Dance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop

Jennifer Galardi
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

I知 reviewing this workout after doing it twice.

General workout breakdown: LindseyLu has already given a good overview of this workout, so I値l just provide a few more details.
The warm-up (5.5 min.) covers some basic moves like a walk up & back, step touch, and grapevine with some hip flavor mainly through the arms (break out your best snake move!) and bobbing the body up and down to the beat; you値l also do some isolation moves for the ribcage and hips. The three combos are Hit 薦m Hard (almost 11 min.), Work It Out (just over 11 min.), and Smooth It Out (just over 11 min.), which as Lindsey mentioned slows the beat down to more of an R&B vibe and focuses on engaging the abs more. The cool-down (4 min.) has some simple moves to release the shoulders, hips, and low back plus some inhales & exhales; you値l also do some static stretches for the hamstrings, inner thighs, hip flexors, chest, side of the torso (obliques, etc.), and quadriceps.
Just to give you a sense of moves included in the video, the Step Guide covers the scuff, quick cross, chest pop, stomp and throw, punch and pull, dirt off the shoulder (which includes a hitch kick move), knee knock, heel combo, slide catch, and groove. Note that the Step Guide is nearly 19 min. long! I値l just say that when the step guide is almost half as long as the workout itself that probably tells you what you need to know about the difficulty level of learning these moves
There are some hops and some quick little pivot and similar moves, including some where your shoe could catch on your flooring if you池e working out on carpet. I壇 recommend those who want to avoid all impact and who have very cranky joints to approach this with some caution.

Level: I壇 recommend this to exercisers at the beginner / intermediate level who are comfortable with moderately complex dance choreography. Beginners and restarters with a dance background may also be able to do this; if you can稚 do the full workout at once, you can always do a combo at a time until you work up to the full thing. More intermediate exercisers will have to get into the moves a lot to make this feel like a workout for the body, but unless you池e a major choreo hound your brain will get a real workout no matter your level!
Normally I consider myself an intermediate/advanced exerciser, but for various reasons I致e been at the lower end of intermediate for a while. I picked up several DOTI videos last summer to use in my then exercise space, which did not have air conditioning, while I was at an intermediate level, and I致e revisited this lately as I worked back up to a low intermediate level (in my new workout space, a cool basement). At both times this was appropriate, leaving me feeling like I got a decent cardio workout in that didn稚 wipe me out physically, although it did wear me out mentally. I like choreography, and normally I picked up choreography pretty easily provided it痴 taught decently and makes some sense. I definitely needed the step guide and a full run-through before I started to begin to feel comfortable with this choreography, but then hip hop is a dance style that has traditionally caused me difficulty.

Class: 2 women join Jennifer, who instructs live as she does the full routine. No one shows modifications, unless you count the advanced version of one move that one exerciser briefly demonstrates.

Music: hip hop-sounding instrumental music, but nothing recognizable (at least, not to someone who doesn稚 normally listen to hip hop, but I suspect even a hip hop expert wouldn稚 hear much that sounded familiar).

Production: clear picture and sound, with Jennifer痴 voice significantly louder than the music. The camera angles were overall helpful.

Equipment: shoes that won稚 catch on your flooring (this would be a good time to break out your dance sneakers, if you have them).

Space Requirements: At 58 I was able to fit this workout within an area about 5 wide by 6 deep. This definitely needs more front to back space than side to side space, but it痴 not a huge space hog, and you can shorten up the movements if you don稚 have much room as I do (or as long legs).

DVD Notes: This time around the intro plays before the main menu pops up, which means you jump right into the workout (well, after the quick intro of the background exercisers). Your main menu options are Cardio Hip Hop - Play, Chapters (Warm Up, Hit 薦m Hard, Work It Out, Smooth It Out, Cool Down), and Step Guide Play.

Comments: DOTI Hip Hop Party vs. Cardio Hip Hop Here痴 my compare and contrast of Jennifer痴 earlier two DOTI hip hop workouts (she now has a third out, Hip Hop Body Blast, which I haven稚 tried):
- Both are about the same length.
- Party is more of a hip hop dance mix or hip hop-inspired, with some Latin, Bollywood, and other dance styles mixed in; Cardio is all about hip hop.
- Party has 4 background exercisers; Cardio has 2. Neither has a modifier. (This appears to be something Jennifer corrects in her newest DOTI, Body Blast.) Party痴 crew mugs for the camera a bit more and follows Jennifer痴 invitation to whoop and say, 徹h yeah and 填h huh.
- Party leans more towards the usual workout wardrobe while Cardio leans a little more towards a 都treet clothes look (continuing the Cardio is more 殿uthentic hip hop vibe).
- As someone without much hip in my hop, I found Party easier to pick up and execute. Not that I found it easy, just that I found Cardio even harder and trickier. I don稚 think this is just me, however, as I致e peeked at reviews at other sites and looked through some other threads, and I知 not alone. I also see that the 哲o complicated steps logo present on most of the DOTI DVDs, including the Party one, is conspicuously absent from Cardio.

I have to be honest: I feel like I致e given both of these a fair shot, and I知 just not feeling them. This is actually one of a very few videos I致e actually popped out of my player after the warm-up (almost a Joni O) because often when I reach for a lighter day cardio workout I need something that痴 not too taxing both physically and mentally. If I wanted that much complex choreo, I壇 reach for a Christi Taylor or an Evolution instructor痴 DVD instead. I do have some dance background from my childhood, but it was in ballet, tap, and jazz, and I知 comfortable with aerobics and kickboxing, but I知 having a hard time adapting to hip hop. My preordered Amy Bento痴 Hip Hop Walk recently arrived, and honestly that痴 more my speed when it comes to hip hop: a workout that痴 not really a dance routine but still has some hip hop flavor. I have a lot of respect for the genre of hip hop; it痴 an incredibly diverse style that requires a great amount of skill, as I知 finding out. But I think I値l pass this onto someone else who has more skillz than I.

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer cues pretty well. In the past I致e found she often doesn稚 fully describe all steps and/or arm movements, and she痴 a little better here; perhaps since she broke so much down in the Step Guide she feels free to talk about some other moves more. Jennifer mirror cues, meaning that when she says 途ight she means the viewer痴 rather than her own, and she does a good job of including a sufficient number of directional cues.
Note for those with an underage audience, who are thinking of gifting this to a teenager, or who prefer to keep things as close to G as possible: Jennifer talks about making moves sexy, but this is definitely not racier than anything I致e seen while flipping channels through Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance or any of the other dance competition shows. Jennifer also talks quite a bit about working your abs as well as including some burning calories / fat and the obligatory dancing off inches comments.



This is a 44 min hip hop dance workout led by Jen with 2 background exercisers. The body of the w/o is 33 minutes long and the rest is w/u & c/d. You wont need any equipment and there is no modifications. The w/o is broken up into three dance segments that you can "play all" or there is a chapter menu. The dvd also includes a nice "learn the moves" tutorial that was very helpful. The set is really nice- light grays & pinks, kind of a "living room" type set. The music is fine, nothing noticable. The outfits are kind of hip hop inspired.

The routines are built up add-on style. You learn one move, practice it. Learn the next move, practice it add it on to the 1st and so on. The first two segments are all cardio dance and the third segment adds in some standing core work to the dancing and is a bit slower moving.

I thought Jens cueing was really good but me being the NON dancer (and trying to adapt it to the rebounder) had a hard time following along. Had I done it on the floor, I could have followed along much better but I dont think I would have burned very many calories. This is the perfect w/o for those that like to dance and are good at choreo (though I really dont think this choreo was that tricky-def not boring, but not too difficult IMO). I would rate this intermediate/ higher intermediate in terms of choreography and high beginner in terms of cardio difficulty.