Lean Routine

Jane Fonda
Year Released: 1992

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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The other parts were bad. I cannot believe how an expensive qualified personal trainer of mine recommended this tape to me. Part of the class was led by someone else. Not only do I hate their very amateur style, but the clothes they wore were terrible. I shiver everytime I think of that girl who wore short blue jeans with metallic outfits doing aerobics. They were very non colour coordinated for a TV exercise (messy) and if the producer had some more mental problems, you may have a crowd wearing fur or plastic bags dancing aerobics in front of you. The scene is as bad as watching some rubbish dumb with a pile of dead meat and flies moving around, powered by very awkward out of tune music that resembles someone fingering the piano keyboard randomly and repeating the sequence. The studio set tried to be creative, by look artificial. You still get that boring feeling you have fixed cameras in front of a cheap cubic studio shooting the tape. In the background, you hear their footstep noise. Very irritating and low tech feel. The exercise choreography also didn't give me much of a physical workout feel. It feels more like there was an amateur who told you to repeat many times a random fling of a bodypart, and call it an exercise. They all look and pretend to be more excited with the class than how I feel. What a rip off!

Instructor Comments:
Jane Fonda alone by herself was fine but with no outstanding instructions/tips or ground breaking impressive cues/moves.

Lenny Li


I've had this video a long time and it is still a favorite. You can do it as a 20 minute workout, 40 minutes, or the whole thing (about 60 minutes)depending on how much time you have.

I like the set. It is the "roof" of the "studio" that most of Jane's videos are filmed in. It's supposed to be nighttime and everybody is dressed in what are supposed to be their "cool" clothes. Okay, so nobody but Jane Fonda (and maybe Cher) ever worked out in a skintight see-thru body stocking. The point is they are dressed to party and they are having fun!

The routine is all floor work and is mixed impact, with one instructor (Jeannie) always showing low impact variations. I like the combinations. Some of them are a little complicated to learn, but they are fun and (thankfully for me) there aren't any pivot turns.

There's a lot of variety in the combinations. They mix up the impact level, the intensity level, and the level of step difficulty. I like that. And, since there are instructors showing variations from highest impact/intensity to lowest, you can pretty much choose how hard you want to work out based on how you feel that day. I like that too.

I would recommend this tape to beginners who are ready to learn some new steps (it'll take a couple run-thrus) and intermediates who just want to have fun.

Instructor Comments:
What can you say about Jane Fonda? She's Jane. Also in this video are Laurel and Jeannie, who are also in her step tapes. I like Laurel and Jeannie.

Laura (LCC)


This is the first exercise I ever had. My mom bought it for me as a gift because I was overweight and wanted to work out but gyms were so expensive and I was in college and couldn't afford the monthly fees. So I did this one every for several months until I bought a second one. This is a one hour hi/low floor aerobics class. One side of the room always does low and one side does mixed. The setting is kinda cool, on a rooftop, and the ligting makes it look like night. Some of the camera angles and cuts are weird. They focus on feet during simple steps and faces during a more complex pattern. The exercisers all look like pretty happy and wear very trendy clothes (Jane wears this lacey bodystocking ala Cher with boots and looks doofy) but there is some variety of body types here even though they are all fit looking. The music is generic aerobic music. The workout is step up so you can do a whole hour if you choose, but the song at twenty minutes can be used as a warm up, or cool down if you choose. This was pretty cool because I had one video for a long time, and I could make it feel like a different one by mixing doing 20 min, doing the whole thing or doing 40 min. You can get a lot of mileage with this format. The aerobics are pretty intermediate, though beginners who like more complex moves than just marching may like enjoy this one with the low impact options. The stretch at the end is good, but there are no stretches in the warm up and if you stop at 20 min., you'll have to fast forward to get them. Also this an interval work out, alternating intense aerobics with low intensity aerobics. Its well produced and fairly enjoyable.

Instructor Comments:
Jane teaches this with Jeannie and Laurel. All of them seem friendly, and cue fairly well. Laurel is far less annoying than she was in Step n Stretch. Jane talks more than the other two. Jeannie seems very down to earth and encouraging. Laurel seems more hip.



The class is great for time-constrained people, or for newcomers to expert users. The music is a bit corny for the premise of it being a cool on-the-roof workout tape. The moves can be either very simple or very intense. The class is very good cardiovascularly, and okay stretching-wise. The nutrition program at the end is very well written, and informative. This tape deserves an 'A', and if it didn't have the nutrition piece, a 'B+'.

Instructor Comments:
Jane appears very different in this video. Her outfit isn't a good example of what to workout in, not like I would even think of it. Despite her attire, her leading the class is pretty much the same as her other videos, better than some. Her, and the other 2 instructors Jeanne and Laurel, lead a pretty high or low energy workout, depending on who you follow. The nutrition segment is very well discussed by Jane and is very informative to people looking to changing or modifying their nutrition program.

Michael B.


"Lean Routine" is one of my "fun" workouts for days when I just want to let go and move. I don't feel I get any particular toning benefits, but I get to "dance with the Broadway chorus." Admittedly, some of the routines are hard to get, especially because of some late cuing. But what is the rewind button for, anyway? Once you get the routines and the "hard transitions" as Jeannie (one of the instructors) says, IT'S FUN! A big reason I like this workout is because the aerobic portion is around 45-50 minutes long if you do the entire tape. You can work at a high or low level, but either way, you know with the time period, you're burning fat. To the reviewers who disliked the costumes -- lighten up! I think they're a hoot! I usually wear some crappy shorts and a T-shirt to work out, so I think the video exercisers show a lot of creativity. Another thing I like about this tape are the MEN. Between the silly costumes and the MEN, my eyes never look at the clock to see when this darn tape will be over.

Instructor Comments:
Jane Fonda was my first fitness guru, so matter what she does, I forgive her for it. It seems in her earlier tapes, she knew the routines better and cued them better; in later tapes she depends more on other instructors for cuing. But despite that she was a traitor to the U.S. as "Hanoi Jane," I still like to work out with her. (My husband will never let me forget her stunts during the Vietnam War.) Her other instructors in "Lean Routine" are Laurel and Jeannie. Laurel is tall, sexy, perky, young, and does the high impact version of the moves. She's VERY friendly, and cues beautifully. Jeannie is petite, pretty, and does the low impact versions. She's the "understanding" instructor. Her cuing is also good.

Lilly Anderson


This has to be one of the worst tapes I have ever used. It's low impact, but the moves are often extremely ineffective and I have a tough time getting my heart rate up. Terrible music, too.

I find the cueing off, too. Some of the more intricate foot movements are not well explained. There's a lot of giggling and "whooping", which is also not to my taste at all. The outfits worn by the participants are trashy and off-putting - I don't want to see someone doing aerobics in gold lame shorts and a feather in her ear.

At the end of the tape, Fonda does a good, basic review on healthy eating and exercise habits with some VERY basic biochemistry thrown in.

Kalpana Shankar


The Lean Routine consists of approximately one hour of dance type aerobics, low-impact; one feature that makes it very good for beginners (or those in a time crunch) is that Fonda conveniently has one student in the class cool down (by working out less intensely) and then leave after 20 minutes; another one warms up during that same time, and goes to the end. Thus an exerciser has a clear indication of when and how to stop, if she only wants 20 minutes, or when and how to start, if she wants 40; and she can do the whole tape, for almost 60 minutes.

As another reviewer pointed out, this tape does have its weak parts, notably Jane dressed in a black body stocking with little pointy boots no one would ever exercise in; the costuming on this one isn't its high point, and her music has been better. But outweighing that: it's fun to do; easy to follow yet sweaty; very flexible with your time schedule; and Jane's class consists of a wide range of body types (one of the instructors is very petite, which I appreciate seeing - no way can I aspire to have a body like the tall models so many videos have!).

I recommend this one as a definite for beginners, and for intermediate exercisers as well. Only, wear real shoes - leave the Peter Pan boots alone!

Sally Waters


Jane Fonda's Lean Routine Instructor: Jane Fonda
Music: varied instrumental
Energy Level: High
Choreography: Very Complex
Production: Professional

I owned this tape for two weeks and went through it several times but gave up and exchanged it for the Low Impact tape. The choreography was just too difficult for me, and the camera made things even harder because it kept moving around so I couldn't see what I was supposed to be doing. Maybe now that I've been working out a while, I might feel differently. But this is definitely not a tape for beginners (who aren't natural or trained dancers).

Diane Danielle