Skip The Gym — These Non-Cheesy Workout DVDs Are Actually Amazing

We’ve all been there: You wake up 10 minutes too late to make it to your morning spin class (we're going to go out on a limb here and guess we're not the only ones to have ever paid for a SoulCycle class we didn't attend). And yet, you're pretty sure you won’t be able to live with yourself if you roll over and hit snooze. Yawn. Wouldn’t it be heaven if you just get your cardio and toning in from the safety of your apartment, instead?
That’s where the workout DVD comes in. Yes, you read that correctly, but hear us out. We know there's something inherently off-putting about sweating it out in front of the TV — the lame music, the super-cheesy instructors, the nagging worry that all that jumping around will seriously piss off your downstairs neighbors. We get it.
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But seriously, you can’t beat the convenience of cutting the commute time out of your gym time. So, we went on a quest for the best of the best, and found more than a few options that work you hard and keep the eye-roll factor in check.
From the 10-minute routine you can pop in next time you feel guilty about skipping Pilates to the total-body program that could legit take the place of a personal trainer, these DVDs can guarantee you an extra hour of sleep — and a lot less guilt to accompany it.
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Photo: Courtesy of H&M
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Best Total-Body: Kettlebell Kickboxing Scorcher Series

Pricey, yes, but this four-DVD set has 10 different workouts that combine kettlebell training with martial arts movements to burn major calories (500 in 25 minutes!) and target muscles you didn’t even know you had. Bonus: You’ll dig creator Dasha Libin’s athlete- like energy.

Kettlebell Kickboxing Scorcher Series, $59.95, available at Kettlebell Kickboxing.
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Best Quickie: Give Me 10: Core Cuts with Amy Dixon

There’s not a lady alive who hasn’t cursed the dreaded crunch, and that’s why we love Amy Dixon. Throughout six different 10-minute workouts, she intros many ab- tightening, waist-defining moves we’ve never seen — or done — before.

Give Me 10: Core Cuts with Amy Dixon, $16.82, available at Amazon.
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Best Lower Body: Mari Winsor’s Lower Body Pilates

Mari’s no joke in the Pilates world and has the A-list clients (most recently, Emma Stone, pre-Spiderman) to prove it. In her latest DVD, she zeroes in on your hips, thighs, and glutes — a.k.a. your “look hot in jeans” muscles — with moves that magically slim without adding bulk.

Mari Winsor’s Lower Body Pilates, $14.98, available at Gaiam.
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Best Upper Body: Personal Training with Jackie - 30 Day Fast Start

Dear stars who shell out $400-plus an hour for Jackie Warner’s training, we kind of get you. While this DVD comes with a lower-body workout, too, it’s the 25-minute upper body plan that hooked us — we swear we saw our arm muscles pop after a week.

Personal Training with Jackie - 30 Day Fast Start, $9.99, available at Amazon.
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Best Barre-Style: Pop Physique - Original Butt

Some barre-based disciplines can go overboard on the whole ballerina thing, but this Pop Physique DVD is a touch less pretentious — and still burns in the best way. (Not going to lie: We're also pretty entertained by the fact that everyone looks like they’re sponsored by American Apparel.)

Pop Physique - Original Butt, $14.99, available at Amazon.
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Best Low-Impact: Yogalosophy

If you like yoga but aren’t a purist, this mix of traditional poses and strength moves is the perfect way to chill out while you tone up. Yogalosophy trainer Mandy Ingber is behind Jennifer Aniston’s still unbelievably beyond bod, so…trust.

Yogalosophy, $14.98, available at Gaiam.
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Best Beginners Routine: Crunch Fitness Pick Your Spot Pilates With Ellen Barrett

Not ready to kick it into high gear? Ellen's three 10-minute pilates segments and "feel-good" motto will wake you up in the morning without wringing you dry. Just don't underestimate this workout — the lack of high-intensity training doesn’t mean you won’t be sore tomorrow.

Crunch Fitness Pick Your Spot Pilates With Ellen Barrett $6.90, available at Amazon
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Best Core: Jillian Michaels: 6 Week Six-Pack

If your core is your trouble spot (and if it's not, we hate you!), Jillian Michaels’ intense six-week workout should be your go-to DVD. It features two 30-minute workouts — the first is challenging but doable, and the second, which features core-focused cardio circuits (that means you don’t stop in between exercises. Ugh) is definitely not for beginners. Trust.

Jillian Michaels: 6 Week Six-Pack, $7, available at Amazon
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Best Challenge: Ultimate Body — Challenging Workouts for Weight Loss

Want to break a serious sweat without leaving your living room? This mix of cardio boot camp (complete with kickboxing) and targeted plyometrics is the ass kicking you’re looking for. You can choose between cardio kickboxing, cardio boot camp, and strength training — or go for all three, you overachiever, you.

Ultimate Body - Challenging Workouts for Weight Loss, $7.99, available at Amazon
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Best Energizer: Shiva Rea: Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Shiva Rea describes herself as a yogini firekeeper, a sacred activist, and a leading innovator in prana flow yoga. In other words, she means business. You can mix and match seven 20-minute yoga practices, which range from relaxingly spiritual to awakening and intense, and the customizable Yoga Matric allows you to play each segment in any order you like. Even better, you’ll look forward to Shiva’s ultra-soothing voice on those days you’re not exactly springing out of bed.

Shiva Rea: Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow Yoga, $14.29, available at Amazon
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Best Aerobics: Simply Step: Classic Moves

Gin Miller is the almighty creator of step aerobics, so it's only right we learn from the master herself! The choreography is straightforward, but the tempo variations and directional changes make the workout pretty intense.

Simply Step: Classic Moves, $17.96, available at Amazon
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