With a variety of workout videos to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. While many workout videos target specific body parts and styles of exercise, these videos contain interval training, cardio and weight training and have been rated highly by the American Council on Exercise and "Fitness Magazine."
The Biggest Loser: The Workout -- Boot Camp
Bob Harper, trainer from the reality television show "The Biggest Loser," leads this boot-camp-style workout focused on strength training and cardiovascular exercises. The warm-up, cool-down, and three 10- to 20-minute workouts are appropriate for all levels of fitness with both beginner modifications and advanced variations offered throughout. This effective program is designed to increase strength, endurance and overall ability. Hand weights, resistance bands and medicine balls are recommended but not necessary.
The Firm: 500 Calorie Workout
This fast-tempo, high-impact interval workout combines traditional aerobic moves with high-repetition strength training meant to boost metabolism, burn calories and build lean muscle. While not recommended for beginning exercisers, depending on your body size you can burn 500 calories in this intense 60-minute workout.
This 12-DVD, 90-day workout system combines interval style cardio, martial arts, resistance training and yoga routines for flexibility. The various DVDs target specific body parts, and you're encouraged to follow the outlined workout routines. P90X delivers a heavy training schedule and intense workouts. While effective for the advanced exerciser or physically fit person, P90X may not be appropriate for beginning exercisers, and the 60- to 90-minute workouts require dedication and commitment.
Personal Training with Jackie: 30 Day Fast Start
This “super-shaper” workout is comprised of three sections focusing on the upper body, lower body and core combination exercises. The program is virtually nonstop, and it touts supersets of intense sculpting moves.
Jillian Michaels: Ripped in 30
These quick 30-minute workouts focus on a combination of strength and cardio circuits. Each workout incorporates 3 minutes of strength toning using body weight and hand weights, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs done in quick succession. With four workouts that increase in difficulty, you can follow the 30-day program or advance to the next level whenever you feel ready.
10 Pounds Down: Better Body Blast
Trainer Jessica Smith's three 20-minute workouts are full of strength training routines focused on arms, abs and legs paired with kickboxing-inspired cardiovascular exercises. This DVD will get your heart rate pumping and save you time with its efficient format.
Kristin McGee's S3: Strong, Sexy, Svelte
This DVD features three 25-minute routines that fuse yoga techniques with strength training. You'll need hand weights -- and don't forget about the cardio bonus segment if you want to end your workout with five calorie-blasting minutes.
Amy Bento Ross: Kettlebell Power
The exercise routines in this video use kettlebell weights for sculpting the body. The sequence focuses on power kettlebell moves interspersed with one minute bursts of cardio for three short but intense 17-minute workouts. Reviewers quoted in "Fitness Magazine" called this the most difficult home workout they’d ever done.
Jillian Michaels: Body Revolution
Using dumbbells and resistance tubing in her 15 circuit training videos, Jillian's workouts progress in intensity over 90 days. This is a good option for beginners looking for a comprehensive workout series.
Jari Love: Get Extremely Ripped!
Reviewers quoted by ConsumerSearch called this workout video extremely challenging with maximum results in minimum time. With just two 30-minute routines, the workout begins with classic cardiovascular moves intended to raise the heart rate followed by high-repetition strength training with little rest in between. The goal of this DVD is to keep the heart rate elevated in order to increase metabolic burn.
Lindsay Timmington is a registered yoga teacher, actress, director and writer. When not practicing yoga, she is an avid runner with a marathon and five half-marathons under her belt. She has written for elephantjournal.com and shattertheshouldbe.com.