Media Room

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

Samantha Who? — (Buena Vista, $29.99) This ABC series was, for the first half of its season, last year’s highest-rated freshman sitcom. It has been mentioned in plenty of news stories during the summer hiatus for a much sadder reason, though. Star Christina Applegate recently underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. When it comes to the show, however, the plot isn’t new: A woman wakes up from a coma without her memory and discovers she wasn’t a very nice person. Still, the comedy does provide a fitting vehicle for the charming Miss Applegate.

Dancing With the Stars: Latin Cardio Dance (Lionsgate, $16.98), Denise Austin: Best Belly Fat-Blasters and Kathy Smith: Lift Weights to Lose Weight Double Feature (Lionsgate, $14.98 each) The reality competition “Dancing With the Stars” is one of television’s highest-rated shows. Yet many Americans aren’t content just to watch celebrities and professional dancers have all the fun. “Dancing With the Stars: Cardio Dance” was the top-selling fitness DVD in 2007 and 2008. The follow-up comes just in time for Monday’s seventh-season premiere. Two of the show’s impossibly good-looking pros, two-time winner Cheryl Burke and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (who partnered fourth-season runner-up Laila Ali) get your heart rate up with the cha-cha, samba, mambo and merengue. With warm-up, cool-down and 10 minutes of each Latin dance, you get a good 50-minute workout. There’s also a bonus 15-minute toning section to give muscles besides the heart some work, too.

It’s safe to say that in some years during the 1980s and ‘90s, the top-selling fitness videos were by either Denise Austin or Kathy Smith. The fitness queens are still going strong, but these two most recent discs are re-releases of some of their best-selling routines. My own introduction to at-home weight training began in the ‘90s with Miss Smith’s 1998 “Lift Weights to Lose Weight,” which is in this two-disc set along with its 2003 sequel. These are solid upper- and lower-body workouts of about 20 minutes each along with two 10-minute ab routines and a 20-minute stability workout.

Those tired of doing endless crunches should find something new on Miss Austin’s disc. It contains seven ab workouts culled from a number of the effervescent trainer’s previous titles, including yoga and Pilates routines. Each is about 10 to 15 minutes long.

Kelly Jane Torrance

blog comments powered by Disqus