The Best At-Home Workout DVDs for Beginners

Remember the days of popping in a Richard Simmons VHS tape so you could sweat to the oldies? Or maybe you were more of a Jane Fonda or Denise Austin fan. While the delivery method of at-home workouts changed from VHS to DVD (and now even streaming online), you can still get a fantastic workout right from your living room.

While working out with a buddy is motivating, exercise DVDs can help you get through a solo workout session. (Image: filadendron)

But if you're overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available to you, the pros recommend this starter pack to keep you motivated and save you money on eye-popping gym membership fees.

1. Weight Loss Workouts With Frankie Essex

This DVD features certified personal trainer Lisa Nash leading UK TV personality Frankie Essex through three workout routines, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a cardio boxing session and a dumbbell muscular sculpting and toning sequence.

As the Evening Standard puts it, this one has the range that beginners need. "Whether you're in the mood for unleashing your inner beast with boxing or working your abs with mountain climbers, this DVD has got what it takes to make you sweat."

Buy it: Amazon; Price: $8.95

2. This Is Yoga With Tara Stiles

This Is Yoga is a four-disc set led by yoga instructor Tara Stiles. Stiles eases beginners into a daily yoga routine with her quirky and welcoming technique, promising improved core strength and balance, as well as potential weight loss (when combined with a healthy, reduced-calorie diet, of course) and a dose of daily de-stressing.

Not only does Deepak Chopra follow Stiles' wisdom, Oprah.com calls this DVD set just as "accessible" for new yogis as it is "encyclopedic" for longer practitioners.

Buy it: Amazon; Price: $89.99

3. 30-Day Shred With Jillian Michaels

If you're a results-oriented newbie, searching for something intense and time efficient, take it from Tara, blogger at Fit and Frugal Mommy, this is the video for you. "As a mom of two, the length of a workout is incredibly important to me," she writes. "Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred will only cost you a measly 20 minutes out of your day, but the burn will last for hours!"

This 60-minute disc from the tough trainer is among the best-selling fitness DVDs on Amazon, featuring three workouts that build gradually. 30-Day Shred uses Jillian's 3-2-1 Interval System, combining strength and cardio to sculpt muscle as you shed fat. According to the DVD box, Michaels says that by following her 20-minute shred routine, "you can lose up to 20 pounds in 30 days."

Buy it: Amazon; Price: $8.97

4. RIPT90 With Jody Hendrix

If Jody Hendrix's, a top CrossFit athlete, physique isn't enough to convince you to try this program, the training detail and variety will. RIPT90 consists of 14 DVDs, a training guide, nutrition guide and training calendar, promising users a leaner and stronger build after only 90 days.

Available on Amazon, each RIPT90 DVD emphasizes different training forms and objectives, including every minute on the minute workouts, plyometric exercise, functional training and metabolic conditioning, a form of high work rate training that maximizes calorie burn post workout.

Buy it: Amazon; Price: $44.95

5. The Signature Classes With Simone De La Rue

With studios in New York, California and the UK, Body By Simone is a popular dance cardio program led by Simone De La Rue, a former professional Broadway and West End dancer.

The Signature Classes DVD, available on the Body By Simone website, is designed for all fitness levels and features two signature workouts that combine cardio and interval training techniques. What makes it great for beginners is that it requires minimal equipment workout — just a mat, towel and three- or five-pound dumbbells.

Buy it: Body by Simone; Price: $24.95

6. Beach Babe With Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn

Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, founders of Tone It Up, are two familiar faces in the fitness industry, attracting crowds of people at a single workout event (and an impressive social media following as well). The pair popularized their DVD series, Beach Babe.

With two discs and seven workouts, Beach Babe is a full-body workout regimen, including HIIT training, yoga routines and core-focused workouts. Beach Babe workouts don't require any equipment and can be done anywhere from your home to the beach.

Buy it: Tone It Up; Price: $14.99

7. Precision Sculpt With Stephen Pasterino

Stephen Pasterino's workout program, p.volve, is known for its popularity among Victoria's Secret models like Blanca Padilla and Nadine Leopold, promising to help build lean muscle. The p.volve method uses a signature p.ball, which rests between your thighs, held in place with an elastic band. Available on the p.volve website (along with the Precision Sculpt DVD), the p.ball targets the inner thighs, while also toning the glutes (a.k.a. your booty).

In creating p.volve, Pasterino wanted to bring an end to grueling, painful workouts. "I'm dedicated to helping women feel strong and confident with exercises that complement and enhance their natural shape," Pasterino says on the site.

Buy it: p.volve; Price: $69.99

8. New Body Pilates: Beginner's Mat Workout With Jennifer Kries

For beginners looking to introduce Pilates into their weekly workout routine, Jennifer Kries' videos are the perfect pace. Available on Amazon, the beginner-friendly mat workout video teaches newbies the fundamentals of Pilates, including proper posture, breathwork and footwork for a challenging exercise that also helps the muscles stretch and rest.

When teaching Pilates, Kries emphasizes back-strengthening techniques and increased range of motion and mobility, which she also weaves into each of her instructional DVDs.

Buy it: Amazon; Price: $10.90

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