Monday, June 27, 2011

Workout Your Core

Because of all the rehab exercises I do that my physiotherapist gives me, and because I am generally so busy now due to my counselling placements, I haven't done any pilates, core training or yoga in a long time. And it's definitely taking a toll. I have had some regression with my leg pain and my calves and hamstrings constantly feel tight.

I am really hoping to get to the JCC on Thursday for a yoga class. Although at the time I wasn't sure it was helping my leg and I was doing it primarily for stress management and enjoyment, looking back I have realized that my leg was actually feeling better when I was doing it twice a week.

Last week I was desperately craving yoga but couldn't find the time for a class so I looked through my stack of fitness DVDs for SOMETHING to do. I wasn't in the mood for anything too lengthy and when I found my copy of Jackie Warner's Crunch Free Abs, I knew I had found the perfect workout to squeeze in.

Warner is the Hollywood celebrity trainer who was featured on the reality show Workout. I'm not much into reality shows, but I admit that when Little A was an infant and I was stuck home alone with her on Saturday mornings while Adam was at the gym and Big A was at gymnastics class with my in-laws, I would watch it while nursing her. After all, I've worked as a fitness instructor and trainer for 18 years so I was somewhat curious to see how the celebrity trainers do it.

Like most other reality shows, this one was pretty stupid, but I do like this DVD.

It is divided into two 15 minute segments, the first one done standing and the second one done on the floor. You have the option of using small hand weights for some of the exercises.

Unlike Jillian Michaels core training DVD, this one does not contain many high intensity training intervals (HITT), so if you are looking for a straightforward, challenging core workout WIHTOUT any cardio component, this is a good one. You can do it in the middle of the day and not worry about getting too sweaty.

Interestingly, I actually find the floor segment much harder than the standing one, primarily because Warner has you do each exercise, even intense ones for a long time.

My only major complaint, is that like Michaels, Warner is a personal trainer, not a fitness instructor, so her cueing is a bit off meaning that you don't do EXACTLY the same number of reps on both sides. That tends to drive some people crazy.

Overall, I highly recommend this DVD if you are look for a challenging and efficient core workout you can fit into your busy schedule.

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