Home exercise, fitness and workout DVDs



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Want to reverse the effects of your festive bingeing? Time Out London reviews 2009's slew of home exercise, fitness and workout DVDs

  • Home exercise, fitness and workout DVDs

    The girls from 'Pump it Up!'

  • ‘Let’s get ready for some butt-monster moves!’ declares Hemalayaa in ‘Bollywood Booty’ (Acacia, £12.99, 3/6). Ah, butt-monster moves. Just what everyone needs at this time of year. No wonder the release date for most workout DVDs is December 26 – no sooner have we gorged ourselves stupid than we’re exhorted to reshape our backsides with a bum-firming dance workout.

    You’ll find plenty of Hemalayaa’s home exercise DVDs on the market. She’s the one doing fit and flirty with bhangra beats, while labelmate Kimberly Miguel Mullen offers a steamy dish of ‘Brazilian Body’ (Acacia, £12.99 3/6), the latest in her ‘Dance and Be Fit’ series. ‘It’s not about technicalities, it’s about expression,’ dribbles the gushy voiceover to challenging maculele, samba and capoeira routines.

    Almost all Acacia’s workouts are enjoyable and accessible – another hit is Desi Bartlett’s ‘Yoga for Beginners’ (Acacia, £12.99 4/6). Easy to follow with a non-intimidating voiceover, the ‘Lunar’ and ‘Solar’ routines offer welcome contrasts in pace and intensity.

    Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp have more than 50 years of experience in the fitness business, they tell us in ‘Core Fusion Pilates Plus’ (Acacia, £12.99 3/6). Just as we’re finishing our snoop round the stylish New York loft in which they’ve placed their yoga mats, Fred and Elisabeth declare that this set of five short, targeted routines is no mere workout but a ‘transformational experience’. Of course, dahlings.

    New_03 D Shiva Core.jpg There’s the same level of intensity in Shiva Rea’s ‘Creative Core and Lower Body’ (Acacia, £14.99 2/6) – just less of the empathy and engagement. Rea knows her shavasana from her side-arm plank, but what to make of the instruction to ‘keep your heart and hips even’? Only dedicated yogis will understand.

    Barbara Currie certainly doesn’t seek guru-like status – now aged 62, she’s the grandmother of British yoga. And it’s hard to dismiss the thought that she made ‘Power of Yoga’ (2entertain, £12.99 4/6) in between helping out at the WI jumble sale and walking the dogs across the golf course. This is the first DVD release of the best-selling fitness video of 2001, and it shows that there is still a market for clarity of expression and quality of movement.

    It’s a reasonable expectation that DVDs featuring a graduate of France’s Irene Popard School of Dance might display a certain chic elegance. Instead, Nancy Marmorat’s ‘Body Shaping Collection’, ‘Step & Dance Collection’ and ‘Step Advanced Level’ (Oracle, from £7.99 1/6) are dreadful. From the tedious lounge music to the lumpy demonstrations, it’s hard to understand why any company would release products that would have been panned 20 years ago, never mind now.

    New_03 D STRICTLY.jpg Disappointing for a different reason is ‘Strictly Come Dancing: The Workout with Kelly and Flavia’ (2entertain, £19.99 3/6). The staging is authentic ‘Strictly’ but the salsa, jive, quickstep and tango need to be developed through add-on choreography (1, 1+2, 1+2+3…) rather than taught in linear fashion.

    Kelly Brook and Flavia Cacace could do worse than watch the year’s two best DVDs since they amply demonstrate that principle. ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme a Really Great Workout!’ (Fremantle, £19.99 4/6) and ‘Pump It Up! Aeroburn’ (Ministry of Sound, £11.99 5/6) are, in essence, bog-standard aerobics. However, the routines are built up with lots of encouragement from, respectively, German fitness instructor Mila Lazar and Gareth Walker, choreographer for the likes of Mika and Will Young.

    What also sets both apart is the music. Most home workouts use sounds that would be sneered at by any self-respecting lift. Instead, Lazar dishes up fun sequences to Abba songs performed by Bjorn Again, while Walker struts his stuff to a cracking Ministry of Sound mix. ‘Even if you can’t do the steps,’ he exhorts, ‘throw a shape!’ To finish off, he assembles a routine combining 14 dance moves from the last three decades. It’s lung-burstingly difficult – but breathtakingly clever.

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Kate Jakobsson
Kate Jakobsson

Are you worried about your parents’ health and the health of your grandparents? Have you noticed they are not as confident as they use to be? Welcome to “Training You For Life�! If you need a great idea for a present for someone who is 60+, look no further - you can get 2 gifts for only £39.97 that will: · Help them live a healthier and longer life · Fast track them to optimum health · Improve their flexibility and co-ordination · Strengthen their bodies from within “Exercises you from your head to your toes & Kate makes it fun�Jean Harwood 79“Brings on the strength of the body, helps keep movement in your arms and legs – thoroughly enjoyable!�Ted Kenny 86“It’s a fun DVD & it does you good�Valery Brett 61“Improves co-ordination, stimulates circulation & generates a feeling of well being�Sheila Bird 75 They can stay seated in front of your TV and exercise their body and mind very effectively in a fun way. This chair-based workout will help them improve their stamina, flexibility, balance and confidence in the comfort of their own home. It’s one of the secrets of living a healthier and longer life. These programmes offer a variety of safe workouts suitable for all abilities.


how many fitness DVD's were sold in 2008 and so far in 2009? whose in the top 10? e.g. celebrities or specialist trainers ect. whats the gross profit for the DVD industry in the UK? (only for the UK)