Happy Friday Everyone! Get excited for another amazing DVD review from the fabulous Laura! As a senior currently enrolled at Boston College, Laura works at the schools gym but has been a great sport reviewing exercise DVDs for all of you. Here is another one featuring Cardio Hip Hop!
This week I’m reviewing my first hip hop DVD, Dance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop with Jennifer Galardi. Jennifer has a great dancing reputation, being linked to several celebrities such as Julianne Hough and Kim Kardashian. No equipment is needed, just a large area to dance your booty off! If you live in a high traffic area like I do, I would close your shades. Lets just say, after trying this DVD, I’d prefer to keep my hip hop skills, or lack there of, to myself!
I’ve always been extremely skeptical of dance based workout DVDs and classes. Dancers are incredible athletes, but the skill needed to perform their challenging steps and moves takes years to develop, so I feel that DVDs and classes often leave you with easy, basic steps. However, as someone who loves fitness, is willing to give anything a chance, and has a strong desire to learn to dance like Beyonce, I decided to give this DVD a try.
The DVD has two parts: a 20 minutes choreography tutorial video and a 40-45 minute long dance workout. The tutorial breaks down a series of dances steps that you will need to learn to be able to complete the dance workout. For a tutorial, it was HARD, not because it was physically exhausting but because you actually need to be coordinated to do it. I continuously failed to do any of the moves right, often finding myself swinging my arms about and tripping over my own feet.
Slightly embarrassed that I couldn’t complete the tutorial part of a DVD I had expected to be easy, I enlisted four of my roommates to join in on the full workout to see if it was just my uncoordinated self that couldn’t do these criss-crossin’, booty poppin’, arm pumpin’ dance moves. Low and behold, I was not alone. I think I worked my abs more from laughing at how ridiculous we all looked than from the actual dancing itself. Jennifer moves so quickly through the moves that, unless you have those down, you will be totally lost during the actual workout (my roommates, case in point). Honestly, I ended up watching most of the rest of the workout because I couldn’t keep up with the steps. Its broken down into three dance segments, each with a different rhythm, plus a warmup and cool down. A cool workout idea in theory, but major workout fail in practice in my case.
Final Grade: B. I’m giving this a B because if you have dance experience or are really coordinated, this may be a great alternative cardio workout for you. With all the jumps, steps, and criss crosses, you are definitely moving for the full 45 minutes. But if you’re like me and unable to keep up with the steps, you will find yourself spending more time flailing around then actually working out. There are a lot of dance-based workout options out there though, like Zumba and Salsa classes, that may be worth a try.
Questions of the Day: What have been your experiences (good or bad) with dance workouts, whether on a DVD or in a group exercise class?