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Workout DVDs that are good as stocking stuffers

December 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles is home to many seasoned fitness professionals who take exercise beyond teaching classes and personal training by creating workouts on DVDs.

This makes it easy to get fitness at home that's as good as the gym. We tested a handful considered a good bet as stocking stuffers this holiday.

"I just saw there to be a lack, especially in the group fitness world, of a true strength and conditioning class," said Mike Donavanik, creator of the "Extreme Burn" DVD.

Donavanik started a workout called training day at Crunch Fitness, and then tweaked it for home use in his DVD.

"It takes definitely more athletic elements into it. It takes that into consideration, and also it takes in Tobata training or high-intensity interval training," said Donavanik.

That is an understatement. Muscle confusion is big on his list. This six-week program has three workouts that combine super strength moves and cardio bursts in a 40-minute interval program. It is hard. It's definitely geared toward someone who loves a workout challenge, both mentally and physically, for around $20.

Amy Dixon's "Breathless Body" DVD is a total fat burner, kicking up the intensity to 11 on a scale of 10.

"It's about working hard, losing your breath to kind of spike that metabolism and get your body shocked, so you can burn more calories and actually exert yourself a lot more," said Dixon.

But mentally, she wants it simple with moves like lunges and jumping jacks. Each drill repeats eight 20-second cycles with 10-second rests in between - just in time to catch your breath for the next go-around. The DVD costs $19.99.

And for those who want to belly up to the bar in the comfort of their own home, international fitness star Tracey Mallett now offers her "Booty Barre" workout for beginners.

"We're going to do a lot of isometric moves, but in order to continue to let those muscles work more efficiently, you need to break it up," said Mallett.

Mallett's bar workout differs from many, stepping away from the bar to get blood moving and kick out the tension built up in those muscles for a different kind of relief.

It's 35 minutes of great booty moves, although abs and arms aren't neglected. The beginner DVD is $16.99, and her regular "Booty Barre" workout DVD costs $19.99.

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