This is a 38-minute strengthening/toning tape
that uses dynabands (one is included with the tape.) I
use it on days when I don't feel like schlepping out the
weights, but want to feel like I've worked out. FIRM
believers might not find this tape very challenging, but
you could always use a stronger band. Kari is honest in
the beginning of the tape that weights are best, but that
bands are good to use at home. The workout includes video
insets showing what the equivalent exercise would be
using weights. What I like best about this tape is that
the moves flow elegantly--Kari is an excellent teacher.
Despite its length, this tape manages to cover the major
body parts. My only complaint is that the lower body
work, which requires that you tie the band into a loop,
is a pain b/c it slips off your foot if you're not
careful. Also, she explains at the beginning that those
with knee problems can loop the band above the knee for
the leg exercises, but then she never shows this
modification during the workout. All in all, this is a
nice little total-body workout when you're pressed for
I pulled this out of my dust bin this morning (why was it
there???) because I just didn't feel like spending an
hour lifting heavy weights again with The FIRM, but felt
I should do 'something'. Well, it was a fun little total
body workout that kept me from feeling guilty! This is a
good beginner muscle toning video, or one that will help
keep your muscles where they are so your next heavy
workout won't kill you. You use the Dynabands while doing
simple aerobics moves, and an advanced exerciser could
possibly get into their target zone if they tried hard
enough. I really like Kari and this workout for those
special days when I really need just a simple, fun break
from my killer workouts.
As mentioned in previous reviews, this is a good tape to
do if one is in between strength days or for a beginner.
This workout is a total body one, including abs. The
dynaband adds some extra resistance that you won't get
with weights! Kari is an excellent instructor and
provides meticulous detail to all moves.
Kari always tells the viewer what to expect from the following video workout. She does say that free weights are the best but for traveling or a time crunch, Dynabands are handy. She tell you that both the eccentric and concentric contractions are important with this type of resistance training.
It starts with a warmup using large-limb movments to elevate the heart rate a little. As usual, a thorough Kari Anderson warm up. First is upper body toning for all muscle groups. There are b & w video inserts showing the equivalent in free weights.
For the lower body section, you tie you Dynaband in a circle and place it arounds your ankles/knees during various exercises. She gives pointers for those with knee problems and even suggest having a second Dynaband to keep from having to tie and untie one band. One comes with the video. I ordered the loop Dynaband from Collage.
Last are abs using the Dynaband to create resistance and a wonderful stretch.
While this won't replace free weights, it is a nice video to have for lighter workouts, traveling and just using the muscles differently to create muscle confusion and balance. There is constant movement so your stablizers will work.
The setting is light a high-school gym as the camera angles always catch the exercisers when you need to see form. Another great effort from Kari.
Instructor comments: Leave it to Kari Anderson to design a creative and effective workout with something as mundane as a Dynaband. She doesn't just to muscles toning, she adds movement which requires co ordination. As always, she has excellent form and demonstrates it as well. She's friendly yet serious without being a deadpan or perky.
Jean Leslie Wakefield
Tone It Up is, as other reviewers have mentioned, a nice little total body toning video that uses dynabands. You use the regular band for the upper body (the band is included with the video), and you can just tie it in a loop for the lower body section (I just bought the loop band from Collage--it was pretty inexpensive). It would be great for beginners just starting resistance training, and it's suitable for advanced on an off day. I really never do this video at home--it is the video I take with me to my parents' or in-laws' house, or on vacation. That way I don't have to miss a workout. It also makes me feel like I've done something, but it in no way wipes me out (I consider myself an advanced exerciser). Your arms and legs are moving constantly throughout the standing part of the workout; when I wear my heartrate monitor, I find that I stay in the low end of my training zone for about 20 minutes.
I like this video a lot, but I wish that Kari did a few more exercises for the biceps. I like the ab section using the band, but I wish it were a little bit longer. All in all, for 30 minutes, it is a good travel workout. It's also good for use in a small space.
Instructor comments: Kari Anderson is her usual self here--a combination of strength and grace. Lots of form pointers, and she gives lots of gentle encouragement. She is friendly but not overdone.