Top Trainers: Online Workouts

Yoga: Kathryn Budig

Yoga and I usually don’t get along – I’m not very flexible and get bored very easily.  The poses that I’m supposed to “relax and breathe into” just hurt and agitate me.  By the end, I’m in a worse mood than when I started.

Kathryn and her routines are somehow different.  I got her Aim True Yoga DVD (now on sale for only $7 on Amazon!) almost a year ago, and it’s since been the only yoga workout I do.  Kathryn’s instruction is very clear and detailed using everyday language.  Her voice is energetic without being condescending or fake-perky.  The beautifully lit, gently colorful environment is very pleasing to the eye.  There’s enough pause to feel each stretch and just before I start to feel bored or fatigued we’re already moving into the next stance or movement.  That, combined with the changing camera angles, keeps me engaged.  There are two routines: a 20 minute beginner’s routine (my favorite) and a 40 minute intermediate/advanced routine.  Here’s a 5 minute video sample:

If any of you want to try a full yoga workout with Kathryn, she’s made a few 20 minute routines for Gaiam and posted them online.  Here’s her “Move & Sweat” routine, designed to help raise the heartrate:

Her other online routines include Twist and Detox, Strengthen Your Core, Arm Balances, Inversion Essentials, and Gentle Yoga Flow.  She also has an extremely useful 9 minute instructional pose guide.

Getting Sweaty – Keli Roberts and Jillian Michaels

The very first workout video I ever did was Keli Roberts’s Your Best Body: Abs.  I immediately liked her gentle, highly detailed instruction.  She has a genuine sweetness and I love her Australian accent.  Her routines are straightforward without any complicated choreography, but have a variety of moves.  Her Breakthrough Upper Body and Core DVD is actually a good toning-based workout for the whole body:

Generally, most of her workouts are kickboxing, step, toning, and cardio/toning.  Her one online workout is a 40 minute shadowboxing workout (I don’t have her weighted glove belt so I hold very light weights):

Jillian Michaels is a fitness goddess.  Her workouts are challenging at a level I’ve never experienced before.  I didn’t watch the reality show that got her famous, but I listened to her podcast, eventually got all her DVDs, and developed a mega girl-crush.  She has a very intense personality with an edge that Kathryn and Keli definitely don’t have.  She’s intense in exactly the ways my mom is, so that’s part of why I respond so well to her style.  And her workouts are truly killer, with moves like weighted burpees and scorpion pushups.  Her workouts are always in circuits with no rests.  She uses a multitude of techniques, including Active Recovery (following an intense cardio move with a simple toning move so the heart rate comes down but the body is still working) and Peripheral Heart Action (doing upper body moves immediately after lower body moves and vice versa, so the heart is constantly working hard to send blood all over the body), to make her workouts the beasts they are.  Her cuing is solid, and her cocky attitude makes me laugh.  My current favorite is Hard Body, her newest release.  Generally, I prefer her newer stuff because there’s an even greater variety of moves and she seems like she’s having more fun.  Plus, Hard Body has a live DJ in the room! (even though he’s not in the preview):

7 of Jillian’s other workouts are online.  Here are the click-through links, organized by type and then in order of release date (newest first):

Cardio/Tone (whole body): Rip:60 (made for the company’s product, but can be creatively modified), Banish Fat Boost Metabolism, 30 Day Shred: Levels 3, 2, and 1Cardio Kickbox

Cardio/Tone (abs and lower body): Killer Abs: Level 1, Six Week Six Pack: Level 1

Yoga: Yoga Meltdown: Level 1

I also wanted to cover dance DVDs but it will have to wait until the next post…

Who are your favorite fitness trainers?  Which are some of your favorite workouts?

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