In this video, instructor Mindy Mylrea offers four intermediate-to-advanced toning/strengthening options for the lower body. Instead of working this area traditionally with heavy weights, she incorporates a different piece of fitness equipment into each segment, thereby working the muscles in unique ways. I have broken down the four segments of this DVD below.
Medicine Ball, 14 minutes. Holding a weighted ball, Mindy utilizes a combination of more traditional toning exercises (eg, squats, lunges) with jumps/plyometric moves, producing a strong cardio effect. Many of the movements are functional in nature, including a one-legged squat with dead lift, lunges performed at various angles (called "pinwheel" here), and a twisting jump with the ball between your knees.
Stability Ball, 18.5 minutes. This segment was performed half in a standing position, half on the floor. The standing work included squats holding the ball, one-legged squats with one foot on the ball (in various directions), and an inner thigh squeeze. There was some seated bridge work on the ball and then additional lying bridge work with your feet on the ball--this was so tough that I was unable to complete all of the repetitions. Some brief seated stretches conclude this segment.
Tubing and Step, 13.5 minutes. Most of this segment could be performed without the step or substituting another short platform. Using long handled tubing, Mindy begins standing on the step with the tubing under her feet for squats, eventually addition side-to-side movement and abductions; she drops the tubing for leg swings off either side of the step. Placing one foot on the step with the tubing under that foot, she does lunges, adding a knee up, leg extension, and then a one-legged dead lift to a back dip. The final moves involve securing the tubing under the step and then placing the handle over one foot for adduction and extensions; the segment finishes with additional leg swings and standing stretches.
Gliding, 13.5 minutes. This segment uses Mindy's gliding disks, but you can substitute rags (on smooth flooring) or paper plates (on carpet). The first 8 minutes is standing work and is very similar to Mindy's previous gliding videos, mainly consisting of squats and lunges. There are a couple of unique moves here, including a one-legged squat to pick up the disk/raise it overhead and alternate lunges with the heel (rather than the ball of the foot) on the disk. The floor segment includes bridge work and a front/back slide on your side with final stretches on the floor to finish.
Overall, this video provides some excellent alternate toning options for the lower body. While some of these exercises may seem easy at first in comparison to heavy weight training, they will target and challenge your muscles in unique ways. Definitely recommended for anyone who is looking for a change from their usual lower body work.
I know some people haven't clicked with Mindy, but I have no problems with her; I find her to be pretty straight-forward. She offers good mirrored cueing, and I found it pretty easy to follow along from the first time through.
Beth C (aka toaster)
May 7, 2007