Video Fitness

Core Secrets 25 Minute Full Body Workout

Gunnar Peterson

All in all this is a great 25min low-intermediate quickie workout that hits legs/butt/chest/back/shoulders/triceps/biceps and most moves also strengthen the core. You could compare the intensity to Crunch Boot Camp (on a stability ball!) or FIRM Super Body Blast workout. A huge variety of exercises, 31 total (16 in the the toning workout), most done for 10-12 reps, using the stability ball and 1 set of dumbbells. Includes exercises for all major muscle groups but you don't do enough weight/reps to build substantial strength/endurance. Actual toning workout times in at 16+1/2 minutes.

I found I needed 2 different sets of dumbbells to challenge the different muscle groups.

The music is good & motivating, the coaching is excellent. I liked this one a lot, I can see doing it on days where I don't have much time and I already did a heavy-weights workout earlier in the week. The Core Secrets series keeps on amazing me with the tremendous variety of exercises using the stability ball. It's so much more comfortable doing exercises lying on the ball!

This workout is filmed in a bright airy studio with a blue floormat on the hardwood floor, light-colored walls and large deco windows with a viewscape of the Hollywood hills. The set seems lighter & larger than other Core Secrets workouts. Four ladies are in the workout, Brooke Burke is not in this workout. One exerciser always shows the modfications. They workout on the silver/grey Core Secrets 65cm ball and Gunnar uses 10lb dumbbells, it looks like the ladies are using 5 or 8lb dumbbells. I used my 55cm ball (which worked great) and 10-12lb dumbbells.

The production quality is excellent, filmed well with different camera angles to show detail, mostly front-on camera work. Great sound & picture quality. Gunnar coaches throughout with form pointers & helpful instructions, some motivational comments. Very matter-of-fact, not too gushy - some might find his style a bit dry.

The music is loud pop instrumental music throughout, sometimes a jazzy pulsating instrumental piece. This workout uses several recognizable vintage Dynamix tunes. In the credits at the end it says music by Daveed & Dynamix.

There is a DVD shuffle feature which apparently re-sequences the 4 different blocks of exercises so the workout seems different & fresh. See breakdown below.

The breakdown:
4min warm-up using the ball
16.5min toning (16 diff exercises) done in 4 sections of 4 exercises totaling 4min each section
4min cool-down with the ball

The breakdown of the exact exercises is shown below. NOTE: All exercises are done for 10-12 reps.

WARM-UP 4min
[exercises mostly done seated on ball (yeah!)]
hip circles
side-to-side rolls
forward rolls
leg lifts
shoulder stretch
triceps stretch
overhead stretch

TONING 16.5min
bent-over lunges
reverse hyperextensions
lying side crunches
bicep curls
leg extensions
tricep kickbacks
weighted angled crunches
forward/side/twisting lunges
lat row/inner thigh squeeze
lying crunch holding the ball (these are hard!)
one-armed chest press
shoulder press
hamstring press
crunch w/ball squeeze

torso stretch
torso stretch w/leg drop
kneeling stretch
kneeling lat stretch
drape stretch
calf stretch
hamstring stretch

TOTAL: 25min DawnP


Like others have stated, this video is aimed towards beginners. I enjoyed the video, but with only one set per exercise I didn't feel that I got very much out of it.

The workout is 25 minutes, and a few of those minutes are spent on a warm up and stretch. It only leaves about 20 minutes for the actual workout. Gunnar rotates between exercises for the lower body, upper body, and core. 20 minutes is just not enough time for a total body workout. But, I really do like this workout. I love stability ball workouts, and this one is no exception. I will use it as an add on video only.

Instructor comments: Gunnar is great. He shows every exercise one time before asking you to do any. He cues wonderfully.



I got these off the TV informercial and liked the idea of working out completely on or with a stability ball. It looked interesting to have to work core muscles while doing biceps curls or quad extensions. Having just done this one (FBW) and its companion (the 45 minute long) Accelerated Core Training (ACT), I wanted to get some thoughts down.

First off I like Gunnar Peterson, the developer and instructor of these workouts. He’s like a more mature version of Tony Horton of P90X, motivating, but not annoyingly so. His demeanor is calm, but enthusiastic. You can tell he believes in this program.

Gunnar’s wearing a rather baggy shirt and loose, long pants…nothing form fitting…I like this difference in attire. He’s accompanied by four lovely, young ladies wearing long pants and green tank tops. One girl, Michelle, on our left (his right) is the modifier and Gunnar calls her modifiers to your attention frequently, which is good. He tells you these ladies are really working hard which is also appreciated.
The setting is a bright, airy room with muted colors and what appear to be large windows looking over what I think is supposed to be a coastal city in CA…it looks nice anyway. The music is pleasant, low key.

The workouts are deceptively easy. Gunnar uses the ball in every exercise, whether you’re sitting or laying on it, holding it overhead or to the front with hands or feet. He also does a lot of moves with only one side at a time, forcing you to struggle to maintain balance on that ball. For example, side delt lifts are one arm at a time. About the only exercise that wasn’t a real challenge was the biceps curlsJ He does pec lifts one arm at a time and you fight to keep your balance the whole way through…if you were lifting both arms at the same time, it might be easier.

In the 25 minute FBW you do pushups while balanced with your belly on the ball, in the longer ACT you do them with your hands on the ball. This is tricky because the ball wants to roll away from you as you’re pushing on it. But Gunnar does them with hands on the ball and on his toes…I was impressed and humbled. There’s a core move where you lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms over head, holding the ball. You curl up, upper and lower body passing the ball from hands to your feet, lower down and then everything back up and the ball passed back to hands. I felt this in my mid-section and inner thighs.

Another core routine has you sitting up, but actually curved back a little, with your abs “hollowed out”. You hold the ball in your hands, knees bent a little. Then you start rotating from side to side, tapping the floor with the ball with each turn. Someone mentioned using a medicine ball and I bet it was for this exercise…I can see how that would make it more challenging. Gunnar also has you doing lunges forward, to the side and then twisting around to the back while holding the ball in front of you. Not a lot of weight, but you do have your arms stretched out holding the ball and that makes the lunges tougher.

You never do a lot of reps and I used my 5# dumbbells. I have no idea what Gunnar and the ladies were using, but I think they were more than 5#. Still there are so many muscles working besides the targeted muscles, I guess it’s a mercy he doesn’t do a lot of repsJ

I would classify these as instructionals, because you’re really learning a lot as you go along and Gunnar takes time to teach before each exercise. As I gain confidence working on the ball, I think it could become more advanced or at least intermediate

Lydia Jasper

31 August 2004

This video provided an excellent intorduction to stability ball work. Gunnar gives good pointers on form, and Michelle, one of the background exercisers, shows modifications.

You will need hand weights for upper body--one set worked for me. He really strives to work the entire body, alternating upper, lower, and core, just like they say on the infomercial ;-)

I enjoyed doing this workout, and recommend it.

Instructor comments: Professional, knowledgeable, friendly, motivating



This is a fun fast easy workout using the ball. It is a warm up, the four sections of four workouts using light weights and the ball, then a cool down. I find it too easy to move straight through, so I do one set of four three times, then move on, this way I am blasting my muscles with sets, since he only does like 10-15 reps. Also it is a great workout to mix cardio burst in between four sections.

Instructor comments: Gunner is a very casual instructor. He has a friendly joking demeanor, not 'boot camp' at all, very calm. He is wearing baggy clothes and demonstrates moves himself with help of four lithe models. One girl is designated as the modifier.


date reviewed: 11/29/05

Video Fitness copyright © 1996 - 2009 Wendy Niemi Kremer    All rights reserved