Strictly Come Dancing The Workout is a brilliant all-round cardio workout, but the steps will take some getting used to for people new to dance. It's perfect for Strictly fans, as it makes exercise more of a fun activity (and if you learn the moves well, you can always do a solo salsa/jive at a holiday party--not something you take away from the average fitness DVD).
Dancing is a great workout--by using all the major muscle groups you can get excellent cardiovascular benefits. Even the posture of well-executed dancing--holding your head up, shoulders back, ribcage in, etc.--alter your perception of your body, as well as others' perception of you, which is an added benefit most workouts won't deliver.
Kelly Brock and Flavia Cacace alternate teaching you four different dances, each designed to hone different parts of your physique:
- Salsa (targets waist, back, shoulders and arms)
- Jive (for a great backside)
- Quick Step (for toned arms and legs)
- Tango (tones tummies, legs and lower back)
There are easy-to-follow instructions and a funky soundtrack with hits from Survivor, Gnarls Barley, and Shakira among others. For the Tango section, you need a high-backed dining chair. Ideally you'll have a bit of room, and some of the Salsa quick spins are hard to do on a carpet, more suited to a wood floor, but this is one of our few criticisms.
Some users have noted that when Kelly is instructing, the step changes aren't always indicated, but Flavia's are easier to follow. The technique--showing all the steps first, then launching into the routine, will be difficult for beginners, as you'll have forgotten the moves by the end of the instructions, but after a few times you should get the hang of it. Despite the difficulty, people have found this DVD a bit easier to follow than past Strictly titles. And to be fair, they do go over the moves a full three times so you can get the hang of them.
Content: There are seven sections to the DVD--Warm Up, Salsa, Tango, Quickstep, Slow Jive, Fast Jive, and Cooldown (about 85 minutes runtime, but much of this is unfortunately taken up by the instructions for each dance). Like many fitness DVDs these days, you can mix and match the sections you want, as you learn the steps. Many users skip the Slow Jive for instance to focus on the higher intensity workouts, for instance.
Prices: The Strictly Come Dancing DVD retails for £19.99, but you can get it very cheaply on Amazon for around £7.98 ( a great value as this is one of the bigger markdowns we've seen on a new fitness DVD).