Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Workout Review: Self "Sculpt Sexy Legs Fast"

First off, can I just say that exercise DVDs often have silly titles? This one is no exception: it sounds like a how-to for expeditiously creating suggestive limestone limbs. Who names these things????

But setting that aside, Self: Sculpt Sexy Legs Fast! is a great workout. It runs about 45 minutes, which to my mind is the perfect workout length (long enough to be thorough, short enough to still fit in the morning schedule).

The instructor is Violet Zaki, who is extremely fit and appears to truly enjoy exercising. Her demeanor throughout is encouraging and energetic, without being over the top. (Granted, I find her occasional use of the phrase "Like you mean it!" to be a bit much; and why, oh why, does every fitness instructor insist upon using the transition "[We're] moving on!" six or more times per session?; but these are tolerable.)

The emphasis of this DVD is on leg muscles, but the exercises incorporate stretching, so that the net effect doesn't feel like bulking up but rather lengthening and strengthening. And, unlike many other body-part-targeted workouts, this workout goes beyond just focusing on the legs and includes lots of heart-pumping cardio work. Most of the work is done standing, and a portion is done with light hand weights. If you don't want to do the whole workout, it's broken into smaller sections: warm-up, legs, cardio, legs with arm weights, floorwork, cool-down/stretch.

A few quibbles/caveats: a) there is some bouncing in this one, so if you've knees like mine, this may take a bit of modification at points; and b) it's filmed outdoors, which means everybody on film looks a little squinty. But those are minor points. I enjoyed this workout, and I hope you'll give it a try.

You can find other reviews here, here, here, and here; and info about instructor Violet Zaki here.

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