Thursday, October 13, 2011

Workout DVD Review: Yoga Bootcamp From Exercise TV - As Seen on Soundbites

(Originally posted on as a guest blogger piece.)

I am a bit of an Exercise TV regular, so when Vianessa presented me with the opportunity to actually try out one of DVDs I immediately agreed. Though I love the convenience of the TV workouts, it's always a bit disappointing when your favorites are taken out of the rotation. Vianessa is not exactly a fan of yoga (I'm  hoping to convert her), but I have been practicing for about two years, so she shipped me her copy of Yoga Bootcamp to review. (She was also busy already reviewing 10 Pound Slimdown Xtreme.) The Yoga Bootcamp DVD set itself includes four, specifically-targeted workouts that take approximately 40 minutes each. Two of the workouts are by Ashley Turner - Core Strength and Twisting Detox - and two are by Ted McDonald - Power Yoga for Abs & Arms and Dynamic Flow for Legs & Butt. The set also comes with a 28-day workout planand clean eating guide/cleanse, neither of which were included in this particular review due to lack of turnaround time.

Overall, the DVD did prove challenging and offers something more than the regular "fusion"-style workouts often found on Exercise TV. It really payed attention to the core principles of yoga, including audible breathing, body technique and setting intentions for each workout. Each routine also offered modified versions of moves and poses but I would not necessarily recommend this set for beginners. The flows move quickly and the instructors tend to use yoga terminology freeingly, both of which may cause confusion for those unfamiliar with yoga. The promo video calls it a "challenging cardio workout," and though it is challenging, calling it "cardio" is a tad bit misleading.


Core Strength: Of all the videos in the series, this one really put an emphasis on the target zone. Ashley introduced poses that were new to me while effectively warming up the body and calmly talking through body positioning. There is an emphasis on power and strength over relaxation. The following day I felt sore in my abs, hips and lower back.

Twisting Detox: This workout focuses on flushing out toxins from your organs by utilizing a number of twisting motions. It also aims to release upper back tension (which I did, I'm a laptop-ridden-writer so I noticed the difference) with several compression/decompression movements. There is very a strong emphasis on breathing through the poses. Detox is not designed for strengthening. These moves transition rather quickly and I would not recommend eating prior to the workout. This video may be a good way to start the morning. The following day I felt the workout in my shoulder blades, traps and hamstrings.

Dynamic Flow for Legs & Butt: Ted's workouts were somewhat interchangeable since several of the flows and moves overlapped in both 40-minute routines.  The workouts feel more "full body," though he made a handful of modifications to adjust to the target zones.  In Legs & Butt, he places an emphasis on holding challenging balances poses that definitely get the gluts to fire. He also did a segment with calves, which I really appreciated since I've never done a yoga workout with calve work. The following day I primarily felt the "burn" in my butt.

Power Yoga for Abs & Arms: As mentioned, there was a similar flow here like that found in Legs & Butt but with several modifications. For one, this was the first time I had tried downdog pushups. There was also a ton of Sun Salutation Sequences and push-up integrations, and I occasionally fell behind the count. Ted's two videos compliment each other quite well.

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