Best Fitness DVDs For New Year

Tapes, holiday weight CBS/The Early Show

A new year is coming, and if you're like many people, you will resolve to lose weight and get in shape.

You may be looking for an exercise DVD to help. But there are so many of them, it's easy to be overwhelmed.

So, Fitness magazine comes to the rescue with a new list of top DVDs, many of which its editor in chief, Denise Brodey, brought to The Early Show Wednesday to help you jumpstart your New Year's fitness resolution.

These DVDs are for all shapes, sizes and levels. All the workouts can be done in your living room, in small or large spaces.

CARDIO

BEST FOR: CALORIE BLASTING

FAT-BURNING KICKBOXING WORKOUT FOR DUMMIES (KELI ROBERTS)
This workout can burn up to 700 calories if you work hard, so you're churning through calories in 56 minutes. This videos series follows the same easy-to-follow format as the "dummies" books. Pop-up definitions of kickboxing terms help beginners through all the terminology they may not already know. This is for all levels. You use the tutorial, about 15 minutes, to learn the basics: punches, jabs, shuffles and kicks, then you move on to the 39-minute main program. Roberts' directions and tips on good form are incredibly helpful. Kickboxing is a total body workout, so you are using your abs, glutes, thighs, arms and shoulders. It is a mix of martial arts and boxing and aerobics, for overall conditioning and toning. The key here is to start slowly and listen to the cues: Using controlled movements keeps you from over-extending your legs or locking your arms as you punch and kick, particularly when doing the roundhouse, front and side kicks.

BEST FOR: BURNING FAT

PATRICK GOUDEAU STEP UP
This is a great calorie burner (600-plus an hour); continuous aerobic exercise burns calories and therefore fat. All you need is a step bench and a pair of sneakers to start doing this challenging, yet easy-to-follow choreography. Goudeau breaks things down so you can do them even if you have two left feet! Goudeau is a U.S. National Aerobic Champion and a Nike athlete. He's bubbling over with energy and makes you feel motivated to follow along. Choice of complete, nonstop 60-minute step workout or three, shorter combo workouts. Step benches are available in most Target and K-Mart stores, and at Amazon.com. You can get skid-proof, adjustable benches for an average of $120. This is not something you want to go cheap on. It's a good piece of basic home gym equipment, and you can use it for weight training, as well.

BEST FOR: BEATING BOREDOM

DANCE OFF THE INCHES (MICHELLE DOZOIS)
Take the work out of workout! Dancing is hot these days. (Think "Dancing with the Stars," salsa lessons.) This tape doesn't feel like exercise. In fact, you can do these Latin and jazz moves in your sweats, with no equipment. Kids love to follow along, too. There's a 10-minute intro, so you can learn all the dance steps; the entire video is 46 minutes long. The set is bright, the music and energetic backup dancers help motivate you to keep going, which is a lot more fun than pounding away on the treadmill when you're not in the mood to work out. You don't need a background in dance to do this. Easily master the basics of mambo, grapevine, chacha and chase! Once you get good at it you can really burn up a sweat!

STRENGTH

BEST FOR: BOREDOM BUSTING

1-MINUTE WORKOUT (MINNA LESSING)
You choose your target area, intensity (level 1 or 2), and workout length, and it offers you customized workout options. There are a total of 115 moves that are "shuffled" each time you watch, so you can choose a workout to target your upper body, lower body, abs and total body. Length of workout can be customized to your schedule, from 4 minutes to 24 minutes. There's a 7-minute bonus stretch so, along with learning how to do a bicep curl, power push up, leg lift, lunge, squat and plank in good form, you also get proper instruction on stretching so you don't get injured. Not highly energetic and in your face; very clear and to the point. It is really valuable to have somebody teaching you.

BEST FOR: TOTAL BODY SCULPTING

RIPPED SLIM AND LEAN (JARI LOVE)
Kicks it up a notch from Lessing's workout; this one is much more advanced. Unlike Lessing, who does her video alone, this DVD features a group of very strong people in a studio. In between each set, they show you the exact form for each exercise. It is all very instructional. Love breaks down moves clearly and easily, so you won't flub on form. You can do 15 quick, but intense segments of lunges, pushup sand squats. You will be sore the next day! Modifications for beginners are shown on-screen; you can use barbells, dumbbells or your own body weight. When you can't make it to the gym for a killer sculpting class, do this. It's high-quality and easy to do at home.

CORE

BEST FOR: CORE STRENGTH

10 MINUTE SOLUTION: RAPID RESULTS PILATES
Quick and effective — That's what most people are looking for from a home workout. When you can't make it to an hour-long Pilates class, these five 10-minute routines are perfect. Do them individually or combined for total-body toning (54 minutes). You can't use the excuse that you can't work out for this video or that you don't have the time - all you need is 10 minutes! Stretch segment to improve posture; arm and shoulder shapes, buns and thighs, and a waist slimmer. Lots of work for both the abs and legs; also great for people with tight hamstrings and hips, because it combines some stretching and strengthening moves. Pilates is all about form, and this instructor teaches the right way to do things.

BEST FOR: ACHIEVING INNER CALM

INTENSATI: INTENTION AND POWER — A HIGH ENERGY WORKOUT FOR BODY, MIND AND SOUL
Features a really great personality, Patricia Moreno, who uses motivating mantras to help you stay focused and positive. Combines yoga, martial arts and sculpting for a challenging, yet balanced workout. It keeps your heart rate up, but is also very calming. At the same time, it's a killer workout. Mind-body workouts are a huge trend. People are looking for more than just a physical workout — they want to make a mind-body connection. This is a great one to start with, especially if you are not interested in yoga. Moreno keeps saying you have the power to change things. She has a chant and affirmation for each thing: mind, body, heart, gratitude, love, strength, power. Every word is truly powerful. She talks to the viewer. 58 minutes.

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