Monday, September 20, 2010

Dance and Be Fit: Lower Body Burn

THE WORKOUT: Dance and Be Fit: Lower Body Burn

WHO CAN DO THIS: Some dance training would help, but at the very least you should know how not to pull muscles. And bring all your self confidence.

THE BREAKDOWN: I love the dance style of this DVD—it’s like a mix between modern dance and Dean Martin’s Golddiggers. There’s nothing hip-hoppy about it at all and the challenges are grace and long lines more than attitude and flava.

You know right from the warm-up that you’re not in for a run-of-the-mill workout. The warm up is done seated on the floor and manages to be a dance anyway, with straddles, torso contractions, twists with legs swinging side to side. It’s interesting, challenging and uses muscles in a different way from most workouts. Same with the two 20-minute workouts. Although targeting the lower body, choreography includes head, arms, and hands.

I enjoyed the “Heavenly Hips” segment. I’m not sure it will do much to minimize my maximums, but it’s fun and a decent cardio workout. Things kinda fell apart for me in the “Lovely Legs” segment, though, because it has quite possibly the worst cueing ever. The voiceover of fitness pro Kimberly Miguel Mullen says “get ready to…,” while on screen, she and her crew are already doing whatever you’re supposed to prepare for. Steps change quickly with nothing to hang onto so you can prepare (i.e. “Do this eight more times”). Sometimes the cues are just plain wrong, telling you to change when it’s not yet time. Even the music seems off. It seems the voiceover was simply recorded while Mullen was watching the video—it’s more like play-by-play than cueing.

I’ve done Heavenly Hips a couple of times, but didn't make it through Lovely Legs once. The cool down is cool, if a little tricky to keep up with.

THE SWEAT FACTOR: Not killer, but you’ll sweat.

BUT IS IT FUN? Most of it, yes.

WHEN IT'S OVER: If you’ve done just Heavenly Hips, you might want to pop another DVD in the machine to continue the workout.

GEAR AND APPAREL: The workout is done barefoot. You'll need a fairly large floor space.

FINAL WORD: I like it but wish it were better.

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