I never was the cheerleading type, but secretly I always wanted to be able to know how to do herkies and toe touches. My inner cheerleader and I got to know other recently (in the privacy of my home, fortunately) when I did the new Slimnastics DVD by former cheerleader and fitness expert Nicole Glor of NikkiFitness.com.
Nicole was on the cheerleading squad at Syracuse University, and like any good cheerleader, she does all the exercises in her DVD with a smile and a whole lot of energy. Glor has written several fitness books and also stars in seven fitness DVDs, including one that is designed especially for military moms. Glor aptly describes Slimnastics as an “intense no-equipment routine combining gymnastics, plyometrics, and advanced yoga.”
Doing the Slimnastics workout DVD was a lot of fun, and although it wasn’t the most challenging workout DVD I’ve done, there were some intense segments. The “tuck jump – kick butt” section, for example, was true to its name. The DVD starts with a sun salutation warm up, followed by high intensity, cheerleading-inspired plyometric exercises like tuck jumps, toe touches, and even cartwheels. Each high-intensity segment is followed by a yoga segment to bring the heart rate down and stretch the muscles.
Nicole is always enthusiastic, and does a good job of explaining the various exercises. The workout has exercises for the abs, lower back, upper back, and legs, and includes cheerleading moves like cartwheels and herkies. Glor finishes the DVD with wheel pose, forearm stands, handstands, and the “squat thrust,” which is basically a brutal combination of jumping jacks, planks, and pushups all done in one motion, like a really evil burpee. She finishes with a five minute cool down to stretch the muscles.
The DVD has a couple strengths. First, it doesn’t require any equipment. Second, it incorporates a wide range of exercises to mix things up. Third, it has a good balance of intense plyometric movements and mobility exercises to give the muscles a break.
Be warned, however: this workout is fast-paced and does presuppose a certain amount of flexibility. Some of the moves, like backbends, firefly pose, wide boat, and eight-angle pose are a bit advanced, and these do make up a good portion of the DVD. Nicole does provide some cues for modifications on some exercises, like the ab rollup and backbends.
In terms of presentation, Slimnastics is clear and easy to follow. The DVD alternates between shots of Nicole doing the workout and shots of her explaining the various exercises. Don’t expect a detailed DVD menu with ten minute workouts that can be done separately; there’s just one fifty minute workout, which makes the DVD very user-friendly! Nicole refers to her book, The Slimnastics Workout, a few times during the DVD, and I would be curious to see how the book complements the DVD.
I would recommend this DVD to women who have a background in gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, or yoga and want to mix up their daily routine with a new challenge. As Nicole makes clear in the DVD, the workout is intense and incorporates advanced yoga poses, so if you don’t have experience with yoga or gymnastics, it might not provide as much benefit. For myself, I can say that since I started doing the workout, I have a better backbend, a stronger handstand, and a newfound appreciation for cheerleaders.
Slimnastics is available for $19.99 at CreateSpace.com.