Core Cuts

Rob Glick, Kimberly Spreen
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core , Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball

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(The break-down below doesn't always include a complete list of exercises; I'm not sure what the correct term is for some of these, just tried to describe them as well as I could).

Warm-up (Rob - 4:56): at first I thought it was kind of weird to include a warm-up on a DVD like this. I guess it makes it more versatile since you can do it as a full workout rather than just add-ons. Rob leads this segment. It's a very core-focussed warm up. This could also work as a warm-up for other upper body work.

Med Ball #A (standing) (Kimberly - 12:06) - This section starts with side-to-side moves with the med ball, then moving into figure 8's, then incorporating a knee-up. You also do some variations on standing side crunches with the ball, adding a side knee, and a tough but short plank piece with your hands on the ball.

Ballast Ball #A (Rob - 10:04) - Rob says that he and all but one of the cast are using the Ballast Ball by Bosu (like a regular stability ball but it doesn't roll around; you can easily use a regular stability ball) This is another good overall core segment. You start with some squats down onto the ball, rolling back and doing some crunch variations. Then you move into a bridge position, with some pelvic lifts, side twists, and extensions back. Next you do some lower back extensions before going into some roll-ins and pikes. You finish with some hip twists on the ball.

Med Ball #B (floor) (Kimberly - 8:28)- This section starts kneeling. You start by leaning back while holding the ball (tougher than it sounds!), then do some side-to-side tilts with the ball overhead, then go into circles. After that you move to a v-sit position on the floor, doing more leaning back moves, then side-to-side with the ball. Then you go into bridge position with your feet on the ball, lifting up and down (tough!). At the end you do some lower body lifts with the ball between your knees.

Ballast Ball #B (Rob - 5:05) - This is by far the shortest section on the DVD, but that's a good thing because it provides an option if you have a bit less time. All of this is done lying down with the ball. I don't see any reason why the lack of rolling with the Ballast ball would be a benefit here. A regular stability ball works just fine. He starts with passing the ball from feet to hands and extending out. Then you do some side twists, before moving into a crunch with feet on the ball, then adding a roll out with the legs, and finally alternating these with bridge lifts. To finish he does some lower crunches with the ball between the feet. You have the option of placing the ball on the shins which I find is really helpful to engage the lower abs.

Floor work (Kimberly - 10:55) - This starts in downward dog with knee pull ins to the centre, left, and right elbows. Then she goes into a really cool side plank series with the lower leg moving forward and back, then adding an upper body curl down (I can't do the lower leg movements and have to stay in side plank). After that you go into cobra, raising an lowering to work the back. Then you move onto your back for shoot in's (moving from fully extended to a crunch position), and twists with the knees up.

Floor work (Rob - 13:17) - This section starts with some crunch variations including a crunch with eagle arms & legs which I haven't seen before (this is hard if you do it correctly!). Then he moves into some traditional crunches, upper and lower, and bicycle crunches (option to straighten legs). I thought that this part would be boring but the variations are somewhat interesting and there aren't a huge amount of reps in any position. After this are some back extensions with variations. At the end you do a series between plank, side plank, boat, and side plank (other side), rotating around in a circle.

Stretch (Kimberley - 5:54) - This is a really nice stretch segment. It starts seated with side bends, flowing around to the front to stretch the back, and then a side twist. There is also a cool back arch extension, almost into side plank but with the knee on the floor (this is sort of like what my yoga teacher calls the "wild thing")

Overall I like the true core focus on this DVD. It's not just abs that's called core to be trendy. There are a lot of innovative moves and variations as well. All of the segments are well thought out and well instructed. If you're tired of the same old ab & core work, or want something to replace the ab work on older workouts, this would be a good choice. It is a great quality, versatile DVD that would be a good addition to any home workout collection.

Although both instructors give good form pointers, I would not recommend this to beginners because of the variety and complexity of some of the moves used. It would be best to be familiar with basic techniques (planks, side planks, using the stability ball and medicine ball etc.) before using this DVD. For the advanced exerciser, there are always ways to make things harder by using a heaver med ball, changing leg positions etc.

Instructor Comments:
I have other DVD's with both Rob and Kimberley and I like them both. Professional yet down-to earth and friendly. While one is teaching the other is a background exerciser, along with 2 other cast members.