Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones (Lion’s Gate): If you are a The Biggest Loser fan purely because of Jillian Michaels, you’ll know I’m not exaggerating when I say that her workout DVDs are like lesbian porn for many of us. The first time I tried a Jillian workout, it was so tough, I threw up after 14 minutes. But I watched the DVD all the way through. So even if you find her circuit training formula—think leg-shaking, heart-pounding 40-minute workouts—a little too grueling, you’ll still love her DVDs.
Fitness For Beginners (Acacia): This great DVD box set offers up three different exercise programs—cardio, Pilates and yoga—that are perfect for newbies or folks just starting to get fit. Each segment is 10-25 minutes, cardio and Pilates come with booklets of take-along exercises and, a rarity, the yoga disc comes in optional Spanish and Spanglish.
Dance and Be Fit: Hip Hop Cardio (Acacia): Dancer Sarita Lou is expert at teaching funky moves including hip swings, chest pops, body rolls and the rock steady. Even if you don’t want to shape up, if you haven’t been in a club in a while, Lou could teach you a few cool new moves so your next girlfriend thinks you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the club scene. Did we mention it was much more fun than most? (To be released Dec. 1, 2009)
Exhale: Core Fusion Pure Abs and Arms (Acacia): From the exclusive spa, exhale (which has locations in New York, Miami and Turks and Caicos, among others), comes a workout aimed at creating chiseled arms and washboard abs using a fitness band and 10-minute workouts. No wonder celebs like Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz love it. (To be released Dec. 1, 2009)
Exhale: Core Fusion Thighs and Glutes (Acacia): This DVD from the folks at Exhale offers up five 10-minute workouts that can be played solo or together for a full hour-long workout of the lower regions. Fans gush that the DVD will give you toned thinner thighs in three weeks, but the strength and definition will be a bigger perk.
Shiva Rea: Daily Energy—Vinyasa Flow Yoga (Acacia): Hailed by Vanity Fair as one of the world’s greatest yoga masters, Shiva Rea is the creator of the best yoga DVDs I’ve ever tried, as well as the best-selling Creative Core Abs. In Daily Energy, Rea offers up a different yoga workout for each day of the week as well as a customizable yoga matrix that lets you combine segments into longer practices for different variations (much like the exercise version of those choose-your-adventure books). Much like her others, this DVD workout series is top-notch. (To be released Dec. 1, 2009)
A Shiva Rea Collection (Acacia): And if Daily Energy thrills you, check out Rea’s box set, which comes complete with Flow Yoga for Beginners, Radiant Heart Yoga and Yoga Trance Dance—four hours total of yoga, with short and long segments, customizable practices, and optional music-only audio tracks. A bonus: the 12-page program guide.
Yoga to the Rescue for Neck and Shoulders (Acacia): Is your job a pain in the neck? Yoga guru Desiree Rumbaugh offers up simple way to alleviate pain in that region, as well as reduce stress, fight fatigue and release upper body tension with simple poses that can be done anywhere once you learn them.
Tai Chi for Beginners With Grandmaster William C.C. Chen (Acacia): When you say workout DVD, most people think spandex and loud beats, but the ancient art of Tai Chi—with its gentle, flowing movements—can strengthen the body and improve your health almost as much. This master-taught program is perfect for beginners and for anyone who wants a low-impact practice and the features—continuous loop, audio options for music only and instructions—make learning in your home easy. (To be released Dec. 1, 2009)
Flirty Girl Fitness: The Teaser Collection (Flirty Girl Fit): You’ve seen it on late night TV, the infomercials for the hottest new dance workout: Flirty Girl Fitness’ Chair Dance and Chair Fit workouts. You can get any configuration of the workout—stripper pole and boas are optional, but highly recommended—but this teaser collection offers a nice sampling. Chair Dance introduces you to the art of the chair striptease while offering a great abdominal workout, while Chair Fit incorporates hand weights and resistance to the hot chair workout.
Hemalayaa Bollywood Dance Workouts (Acacia): You saw it on Ellen, now you can do it at home with these Bollywood-inspired sexy dance moves. Hottie fitness star Hemalayaa walks you through high energy and invigorating programs that combine cardio, sculpt and stretching in an incredibly fun workout. Bonus: audio options and dance performances.
Dance Your Ass Off: The Workout (Oxygen): Still dreaming of being Pinky’s dance partner? Or whisking Shayla off her feet? Well, you can go through three fun workouts with the pro dancers from the show, learning how to do hip hop, disco and Latin routines in front of the TV. It’s not the same as being on the show, but it’s a nice consolation prize.
Weight Loss Cardio Kick (Acacia): Karate black belt Violet Zaki, a trainer at New York’s Equinox, offers two 20-minute, high energy kickboxing workouts that target thighs and glutes as well as the core. For those looking to lose, this is a simple intro with a 16-page book of recipes from Cooking Light magazine. One warning: you’ll need to bring your own light hand weights to get the full effects.
DVDs can be purchased from AcaciaCatalog.com, Flirtygirlfit.com, Amazon.com, Jillianmichaels.com and Shop.oxygen.com