Power Zone - Mind, Body, SoulDenise Austin
Year Released: 2003
Denise Austin's Mind Body Soul is a 40-minute workout which nicely blends different exercise styles. It is filmed on an outdoors-y looking set, and Denise works out with two background exercisers. The first section, Mind, begins with a 5-minute warm-up which concentrates on breathing and spine stretches and then moves into an additional 5-minutes of standing yoga postures. The poses (warrior II, side angle, triangle) flow nicely and include some more challenging balances such as warrior III and dancer. Denise gives good reminders to focus on your breathing, although she overuses trite phrases such as "your spine is your life line."
The middle segment, Body, consists of Pilates movements performed mostly in a standing position. In the first 10 minutes, you will replicate Pilates matwork moves such as single leg stretch, criss-cross, double leg stretch, spine stretch, and saw, all while standing erect. However, you will also perform some challenging plank work from a push-up position on the floor. The following 10 minutes require the assistance of a wall. Initially, the wall is used for support during 1-legged moves such as leg kicks, leg circles, rear kicks, and heel beats. Next, the wall is used for some strength moves, including a wall squat, a triceps isometric exercise, and wall push-ups. Throughout this section, Denise repeatedly reminds you to "zip up" your abdominal area so that you really feel the work in your midsection.
The final section of this video, Soul, was a 10-minute dance-type stretch. The exercises performed included mambos, lunges, and additional warrior poses, but the moves seemed to serve as more of a cool-down function rather than cardio or toning. This was my least favorite section of the video; it may have worked better if the Mind and Soul segments had been reversed. Overall, however, I found this to be an enjoyable workout for light toning and general stretching.
Denise's personality is a bit more subdued than usual here, although she still makes a lot of goofy statements. Because the workout moves slowly, I found her much easier to follow than in her aerobic workouts (when her cueing is just AWFUL), and she actually gave some very good form pointers.