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Fitness | REVIEW

Put a little sway into that cardio workout

August 23, 2004|Jeannine Stein

Hula dancing, beautiful to watch, is a substantial workout. In the new "Island Girl Fitness Workout for Beginners" series of DVDs and videos (Naturaljourneys, 2004), dance, cardio and strength training combine with traditional hula movements.

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Island Girl Fitness Workout for Beginners: Professional hula dancer Kili Ka'aihune hosts four videos that take hula and Tahitian dance to a new level. "Cardio Hula" combines hula steps and movements with traditional aerobic moves to create a cardio workout. "Hula Abs and Buns" works core and glute muscles via hula dance. "Tahitian Cardio" and "Tahitian Hip Hop" use choreographed routines to offer an all-over workout that especially targets core (trunk) and leg muscles.

Although the series is geared to beginners, those who do little exercise might need to practice some moves to be comfortable with them. Hula incorporates isolation movements (rotating the hips while the body stays still), which may be difficult to master.

Ka'aihune, born and raised in Hawaii, says the hula has given her powerful legs, strong shoulders and defined abs. "In hula, you're constantly bending your knees while moving your hips," she says, "and doing that allows the legs to tone and get really strong."

Price: Videos are $14.98 each; DVDs are $19.95 each; available at www.naturaljourneys.com.

-- Jeannine Stein

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