|Lifting made (surprisingly!) easy|
Dumbbell routines don't rank high on our list of fun workouts, but we loved the instant gratification we got from the workout DVD, Step-by-Step Strength Training With Petra Kolber ($16; acaciacatalog.com). The easy-to-follow sessions—two 10-minute sets for either the upper or lower body, and two 20-minute sets to build strength or balance—are challenging yet doable. Don't have dumbbells? Try ours (from $20; theshapestore.com).
|Dance off the pounds|
Born to bust a move and carry a tune? Get down to the Fame Dance Workout ($15; amazon.com). The choreographer of the motion picture remake Fame! will teach you three 15-minute lessons in modern, jazz, and African dance. (After breaking a sweat within the first few minutes, our respect for backup dancers doubled.) You'll get plenty of "take it from the top!" repeats in this workout DVD to make sure you've mastered the moves—then you'll combine all three routines for a finale set to the Fame! theme song. Go ahead, sing your heart out while you work your butt off. We did!
|The stretching routine you'll really do|
Know how you always mean to stretch when you come back from running, cycling, swimming and golf? The Yoga Tune Up workout DVD ($15; amazon.com with Jill Miller helps you keep your promises with her post-athletic stretch routines. A yoga and Pilates instructor with experience in modern dance and body therapy, Miller is an enthusiastic and easy-to-follow guide through the stretches that will help balance and restore you after a workout. Her teaching has the right amount of energy to keep you going after a workout—just pop in the DVD and follow along—but also help calm you down, too.
|Torch calories with weights and cardio|
Get a top-notch circuit training class at home with the newest DVD in The FIRM series. The well-respected blend of sculpting and high and low-intensity cardio intervals is an A+ way to burn calories and tone up at the same time. The newest release, The FIRM Calorie Explosion (about $14; amazon.com) caters both to the "don't have time to work out" crowd and the "give me all you've got" type – it's divided into four, 12-minute segments so you can just do one, such as the Cardio Kickboxing section, or do all four together.
|Get funky while you get slim|
Bollywood dancing is fun to watch, but to do? Yes! In Bollywood Dance Blast ($15; acaciacatalog.com), Hemalayaa breaks down the shoulder rolls and hip twists so they're nothing you can't do at home (even if you have two left feet) or would be worried about the neighbors catching a glimpse of as you do it. You'll recognize some classic aerobics class moves here, such as marches and kick steps, but the original Bollywood soundtrack and Hemalayaa's charming energy and clear teaching makes you feel like you're in an exotic new locale where the cardio, and its benefits, come easy.