|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsLinksBook Reviews|101 Ways to Meditate29 Gifts3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Body Brain BalanceA.M. EnergyAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAM/PM YogaAnswers for AristotleAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaAuthentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Yoga DVDBellyFit ElementsBetter Sex Through YogaBody By BethennyBreath-Centered YogaBreathingCalm EnergyCalm Focus JoyChoosing CivilityClassical Pilates Technique DVDComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCreative Core AbsCreative Writing In Health And Social CareDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitEastern Body, Western MindEasy YogaElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityEmotions, Stress, and HealthEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEverything VeganExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow and YinFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Ripped & ChiseledGood MedicineHealthy AgingHealthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy How to Cook Everything VegetarianI'd Rather LaughIn Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrated YogaIntegrative MedicineIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKnowing the Nature of FearKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga : DVDKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLife MakeoversLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMean GenesMeditation in a New York MinuteMindfulness for BeginnersMisadventures of a Garden State YogiMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesPassionate VegetarianPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPilates for MenPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga for HappinessPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPrescriptive StretchingPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptPure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRed Lotus YogaResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeSaving NormalSelf-CompassionSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessSports Hypnosis in PracticeStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStrength, Grace, HealingStress ReliefStrong Body, Ageless BodySun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSurf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTaming Your Inner BratTeach Yourself MeditationTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Minutes to RelaxThe Accidental VeganThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Breathing FieldThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Happiness of PursuitThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Indian VegetarianThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Perfect ExerciseThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Playful BrainThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Spa DeckThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Way of StretchingThe Weight of the NationThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Yin Yoga KitThink SmartTotal AstangaTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal PilatesTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Turkish CookingViva Vegan!WalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWellbeingWhat We Say MattersWhen Things Fall ApartWriting in FlowYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga 4 TeensYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga and PsychologyYoga as MedicineYoga Beauty BodyYoga Bliss HipsYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for the Young at HeartYoga In BedYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga on DemandYoga Quick FixesYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on FoodYour Miracle Brain
by Elisabeth Halfpapp & Fred DeVito
Review by Beth T. Cholette, Ph.D. on Apr 20th 2010
Lean & Toned is the latest DVD in the Core Fusion series led by Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp, a husband and wife team who are also founding members of exhale, a national mind/body spa. In their Introduction, Fred and Liz explain that they designed Lean & Toned to be a "focused mind-body class" similar to what is offered in one of their studios. The DVD consists of five approximately 10-minute segments plus a cool-down stretch. The sections are designed to be used together, although they can also be used individually. Fred and Liz take turns leading, providing live instruction and mirrored cuing; one of the three background exercisers, Barbara (who was the lead instructor for one of the Lotte Berk exercise videos a few years back, Muscle Eats Fat) shows modifications for some of the exercises. The workout is filmed in a loft-type studio, and the equipment used includes dumbbells, a mat, a chair, and a wall (a strap and blocks are optional).
The Main Menu for the DVD offers the following options: Introduction -- Workout Options -- Bonus Features -- Also From Acacia -- Credits. If you select Workout Options, you are taken to a submenu which lists the following:
Play All Without Introductions
PICK A SEGMENT
Upper Body Tone & Stretch (9.5 minutes)
Thighs Tone & Stretch (9 minutes)
Flat/Round Back Tone & Stretch (9 minutes)
Gluteal Tone & Stretch (9 minutes)
Pretzel Core Toner (10.5 minutes)
Bonus: Stretch (7 minutes)
The first segment, Upper Body, is led by Fred, and it begins with a warm-up: this is the traditional knees up/arms up often found in barre-type workouts. Following this, Fred immediately (the pace is fairly quick throughout) moves down to the floor for push-ups. This is a challenging sequence which includes push-ups on one leg and with a close hand setup; there are also leg lifts from an elbow plank position and seated tricep dips. Returning to standing, Fred cues more traditional upper body exercises using light dumbbells--e.g., lateral raises, overhead presses, bicep curls, and tricep kickbacks. All of the segments conclude with stretching; this one includes some nice yoga-inspired moves such as cow face and eagle arms (using an optional strap).
The Thighs section uses a chair (or barre) and is led by Liz. Liz starts facing the chair for several variations on plié squats. Next is leg lifts to both sides, and then Liz turns sideways (using the chair for balance only) for a set of rear lunges. She concludes with static holds before coming down to the mat for a thorough, 3-minute stretch. The following section, Flat/Round Back, focuses on the abs. Here Fred (leading), Liz, and Barbara have their mats set up in an L-shape against the wall. The first series of movements involves holding the back flat against the wall while moving the feet in and out, ideally hovering the feet slightly above the ground. For the second half, Fred and crew lean with their upper backs against the wall, sort of in a V-sit position, while performing movements that have a slight Pilates-like feel to them. This entire section is a challenge to strength, balance, and basic coordination!
Liz begins the Gluteal section at the wall, although there are many position changes here: she starts arms length away from the wall for leg lifts behind, but she moves through arms higher, one hand on the wall, and both hands on the floor in a standing splits stance. This segment also includes a long stretch of about 3 ½ minutes, which is performed seated against the wall. For the Pretzel Core segment, Liz is again leading, and she starts on the mat in the traditional "pretzel" position--i.e., one leg bent in front and the other stretched out straight behind. Between sides, Liz sets up the "curl" or C-curve for more abs work consisting mainly of tiny pulses up and to each side. A 1 ½ minute stretch concludes this section. The final cool-down stretch is led by Fred. He begins on the mat for a hamstring stretch, then moves to the wall for a nice series which includes legs-up-the-wall, diamond, and wall straddle.
Several Bonus Features are included on this DVD. The bonus menu reads as follows:
· From Exhale: Thighs & Glutes
· From Shiva Rea: Creative Core Abs
· About Core Fusion
· About Exhale
· Main Menu
The Thighs & Glutes segment, about 10 ½ minutes long, is led by both Fred and Liz together via voiceover. It uses a chair for moves such as pliés, pelvic tucks, leg lifts, and inner thigh presses. In Creative Core Abs, yoga instructor Shiva Rea offers unique variations on traditional abs work, performing moves such as pelvic tilts and crunches in a very fluid, dynamic manner.
In the end, I had mixed feelings about this workout. I thought that both Fred and Liz instructed well, and I liked that they moved along at a good clip throughout. Similarly, I thought that the breakdown into 10-minute segments made the overall time seem to go by quickly, and I liked that each section included some stretching. On the other hand, the lengthier stretching also meant that the actual toning work was proportionally shorter, sometimes as little as 6 minutes. But a more significant problem was that I found some of the exercises very difficult to execute. Because I have a bit of an outer curve to my lower back, getting into the right position for the Flat/Round Back exercises was near impossible for me. Similarly, I also found the setup for the pretzel exercise awkward (although I have performed pretzel variations successfully with other videos). Given these challenges, I do not agree with Fred's assertion in the Introduction that the workout is appropriate for all levels, from basic to advanced; even with the modifications (which actually vary from too easy to not enough), I would recommend the routine for more experienced exercisers, particularly those who are familiar with barre workouts.
© 2010 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.