Videos on Review
Readers try yoga, cardio, Core Board, dance and Pilates workouts
"Sacred Yoga Practice: Vinyasa Flow: Beginners, with Rainbeau Mars" (30 minutes, $14.98; www.naturaljourneys.com; 800-737-1825). Reviewed by Lai Lau, 41, of Bellevue.
This was Lau's first yoga experience. She liked the single model demonstrating the 30 minutes of poses and breathing exercises. She was impressed with the tranquil background scenery in Maui. Plus, "The soothing music helps me to slip into the poses with ease." Most movements encouraged her awareness of breathing, but she found that some poses put pressure on her injured neck. "Overall, it is a nice relaxing tape; it is short enough that I can fit it in before my bedtime without problems."
"Tighter Assets with Tamilee: Cardio Blast" (30 minutes, $19.95; www.naturaljourneys.com; 800-737-1825). Reviewed by Johanna Jensen, 32, of Seattle.
Jensen thought this was a fun video, good for people looking to squeeze in a quick workout before work or dinner. She'd call it high-impact and appropriate for folks with a medium to advanced level of fitness, because of unexplained lingo and few safety tips. "You need a lot of space to get the most out of this video," she said. "Just moving the coffee table out in front of the TV didn't cut it for me." The workout consists of 30 seconds of warm-up moves, three minutes of stretches, 28 minutes of aerobic activity and four minutes of cool-down and stretches. And it lived up to its name, Jensen said: "I could definitely feel my glutes after we were done!"
"Reebok Power Zen Training" (38 minutes; $24.99; 866-271-5859). Reviewed by Renee Drellishak, 33, of Seattle.
The Core Board is an elevated step that twists and turns to improve balance and torso muscles while strengthening legs. This non-impact workout focuses on yoga-inspired movements. "While this is not supposed to be an aerobic video, I did find myself breathing hard trying to maintain my balance in some parts," Drellishak said, adding that one of the eight demonstrators does the movements without a board, which may be enough balance challenge for some people. She found the workout interesting and challenging. "Don't let the image on the box of the man doing a handstand on the Core Board intimidate you," she said. "At no point do you actually do this during the workout!"
"A 19th Century Ball: The Charm of Group Dances" (50 minutes, $39.95; www.DancetimePublications.com; 888-854-5602). Reviewed by Nancy Broege, 48, of Lakebay.
This video "brings back memories of the old movies on TV, especially the old John Wayne movies," Broege said. A narrator explains as Grand March, Quadrille and Cotillion dances are taught and performers demonstrate, women in white costumes and men in black, which Broege found very helpful for following. The dances then are performed with traditional costumes from the dances' heydays. Broege thought the music-box tunes got tiring 15 minutes into the tape, though. She recommended this video for planners of formal events. "What fun it can be to teach the guests the Grand March (the easiest of the dances) or the Quadrille or the Cotillion (the most difficult dance), even in these times, no matter what age."
"Stott Pilates: Core Challenge," (36 minutes, $14.95; www.stottpilates.com; 800-910-0001). Reviewed by Lauren Porter, 43, of Sammamish.
Having taken Pilates mat classes and done Mari Winsor's Pilates DVD, Porter felt she was up to this video's advertised "intermediate level 3." But the whole workout was just 36 minutes, "and I expected something longer and more rigorous for an intermediate level. I would suggest this for a light workout day, or for someone building back strength and stamina." The workout used many familiar Pilates moves, including roll-ups, leg circles, spine twists and single-leg stretches. Porter thought Moira Stott's instructions would be helpful for someone new to Pilates.
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