cardio cravers.
Why it’s a star: Dozois keeps you moving constantly during this hour-long workout, progressing through “Basecamp,” “Ascent,” “Climb” and the heart-pumping 30-second “Peak” category. The speedometer-like timer at the bottom of the screen keeps you motivated (“I’m already halfway through the climb!”). During the five, 10-minute circuits, Dozois builds the choreography in a natural way from start to finish. Bonus: No equipment needed…Well, except a towel to mop up your sweat!
Where to get it: Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn ($19.99, getpeak10.com)