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Choose the right videos

Recommended Videos

The following instructors have produced a number of good Beginner to Intermediate level videos. Note that not all the videos produced by these instructors are appropriate for beginners. Read the reviews of their videos for more information about individual titles.

The following beginner to intermediate videos are popular with VF readers:

Beginning Step Videos

  • Kathy Smith's Step Workout Three progressively more difficult step segments allow beginners to progress to longer workouts as they get fitter. Also includes a strength segment. Appropriate for active beginners, but may initially be too intense for sedentary individuals.
  • Step Reebok: the Video with Gin Miller. The video that started it all. MTV style and a live band. Appropriate for active beginners, but may initially be too intense for sedentary individuals.
  • Leslie Sansone's Basic Stepping. As basic as a step video can get. An excellent choice for sedentary beginners who want to try stepping and for those who find the above two choices too intense.

Beginner to Beginner/Intermediate Floor Aerobics

  • Fat Burning for Dummies with Gay Gasper. A fun and easy-to-follow routine by a great instructor.
  • Leslie Sansone's videos. Leslie specializes in beginner videos. An excellent starting point for beginners, this video features basic, low impact moves. They feature exercises of all shapes, sizes, and ages.
  • A New You with Linda Evans, taught by Kari Anderson. Beautiful forest setting, great music, excellent instruction, and exercisers of all shapes and sizes make this a very non-threatening beginner workout.
  • Kathy Smith's March to Fitness. A very basic, time-efficient beginner tape that packs a warm up, cardio workout, and cool down into half an hour.
  • Kathy Smith's Fat Burning Workout. This video is a decade old, but still a classic. It's also longer than most beginner videos, with about 40 minutes of cardio and a generous warm up and cool down. Sedentary beginners may need to work up to doing the full workout.
  • Karen Voight's Your Personal Best with Elle MacPherson This circuit workout (aerobics alternated with strength training) was filmed on a Hawaiian beach and has a fantastic pop music soundtrack. May be too intense for sedentary individuals.
  • MTV's The Grind Hip Hop Workout. If you'd rather be dancing in a club than working out, give this one a try. Not for those with two left feet.
  • Basic Training with Ada Jancklowicz Nothing but basic choreography. The military boot camp style and set will appeal to men as well as women. Includes strength training.
  • Donna Richardson's Donna-Mite More complex and a bit more challenging than others on this list, so it's more appropriate for active beginners. Great Motown oldies soundtrack.
  • Kathy Smith's Kickboxing An excellent introduction to kickboxing, though any kickboxing tape will be too intense for sedentary beginners. This one is better for active beginners, or intermediates who want to try kickboxing.

Strength Training

  • FIRM Basics series (Fat Burning, Abs, Buns and Thighs, Sculpting with Weights): an excellent introduction to strength training, these videos stress proper form and classic weight training exercises. These videos can be made harder as you progress by increasing the weight. You also get short, aerobic segments interspersed with the weight work.
  • Kathy Smith's Secrets to a Great Upper Body and Secrets to a Great Lower Body. Terrific form pointers from one of the most professional instructors in the biz. This another series that will grow with you.
  • Ease into Fitness with Karen Voight. Designed for older exercisers, shows you can improve your strength and functional fitness at any age.

Yoga and Flexibility

All of the videos below are suitable for exercise and yoga novices. Read the reviews to see which might be most enjoyable for you.

For a list of video sources, check out the VF Sources page.

Step Four: Get the right gear