I'm always looking for ways to sculpt and strengthen my abs without having to do crunches, so I was psyched to try Shiva Rea's Creative Core Abs ($9.99).
I've loved her Yoga DVDs in the past (especially Fluid Power — Vinyasa Flow Yoga), so I had a feeling this would be just as great. Her voice is calming, her instructions are clear, and her routines are always challenging.
The DVD includes three short workouts: Water Core (10 min), Spontaneous Core (8 min), and Fire Core (10 min); you can do all three in a row, or choose which ones you want to do. The sequencing is very fluid and dance-like, so the time goes by really quickly. It definitely doesn't feel like yoga. Shiva encourages you to explore your range of motion, and even though this video was focused on the abs, the movements strengthened and stretched my upper and lower back, hips, quads, shoulders, and neck too. Cool to know that even Shiva Rea is all about the core.