Keeping up with the Kids

If you’ve got an energetic child, you know how exhausted you can feel at the end of the day. One way to get in shape—especially if it’s too hot to work out outside or you don’t have time to go to the gym—is to do your exercising at home. These DVDs can help.

Bottom Line and A Core Defined (Patricia Friberg)

bottom lineThis Pilates and strength-based workout is broken into three segments: Bottom Activation 1 and 2, and A Core Defined. The first two (as you can guess from the name) focus on defining your butt, but also work your core, improve your posture, and help you become more flexible and fit. Aside from the glutes, you’ll also feel this workout in your abs and legs. Do the first activation a few times before you move on to the second, just to get the hang of it and to get your body ready for the higher intensity. A Core Defined covers more of the body, but the primary focus is the abs. Friberg gives good direction throughout. Just work at a pace that’s comfortable and move on when you’re ready. $20 at

Your Sexy Everything: Booty, Legs & Thighs (Ilyse Baker)

sexy everythingDespite what you might think from the first part of the name, “everything” is pretty much confined to what’s south of the Mason Dixon Line. It includes four mini workouts (each is only 5–8 minutes long) as well as two bonus workouts: Ballet Grooves (a lot of fun packed into five minutes) and the Dancer’s Floor Stretch (10 minutes of lengthening, flexibility-enhancing stretching, and toning). $15 at

Dancinerate: Sassy Jazz and Hip Hop Fusion and Dancinerate: Burn with the Beat (Ilyse Baker)

dancinerateThese fun workouts are great ways to add some variety to your exercise routine, and maybe learn some new moves. If you’re already a great dancer, you’re all set! These two DVDs will build your skills and be good practice. Not a good dancer? No problem. They’re still really fun, and no one’s watching you anyway (except your kids), right? So enjoy. $15 at

In Light of Change (Julie Rammal)

in light of changeThis one’s a nice change of pace. It’s a little slower and works out your whole body. It’s also one of the more interesting DVDs we’ve tried in a while. It includes eight very different segments (ranging from Cardio Boxing to Tibetan Rituals), none of which take more than eight minutes to complete. The workouts are said to be inspired by “aerobics, primal movements, yoga, Pilates, stretching, and nature.” As such, no equipment is required. We found the workouts calming and relaxing, while still providing a good challenge. One caution: In Light of Change isn’t the best choice for beginners. Ms. Rammal isn’t great with giving instructions or modifications, so do only what you feel comfortable with and use your best judgement for when and how to modify. About $19 from


ab-ezeWant to add a little something extra to your workout? This suspension trainer is fun, interesting, easy to install and use, and offers a unique way to work your abs and core. The design is patterned after a trapeze harness found on a catamaran and uses your bodyweight and gravity to give you a solid workout. AB-EZE anchors easily over any door or fixed point. Then, by leaning on the comfortable support pad, your muscles will instantly engage. You can adjust the intensity by changing your body position or by pressing a button to lengthen or shorten the strap. Use it to “firm and lift the butt; sculpt abs and shrink waistline; strengthen back; and, shape and define legs.” It’s also easy to pack up and take with you if you’re traveling. $149.99 at

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