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Best Workout DVDs

DVDs 1-10

Whether you're in the mood to twist yourself into a pretzel or dance off calories, the options are seemingly limitless. We narrowed down the choices for you, and present our top picks for spring and summer.

1. Best for: Making You Sweat
Amy Bento: Hi/Lo Xtreme
Estimated calories burned: 500
Equipment: None
Why we love it: The tough routines combine aerobics and plyometrics.
Tester says: "Bento offers 10 variations for the perfect workout every time." (67 minutes; $16.95; nrgfitness.net)

2. Best for: Head-to-Toe Sculpting
NYC "A New You Coming"
Estimated calories burned: 470
Equipment: 3- and 5-pound dumbbells and a step (optional)
Why we love it: Instructor Kelly Coffey-Meyer never slows down, so you burn mega calories and hit every muscle group.
Tester says: "Switching from upper-body to lower-body moves makes the routine feel easier." (55 minutes; $20; coffeyfit.com)

3. Best for: Stability-Ball Makeovers
Keli Roberts Time Saver Workouts: A.S.A.P. Abdominals, Spine, and Posture
Estimated calories burned: 140
Equipment: Stability ball
Why we love it: The ball moves target your back, core, and legs.
Tester says: "The opposite arm/leg lift really helped improve my balance." (32 minutes; $14.95; keliroberts.com)

4. Best for: Yoga in a Hurry
Perfect in Ten Yoga
Estimated calories burned: 30 (per 10-minute session)
Equipment: None
Why we love it: You'll feel energized, stronger, and more flexible in minutes.
Tester says: "My posture drastically improved." (60 minutes; $9.99; stratostream.com)

5. Best for: Back to Basics
Jillian Michaels: The Complete Workout for Beginners
Estimated calories burned: 370-460
Equipment: 3- to 5-pound dumbbells and a resistance band (optional)
Why we love it: Michaels makes circuit training effective and easy to follow.
Tester says: "I toned up — no gym required!" (97 minutes; $24.95 for a two-DVD set; jillianmichaels.com)

6. Best for: Sashaying Away the Pounds
Dance Off the Inches: Sizzling Salsa
Estimated calories burned: 180
Equipment: None
Why we love it: Three routines get hips moving and heart rates soaring.
Tester says: "This was fun and challenging." (55 minutes; $14.98; anchorbayentertainment.com/fitness)

7. Best for: Trimming Your Tummy
10 Minute Solution: Blast Off Belly Fat
Estimated calories burned: 40 (per 10-minute session)
Equipment: None
Why we love it: From Pilates to crunches!
Tester says: "I get bored, so the variety was perfect." (54 minutes; $14.98; anchorbayentertainment.com/fitness)

8. Best for: Burning Mucho Calories
Get Ripped 1,000 with Jari Love
Estimated calories burned: 1,000
Equipment: 10- and 15-pound dumbbells
Why we love it: There's no downtime — the strength moves and cardio keep you moving nonstop.
Tester says: "It's as intense as some classes I've taken at the gym, but the instructions are clear." (70 minutes; $14.99; jarilove.com)

9. Best for: Getting a Pilates-Perfect Body
Pilates Core Challenge
Estimated calories burned: 225
Equipment: None
Why we love it: It targets your entire core and is friendly enough for beginners, but still challenging for Pilates vets.
Tester says: "There were crazy-hard side planks that worked my whole body." (60 minutes; $14.98; amazon.com)

10. Best for: The Totally Time Starved
Denise Austin: Boot Camp Total Body Blast!
Estimated calories burned: 350
Equipment: 3- to 5-pound dumbbells
Why we love it: You get three great workouts — cardio, strength, and stretching — all in 20 minutes or less.
Tester says: "It's like attending an awesome kickboxing class with sports drills thrown in." (50 minutes; $14.95; collagevideo.com)

DVDs 11-20

11. Best for: Calorie Blasting
Fat-Burning Kickboxing Workout for Dummies
Calories burned: About 700
Why we love it: Even if you've never thrown a jab or simulated a side kick, instructor Keli Roberts shows you how to master the essentials.
Our tester says: "Beginner-friendly pop-ups make the moves super-easy to follow." (56 minutes; $14.98)

Buy Fat-Burning Kickboxing Workout for Dummies

12. Best for: Boredom Busting
1 Minute Workout: Total Body Toning
Calories burned: About 630, or 4 to 10 per minute workout
Why we love it: With over 115 different exercises to choose from, this DVD spits out customized routines. Try a 7-minute upper-body workout one day and a 48-minute total-body tone-up the next.
Our tester says: "It's impossible to get bored!" (150 minutes; $19.98)

Buy 1 Minute Workout: Total Body Toning

13. Best for: Achieving Inner Calm
IntenSati Intention and Power: A High Energy Workout for Body, Mind & Soul
Calories burned: About 600
Why we love it: Patricia Moreno's unique, challenging workout blends martial arts, yoga, and sculpting moves. Plus, she helps you find peace of mind through chants. (58 minutes; $19.95, intensati.com)

Buy IntenSati Intention and Power

14. Best for: Core Strength
10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates
Calories burned: About 270, or around 50 per routine
Why we love it: Can't squeeze in a full hour-long Pilates class? This DVD features five 10-minute routines. Lara Hudson makes her exercises specific, so you can mix and match them to target your trouble spots.
Our tester says: "I totally felt this workout the next day, but the cancan move, especially, made me work." (54 minutes; $14.98)

Buy 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates

15. Best for: Beating Boredom
Dance Off the Inches: Fat Burning Jam
Calories burned: About 300
Why we love it: Take 10 minutes to learn the dance steps and spend the rest of the time shaking your arms, legs, and booty, all with help from leader Michelle Dozois.
Our tester says: "If you love dancing, you'll really dig this DVD, which incorporates various elements of jazzy hip-hop rhythms." (46 minutes; $14.98)

Buy Dance Off the Inches: Fat Burning Jam

16. Best for: Advanced Yogis
Mark Blanchard's Progressive Power Yoga: The Sedona Experience (set of five DVDs)
Calories burned: From 350 to around 720
Why we love it: Blanchard can make any yogi break a sweat. Advanced poses such as the flying crow are difficult; your muscles will work like never before.
Our tester says: "This is definitely a challenging workout, but Blanchard keeps you coming back for more." (48 to 98 minutes; $89.99 for the set, $19.99 to $24.99 per DVD, progressivepoweryoga.com)

17. Best for: Learning to Lift Weights
Build Up Your Muscles
Calories burned: About 300 per routine
Why we love it: Instructor Gin Miller presents four simple but effective weight routines. Plug in your equipment preference and fitness level for a total-body workout.
Our tester says: "I love the way Gin breaks down each exercise so you always know the correct form." (204 minutes total, 48 to 52 minutes for each routine; $29.95)

Buy Build Up Your Muscles

18. Best for: The Time-Crunched
Tight on Time: Hot Spots with Tamilee Webb
Calories burned: About 220, or around 46 per routine
Why we love it: You'll get a great workout even if you're in a rush. Choose from four routines that target your abs, arms, legs, and butt.
Our tester says: "A small on-screen clock counted down each routine, telling me the time I had left for each workout, so I could pace myself." (48 minutes; $14.99, collagevideo.com)

Buy Tight on Time: Hot Spots with Tamilee Webb

19. Best for: Total-Body Sculpting
Get Ripped: Slim & Lean with Jari Love
Calories burned: About 700
Why we love it: Love breaks down every move clearly and easily so you don't flub up on form. Fifteen quick but intensive segments of squats, lunges, push-ups, and more will leave you sore the next day.
Our tester says: "This is the closest thing I've found to a killer body-sculpting class!" (65 minutes; $14.99)

Buy Get Ripped

20. Best for: Burning Fat
Patrick Goudeau Step Up
Calories burned: About 710
Why we love it: Two left feet? Goudeau sets you up with combinations anyone can tackle.
Our tester says: "Even when I did stumble, Goudeau's infectious energy kept me moving." (60 minutes; $25.95, collagevideo.com)

DVDs 21-30

Workout DVDs, Tested

21. Great for Beginners
Kathy Smith's Project: You!
We love it cuz: This three-disc series includes a low-impact cardio plan, total-body strength, and a flexibility routine. Smith keeps the choreography simple and fun, while teaching correct form. (8 workouts ranging from 20 to 60 minutes. $59.85, beachbody.com)

22. Total Body Tone-Up
Get Ripped
We love it cuz: Instructor Jari Love will turn your living room into a high-energy sculpting class. The moves are basic but challenging, with beginner-friendly options. Note: You'll need a light and medium set of dumbbells and a step bench. (54 minutes, $19.95, collagevideo.com)

23. Get Your Groove On
Brazilian Dance Workout
We love it cuz: You'll shimmy off pounds and learn moves you'll be tempted to show off in public. The infectious spirit of the instructor, Vanessa Isaac, will keep you going long after you break a sweat. (59 minutes, $19.95, collagevideo.com)

24. Quickie Workout
10 Minute Solution Kickbox Bootcamp
We love it cuz: You'll get five 10-minute routines that you can do a la carte or all together. The boxer's shuffle keeps your heart rate — and calorie burn — up throughout. Bonus: The washboard-ab section delivers. (54 minutes, $14.95, collagevideo.com)

25. Calorie Blast
Cathe Friedrich's Hardcore Series: Kick Max
We love it cuz: Choose the "extreme challenge" workout on this DVD and you'll get what you asked for. Fat cells don't stand a chance against the continuous flow of kicks, jabs, and jumping jacks. "Not recommended for beginners," our tester warns. (73 minutes, $26.95, collagevideo.com)

26. Biggest Bang for Your Buck
Giselle Fitness ABCD's for Total Body Fitness
We love it cuz: All you need for a killer workout is this DVD, a body bar, dumbbells, and a stability ball. Choose from four different routines — cardio, sculpting, all abs and glutes, or stretching and de-stressing — or do them all together. (Ranges from 17 to 33 minutes, $19.95, collagevideo.com)

27. Pumped-Up Yoga
Yoga Burn
We love it cuz: It's yoga abs! You'll feel the "burn" during a super ab-sculpting move called the "flying cross-legged" pose. Your glutes and quads will also ignite when instructor Rodney Yee leads you through sun salutations with tons of killer chair poses. The best part? You'll feel like every muscle has been stretched and toned when you're done. (60 minutes, $15, gaiam.com)

28. De-Stress
Kari Anderson Reach: Upbeat Toning and Flexibility for a Dancer's Body
We love it cuz: We've finally found a stretch routine we can also call a workout! Anderson moves you into a series of plies and kicks that stretch and sculpt. The relaxing payoff comes at the end, when you stretch every part of your body — including the bottoms of your feet. (60 minutes, $19.95, collagevideo.com)

29. Pilates Challenge
Sara Picot's More Than Mat Pilates (Intermediate)
We love it cuz: Get the sculpting benefits of a Pilates workout on the Reformer with this DVD and your own resistance bands. "I didn't think some of the moves would be possible without the machine," said one Pilates devotee. "But this workout works." (78 minutes, $21.99, pilatesforyou.com)

30. Six-Pack Sculpter
Turbo Jam Ab Jam
We love it cuz: It's quick enough to squeeze into even the busiest schedule. The jackknife crunches and squat leg lifts alone will give you the advantage you've been waiting for come bikini season. (20 minutes, $19.95, beachbody.com)

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