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4.2 out of 5 stars
Summer Sanders' Prenatal Workout
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392 of 409 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2009
Format: DVD
This is the ONLY prenatal video you should even consider buying. Trust me, I have them all. I went through so many videos in my first trimester and finished them saying "I'm not dying, I'm just pregnant!" Finally, I found a video that had different workouts for each trimester AND they actually left me sore the next morning! Keri and Summer make you feel like you are working out with your friends at home. They have several different intensity levels that you can do if you are feeling tired or extra motivated that day. They keep you entertained and most importantly, keep you in shape. My body bounced right back after my second pregnancy. Literally, within 3 months I was back in my normal jeans and I feel I have this video to thank!
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121 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I bought several pregnancy workout videos, and thought it would be a good idea to write a review of all of them at once: Amira’s Bellydance and Yoga for Pregnancy; 10 Minute Solutions Prenatal Pilates; Shiva Rea’s Prenatal Yoga; Perfect Pregnancy Workout vol.1; Summer Sanders’ Prenatal Workout. Let me start this by saying that before my pregnancy, my level of fitness was somewhere in between couch potato and world-class athlete – I usually worked out a few times a week, doing 20-30 minutes cardio and some light weight-lifting, but was not running marathons or anything like that. I wanted to maintain a similar level of fitness during my pregnancy, while building muscles and flexibility specific to labor and burning enough calories to offset my very increased appetite. Whether you get one of these or not, my overall advice is that working out during pregnancy really, really helps – it helped me stay more comfortable as I expanded and my center of gravity shifted, it helped me feel good about the changes that were happening to my body, and it helped prepare me for a relatively smooth and manageable labor and delivery (no medication).

Amira’s Bellydance and Yoga for Pregnancy: This was one of my favorites, and I think in the long run it really helped prepare my body for labor; it also helped me to relax, stretch, and feel good as I got bigger and bigger. Some of the reviews here point out that it is not a very intense workout – that’s true, but I felt like there was plenty of stretching and strengthening, and through much of my pregnancy high intensity was not what I was looking for – the goal of this video is not to increase athleticism, but to help the body adjust to pregnancy and prepare for labor. Amira is a very encouraging coach, and much of the commentary is designed to be relaxing, informative, and comforting; I also appreciated that she looked like a real pregnant woman in the video, rather than a super fit, still skinny woman who just happened to have a bump. The bonus material – interviews and some dance performances – was not all that appealing to me, but I liked Amira’s intro statement about her own experience and the history of bellydance. The interviews might be more interesting/helpful for someone who doesn’t have sisters/girlfriends who have been through this before.

10 Minute Solutions Prenatal Pilates: This was another favorite. I really like the format, where you can choose how many of the 10-minute segments to do, and in what order, and I felt like the workouts were manageable and well-suited to pregnant bodies. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was doing the flexibility workout more than the others and often just one or two at a time, but for the first two trimesters, I would usually do three of the workouts at a time. I was somewhat familiar with pilates already, but not an expert by any means, and I found the workouts easy to follow (with a little practice needed the first few times); I think this would be good for those new to pilates, and the format means that even people who are not used to working out can start off with a manageable amount and work up from there. The instructor sometimes gives conflicting cues about breathing patterns, but generally she is clear, informative, and easy to follow. Seeing someone well into her 3rd trimester doing these exercises was very inspiring. Some of the workouts don’t require any equipment, but some require light hand weights and/or pillows.

Shiva Rea’s Prenatal Yoga: I didn’t get this until near the end of my pregnancy, but the few times I did it made me wish I had it earlier. The pace and level of difficulty are definitely geared towards beginners, and much of the emphasis is on toning and stretching in ways that are particularly geared towards pregnancy and labor (kegel exercises and hip stretches). This is a very relaxing and slow-paced video – not a killer workout that will leave you sweating and panting. There are modifications for each trimester, but with many of the moves, I found I could do the 1st trimester version and didn’t need the modifications. It did require some equipment: a yoga blanket (? Not sure what this is – I just used a regular blanket folded up), a strap (I used the belt from a bathrobe), and a yoga brick (this was needed for some of the later trimester modifications – I just skipped it).

Perfect Pregnancy Workout vol. 1: I had read great reviews of this, but was disappointed and only used it a few times. Basically, it was too strenuous for my pregnant self – the instructor is a world-class athlete and I guess this is the workout she had put together for herself during her pregnancy – nothing wrong with that, but her level of fitness and her fitness goals were just a little different from mine, and I really couldn’t keep up. That said, there were a few moves that I liked and did separately when I just needed something quick (like the labor squats). I did like it that kegels were built into this. If you feel you are up to it, it is an intense and thorough workout. The final section, on preparing yourself mentally by doing an intense endurance exercise, seemed silly to me at the time, and it still seems silly now that I’ve been through labor: 3 minutes of arm circles is difficult, but conquering this difficulty will not be enough to prepare you for making it through labor (which can be manageable if you are well-prepared!).

Summer Sanders’ Prenatal Workout: This video was ok, and definitely offers a thorough workout, but it was not my favorite. It has three separate workouts, one for each trimester, and you can choose the complete version or an express version for each one (I think the complete version is just the express workout repeated a second time) – I almost always did the express version. The 1st trimester workout was way too hard for me (I wanted to spend most of my 1st trimester sleeping), the 2nd trimester workout was just about right in terms of intensity, and the 3rd trimester workout was a little too light (for me). The moves here are fairly traditional and will certainly tone major muscles groups without any frills; I would have appreciated more stretching. There were a few pregnancy-specific moves that I often did separately (labor lunges, plie squats). Summer Sanders and her trainer/sister-in-law are encouraging, but their chatter doesn’t hold up well and starts to get annoying after watching it a few times.
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148 of 183 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I am 24 weeks preggers and absolutely love this video! I have another yoga video but I use this one on days I need a good workout and some movement! I love that it is broken down into trimesters and within the trimesters, there is a "Full Length Workout" (for days when you have LOTSA energy to spare) and "Express Workout"! Summer is so encouraging and is pregnant as well (which is always a plus, so you know they are dealing with the same issues). Her sis-in-law (Keri) is a personal trainer who adds some expertise to the video! The only things you need are a resistance cord, pillows, and a chair. The workouts are basic, nothing extreme! At the end, there is a great stretching section as well! You can't go wrong with this DVD! I just hope Summer & Keri come out with a post-pregnancy DVD!

UPDATE:
I used this DVD faithfully throughout my pregnancy (eventually stayed with this DVD instead of the yoga one)! I cannot say enough for the energy this workout gave me plus the 'feel-good' effect it had on me! After all was said and done (and a healthy baby was born), I gained only 35 pounds! Which meant it was easier to get back in shape post baby!! And I attribute that in large part to this DVD!! (Still on the lookout for a post-pregnancy DVD with Summer!) Can't wait to use this DVD again!! ;)
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142 of 189 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2009
Format: DVD
After struggling for a year to fit back into my clothes after my first baby, I vowed to take better care of myself with my second pregnancy. After reviewing several different prenatal videos, this one seemed different. Let me tell you, it's awesome! The trainer, Keri, does a great job of providing different workouts for your growing belly, and gives you the option of an express workout. (Helpful when I tried to use the excuse "I just don't have time today...") I never felt winded, but still got that great "workout sore feeling" the next day. Summer's 7 month pregnant belly motivates you to believe, "if she can do it, I can do it."
I cannot believe how much better I felt during this pregnancy, and truly believe it was the reason why I had an easier labor with my second baby. I even worked out the morning I went into labor! I fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans MONTHS before I did with my first baby, and I highly recommend this video for any pregnant gal.
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88 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is an ok dvd. I'm on my 3rd pregnancy, and get bored of doing the same thing every day. Having different workouts for the 3 trimesters was a great idea. The instructors are bouncy and whimsical, horsing around with eachother in a very fake living room, but if you mute them, you'll be able to stand it. What I like about it is that you get a great upper-body workout; lots of variants on push-ups and arm curls etc. (she does them with straps, but I just use weights; seems to work fine). I definitely feel my shoulders and arms get the goodness of it. BUT here's what I don't like: I don't really feel anything much in thighs or butt. I want a proper workout for whole body, not just the top! After I do this, I'm still feeling like I need to go for a run; which I guess is a bit much for pregnancy, but even a brisk walk does something. Not enough cardio. There's standing around, having sips of water. If I only have half an hour before the baby wakes up, I don't want to waste it watching people having sips of water. I don't think a longish dvd ought to leave one feeling not-quite-exercised. The other problem I have is that it's not in segments, and it feels slow. I'd rather be able to pick a fifteen minute section for upper-body, say, and just do that in combination with something else, to fit into my schedule. So: it's kind of useful, I'll do it some more times, it helps keep my arms toned; but I wouldn't get it again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I'm in my second trimester and was looking for at-home videos that would be both relaxing and challenging. I found this video pretty annoying, largely due to what other reviewers have said about the chatter between Summer Sanders and her trainer. It's also important to note that this workout requires a stretchy-band thing (I'm sure that's the technical term)--though I do agree that you could probably just use light free weights instead. Some portions of it did feel challenging (I'm normal weight and probably in average shape), but none of it felt relaxing. I also ordered Suzanne Bowen's Long & Lean Prenatal Workout and definitely preferred that video. Some of this probably comes down to style; if you think you'd like a peppier workout with a bubbly host and more traditional personal training moves, you might like Summer (on mute after a while?), whereas if you tend to gravitate toward yoga and dance-based workouts, you'll probably prefer Suzanne.
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85 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Hi All who have and are thinking of buying our dvd. Keri and I have read every single review and feel so badly we have let some of you down. All and all, I feel like our first attempt at an exercise DVD was a great one. We produced this ourselves...money out of our own pocket and tried our best to keep the production days to 2 so we didn't spend more time away from the kids than needed. Keri is such a fun and creative trainer and I feel like her workout is amazing. We do state that this isn't cardio...the best way to get in cardio, I found, is by walking or riding a stationary bike. After we shot the video, which we had so much fun doing...we realized that our "jokes" might not seem so "funny" the 30th time. We wish we had done a round without any talking at all. But, have you ever tried to do a 45 min workout without talking?? NO FUN! Anyway, lesson learned and if/when we do a follow-up, we will surely take all of your reviews into consideration. Good luck with your pregnancies...my kids are not 4 1/2 and 2 1/2!! Go get um girls!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I bought this video halfway through my first trimester and at 32 weeks, I am still using it and plan on using it to the very end! I would caution that I don't feel this video would be for someone who was not very active prior to pregnancy or just starting an exercise routine for their pregnancy. That being said, I would recommend this for active woman who want to maintain a good workout.

This video is broken down by trimesters and there is a different routine for each trimester. The only downside is it's just 1 routine for 3 months. But, I mix it in with days of walking and water aerobics. You also have the option of doing the full length workout or the express workout. I like that feature because some days there isn't enough time (or energy) to do the whole thing. I feel there's a good mix of cardio and toning. They even add in ab work for the first 2 trimesters.

The only equipment you will need is an exercise band, some pillows, and a chair for the 3rd trimester. The other great thing about this video is that Summer and her workout partner are not obnoxious about leading. They add in a joke here or there and it's just a very natural/casual workout.

I actually plan on using this video to ease back into exercise once the baby is born. You could go in reverse starting with some easier exercises in the third trimester and then build up intensity back to the beginning. Needless to say I'm so glad I purchased this video!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I wish I had gotten this earlier in my pregnancy. It's a really great strengthening workout AND it helps relieve muscle tightness and muscle cramps.

This is my first pregnancy. I had been running 4 or 5 days a week, 3-5 miles a day, before morning sickness and fatigue knocked me flat in the first trimester. I did yoga at home during the first trimester, but nothing too strenuous. At about 11 weeks, I started to feel less nauseated and I had more energy. I thought I was going to return to running and do that for most of the rest of my pregnancy. I was wrong. I tried to keep running but my body refused, and I figured that if there's any time I should really be listening to my body, it's now. I started just walking, but walking didn't feel like it was enough of a workout. So I started looking for prenatal exercise DVDs. This one is fantastic.

You do need a resistance band to do this. I bought "Exercise Variable Resistance Band 5-level Latex Tubes - Set": http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XUVA4O/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. You only need one band, but I didn't know which resistance I'd want to use, so I got a set. I'm using light resistance, but I hope to move on to medium as I continue to use this DVD.

The exercises are fantastic. The DVD includes lots of squats and lunges, which I'm sure are preparing me for labor and delivery. They also loosen up my pelvis and back and just feel good. The workout also strengthens my arms and back. It works triceps, biceps, and various back muscles as well as muscles in your pelvis and legs. I only do about 35 minutes of the full-length workout, but I'm working my way up to the full thing. If you want a DVD that works out your muscles to the point that you feel it the next day, this one's for you.

I will update this review when I move into the third trimester section.

Note: I bought two other DVDs from Amazon at the same time. I tried "Amira's Belly Dance & Yoga For Pregnancy" and hated it. It is too kooky and new-age, even for this yogini. It was also not intense enough to feel like a workout. I also got "10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates," which I really like and which I use regularly. I shall review both on their product pages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2010
Format: DVD
I bought Teddi Bryant's Hot Mamas and this one. I like Teddi's better because it is more challenging. But, Summer's DVD is more cinemagraphically pleasing and the set is better. Teddi's is really boring but extremely thorough. I can't say this DVD does well with things like 'foot placement' (for squats, etc) but overall it is WORKING! :) My butt has gotten ...smaller using this video and I feel very strong. I am also having to eat every 2 hours b/c of low-blood sugar. This video is well made and is quality.

I would have rated it 5 stars but the music is lacking in interest and originality (I listen to my MP3 player out of one ear and listen to her with the other)but I guess it is good for people that don't have alot of rhythm? ;)
I started with Terri's video but do this more more because to be honest It is a little less overwhelming and more encouraging...but, don't get me wrong it still gets your heart rate up. It's just not 1 1/2 hours long like Hot Mamas...I would say the Cardio is definately mixed. It is more conditioning based that a true 'cardio' video...but it is for looser ligamented pregnant women so I understand that. Overall, I very much like the video I just didn't read any reviews before I bought it that pointed out the lacking music (has some obviously but very monotonous) but this isn't the main point of working out. The video does tone well and is user friendly. It is also challenging with varying degrees of difficulty.
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