Redefining Ab Training

Linda Shelton
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Abs/Core

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This workout begins with a 5 minute warmup, after which you do some African dance-based moves. Linda then leads you through a series of squats, clock lunges, and some balancing exercises done while standing on one foot. (These balancing exercises remind me a lot of some of the exercises from Angles, Lines and Curves I, although the workouts are very different.) The next segment is more yoga-based, with lots of lunges, planks and the downward-facing dog. The floor segment consists of a series of Pilates-style exercises. As I have only a very basic knowledge of Pilates, I'm uncertain of the names of the exercises, but they are very familiar. The standing and floor sections run about 20 minutes each, and with a 5 minute stretch at the end, the workout clocks in at about 45 minutes.

Collage rates this workout as intermediate, and that seems accurate. I am at a very beginner level in yoga terms, I found the planks in the first section rather difficult. The floorwork section was fairly challenging as well. I imagine that those more skilled at yoga and pilates would find these exercises less difficult.

I'm pretty sure that this workout was filmed in the same room as the "Dummies" videos. (Linda was a consultant for Dummies, so it makes sense.) However, some colorful murals and plants were added here, so the set is not as stark as that used in the Dummies workouts. The workout is done one on one with Linda--there are no background exercisers.

All in all, this is not a bad workout. If you concentrate on stabilizing your abs as Linda advises, you will feel them working. However, it is not a workout I do very often--I've owned this workout for a year, and have probably done it 5 times, max. The time factor is a problem for me--I really don't have the time or inclination to devote 45 minutes to my abs. The workout could be divided into 2 sections--one day for the standing exercises, and the second day for the floorwork routine. Mostly, I guess I prefer more traditional ab routines as an addition to my cardio or strength workouts. But those who dislike crunches and/or may be looking for something different may really enjoy this video.

Instructor Comments:
Linda is a very likeable instructor. She has a friendly, pleasant, down to earth demeanor. She is encouraging and enthusiastic, but not overly so.

Mary K.