DVD Review: Leslie Sansone's 'Walk Your Belly Flat'

By , SparkPeople Blogger
A few months ago, I had the amazing opportunity to interview Leslie Sansone for the dailySpark. Sure, I knew who she was and that our members love her, but I had never actually tried any of the "Walk Away the Pounds" DVDs that made her the famous fitness guru she is today.

Leslie was kind enough to send me a free copy of her newest title, Leslie Sansone Walk At Home: Walk Your Belly Flat, a 3-mile walk you can do from the comfort of your living room. I busted it out on a cold day that I didn't want to head outdoors for a walk. Want to know what I thought about it? And more importantly, whether it'll help you lose that stubborn fat around your midsection?

If you're not familiar with Leslie's walking DVDs or interested in peeking at this new title, check out this video preview below. (If you have trouble viewing the video, please click here to view it on YouTube.)

What you see in the preview above pretty much sums up all 45-minutes of this routine. This workout would be perfect for beginners, people who have two left feet (or don't enjoy complex choreography), and exercisers who already use and enjoy other DVDs by Leslie Sansone. What I did like about it is that it is entirely doable for people who are just starting out. For beginners to exercise, this DVD would be perfect, and I'd highly recommend it to that audience. The DVD menu allows you to easily pick 1, 2 or 3 miles (about 15 minutes each), so you can gradually progress or choose a shorter workout based on the time you have available. Here are a few other pros and cons worth pointing out:

  • Leslie Sansone is great! She was very likeable and relatable. I really appreciated the ways she tried to keep motivating me, by focusing on the importance of doing something for yourself, getting healthy, and blasting belly fat since it can be hazardous to your health. I'm not a huge fan of DVD instructors who focus their motivational messages on looking better or getting "skinny." I liked how Leslie talks you through the workout and offers helpful tidbits.
  • Easy to follow. There is no complex choreography, but there is a little bit of variety besides just marching in place, and I appreciated that. Simple grapevines, forward and backward walks, step touches and similar were used throughout to break up the monotony.
  • Good music. I actually really enjoyed the background music on this DVD. It was upbeat and fun. It made me want to work out!
  • Motivational cues. Leslie offers a lot of encouragement and tips to work at your own level while still following along with her. You can adjust your speed and movement without missing a step, and she never makes you feel bad if you do have to take it down a notch.
  • Safety and form. Leslie provides plenty of cues to remind you to think about your posture and alignment, as well as assessing how you feel (gauging your intensity) throughout the workout. I think this is very important in any DVD, especially for beginners.
  • Not for intermediate to advanced exercisers. I'm in good shape, so this workout was not challenging for me. I wore my heart rate monitor and my heart rate did not elevate to an aerobic level even once (it hovered around a low 45% of my max heart rate), despite my efforts to work at a quicker pace than indicated in the video.
  • The belly fat claim. It's true that cardio (aerobic) exercise like this DVD will burn fat from all over your body, including the midsection. But that is only one part of the equation (a reduced calorie diet is the other). There is nothing inherently special about this DVD that will target your belly fat any more than any other cardiovascular workout will, so don't fall for it for that claim alone. If however you do want an easy-to-follow, light intensity workout DVD that burns calories, this is a good choice.
  • The bonus workout. This DVD features a "belly sculpt" workout advertised on the back, but in reality, it was actually just one exercise: the bicycle crunch. It's a great exercise that really targets the abs, but don't expect an entire workout.
  • Kind of boring. I know that plenty of people swear by Leslie's DVDs and use them regularly with great success, but I have to admit that I thought this workout was boring to me. The plain background (that her clothes kind of blend into), the lack of variety in the moves, and the "walk clock" (a new feature that was requested by fans) weren't doing it for me. I had a hard time not staring at the clock and wishing it was over, yet the 45 minutes did go by faster than I had anticipated. However, some people like workouts that are simpler and allow them to zone out, so this might not be a con for everyone. Just beware that you might not enjoy using this DVD for the long-term.
This DVD has overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews on amazon.com, which average around 4.5 out of 5 stars. For less than $8, it's a good buy if you're just starting out with exercise or prefer a low-impact (easy on the joints, non-jarring) cardio workout. I think DVDs like this definitely serve a need for new exercisers who need something they can follow safely and successfully as they build a base level of fitness.

Have you ever used this or any other DVD by Leslie Sansone? If so, what did you think about it?

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CECELW 7/24/2017
I've had many of Leslie's videos over the years. I still have quite a few, even after i've given so many away. The down side for me was even doing her strength training workouts, it is not challenging at all for me. If I want a good strength training workout, I do Kathy Smith, Jessica Smith, or The Firm. After doing so many of Leslie's so called strength training videos', and not get any real results, i had to change to Kathy Smith, Jessica Smith, or well, anybody else really, I could really tell my muscles weren't challenged at all. Now, I'm much more fit than I was even in my 30's and 40's. I'm 58 now. Report
I love Leslie Sansone's Walk Slim DVD. It helps that I can choose 1 or 2 miles ,depending on the time I have available and I can get walking in, especially on a rainy day and when there is no treadmill in sight! I agree~ it is good for beginners! Report
I have several of Leslie's DVD's and I love them all. She has a lot of variety from video to video and you can make it as hard as you want by adding your own intensity into the moves. She has lighter to difficult levels of DVDs and they are also affordable. Report
I have several Leslie Sansone DVDs. I'm 64 years old and these definitely give me a great workout! If it gets too hard, just do the modified or easier exercise. I like that you can choose how many miles to workout! Thanks for the great article... Report
I have loved Leslie's Exercise Videos way back to the 1980's. What I love so much, she makes exercise fun, she's motivating, and it is easy to follow. She's the greatest in my book. I have many of her video cassettes and DVDs. Report
I really enjoy working out with Leslie Sansone. I have well over 25 of her DVDs, and they offer plenty of motivation, and I have various "boosters" she uses to help build muscle (faster than just cardio). I've actually bought the Walk Away the Pounds for Abs numerous times because I keep wearing it out. Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder to find--utilizing the belt. This is the one program that, if I skip a day, I feel guilty for because it's so easy and has gotten me the results I've been looking for every time I stick with it. Report
I'm puzzled at why Coach Nicole is claiming this DVD isn't challenging enough for her. If the rest of us were to try to do workouts that challenge professional fitness trainers, I think more than a few people (esp. me!) would probably be at their doctor's offices very soon! Pretty sure other trainers aren't the target audience! :-) Report
Boring? No. Leslie's positive attitude is infectious and it motivates me to keep going. I enjoy walking with Leslie because she makes me feel like a success and I come out of the workout smiling. I think some people at Sparkpeople could learn a lot from her! Report
I generally prefer more intense workouts, but Leslie Sansone's WATP videos are great for days when I need something a little lighter. I've even put in her DVDs on my laptop while running a movie on the TV , although that's probably frowned upon. Point being, the choreography is not so mind-blowing that I can't follow along fairly well or risk injury if I decide to do two things at once. Thanks Leslie!!! Report
I love Leslie Sansone because the DVD doesn't change the moves too fast, you can get a good workout, and when I used to have back problems, it was the only exercise program that didn't hurt the back and might have helped it get better. Report
I have done her DVD's for several years. I can honestly tell you that it will help you lose weight or maintain your weight along with eating sensible meals. I started out with 3 mile walks and went to the 5 mile walk very quickly. Her personality is very likeable . Most anyone can do these walks. Report
I enjoy doing her 5 mile fat burning walk DVD. It is not a constant exercise for me but when I have a busy day ahead of me I happily take that walk and feel I have done something good for myself. Gym is and always will be on top of my list :-) Report
I absolutely love her workouts. I have very bad knees and some days it is hard to do the one where you bend your knees so i can just do the step in place to the beat. I now have 5 of her workout dvds and they never get boring! :D Report
I love her workout videos, the variety is great. I mix them up so I never get bored. I like the timer but wish it had a step counter also so I could see how close my steps are to hers.
You can increase the intensity of Leslie's workouts by simply adding wrist weights or light hand-held weights. I regularly do one of her 3-mile, 45 minute workouts while wearing 1.5 lb wrist weights & holding 3-lb weights in each hand.

Trust me, it will get your heart rate up, & is a good way to tone up the upper body.

Some of her earlier workout videos have her "walk boosters" - the 2-lb weighted balls, the stretchy bands, and the waist belt with the straps.

I also own a 3-mile videos that have higher intensity segments, Leslie Sansone: Walk to the HITS Radio Remixes; a 4-mile video that has high intensity segments, and 2 Advanced 5-mile workouts.

Depending on how much time (and energy) I have on a particular day, I'll select on of her workouts, or maybe do 2 of the shorter workouts. Report
I have a whole collection of her DVDs. I believe her when she states that in-home walking is better than doing crunches, but my stomach size doesn't change. Report
I have used her DVD's. For people who do not have a place to go, or just do not want to go out to walk, this is great. If a person is a vivid exerciser, this would be boring. I like a mixture. I recommend her DVD's lot. Report
Being over 50 and sedentary most of my life, Leslie's DVD's are very challenging. I love the 30 minute DVD "Walking down your Blood Sugars". I really like that I can exercise in a very small place. I have a 2 ft. by 5 ft. place to exercise and Leslie's DVD's makes it easy to fit in 30 minutes of exercise. When I need some extra challenges I pop in my Zumba DVD and dance in the same space as Leslie DVD's. Report
This was a great dvd for me when I first started my journey. I agree with coach Nicole, it is boring when your body wants a more challenging workout. This winter I am recovering from being sick and wasn't able to do my normal workouts, I can't even do the more intense workouts I did last year, but I can do Leslie's walking workouts. I love them and when I am bored with them I dance to them because I love how she talks about getting fit and all her tips can't hurt! Very positive for me. Report
I'm just guessing Nicole, but it sounds like you are a little jealous of Leslie's success over all these years. A lot of people don't like the jumping up and down moves. Leslie offers a wide variety of DVD's for different fitness levels. The one you reviewed is more for beginners, however, you can increase steps or jog to get more out of the DVD. Report
I like Leslie sansome dvds. She does have advanced workouts for those who are advanced. I have two left feet and i do not have to worry about learning new dance. Love Leslie Report
I enjoy her videos and use them when I can't walk outside. I like the mile markers but I do not like the clock at all. I turn my back on videos that have the clock. Report
I have several of Leslie's DVD on walking The best thing is I do them while standing on my rebounder. When she works with weights I just step off to do them and then step back on my rebounder to go back to the walking. I wonder how many people know about this. It is wonderful for my joints and gives me a great cardio workout. Report
I have several of Leslie's DVD on walking The best thing is I do them while standing on my rebounder. When she works with weights I just step off to do them and then step back on my rebounder to go back to the walking. I wonder how many people know about this. It is wonderful for my joints and gives me a great cardio workout. Report
i have several of Leslie's walk away DVD's and I love them!! I had an injury that stopped me from doing her workouts but I am going to start again as soon as i am able to. Report
This is a great video, its easy to follow also, I had knee surgery and this has helped me to walk at home. I love the mile marker too. When I started a week ago, I could not complete the mile, today I finished my mile. Report
I just started using one of Leslie's videos and I love it. I like that the routines are simple and easy to follow. It definitely got my heart rate up. It might be slightly boring if you do the same video each day but actually being consistent for a 30 minute block of time with this simple video has helped me stay on track. Report
I think your assessment was a fair one. I like the workouts especially the marker that let's you know how far you've gone along the way. I actually turn off the volume and play my own music which helps me increase the pace and stay interested. I also think the fact that she's been around so many years says alot. Report
It has been so helpful for me as I rehab from a knee replacement. I'm a big fan! Report
Was able to buy a copy of the 1987 "Walk Aerobics" video (an 80's gem in itself) and followed the workout for the first time a few days ago. The 80's flashback was fun! The hair, the music (the clothes and makeup weren't so different from now). It brought back happy memories and the pulse checks throughout were handy. The comments throughout were cute ("Stop marching! No don't stop marching!"). Will be using this workout again as a measure of improving fitness and keep a lookout for more programs. Report
I've done some of Leslie's workouts, too. I'm pretty fit, so they are not the most physically challenging for me. However, on those days when I need a breather or want to dial it back a bit, this really helps me get my workout in, especially when weather keeps me indoors. I sometimes do them while watching a football or basketball game on TV. I'm glad to have WATP as part of my fitness repertoire. Report
I'd agree totally with the review. I don't have this particular dvd, but I've got a bunch of Leslie's WATP workouts, and I do them a lot in the winter when it's too cold to be outside. I need to do some light jogging while she's walking, and often carry weights to do the arm movements. And I do indeed find them boring after a while.... which is why I'm glad I've got several different dvd's to choose from, just to change it up *a bit*. I can physically do one of her 5 mile dvd's if the boredom doesn't do me in first. I like a 10 minute "mile". But I find her encouraging and I like how she stresses, do it at your own rate. I think her dvd's are excellent for those starting out with exercise, and people like me who have trouble following more challenging choreography and perhaps have some physical challenges (for me, it's my knees). If you're in good shape already, WATP is probably not for you. It is light aerobics, which is where you'll find it in the Fitness Tracker. Report
I like leslie Sansone,but her one mile walk is long enough for me. I got bored doing a longer video. Report
I love Leslie. They work for me! Report
I have used her videos and also her YouTube stuff. I like her because I can put her in and in no time I have walked 3 miles. I think that she is a little boring at times but all in all I like her workouts because they are not bad on my knees. I have also learned that if I add a few dance moves into the side steps and kicks that I can get a little bit more out of the workout. So I am a Leslie fan by far.. Report
I have used her walk away the pounds and they are good for beginners or people who don't want high impact exercises. I use it when I haven't exercised for a while and need to ease into it gradually or if I am in a hurry I simply walk a mile Report
I love Leslie videos they are very easy to follow an I get a good work out in.I think these videos are the best thing ever invented for people like me that cant do the dance stuff or hard core training stuff. Report
Love, love, love Leslie! She is not boring in my opinion but motivating. If her workouts are too easy do jogging when she is walking. Report
I agree, this instructor is very likable and easy to relate to - skinny blond upbeat super models in exercise videos are a pet peeve of mine; it's not that want to bash them, it just feels like a torrent of "doesn't that feel great?" and similar lines.
I think her videos are just the thing for anyone who is just starting to get from a couch, car & desk-job life style to something healthier. Which is great, I think a lot of people can use exactly that! But for anyone already doing cardio on a regular basis, they aren't a challenge. Report
I love the Leslie Sanzone DVD's. I do them all the time when I can't walk outside. How do you account for it on SparkPeople fitness. Report
I totally agree with this review. I love Leslie and think that her videos are great for beginners or those who need a low impact routine. I have several of the DVDs and they used to challenge me. But I am at a point now where my heart rate isn't going up enough...that being said, I like to do a little bit of activity on my rest days and I think these workouts are good for those days. Report
Kudos Coach Nicole for such an honest review! I am fast becoming a fan of Leslie Sansone's, but you might be right that eventually I'll move on a try something more challenging. Report
I also love Leslie Sansone, her DVD's are are partially responsible for my progress so far. So far I've lost 11lbs. My first one was the Special Edition Deluxe Walkaerobics. (Years Ago) I remember when I could barely get through it. Now I switch up bettween the Ultimate Collection 4 mile walk. and the 5 Mile Fat Burning walk. The 4 mile walk comes with a stretchie that helps with toning the arms and the 5 mile ends with a boost after each mile. Her DVD's fit my lifestyle and produce results for me Report
I really am perplexed that someone so experienced as Nicole can review ANY exercise dvd. Nicole is highly trained, qualified - and slim - whilst we trying to lose weight are not, so, to my mind, the above review is not entirely a valid one. Report
I used to use these and plan or starting using them again. After I learned the routine I did get bored so I set up my laptop beside the TV and played the DVD on the laptop and watched the news or whatever. I keep the volume low but audible on the dvd and when I need to look at the laptop screen to stay with the program. Works for me! Report
I agree with Nicole's list of Pros and Cons. I used Leslie Sansone DVDs for many years (since the late 1980s when she was Leslie Tommelleo!), but I think I've outgrown them. It's gotten to the point where I finish one of her workouts and have a disappointed, incomplete feeling as if I didn't work out at all. Shame, because I really do like Leslie. She's awesome. Report
I really enjoy Leslie's DVD. Report
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Leslie! I am one of those "two left feet" folks that you mentioned, so they are perfect for me. And I do work up a sweat. I admit, they do get a little monotonous, but I've tried other dvd's and I just don't have the motor skills necessary to do them safely or effectively. So Leslie is perfect for me. I don't expect to ever be a super fanatic exercise freak, so 30-45 minutes of brisk walking is exactly the amount of exercise I need to be healthy, and doing these dvd's also gives me a more complete workout than just a brisk 2-3 mile walk would do. I probably have just about every WATP dvd she has put out in the last 5 years or so, some of them I don't use, and I tend to gravitate toward her latest 4 or 5. But I love how she keeps it simple enough that even I can keep up, and talks me through the walk the entire time. Report
I discovered Leslie Sansone many years ago and wore out one of the videotapes. After many years of less activity I found myself struggling with over 220 lbs. on my 5'7" frame. In late 2009 I determined to improve my health, started WW and chose Leslie's DVD's for my exercise, thinking it would be less stress on my sacroiliac joint injury. Within a year and a half I progressed from slow painful walking to vigorous walking, even jogging, without pain. The combination of weight loss and core strengthening made such a huge difference that I felt better than I had in over 30 years! As others have pointed out, Leslie has a wide variety of DVD's. I feel that the repetition and simplicity are beneficial to a wider audience whose goal is to improve overall health. However, Leslie throws in simple moves that target specific areas of the body and incorporates Pilates and Yoga. The Boot Camp DVD has a great bonus core workout that targets the abs and rear for balance. I have found several of her DVD's at Wal-Mart, Target, and even an unopened set at Goodwill. It sure beats paying for a gym membership - just pop in a DVD at home. I must admit though that I have slacked over the past year and a half on a new sedentary job, and have gained almost 40 of the 60 lbs. I had lost. I am now determined to lose that and more and, God willing, be a fit and active grandmother. Leslie's program will play a prominent part in my plans. Report
I have several of Leslie Sansone's videos and I love them and her. It may not be challenging for some but it works for me. Thank you for sharing. Muriel Report
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