Videos & Music for Workouts

Related page: Yoga Videos & Podcasts

Archived Q&A and Reviews


DVD for Core Workout; Also good yoga DVD

June 2009

After two kids and a diastisis recti (separation of the abdominal wall), I am left with a poochy belly. Any recommendations for an effective core DVD that I can do at home to try to re-build some strength? Also, I'd like to try to renew my yoga practice, which will unfortunately have to be done at home. Any updated recommendations for a great yoga DVD that can kick-start my fitness routine? Mommy needs to get healthy

Try to start out easy--no twisting/jack knifing moves. Melanie at Berkeley Yoga near Strawberry Creek is great for post-partum work. So is Jonothon Gross at Berkeley Yoga on 4th St. At home, the Gaiam yoga videos are very good, and get the Intermediate Pilates (Anna Caban) when you've got a good foundation. You may be able to check them out of the library, too, to see if you like them. Good luck! S. Carter

Although not specifically a core workout, the Jari Love ''Ripped'' series are really great because she has a lot of combination strength exercises during which you have to engage all your core muscles, and it really does work them. Plus she reminds you about proper form throughout. Also I want to recommend which is a great website where you can browse pretty much every fitness DVD (including Yoga) in existence. You can view clips of almost all the DVDs and they have extensive customer reviews, and you can search for what you are looking for in a number of ways. Of course you don't have to actually make your purchase from them, but they have a generous return policy if you don't like what you get. fitness DVD junkie

Great workout music needed!

Dec 2008

I know of a great podcast service - They post free weekly podcasts with music at consistent tempos so that you don't have to break your pace if you're on an exercise machine. And they have a variety of music at different tempos, depending on whether you're running, spinning, etc. All you have to do is subscribe to the podcast, and it will automatically download new mixes when you launch iTunes. They also post MP3s on their website (if you have a different brand of MP3 player). I like it because, rather than listening to your same music week after week, you get some variety. jeff

I listen to house music to work out. I love it because there is usually a slow part in the beginning, then it starts to rev up, then there is the climax, then the cool down, just like in a workout! I prefer Latin house myself but any house music will do as long as it is not trance. oakland mama

The whole soundtrack to the film ''Slumdog Millionaire'' is my current workout anthem!! It features several songs by rapper M.I.A. and a ton of music by Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman. I love it (loved the movie too). Check out clips on iTunes. Lisa in Oakland

iTunes has a fun feature called Smart Playlist (under the ''File'' menu). The first option will come up ''Artist'' but you can change that from the pull down menu to ''bpm,'' which stands for beats per minute. You can then let iTunes create a playlist based on the tempo that you want. It could be a fun way to see what it comes up with.

Other than that it is hard for me to recommend music when you don't state your general tastes. Here are artists and genres that seem to have recurring roles on my iPod workout playlists:

  •   1960's and 70's R & B and Soul (Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, the Isley  Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, etc.) -- The Clash -- Beastie Boys -- Weezer -- ABBA -- The Who -- The Kinks -- Elvis Costello -- Earth, Wind and Fire -- The White Stripes    

Good cardio workout DVD?

Jan 2007

Can anyone recommend some good workout DVDs? I go to a beginning yoga class twice a week but need a cardio workout for home. I'd like something that's not too long - 30-45 minutes would be great. I am interested in cardio and also possibly a yoga video as well. I'm beginning to exercise again after a hiatus but am up for a challenge! Thanks for your recommendations.

I don't have a specific recommendation, but I love the catalogues that Collage puts out. Each DVD is reviewed and broken down into specific sections (for example: length of warm up and cardio and strengthening) and level. They have tons of choices and even inspiring weight loss stories. Here is their website: Tami

Home ab workouts

Aug 2005

As I sit hear and stare at my post-baby belly I am wondering if anyone can recommend or not recommend anything that has worked for them. I plan to eventually get a tummy tuck (after 4 kids, the first 2 twins, it is the only true answer) but in the mean time wanted to know if anyone has liked any of the at home ab workouts on the market. thanks
jelly belly

Hi there, I just got the Denise Austin Personal Workout DVD and it has a great ab workout. I really like the arm and leg workouts too. Jen

Pilates Videos

April 2003

Hi everyone, It's been six months since my baby got outta my tummy and I'd like to get back into shape! My body has totally changed since birth. Anyhow, I would like recommendations on Yoga or Pilates DVD's - I figure these are much cheaper than paying for $10-$15 a class, plus it's easier if i just have my baby w/ me in our rec room, than getting us all together, in the car, etc. I have a background in dance and gymnastics so i'm not looking for anything too easy, but i'm also still a beginner! I'll probably buy 2 or 3 to start and then build my library. Thanks in advance! stacy

Hi Stacy, About pilates dvd's- I reccommend Stott pilates highly. I am a pilates teacher and have seen a lot of videos by different companies and Stott's are high quality and very clear and concise. As a former dancer myself I really appreciate their precision of movement- and they should be excellent for someone postpartum. You can order these online at You will want to start with beginning matwork and eventually progress upwards. There are also some yoga infused pilates titles now. These have all been out on video for a long time but should be becoming available on dvd this month. I also reccommend that you take a few pilates classes as when done properly pilates is a very precise form of exercise and it is good to make sure you have good form to get the ultimate benefit. I teach a couple mat classes a week- which are small so I have lots of opportunity to correct. You could even bring your baby along. If you have any other questions you are welcome to phone me at 510-508-1408 or check out my website at Good luck. Andrea

The Stott Pilates series of exercise videos are by far the most well-respected by professionals in the fitness industry. Moira Stott has adapted, updated, and expanded the standard (and previously very limited) Pilates exercises to comform with current thinking about exercise physiology. Helene

I recently lost 55 lbs in 6 months through the consistent use of Pilates and Yoga DVD's at home. I know exactly how you feel-you want to lose weight and firm up without going to the gym. I have two toddlers (born in 2000 & 2001) and workout DVD's have been the perfect solution for me. My husband commented that we own more exercise DVD's than regular films, but he loves the results. I set my alarm for 4:30am and get my daily excercise in before my children wake up. My two favorite DVD's which have really made a difference in my body are: Classical Pilates Technique-Complete Matwork, and Bryan Kest's Power Yoga-Intensive Body Sculpting Both DVD's are available on and they are well worth the price. They both also feature modifications for everyone from beginners through advanced(and what Classical Pilates calls ''super advanced''), so these are two DVD's that you can grow with at your own pace. twounderthree

i went the video route with pilates, and then yoga, after pregnancy, and it was very helpful--but i also recommend taking a series of classes and/or goign to a few drop in pilates classes. even the best videos are not goign to measure up to a teacher who can direct you. that said, i think moira stott's pialtes tapes are some of the best out there--she explains well, tells you what you're supposed to be doing and what muscles/joints/ etc. you're working. if you've got dance experience i'd go for her intermediate tape, but you might try the beginner for info/pointers (or buy a book, like mari winsor's 'the pilates powerhouse,' to get the little details). i also like grace lazenby's 'all the right moves,' a combination yoga & pilates (more yoga) intense workout! Jennifer Kries' 'the method' series offers good workouts, i think, but only if you know what's going on--imho, she offers little in the way of explicit instruction for too many poses. you can also read the reviews of these videos/dvds at are quite helpful. good luck & have fun! jessica