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OK, everybody march, let's do this!
Most new mum's have a desire to lose a bit of weight and regain fitness after the birth, and I was no exception. However being short on time, I was attracted to this DVD with it's variable length routines to fit into my day. I picked it up for 4 pounds at Morrisons, it seems to fit into a budget range of dvds they sell.
The DVD contains an introduction, and four workouts - 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes long so you can select a workout to fit into your time available. There is a function to play workouts out of order, in an order you desire if you wanted to say do the 10 then the 5 instead of the 15 one.
A cardio workout?
This is where I feel this DVD excels. I consider myself, even post-pregnancy to have a reasonable level of fitness, when pregnant I was swimming regularly. These workouts consistently put me into a good aerobic level of work - where I was slightly breathless but could just about hold a conversation (normally with my husband who was supportively issuing sarcastic comments to try and put me off). However, as I feel I have a reasonable level of fitness at the start, this may make these routines a bit intense for people who are starting out in terms of developing fitness.
A toning workout?
There are several times in most of the routines you are asked to perform squats as part of the moves. These would help tone the thigh area. Apart from this, reminders to 'keep those arms strong' or 'hold those tummies in' are all you get that may assist in toning. It really isn't the focus of the routines, though this isn't clearly stated on the packaging.
A super-cool street dancer?
Maybe not, the choreography is definitely more aerobics than breakdance (no floor moves required!), but does appear cooler than your average fitness dvd to me (at least when the instructor does it, I've no idea what I look like!). I found the choreography enjoyable, and more interesting and challenging than other fitness dvds I've done, especially when the moves are done at full speed.
The instructor is slightly distractingly thin, which could be off-putting if you're just starting a weight loss battle. She presents the video alone, which means that when the pace increases, there isn't an option to 'follow Jane at the back who'll continue the moves half time' like I've seen in other videos. Again this reduces it's appeal for others early in their workout journey. The instructor gives the instructions as she does the moves, which for the first few times you do it is distracting as you can't keep time and end up tripping over your own feet. Once you've done it a few times and you don't need the instruction and use it as a prompt this is less of an issue. My husband describes the trousers that the instructor wears in some of the workouts as 'distracting' as they have a sort of fabric flap that ties them together at the front!
These are very short, presumably to fit with the time constraints of the video. They do include a heart-raising warm-up and stretches which cover most muscle groups, but I often supplement with my own stretches to extend those provided at the end of the session. If you're combining the routines using the programming function on the dvd, there is no option to exclude these warm-up/warm-down sections so it has to be repeated which can be irritating if you want to do a 15 and 5 minute routines you'd warm down and stretch between the routines unless you fast forwarded.
The soundtrack is upbeat dancey style rhythm but nobody you've heard of, just something to go along to. I think this is quite standard of workout dvds in my experience.
The morning after
Following these workouts I consistently woke with aches, unfortunately these weren't in my muscles telling me I'd worked well, or even not warmed down properly, they were in my knees, which as joints aren't supposed to be suffering. I think this is down to the quick deep squats and once I amended my moves so they were shallower than demonstrated I no longer had this problem.
Keep it up?
I'll certainly return to these routines, it's a good dvd to pop into and I'll return to it when the weather worsens and outdoor exercise isn't as appealing (probably Tuesday looking at the forecast!). I liked the dvd's different length routine formats and would certainly buy more in the series.
and breathe ... and stretch... you did great!