Anchor Bay // 2006 // 54 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bryan Pope (Retired) // October 17th, 2006
Ten-minute workouts to shape your body!
Fitness balls have become trendy in the past few years, and for good reason. As instructor Kimberly Spreen points out on this release, the fitness ball enables you to work all the major muscle groups while at the same time strengthening your abs and lower back (popularly referred to as "the core"). Not many workouts can say that.
Spreen, the National Group Fitness Director for Life Time Fitness, has put together a deceptively simple workout that should yield results for anyone, but that will be particularly appealing to beginners or to fitness enthusiasts who are simply looking for a full-body, low-impact workout that has a little variety. With its five 10-minute segments, Spreen's program offers exactly that.
"Butt & Thigh Tone-Up" offers the most surprises, as Spreen demonstrates a number of inventive ways to target lower-body muscle groups. Grab the weights for "Arms & Shoulders Sculptor," but make sure you keep them light. Spreen's circuit workout during this segment may seem slight at first, but the repetition will have your muscles burning by the end (I'll confess to taking two breaks). Of the five, "Firm, Flat Abs" is the weakest, if you will. Spreen covers no new territory here, sticking mostly to the standard crunches while the ball supports the lower back. "Total Body Fat Burner" provides the cardio workout, and it will raise your heart rate, but seasoned exercisers will likely be left wanting more. Finally, we cool down with "Ultra Stretch."
One word of caution: Because virtually every exercise demonstrated here involves balancing on a ball, make sure you are not within the vicinity of, say, a glass coffee table during your workout.
Spreen, who looks remarkably like a young, shorter Geena Davis, has a soothing style, and manages to texture her program with some personality, which so many fitness DVDs fail to do. So likeable is she that I'm willing to overlook her eager-beaver enthusiasm ("I love doing figure eights with the ball!"). Her likeability even compensates for the drab music and set design.
This DVD is a great solution for those with little discretionary income to spare for gym memberships or bulky home exercise equipment. All you need is a fitness ball and a couple sets of very light dumbbells. Of course, as is the case with any exercise regimen, you'll also need the discipline to stick with it. But once you start feeling and seeing results, that should take care of itself. Recommended.
10-Minute Solution: Fitness Ball Workouts is presented in a full-frame format with Dolby stereo sound. No extras, but the disc allows you to create your own workout by selecting certain segments and arranging them in the order you prefer. Not much, but it's a nice touch.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 54 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Create your own custom workout
* Anchor Bay Fitness