For me, 2011 is the year I get my abs back into wicked shape. In my battle of the flab, the DVD Crunch-Free Xtreme Abs ($12) with Jackie Warner is on the frontline, along with copious amounts of cardio and healthy eating. This all-abs workout is fast-paced strength training targeting the midsection, but I certainly felt my legs and arms working, too — holding five-pound dumbbells for the majority of the DVD helps make this a whole-body workout. The DVD is divided into two 15-minute sections: standing and floor work. You can do one or both.
After warming up for a little over five minutes, with boxing moves and marching, Jackie dives straight for your abs. She adds crunch-like moves to high-knee marches and static lunges with a weight to your chest for a healthy challenge. These moves are followed by side bends combined with an overhead press and twisting exercises that resemble wood choppers. There are eight moves in all, which you perform for about a minute each. The workout is short and moves at a quick pace — no room for boredom here — and felt challenging.
But I was ready for more, so I went straight into the floor workout, which I was surprised to find was even harder. Jackie throws everyone's favorite move to hate, the squat thrust (aka the burpee), into the mix, along with planks with leg lifts and jumping jacks (killer). I appreciated that the workout included the superman and bridges, since these moves also work the back, helping to keep a balanced core. The cool down for each workout is brief; I found myself wanting to stretch more.
This is a great DVD for a morning workout. Being a little over 30 minutes it's easy to fit in before work, and it's more energizing than a cup of joe. I will definitely use three-pound dumbbells next time, instead of fivers. My shoulder joints felt a little tweaked post-workout. Have you tried this DVD? What did you think?