The Very Best Of Hit The Spot

Denise Austin
Year Released: 2002

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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This tape features 4 10-minute toning sections compiled from Denise's hit the spot toning series. Each section features a brief, one-move warm-up, then one long set each of a variety of exercises.

The firt secion, arms and bust, is the weakest on the tape. Denise combines moves such as bicep curls and shoulder presses with toe-taps that might confuse the choreographically challenged. These can easily be left out. The remainder of the moves focus primarily on pull-type chest moves across the body and similar work done isometrically for the triceps. I found the cross motion with weights very uncomfortable, and could not see myself ever doing this section again. Done without weights, however, it might be suitable as a warm-up for more intensive upper body work.

The abs section was adequate, featuring a simple variety of fairly standard moves: sit-ups, a modified Pilates 100, crunches, reverse crunches and a spinal roll. Because she only does one set at a time, this would be a good routine for a beginner, although they might lack the core stability and coordination to pull off the half-time reps Denise starts with.

The thigh section was the one I enjoyed the most. I don't have a lot of tapes with floor work in them, so this was a nice change of pace for me: seated leg lift (3 variations), kick extension (2 variations), pelvic lift with pillow squeeze, side leg lifts (3 variations), and finally, a stretch. Denise is high-energy enough that this does not get tedious, especially since we only do one set. Although Denise does not use ankle weights, they would be entirely suitable here.

The final section features standing exercises for the buttocks, most of them extension-type work. This section would be a welcome break for those tired of squat/lunge-heavy leg work: there are only two sets of squats scattered throughout the section, and one of them seemed to be the warm-up. Denise also includes an isometric rep for each exercise, which was a refreshing change of pace.

None of the work in this tape was terribly innovative or original, but Denise was cheerful and motivating, and I enjoyed the beach setting. I'm not sure how effective a ten-minute routine with one set per exercise would be, even as an add-on. But if you skip the very poorly done arms section, you can combine the last three parts for a half-hour lower body floorwork workout that is adequate (if somewhat basic) but refreshingly enjoyable for a light-day change of pace.