Non-traditional abs workout with a veteran instructor
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 07/26/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"From the outside of the DVD case, this looked like a great workout: the box does a nice job of breaking down the workout, listing time durations for each chapter as well each bonus segment. Unfortunately, I found that the actual workout did not live up to my expectations.
The main workout is about 34 minutes long and is broken into 4 segments. The first, titled "Sexy Sculpting," is 8 minutes long and completely misnamed--at best, this section stretched and warmed up the abdominal area, but there was certainly no sculpting effect. Instructor Leisa Hart and her crew of 4 background exercisers sit in chairs and use scarves for the simple spine stretches, but I actually found it easier to forgo the prop. The second segment, "Hourglass Shaping," is a bit longer (10 minutes) but really not much more intense. This time, the moves are performed on the floor, and the scarf is again used, mostly for leverage. The moves are clearly Pilates-inspired--ie, you do a lot of c-curves with your spine--but they were not nearly as challenging as a true Pilates workout.
Performing the third segment, "Belly Flattening," was the only time I could actually feel some work occurring in my abdominal area. This section focused on the lower abs area with moves like reverse crunches and a version of the Pilates corkscrew. However, as she does in the other videos of this series (ie, Sexy Legs), Leisa moves too quickly, making many of the exercises feel jerky and unnatural. Furthermore, she does not fully explain the moves, and combined with poor camera angles, the workout is often hard to follow. The final segment is called "Back Strengthening," and I liked this one the least. Here, the cast lies face down over a stool; although Leisa states that you could use a chair with a back, I did this and found it to be very awkward and uncomfortable. This section included back stretching moves such cobra and plank; it probably would have been much more effective using a stability ball rather than a stool/chair.
The DVD bonus features included two additional workout segments, both 5 minutes long. The first is "Waistline Trimming," a series of oblique movements from a side-lying elbow plank position. The second, "Core Stretch," contains some nice yoga-like moves to stretch your midsection, although again, Leisa does not explain the movements very well. Other DVD extras include a sneak peak of the class from a camera at the back of the stage, brief bios on Leisa and each of the four background exercisers, a music only workout option, and a photo gallery (why would I want to look at poses of Leisa in various outfits?).
Overall, this video was a disappointment. I really enjoy abs work, including Pilates, and although this could have been a very good workout, it was just too poorly cued and cumbersome for my liking. However, someone who does not enjoy more traditional abs work and who is looking for a more gentle workout focusing more on stretching than toning might find something to like in this video."
L. Wood | SC | 12/14/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I found this workout to be far too easy, I felt no burn in my abs at all. I'm probably an intermediate to advanced exerciser. The video cover says for all fitness levels but I can't even imagine a beginner being challenged by this."
Sunny Perry | Phoenix | 05/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i really like the style of Leisa Hart....this is a beginner to intermediate level routine that is very very pleasant; the moves are graceful and flow together very nicely...i love the set and the music...i liked the instructor, she was very gorgeous and real, very personable, very sexy, my husband liked doing the routine with me(i think he liked looking at the hot girls in the video), but no matter, it was a great workout and we got what we needed and that was an EXCELLENT AB WORKOUT!"