Under Review: Core Rhythms (and a Giveaway!)

I don’t watch much QVC or late-night infomercials, so Core Rhythms was only vaguely on the far reaches of my radar. But the Fit Bottomed Girls are more than happy to be guinea pigs and try out any workout, so let’s allow this phenomenon to take center stage for the day.

The dance-based Core Rhythms four-pack of DVDs consists of an introduction, which familiarizes you with the moves to come, a full workout, a quick workout and a partner dance. I won’t break down the introduction step by step, but I will say that it not only teaches the moves you’ll need, but it also allows you to look at front and back views of the dance, afeature all of the workouts have. If you struggle with choreography, this feature is awesome. You can also click on “help” during any of the workouts to have the instructors break down each move in detail. Super helpful, but I couldn’t figure out how to pause or fast forward without clicking that feature. That could just be me.

The instructors are crazy awesome. Jaana Kunitz has crazy, Kool-Aid-red hair, killer abs and what I assume is a Finnish accent (per Wikipedia saying she’s from Finland). Julia Powers has crazy, curly blonde hair, killer abs and what I assume is a Russian accent (per Wikipedia saying she’s from Russia). Both women are award-winning dancers and mean business.

Full Workout
The 45-minute workout consists of four sections: warm-up, merengue, samba and the cool down. The warm-upstarts your hips moving and introduces you to the GIANT torso that is dancing at the back of the set. We’re talking a movie-theater size torso. It’s a little distracting, but after awhile made me laugh and had me convinced that’s what my abs would soon look like.

The warm-up also introduces you to the fact that Julia doesn’t have bones in her body, as her hips seem to flow separately from the rest of her. The moves are all easy to follow, even if it takes a second to figure out the basics, which is moving your upper body in the opposite direction of your hips to target—you guessed it—the core.

Merengue is where the fun really begins, and you start moving your hips in ways you never knew they could move. You combine lateral hip movements with core flexion, thrusting your hips and abs in and out. The non-stop thrusting and hip shaking get your heart rate up. And as much as this is a core workout, your arms and shoulders get some work, too, because throughout the workout you’re either pumping them with the thrusting or holding them at shoulder level. The booty-shaking box step was one of my favorite moves.

The samba section incorporates a lot of bouncing to the sexy samba rhythm. My favorite moves were the step points and the step ball changes to the rhythm—just a real fun and funky move. I also got to practice my rump-shaking while doing a walk forward—kinda like patting your head and rubbing your stomach. Bouncing while drumming your hands gets your heart rate up and also worksyour thighs as you squat at different heights. The botafogos, a side step move while moving your hips in a figure eight,took a little getting used to but were super fun and really made you feel like a dancer once you figured them out.

The cool down is standard here. As the music slows down, you slow down with hip circles and slow, fluid movements. A few stretches round out the workout.

Quick Workout
This 20-minute section consists of the same elements of the Full Workout—warm-up, merengue, samba and cool down—with shorter segments. New backup dancers, same fun moves.

Latin Dance Made Easy
This 35-minute DVD teaches you and a partner two sets of salsa, merengue and rumba moves. This part isn’t meant to be as much of a workout as it is an introduction to partner dance. Julia and her partner demonstrate a move, and then break down it down for each partner before putting the moves together. I convinced my husband to give it a go with me and we had fun doing it, but it convinced us that we need to take an actual class because it’s hard to catch on at home. We’d do well during dances where the instructors were aligned with us, but when they turned it was all over.

After my recent go at ballroom dancing and this current shot at Core Rhythms, I may just be hitting dance competitions around America yet. Just kidding—I promise I won’t become an awesome dancer. I’m sure it’s more entertaining for ya’ll when I’m terrible.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Music: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★1/2

Fit Bottom line: High on the entertainment factor, this is an easy-to-follow dance workout that will entertain you and work your heart and core. It’ll have you dancing up a storm and learning new ways to move those hips. —Erin

Want to try out Core Rhythms? Shoot us a comment or email us at contact@fitbottomedgirls.com by April 30 to enter to win! (U.S. residents only, por favor!)

Want to shake it like a Polaroid picture? Go crazy with Bollywood Booty or the Dirty Dancing Workout!

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


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  1. {cher} says:

    i would SOOO love to have this system!! Please pick me!! LOL. The hubby won’t let me by any more DVDs!! hahaha

    pick me, pick me! *raises hand* oh! oh! oh!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    hehe I’d love to win this! It sounds like so much fun! Great review! I love all the new dance-oriented fitness out there now!

  3. Kimberly says:

    This system sounds like a great workout…and it is fun. How can you beat that? And if the docs give me bad news about my knee – i.e. no more running – I’m going to have find a new workout routine…..and this would be perfect!

  4. FitFoodie says:

    Sounds fun! I love to dance salsa & merengue 🙂

  5. tfh says:

    Ooh, sounds like a good way to partially live some of my DWTS fantasies…

  6. lonetree72 says:

    What a great giveaway! I would love this!

  7. Rebecca says:

    This sounds like fun! I’d love to try it.

  8. Nichole says:

    That sounds like a lot of fun!

  9. Karianne Salisbury says:

    I’d love it!!! Please let me win!

  10. Tina says:

    I personally don’t know how I have survived all these years of workout videos without owning one with a giant gyrating torso in the background as motivation!

    Seriously though, I’ve taken some dance classes and I really find that they are a great way to add a little fun to a workout. I would love to add this to my library (maybe to replace some other, less stellar videos that really need to get out of my house.)

    Thanks for the review!

  11. farmwife says:

    Way cool, I would love to try this!

  12. Merry says:

    I agree this is a fun set of workout videos… though I found that giant torso really distracting and kind of surreal. I like your interpretation of it 🙂

  13. Anne says:

    Haha, this sounds like a lot of fun!

  14. Bernadette says:

    I’m not a QVC gal, so I didn’t know this even existed, but it looks like a lot of fun! And my abs could use a few good moves…

  15. Healthy Hollywood says:

    I just want to say thanks for always being the guinea pigs and trying out all these workouts! It saves me so much time and money!!! 🙂

  16. Kym says:

    omg i have literally watched the infomercial for this COUNTLESS times. i would totally buy it if it weren’t so damn pricey. And it’s not for rent on blockbuster online or netflix! pick meeee!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I would love to have this–I have absolutely no coordination and really want to have a dance-based workout added to my home-gym! Winning this set would allow me to lose weight while
    a)improving my dance skills b)confirming I have no dance skills (and isn’t is always nice to learn that you were right?)
    c)exciting and/or entertaining my husband with either a or c d)improving my Russian accent for my side-job as a Soviet double-agent

  18. jesstyler says:

    OoOh, this one sounds like a lot of fun!!! Even though I have no rhythm 😉

  19. Brooke says:

    I need a good core-kicking workout. The last workout I bought was on VHS (gasp)!

  20. janetmouse says:

    Looks like a fun and challenging work-out for my abs!! Would love to try it. Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  21. Kate says:

    Looks like fun! Thanks again for a great giveaway!

  22. Suzanne says:

    Pick me! That looks like so much fun!!!

  23. samsam26 says:

    I hate to admit it but I have seen parts of this infomercial many times on tv. I have always thought it really looked great and I love how it seems to really engage your core and abs. I would love to win this!!!

    You always have such fun and useful giveaways!

  24. Liz says:

    I am usually horrible at dancing routines so I’m encouraged that this one might be easier for me. Thanks for the review 🙂

  25. Kim says:

    I keep being tempted by the tv ads but have no discretionary funds. I’m at least glad to read this review so that if I can save up eventually, it might be worth the investment.

  26. Erin says:

    Kinda reminds me of Zumba. I’d love to shake it in the comforts of my home!

  27. megankortepeter says:

    I love to shake it!!!

  28. Stephanie says:

    I would love to shake my bon-bon with the Core Rhytms DVD!!

  29. dily-dally says:

    I would love to try this!!!!

  30. Julie says:

    Sounds great I would love to try this!!

  31. Playful Professional says:

    I’m always looking for new workouts!!

  32. April says:

    Oh! I would so loooove to win this. I’ve been eye balling CoreRhythms for the longest. I need something to shake my booty butt into shape!!
    Pick Me! Pick Me!

    (Note: booty butt is 3-yr old termonology)

  33. Cody says:

    I saw an infomercial while in the break room at work one early Sunday morning. It looks like it could be interesting.

  34. erin wilson says:

    I’m currently looking for some new fitness DVD’s. This sounds perfect!

  35. Linda says:

    oooh this would be super useful to do with my boyfriend and my mom/sister! thanks for this awesome opportunity.

  36. Maggii says:

    Oh…this sounds like a really fun workout…I’d love to win…please pick me!

    P.S. I found your site in the Feb. Oxygen mag….and I think it’s great!

  37. daydreamer says:

    Would love to try this dance workout! 🙂

  38. Kristie Lynn says:

    I would love to try this out – and trust me, if anyone needs dancing help it’s me. 🙂

  39. Kristine Simmermon says:

    This is a great site! I don’t usually like infomercials either, but I would love to have a workout like this. I took dance for years and years, back in the day..

    Now that I’m 35, who wants to be in a dance class with 18 year olds? I sooo miss my dance workouts and how fun they were, but I’m too much of a chicken to sign up for public classes here because I’m old enough to be a mother to some of them! 🙂

    So glad I found this site through Jennipher… will keep reading all of the other entries now! Who needs to work?!?! 🙂


  40. Kathy says:

    I’d love to have this workout system! I’m trying to lose the last 20 pounds and it’s coming off agonizingly slow. This could help me mix things up and have fun in the process!

  41. Karen says:

    That looks like an awesome workout.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Just to let anyone know that I have gotten these sets at Target. Check if yours has it