Video Fitness

In Shape with Sharon Mann

I just recently received this little gem of a workout and had to submit a review.

This video consists of 3 workouts: Cardio Kickboxing (21 minutes), Muscle Conditioning (10 minutes..using a stability ball and medicine balls) and Ball Powered Yoga (12 minutes using a stability ball). The total workout is approx. 45 minutes. The lighting in the kickboxing segment is alot darker than the rest of the workout even though they use the same set. I would rate this as an advanced beginner to intermediate workout. I consider myself advanced with kickboxing and strength training and intermediate with yoga. So to me this was not an intense, tough workout but it was a blast! This will be one of my 'fun' to do workouts when I'm not feeling up to a tough one. The music is all brand new sounding so it's refreshing and I also think it has a driving, energetic beat to it! I definitely like Sharon Mann's personality. She is very upbeat, energetic, peppy and cute. My only disappointment in this video after trying it out was it was too short and Sharon didn't cue the best during the kickboxing section. I found she didn't cue fast enough for me to know what was coming up next but cuz it's a short segment I feel after a couple more times through it I will have it pretty much down to where her cuing won't bother me as much.

Okay...on to the core of the workout:

Cardio Kickboxing: 1 minute Tai Chi Prewarmup and then 4 minutes of regular kickboxing warmup that includes various punches, side steps, step touches, arm reaches, active and non active stretches. The actual cardio segment then is only about 16 minutes long (too short but fun) and has the usual kickboxing moves in it like punch/jab combos, boxer shuffles, kneeups, front and back kicks, some plyo jumps with the fast jabs up and down, double jabs, flurries, 1 legged hamstring hops, squat/side kick & kneelift/side kick. She puts all these moves into mini combos. Then she ends with a 2 minute jump rope segment. One person uses a rope..the other two don't. The cooldown is very short and consists of grapevines and elbow strikes.

Then it's onto the muscle conditioning segment in which she and someone else use a stability ball and smaller medicine balls and the other guy doesn't use anything at all. She works every muscle group, however this segment is very short...10 minutes so it's not one that you will gain strength from...probably not even endurance either but I discovered it was more of a fun segment using the balls. There are not many reps per muscle group but some of the exercises she does 2 sets. One person is showing the advanced version throughout this segment.

1)Ab crunches and oblique twists laying on the ball holding a medicine ball for added resistance.

2) Glute squeezes resting back on stability ball and raising one leg at a time.

3) Lower back extension work laying over the ball and lifting 2 med balls up and behind you which worked the rear deltoids and then she does just regular back extension raises using no weight.

4) Pushups off the ball by resting either your thighs or ankles on the ball.

5) Rotator Cuff exercises resting your side on the ball and using med balls for raising just the forearms or entire arm up and down.

6) Work upper back by sitting on the ball and bending forward to raise arms straight out holding med balls.

7) Hammer curls sitting on the ball with med balls, tricep extensions with med balls or you can choose to do tricep dips off the ball and last overhead shoulder presses with med balls.

The Ball Powered Yoga was something entirely new to me. I didn't use the ball during this segment. Next time I will but in viewing it I would say the ball will make the yoga workout much easier as you have the stability ball to balance against and it would also shorten your range of motion. Here are some of the poses she did using the ball:

1)Sun Salutation: In Mountain Pose she lifts ball over her head and goes down into a forward bend resting ball on the floor..then she keeps the ball on the floor while she straightens halfway up.

2) Upward Facing Dog: she rests pelvis area on ball while keeping toes on floor and hands resting on ball, she bends backward.

3) Downward Facing Dog: basically you just stretch ball out in front of you and rest hands on balls in that pose.

4) Forward Lunge (Warrior): Ball is between your legs with front lunging leg resting over ball.

5) Side Angle Lunge Pose: Ball is between legs while you lunge one leg to side and it is resting on the ball while you stretch to that side.

6) The twisting pose..you sit on ball and twist your body for the spine stretch.

7) Stretches outer hips by resting your back against ball and crosses one leg over other knee.

8) Back Bend over the ball ( I think I will use this one as a modification for when I do regular back bends as it would be more challenging then the way I do them in other yoga videos.

9) Side Angle pose (keeping both legs straight). This one you lift the ball with one hand and rest it on your shin (off the floor)and perform the side angle pose.

10)Cat Stretch with hands outstretched on ball.

11 The V Sit (don't know the name of this pose)..is it 'boat pose'? Your resting your feet on the ball and grab behind your knees to balance.

12) Bridge Pose?? Where you lay on your upper back and raise your entire body up off the floor. Your feet are resting on the ball.

Sorry this is so long (if you managed to read the entire thing :-)))) but this is one of those videos that I thought was truly worth reviewing since I haven't heard much about it. If interested in this video you can visit her website at: www.burntrax.com

Deb Rolin
4/14/01

There is already a very detailed review for this, so I'm just going to add that I absolutely love this video. I got it on half.com, and was thrilled, as it is hard to come by.

Instructor comments: I like Sharon a lot. She's friendly, cues well, is athletic and motivating. She has a lot of energy, but doesn't cross that line that makes her, imho, overly peppy.

Leela

11/11/03

In working out to her DVD Box Series The Works With Sharon Mann, Containing Cardio; Pilates/Yoga and Body Sculpting DVD's I found them to be no different than the "In Shape With Sharon Mann" TV Shows on Womens Network and Fit TV. All they did was piece together different segments from the TV Show. The Editing is poor, where ever segments are edited together they put a little saying on the screen like "Keep Smiling" or something cheesy.

Advertising for the DVD's do not say that she uses equipment or how much of it she uses. So I was not impressed. In working out to her DVD Series I couldn't help but get the feeling like she was trying to prove how many exercises she can do and how many pieces of exercise equipment she is capable of using. She uses a lot of equipment in many of the segments such as the stability ball, all the yoga and pilates equipment, dumb bells, weight bars, step etc. These are advertised in the discovery Store and would cost approx $250.00 -$300.00 US to obtain the same equipment! By the way... Discovery also says that its the same equipment as used on the "In Shape with Sharon Mann" TV Show. So now I'm wondering if the video isn't just a gimmic to sell more equipment. It would cost me an arm and a leg to go out and get all that equipment. Mann says you can improvise with what you have at home But you can't improvise using a stability ball! For me, This took away from the DVD Series and it took away from a good workout. I did not have the equipment and therefore could not work out at an advanced level. Only the low impact people on the left worked out with no equipment So I had to follow what they did. The problem then was that the camera did not always show what I was supposed to do without equipment! Between that and those sayings posted up in between the segments, and the total work out being only a 1/2 hour. I didn't get much of a work out at all. As a matter of fact I was confused and frustrated during the workout.

After a few days of this frustration, I went back to my Tae Bo Advanced and had a great full body work out. After not working out for some time, With Tae Bo I felt every muscle in my body (and No equipment is necessary!) Yet I hardly felt a thing with Mann's DVDs. I definitely got a better workout with Tae Bo than I did with Mann's DVDs. Mann is No Billy Blanks!

If you don't have equipment and you want an advanced workout this video is not for you. But if you like a mediocre workout and lots of variety then maybe you'd like it. But check out her TV shows before you by the DVDs! Because the DVDs are only pasted together segments of her TV Show. For the above reasons I would not recommend this DVD Series. It costs more time, trouble and money just to get a good workout! Save your money!

Instructor comments: Mann is energetic and positive, and keeps a smile on her face whenever possible. She is very professional and doesn't talk about anything other than the exercises at hand. She seems knowledgeable but I found her to be lacking in personality and motivation. She is no Billy Blanks!

Connie

October 25, 2004

Although I'm not a big fan of Sharon Mann, I decided to give this video a try, as I enjoy kickboxing and ball work. The video is broken down into three segments: Cardio Kickboxing (21 minutes), Muscle Conditioning (10.5 minutes), and Ball Powered Yoga (12.5 minutes); with the transitions, the workout comes in at just under 45 minutes. Sharon works out with two background exercisers, Grant and Sharon, on a dark set that is much different from the setting for her TV program. Prior to the start of the workout, Sharon reviews form for the four punches and three kicks that will be used.

The kickboxing segment begins with a brief (1 minute) Tai Chi warm-up, and then Sharon quickly transitions into more fast-paced shoulder rolls and all four punches. She ends the warm-up with some stretches for a total of about 5.5 minutes. The kickboxing itself is fast-paced and fun, with plenty of both punches and kicks in the mix as well as a few short combinations. There is a short skipping segment (Grant uses a rope, but the two Sharons do not) to conclude the cardio, making the entire aerobic segment about 15 minutes long. A brief cardio cool-down with elbow strikes brings this section to a close at 21 minutes.

The Muscle Conditioning segment uses a stability ball and light weights (medicine balls or dumbbells); Grant performs the exercises on the floor, while Sharon2 shows more challenging variations. This segment has a nice core focus, with plenty of abs and back work, although it moves too quickly at times. Other muscle groups are targeted as well (including biceps, triceps, and shoulders), but the segment is too short to provide much more than core conditioning.

Although I enjoy yoga very much, the Ball Powered Yoga segment was my least favorite. Here, Sharon and Grant use the stability ball while Sharon2 does not. I found performing sun salutations on the ball to be awkward, although the standing poses which followed were better. Here Sharon provides voiceover instruction in a fake-sounding quieter tone which does not match the more upbeat-sounding music. Also, Sharon offers few form pointers, so I would not recommend this semgent for someone who is new to yoga.

Overall, I did like the first two segments of this workout, and I can imagine using them as a means to get some cardio/core work in following a full-body weights segment.

Instructor comments: When I've seen Sharon in her show on FitTV, I've always found her to be too over-the-top enthusiastic for my liking, but luckily, she is a bit more subdued here. She cues fairly well, although I found her voiceover cueing in the yoga segment to be somewhat stilted.

Beth C (aka toaster)

July 27, 2006



Video Fitness copyright © 1996 - 2009 Wendy Niemi Kremer    All rights reserved