Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rania Presents Discover Bellydance My Personal Trainer|
Actor: Rania Bossonis
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Rania has released over 15 bellydance videos, including the best-selling Bellydance for Fitness and Weight Loss series. The award-winning dancer has performed before international audiences, and appeared on national TV. He... more »
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A wonderful variety of workouts all on one DVD!
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 08/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prior to this, I tried various bellydance videos, but I failed to find one I liked--some were way beyond my level as a beginner, whereas others, while fun, didn't provide much of a workout. Happily, Rania's My Personal Trainer seems to be the perfect fit for me.
The idea behind this DVD is that you have a wide variety of bellydance segments to choose from; this allows you to create a customized plan OR to follow one of the seven plans already programmed into the DVD. The pre-programmed plans are Sleek in a Week, and intense 7-day shape-up plan; Intense Legs and Buns; Intense Abs; Time Saver, with each workout being 40 minutes or less; Fit It In, where workouts are split throughout the day; Take It Easy, a series of light 10-20 minute workouts; and Maintainence, mostly shorter workouts for those who have already reached their fitness goals.
As far as the workouts themselves went, I found them to be enjoyable, intense, and very doable despite my limited prior bellydance experience. The cardio segment is about 30 minutes long, and it appears to be compiled from Rania's previous videos, as there are different section featuring Rania and class in different outfits. Also, the varying sections don't really blend together all that well--rather, each one jumps right in--making it a little difficult to follow along at first, but I was able to manage. After a 5-minute warm-up, the first 6-minute cardio section is not very intense. Section #2 is more fun and well as more work (5 minutes), and then third section is even more intense, with lots of shimmies and circles plus some mini hops and jumps (6 minutes). In the final segment, you do some combination moves (6 minutes), and there is a nice 3-minute stretch to end the cardio work.
The eight toning segments are all taught by Rania alone in the studio, and each are 10 minutes in length. Legs & Butt 1 had plenty of shimmies, tucks, and simple leg moves (kicks, hip drops, etc.), and it felt like further cardio workout. Legs & Butt 2 was more toning-oriented, beginning with plies and squats, going on to a brief leg lift section using a chair, and ending with work from an all-fours position. The Arms segment would have more appropriately been called "shoulders," as my shoulders were definitely burning during this one! Here you will do shoulder rolls and isolations plus various arms and hands movements, including snake arms, lotus hands, and veronica hands; shoulder shimmies finish the segment. The Hips & Waist segment was another that felt like additional cardio work to me, as you do a lot of movement with hip circles, figure 8s, and front and back movements. Chest & Back features chest isolations, circles, and figure 8s with leg movement added in. In the first Abs segment, you begin with standing contractions and abdominal rolls, then move on to a series of seated crunches and additional rolls in a balance position. Abs 2 has some brief standing contractions to start, but then you move to the floor for a straight-leg crunch series which was particularly tough on the lower abs (actually, both abs segments were quite challenging!). Finally, Rania includes a great Flexibility Training program: she starts with plies and standing stretches, moves on to dynamic yoga moves such as cobra to down dog and cat to cow, and performs a variety of floor stretches as well; although quick, I found this to be very effective.
If all of the above wasn't enough, the DVD includes plenty of bonus features as well. First of all, there is a video library of bellydance moves; you can use this clips from other workouts to fine-tune your execution of individual bellydance movements. Secondly, there is a feature performance by Rania, a workout without narration option (this is available for each individual segment as well), plus a photo gallery and trailers from other videos. Finally, there are brief on-screen explanations of the benefits of bellydance, instructions on monitoring your heart rate, and eating and exercise tips.
This is my first video by Rania, and I really liked her easygoing instructional style combined with her excellent dancing. Those who have tried her other videos may find some of the segments here to be familiar, but it was all new to me. I love that this DVD provides me with so many different options, and I know that I will use it often. Highly recommended for getting a great workout while having fun, too!"
Mostly a Rehash of Rania's Other DVDs
H. Savino | 07/25/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was very disappointed to discover that this DVD is mostly a compilation of segments from Rania's other DVDs. There are five segments, all consisting of 10-minute workouts focusing on specific areas of the body such as Chest & Back or Abs. However, my main complaint about the DVD is about the Cardio segment. First of all, there is only one cardio workout, which for a personal trainer DVD, is not enough. That would get boring very quickly and I feel there should have been two cardio workouts to choose from. Even worse, though, is the fact that the cardio segment consists entirely of chopped-up bits from Rania's other DVDs, a few minutes from each. For someone who already has her other DVDs, this is going to be a bore, and it is also disconcerting the way it flips from one to the next. The voice-overs haven't even been changed and hence, Rania is announcing that "Youre done!" about 10 minutes into the workout, which is in fact 30 minutes long. There is also no way to make your choices run continuously when you choose to customize your own workout. Instead, in between each section, you have to go back to the menu and choose what you want next. To be fair, the sections are not bad, giving you a brief toning workout that is also fun, with bellydance moves incorporated into the exercises. There are also features such as suggestions for various ways to combine the segments depending on your goals, and a video library of bellydance moves and steps. For me, however, none of this makes up for the DVD's fatal flaws. I simply don't think it is right for Natural Journeys to repackage a bunch of stuff they've already sold me, add a few new features and sell it to me again. So, basically, if you don't have any of Rania's other DVDs and don't plan on purchasing them, then this is a good buy. But if you already have them, don't be fooled by the repackaging."
Revising preveious opinion
Ladydiscipline | England | 07/28/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"At first I was disappointed by this DVD. Seemed like a rehash of previous DVD's. And it is. But they are cleverly clipped and spliced to make over 50 different workouts and like 8 different training tracks. I must say I've warmed up to this DVD now I quite enjoy it."
Design Your Own Bellydance Routine
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 07/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are at the point where you enjoy Bellydancing every day or most days of the week, then this is a great solution and will give you lots of variety in your workouts. This is a detailed DVD with lots of sections. The first section is a place where you can decide which type of exercise routine you wish to enjoy OR you can make up your own by choosing a number of exercises one after the other. Here is what this DVD offers:
Sleek in a Week - this selection takes you to another page
where you can then select a day of the week.
Intense Legs & Buns
Fit it In
Take It Easy
These are all combinations of the customized routines. You may recognize some of the cardio from former Raina DVDs. In fact, it is intriguing to discover how relaxed and comfortable she is on camera as compared to when she was very poised and tense at the start. Now she has fully relaxed into herself and the new exercises are even more sexy and relaxing than before.
Customize Your Bellydance Workout:
30 minutes Bellydance Cardio
10 minutes each: Flexibility Training, Arms, Legs & Butt 1, Legs & Butt 2, Hips & Waist, Chest & Back, Abs 1, Abs 2.
The Abs 1 section is worth the purchase of this DVD. It will give you a full Abs workout and I prefer it to Abs 2 from a previous video. This is a mixture of old and new with an emphasis on what really works.
The 30 minutes of Bellydance Cardio lacks continuity on its own and you may enjoy it more if you already learned these moves in previous DVS. They will mostly appeal to intermediate to advanced bellydancers and anyone who wants to enjoy Jazz, Electronica and Caribbean music all in one day. The exercises and costumes change frequently so you are never bored.
Video Library of Bellydance moves: Shoulder Shimmy, Snake Arms, Hip Shimmy, Hop & Drop, Tut Walk, Chest Drop, Horizontal Figure 8, Vertical Figure 8, Basic Turn and Camel.
Some of the unique moves on this DVD are the Cleopatra Stretch and the ways in which Raina moves across the floor while doing the exercises. The Arms workout is intense and creative. Egyptian Shimmies and challenging footwork keep you working and the hip movements are very active and soothing. This DVD is exciting for intermediate and advanced bellydancers because it takes you from folkloric to sexy all in one DVD. There is so much to choose from and there are programs for the week so all you have to do is find out which level you want to exercise at and then select the day of the week.
If you have been following the Raina program then this DVD will feel like a reward for all your hard work. If you are new to Raina, this might seem a little confusing and I'd suggest you start with her main DVDs first unless you want everything in one package deal. By starting with her instructional DVDs, you can learn the moves and then really enjoy this series of exercises. I will agree with everyone else who said they felt these exercises! The dancers are talented, elegant and all have beautiful spirits.
~The Rebecca Review