Article Post: DailySpark.com
Post On: 8/6/2010 11:11:07 AM
Adopting my dog a few months ago has changed my life in many ways, and that includes my exercise routine. While I’m even more active than before since I share dog-walking responsibilities with my fiance, I’m not able to spend as much time at the gym. That means at-home workouts make up the bulk of my routine now, so I’ve been strength training at home, usually with a few of my favorite workout DVDs.
When Amy Dixon’s “Give Me 10!” workout DVD showed up on my desk at work, I was excited to try it. Amy Dixon may look familiar to many of you who are avid readers of women’s fitness magazines. She’s a regular contributor and fitness consultant for magazines like “Self,” “Shape,” “Women’s Health” and more. She knows her stuff, too. With a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and a boatload of fitness certifications, she’s been training and designing workouts for 15 years.
This DVD features a nice mix of six 10-minute workouts: Fat Blasting Cardio, Upper Body Sculpt, Lower Body Firmer, Core Makeover, Yoga Stretch & Flex, and a bonus Kettlebell Tone Up. So are these workouts for you?
Here’s a short preview from YouTube.
I’ve tried the DVD a few times now. I keep finding myself reaching for it again and again when I want a good workout at home. As you can see from the preview, Amy offers clear, concise and helpful instructions that help with form. She’s motivating and warm, but not too cheerful either. I also really liked the music on these workouts and the face that they moved at a pretty good pace. There are two other women demonstrating the exercises and they look like real women like you and me. (I liked that.) Amy doesn’t always do the best job of pointing it out or explaining it in detail, but one of the background exercisers always offers some good modifications if you’re looking for them. One thing worth noting is that several of the workouts require moving from standing to the floor (seated or lying) and back multiple times, and that may be difficult for people with limited mobility.
These workouts are short, but Amy manages to fit a lot in. That said, there’s not much in the way of warm-ups or cool downs and none of the workouts end with stretches (although she tells you to stretch if you’re done for the day). You can play the workouts one at a time or all at once and when you do it that way, the yoga/stretching routine plays last, which is a great end to the series of workouts. Here are a few more details about each workout:
Fat Blasting Cardio
I liked this segment a lot because it goes by quickly and uses a wide variety of moves that you won’t find in typical cardio DVDs. It does move at a fast pace and there are quite a few higher-impact hops and movements that some people would need to modify. It really got my heart rate up and served as a good warm up for the rest of the series.
Upper Body Sculpt
This uses a pair of dumbbells. You’ll see new twists on biceps curls and lots of kettlebell-inspired moves, such as light “swinging” movements, which are a little bit different. She also does some body weight exercises like pushups and triceps dips. I liked the variety overall and think it would be great even for beginners.
Lower Body Firmer
This was fun and challenging and included a variety of interesting squat and lunging exercises. You’ll use dumbbells for this workout, too and try lots of kettlebell-inspired moves that are great for the glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs (and also elevate your heart rate). Beginners and intermediate exercisers alike will be comfortably challenges with this routine.
I really liked this workout. You’ll need a mat and just one of your weights to follow alone. I was definitely sore the next day. Some of these exercises really work the obliques and she does a variety of plank moves. It may be a little too much for beginners (there are some modifications), but I still thought it was challenging in a fun way!
Yoga Stretch & Flex
This was a nice, simple and straightforward yoga-inspired stretching routine. I think it’s the perfect way to wrap up whatever 10-minute segment(s) you do on this DVD. There are no super challenging moves and it’s appropriate for a wide range of fitness levels. A+!
Bonus Kettlebell Tone Up
I am familiar with kettlebell training and have learned the basics from a certified kettlebell trainer. I love using kettlebells, and this is a pretty good introductory workout to some of the basic moves. However, I still have a hard time recommending that anyone new to kettlebells learn it from a DVD, no matter how good the instruction in that DVD really is. Many moves seem simple, but they can be risky for anyone. I use a 20-pound kettlebell at home, and it was impossible for me to follow along with the pace of this workout because they moved so much faster and used such light weights. Amy does a good job instructing on this and I enjoyed the workout despite needing to go much slower. You don’t even NEED a real kettlebell to follow along (a heavy dumbbell will work), but I can only comfortably say that you avoid this workout or proceed with extreme caution (unless you have already learned the basics from a certified kettlebell trainer).
Overall, I think this DVD will make its way into my routine pretty regularly. I think it offers a lot of variety to beginner and intermediate exercisers, and Amy is likable and creative in her choreography, which helps keep boredom at bay. You can buy Amy Dixon’s “Give Me 10!” from AmyDixonFitness.com or amazon.com ($17.99-$19.99).
Will you try Amy Dixon’s DVD? Are you a fan of 10-minute workout segments?