My Top 10 Fitness DVDs – the FIRM

About seven years ago, I decided to get myself back in shape – or better yet, in better shape than I had ever been in. That’s when I discovered the FIRM. The FIRM Studio opened 30 years ago in South Carolina, combining cardio and weight training for safe, effective, and fast workouts. Recent FIRM workouts are geared toward women (earlier FIRM workouts did have male “students”), but the weight-training segments could easily be used for toning by either sex.

My 10 favorite FIRM workouts:

Sculpted Buns, Hips, & Thighs – my favorite “old school” FIRM workout, Tracie Long leads a kick-butt 35 minute core workout.

Hi-Def Sculpt – a newer FIRM workout, this one is a slower pace, but intense workout. Includes two variations – express (approximately 30 minutes) and full-length (about one hour).

Cardio Party – five FIRM instructors lead an all-cardio 40 minute workout; includes kick-boxing and salsa-dance moves.

Power Yoga – this was my introduction to yoga; great for stretching and strengthening, and a good length (approximately 35 minutes).

Jiggle Free Buns – my favorite workout using one of the FIRM’s specialty “tools” – The TransFIRMer (a glorified aerobic step that can be repositioned into a ramp). Another 30 minute workout, it includes one of my favorite moves – “Hot Cross Buns!”

Dangerous Curves Ahead – uses another FIRM tool – the Resistance Loop (included with DVD). Four workouts are included: Total Body (about an hour), Express Cardio (35 minutes), Express Sculpting (30 minutes), and Express Core Cardio (25 minutes).

Lower Body Sculpt II – uses the FIRM’s signature “Fanny Lifter” step-box; this 35 minute workout is performed while sitting or lying down.

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Express Total Body Sculpting – uses the FIRM Sculpting Stick (could also use light dumbbells and a weighted bar); 35 minutes to sculpt the entire body.

Jiggle Free Abs – another workout in the TransFIRMer series, three core segments (standing, seated, and traditional floor workouts) in 25 minutes.

Core Solutions – three separate 10 minute core workouts, can be used individually or consecutively.

While many FIRM workouts use specially designed FIRM equipment, there are a number of workouts that use only hand weights (any equipment needed is listed on the DVD packaging), and some DVDs (like Dangerous Curves Ahead) will include equipment with it. FIRM fitness DVDs are available at many retailers, and online at,, and at the FIRM’s own website,