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12 Best Exercise Videos for Beginners

Getting Started With Exercise Videos

When you're ready to try a video, first clear your environment so you can move without knocking things over, says Neporent.

Be in a room with no distractions, advises Glenna. If you set up in the kitchen, you'll end up doing the dishes. If you set up in the laundry room, you'll throw a load in the dryer.

Set up your space with the tools you'll need, like exercise bands, weights, a stability ball, or a step, says Zurowski. Have water on hand. Wear good exercise shoes, and if you're a woman, a good sports bra, says Neporent. Putting a mirror in the space will help you check your form and can help motivate you, adds Glenna.

Be sure to preview the video before you try to do it for the first time, says Zurowski.

"Fast-forward through the DVD to see if there are any things you can't do, and while previewing, see if there are multiple people on stage and find the 'modifier,'" the person doing an easier version of the workout, she says. "And certainly for the first few times, don't worry about keeping up."

Gauge your intensity level the whole way through so you don't overexert yourself, says Neporent. Be familiar with how to take your heart rate. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being full exertion, you want to stay between 5 and 8 throughout the workout, she says.

Be consistent with the time you exercise, says Glenna. This will help you keep your commitment.

"Go into the workout with results in mind," says Glenna. "You're not just putting time in, but you're wanting to get something out of it."

12 Best Exercise Videos for Beginners

Here are 12 DVD workouts Glenna and Zurowski recommend for beginners:

1. Gin Miller's Build Up Your Muscles. It shows you how to use weights, tubing, an exercise ball, and ankle weights with four different 45-minute workouts. You learn the same exercises with different resistance. It's slow and clear and focuses on good form, says Zurowski.

2. The "For Dummies" series. Any of the "Dummies" series videos (like Shaping up with Weights for Dummies, Pilates for Weight Loss for Dummies and Basic Yoga for Dummies) are usually excellent, says Zurowski. These videos go slowly, explain the workout clearly, and show the exercise from multiple angles. The instructor is always alone, so there are no distractions. Another good feature of this series is that it also shows mistakes to avoid, says Glenna.

3. The Firm's Super Body Sculpt. This earns a spot on the top 12 list because it has three 15-minute workouts -- for the upper body, the lower body, and abs. The exercises are basic, and you can choose to do one segment or all three.

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