Core Metabolic Jumpstart

Lindsay Brin
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core , Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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I’m reviewing this workout after doing it twice.

General workout breakdown: Denise has already described this workout well, so I’ll just add some comments.
Lindsay says she’s going to rotate through three levels: 1 is active recovery, 2 is moderate, and 3 is challenging. I feel like she deviates from that pattern a little; there’s one circuit where one of the levels seems to be missing and a few exercises that personally I wouldn’t put at that level (planks for recovery?!). But that’s nitpicking. She has chosen a decent variety of exercises here and seems to target the obliques pretty well, too. I like that she has a good number of exercises that focus on stabilization of the core as well as on rotation, for example.
Lindsay seems to have categorized her workouts as cardio or toning / strength / metabolic, and this falls in the latter category for her. Yes, “metabolic” is the new buzzword in fitness circles, and it seems to mean adding and/or working muscle while raising the heartrate to boost the metabolism; your level of fitness will determine how true that is for you, although I doubt this is going to give so much of an afterburn effect that it’ll cancel out even a snack. Personally I consider this a core or cardio + core type of workout. I suspect if you haven’t been doing much in the form of strength workouts this would count as a full body strength workout, more or less, but for someone who has been this isn’t going to do much for the upper and lower body, especially if you’re looking for a well-balanced routine (there’s a lot of work for the shoulders, especially the front parts, for example, and very little for the back, although Lindsay does throw in some supermans in the cooldown, thankfully).

Level: I’d recommend this to beg./int. through intermediate exercisers. Experienced beginners (restarters and those who have been working out for a bit but aren’t yet at an intermediate level) can find ways to make this work, and Lindsay offers suggestions on how to progress. I was a little surprised that Lindsay kept referring to the pelvic floor and transverse abdominal muscle without a lot of explanation, but at the end she explains that she goes over that in another DVD. Those new or even newish to working out may want to spend some time learning these concepts, perhaps even working with a qualified personal trainer, because they are tricky to master. Those more intermediate or even int./adv. may find this a nice add-on or spark, especially if you use 5-8 lbs. and follow the modifications up.
Normally I consider myself an int./adv. exerciser, although these days I’m at a more intermediate level. I found this on sale when I was looking for a few workouts to help with my recovery following an abdomen-centered medical issue; I knew I’d need something short, accessible, and core-focused, and this looked like it’d fit the bill. I’m so ashamed to admit that I didn’t manage to work this in until I was pretty much back to normal, and I regret not using it as I intended when I was getting back to my exercise routine. I may continue to throw it in over the next few months as I work to bring my core strength back up to speed; I’ve liked tacking it on after a Pilates video that’s about half an hour or so. The first time I used a playground ball, and that didn’t do much for me, as the lack of weight made the weighted exercises too easy; still I did feel this in my obliques the next day. The second time I used a 4 lb. soft touch med ball, and that was more appropriate for me. I probably could use my 6 lb. med ball next time.

Class: 2 women join Lindsay, who instructs live as she does the exercises, although she sometimes stops to walk over and point out proper form as demonstrated by one of the background exercisers. Each person has a different piece of equipment, and one show a modified version of some exercises, leaving out the impact during a cardio move, keeping the one foot down during a balance move, or keeping the knees on the floor for a plank, for example.

Music: driving rock-type beat. The music’s relatively quiet in relation to Lindsay’s voice.

Set: kind of industrial-looking space, with plain walls with metal scaffolding onto which lights shine. All three cast members are on a big, black circular platform.

Production: clear picture and sound.

Equipment: You have the option of using a playground ball (unweighted), a medicine ball, or a dumbbell. I suppose you could even skip those if you didn’t want to worry about equipment. You’ll also want sneakers, and you may want a mat handy for some of the floor-based exercises, depending upon your workout room flooring.

Space Requirements: If you can do a burpee (meaning you have more than enough space to jump back into a plank position) and take a big step to each side, you have enough space. This is one compact workout.

DVD Notes: Your main menu options are Intro, Basics (where Lindsay goes into a little more detail about the program), and Workout. Disappointingly, there are no chapters within the workout, not even ones for the warm-up, main body of the workout, and cool-down.

Comments: It’s worth noting that this is part of Lindsay’s Moms Into Fitness series, but that label’s not plastered all over the cover in big letters or anything, just in case you also have a SO who would hit the roof if he saw you collecting maternal-themed workouts, nor does Lindsay once mention mom stuff, not even a “clear the space of kids” comment a la Mindy Mylrea or Gay Gaspar. The intended target is the busy woman, particularly one who’s had kids, especially with the emphasis on the pelvic floor, but Lindsay also mentions every woman’s need to stem the loss of muscle, especially as menopause approaches. Again, this isn’t such a major theme that Lindsay revisits in the workout, so it wouldn’t make an eavesdropping spouse flee in horror.
All that said, I do see why this is an appropriate workout for moms, especially relatively new ones, not just because it packs a nice punch in a short amount of time without using a ton of space or equipment. That focus on the core, especially on the pelvic floor and transverse abdominus, the “deep” muscle of the abs, really is helpful to women who’ve been through pregnancy or who’ve had any sort of surgery that’s cut into the muscles of the abdominal region, like a hysterectomy or myomectomy, although even someone who’s had something like an open appendectomy might benefit. I appreciate that Lindsay works these muscles without doing bunches of crunches, which some low backs don’t like (mine!).

Instructor Comments:
Lindsay cues and instructs pretty well, although she could provide a few more form tips about the lower and upper body. She does cue with the assumption that you’re not as experienced an exerciser, so people who’ve worked out for a long time may find some of her comments too basic and reductive, although the flip side that is if you’re relatively new to working out you may pick up a lot. She doesn’t provide a lot of directional cues, but when she does she mirror cues (meaning when she says, “right,” she means your right, not hers).
Lindsay strikes me as a popular gym instructor someone approached and said, “You know, your target audience is busy moms, so wouldn’t it be great if you filmed your workouts so they could keep up with their exercise when they can’t make it to class?” She’s not the most polished or expert instructor out there, but she’s found a niche and works to fill it appropriately. She does sound a little young (she was 30 at the time of filming), but she doesn’t come off as too young, if that makes sense. I do see why her voice might not be everyone’s favorite, but I’m fine with it. I personally think she has a nicely positive, upbeat demeanor that’s not too perky or peppy.



In only 23 minutes you'll burn calories and tone the abs. Every move integrates the use of the core so this area is constantly being fired up. You'll work in sets of 3: Perform two ab specific exercises followed by a Zone 3 Cardio Blast.

Lindsay begins with a mini squat and some rhythmic breathing. Side to side reaches and pelvic circles begin to warm the entire middle. Next you'll reach the top arm to the ceiling and the bottom one to the floor, further warming the obliques (the muscles of the side waist). Next you'll either grab a medicine ball or hand weight (which really intensifies the work to the midsection).

Holding the ball forward, you'll begin with pelvic tilts. Each exercise is performed for 1 minute. Throughout, Lindsay offers excellent tips to ensure safety and correct form. The next move is a plie with a twist. You'll rotate first to one side then to the other. To rev the heart rate (and burn more fat and calories), Lindsay includes cardio bursts. The 1st one is a burpee move. The next move is a swing with a triceps extension (Lindsay calls it the "Lumberjack"). Following this is a throw move. You pretend to throw the ball adding a pelvic curl. A jump with a pivot is the next zone 3 cardio move. Taking it to the floor to work obliques, you'll perform figure 8 moves with the med ball. Next you'll stand up and continue the figure 8 motion working each side equally. Bring heart rate back up by adding a ski move next. Pick up ball again for a one legged squat with a core twist. Power squats work both the legs and increase calorie burn. Next tri-set includes a balancing knee woodchop both sides and zone 3 cross punches. Plank, pushups with staggered arms and zone 3 plank "running man" follows. Following all of this is some back conditioning along with a few traditional crunch moves for the abdominals. This completes the workout.

Instructor Comments:
This was a review copy provided to me by Lindsay.