Astronomical monthly dues, macho men hogging the weight room mirror and 10-minute waits for the treadmill—these are just some of the reasons many Americans forgo allocating a chunk of their cash to a monthly gym membership. First, it’s important to remember that you should never be intimated of getting out there and exercising—taking steps toward improving your health is something to be proud of! But there is something to be said for having the ability to get a good workout in the privacy of your own home. Whether you’re looking to sculpt your midsection, find your inner yogi or get a total-body workout, these exercise DVDs are the most efficient you’ll find.
1. P90X Workout
The P90X workout is one of the most intense you will find on a disk. This DVD set takes 90 days to transform your body. You will be encouraged throughout the series by Tony Horton, who pushes you through the exercises that are designed to get you ripped and toned. (See varying kit option prices here.)
The Insanity program covers 10 DVDs, and it takes you on a total body workout experience. This set of home exercises promises results after 60 intense days of using the program. Shaun T is the host of this show, and his exercises do not require extra equipment, making this a convenient exercise option to toss in a travel bag when you’re on the road. (Cost: $120 for the complete kit)
If your workout has to be fun to be effective for you, Dance off the Inches is a great option. This fun-filled DVD combines dancing with a heart-pumping cardio workout for maximum fun and effectiveness. You’ll burn fat while learning new moves that you can use on the dance floor on your next night out. (Cost: $8)
Billy Blanks was one of the first to combine the moves of kickboxing with a cardio workout class. The result was Tae Bo, and the classic workout is just as effective as it was years ago. This is a great workout that will move every part of your body and help you to release stress more effectively than others, especially after a frustrating day at the office! Just imagine that the kicks and punches you throw in this workout are directed at the cause of your anger. (Cost: $9.99)
If you only have seven minutes a day for a workout, this Fit in a Flash DVD from Denise Austin is for you. It gives you a head-to-toe workout in under 10 minutes, making this the ideal exercise DVD for those who are pressed for time. (Cost: $6)
Sometimes exercise DVDs can feel rushed because they are often created in numerous takes, but you can see the imperfections of others by watching the one-take Power Fusion DVD that was filmed with Ellen Barrett and some of her class regulars in her studio. The workout combines stretching, cardio and strength training. You will get the feel of being inside a gym class without the drive. (Cost: $15)
Celebrities and other well-to-do people who live in New York City flock to the Physique 57 studio classes that are typically overpriced for most people, but now you can get the same workout in the comfort of your own home with the Physique 57 Classic 57-Minute Full Body Workout DVD. This DVD works all of your muscle groups hard, but it produces results in long, lean and firm muscles. The distinctive workout system will have you working your muscles to their fullest extent, then soothing them through stretching at the end. (Cost: $24.95)
While many workout DVDs give you the same routine, the two-DVD set of Jillian Michaels Hard Body gets progressively more difficult as you get stronger. The result is greater strength and more effectiveness in reaching your goals. (Cost: $12.73)
The high-end Exhale spas are home to the Core Fusion workout classes, but you can get the effective results from these pilates-inspired moves at home with the Core Fusion: Bootcamp DVD. Not only will your heart be pounding, but you will also get stronger through the strength training moves on the DVD. (Cost: $9)
From Men’s Health magazine comes a workout DVD designed just for guys. This workout includes exercises for your arms and abs to get you strong in a minimum amount of time. With a jump rope and some basic weights, you train your whole body to be firm and powerful. (Cost: $14.46)
Don’t let bad weather or a packed gym keep you from exercising. Grab one of these DVDs for a workout in your own home.