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?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


I totally agree with Coach Nicole's assessment, ESPECIALLY the boring part. That said, I still love Leslie! Her videos were the only workouts I could follow when I was a true beginner; and they are still the only workouts I can follow if I get offtrack for any length of time. I have a really hard time following most other workout videos because I can't keep up with the choreography. Report
I used to do the Leslie workouts. I still have a DVD that has 4 different workouts (Miles 1-4) and I used to do it from time to time when my knees hurt or I just needed a lighter workout. (I'm NOT in great shape, so they were semi-challenging for me) HOWEVER, they got BORING. I can't do them. I bought (on SP recommendation) the Jessica Smith walking video. THAT is awesome. That is my new go to video. Report
I love Leslie Sansone DVDs. I HAVE to have simple because I'm not very coordinated and can trip over my own shadow. I don't think it's boring at all. I love these DVDs in the colder months when it's too cold outside. I'll never use anyone else, I've tried but always come back to her walks. The important thing for me is to keep moving and keep pushing. I do agree it's not for everyone though. That's okay because there are plenty of other DVDs that will appeal to everyone. There's nothing wrong with diversity. But I'll stick with Leslie :) Report
I love Leslie Sansone. I think one of the reasons it appeals to me is it is a little "boring". I like to crank up my own music, listen to podcasts, or even use the Zombies, Run! app while I'm walking. It 's a huge motivator to get the walks in and, unlike just regular walking, usually incorporates a little bit of weight-lifting, and a variety of simple leg moves. Report
I've been 'walking' with Leslie for a few years now....I always incorporate her walks into my workout days..... Report
I love Leslie's workouts especially the ones with intervals and most of the newer (last 2-4 years or so). This is not a favorite for me. If you want to get moving, give LS a try, she is very motivating. Report
Ilove Leslies DVD .I have tried a few other work outs I go right back 2 her DVD there the best. I think Report
I have over a dozen of Leslie's DVD's and I love them! I will admit though, this particular one is one of my least favorites. Her more recent dvd's, as well as dvd's with groups of people are much more motivating and fun. Report
I just love leslie sansone. Ihave a lot of her work outs its just i blast working out with her.. Report
I have "Walk and Kick"
I do enjoy it because it has some kickboxing in it :) and she is a great motivator walking you through the DVD. Report
I love Leslie Sansone and have used her DVD's for years. I have a back injury from a car accident and her DVDs are what have gotten me stronger and on my feet. I thank Leslie Sansone for making her Walk away the Pounds DVDs because everyone starts out as a beginner and needs the right place to start and she provides that. She teaches you how to increase your workout in a healthy way and I appreciate that.
There are so many fitness DVDs that don't take the beginner or the older person into consideration at all and you just end up confused and frustrated.
So Keep walking Away those Pounds Leslie. I'm a fan. Report
I have a group one that features "5 really big miles" I really liked it at first, but it has gotten a little boring. It isnt super challenging but keeps you moving forup to over 75 minutes. I honestly dont feel like I get a super workout but you are burning calories for over 75 min. This one has 2 miles that use a toning band. I do feel like I get a bit of a tricept workout. .... but even though it is a little boring, it still keeps your attention enough to do on those days you dont want to go outside and I do recommend it for those just starting out. It has to have done something or at least contributed to my core as well because I can feel my muscle definition in my mid section now. Report
I haven't used this dvd, but I've used other ones that she has. Other dvds have different backgrounds. I prefer the ones with a group of people. Report
Yes, I've been using Leslie Sansone's DVD's for almost a year. It was perfect for me when my schedule took me away from home for 12 hours per day and I did not have day light hours to get out and walk. However, recently, I can barely get my heart rate above 130 with these and need something more challenging. Just not sure yet what or how - chasing my tail trying to figure it out. I think I'll up my strength training for one thing. Also have plantar fasciitis right now and am not walking at all.

She does have DVD's now with jogging intervals as well. I'm not cleared to jog by my trainer, but I do stair steps for the intervals. That helps make it a better workout for me. Report
I have been addicted to Leslie Sansone tapes for year. As with anything changes can be very good. Her earlier tapes are a little slow but at the time I started they were just what I needed. I have all her advance tapes and with time she has vaired the routine greatly. I really get a workout with her and love that I can put one in whenever I want to. I don't have a walking partner so don't really like to go outside alone to walk and Leslie's tape make it easy for me to get a good workout in! Also notice as we get older some of the the harder routines and bouncing aren't what the body wants or needs! Can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Report
I love the Walk Away the Pounds dvds. I have several of them. They are really great for me to use when the weather is not fit for walking outside. Or it is early in the morning, before I get ready for work. I switch up my workouts all the time. It is nice to take a walk with Leslie when I want a relaxing workout. I still break out in a good sweat don't get me wrong. Report
have several of Leslie's dvd's and love them all... it's a great way to walk here in winter and on cold days when there's slush and ice everywhere AND on hot humid days... here in MN, which I do love, we just have a lot of days one wants to stay indoors and walk with Leslie Report
Well, it hardly matters since this was reviewed 2 years ago. There are plenty of other DVD's with a lot of variety, and utilize belts, bands, waist belt, and hand weights for ST along with the workout. Leslie has DVD's from beginners to advanced, and really work your entire body. I have to disagree with this one. I'm in my cardio range no matter which DVD I choose, even one that is just a mile. This has been my sole form of exercise, along with outdoor walks, and I can't believe that I am toned, my waistline has returned, my belly has firmed, and my butt is in great shape. I've lost 50 lbs and I'm living proof, her DVD's worked. The diet alone would have been enough to lose weight, but my body is toned, and better than ever! Report
i known her for over 30 years i have 1.2.3. miles walk away the pounds with the blue balls weights vcr tapes ilike to get them on dvd's they are old but still in good shape i just start on them again if any one know how i can let me know thank. Report
As of today, 5/11/2012, The above blog is over 2 YEARS OLD!!!!!

Instead of reposting an old blog about an out-of-date workout video, why couldn't Nicole have reviewed one of Leslie's newer 5-mile advanced workouts. I have several of Leslie's DVDs, from the easier 1-mile to both of her 5-mile advance workouts. They will get your heart pumping, especially if you use her walk boosters (weighted ball, hand weights, waist). I don't have any of those, so I just wear my own wrist weights when I do Leslie's videos. I hate dancy, fancy, complicated choreography. The beauty of Leslie's routines is that anybody can do it. Yes - they get a little boring sometimes, but I rotate my videos with other videos (Kathy Smith, CathE, Petra Kolber, and many more) so I don't get bored.

Like any other workout video or activity, it's part of a whole exercise program, using different muscles.

Come on, Nicole. Instead of reposting a 2-year old review of an out-of-date workout, why not spend an hour or so doing one of Leslie's new, more advanced workouts and blogging about that! Report
I have her set of 1-mile, 2-mile, and 3-mile VHS tapes that I bought...gosh, at least 10 years ago!! This was one of the beginner workouts I would do after giving birth and the doctor cleared me to exercise. It was easy enough that I didn't injure myself, but challenging enough to break a light sweat. Once the workouts got too easy, I would move on to one of my more challenging VHS workouts. Maybe I'll break out the 3-mile video tomorrow and use some 5# hand weights and reminisce a little bit!! Report
I have used her dvd and they are really slow, but I walk them. They are not for the very advance walker someone who is superfit and who can walk a 11 min mile, but I am not there yet. Report
Love Leslie and have this dvd. It's a good workout. Also have one with firm bands and it makes my arms burn pretty good. Report
A friend gave me Leslie's 5-day fit walk because she loves to walk outdoors, and did not care for the dvd. I feel stupid walking outdoors or at the mall for exercise, but loved the dvd! I bought Leslie's 5 mile fat burning walk, and can now do a mile without much effort.
Just today I bought a new dvd--Coach Nicole's 28 Day Bootcamp. I am going to use them together. Report
I have worked out with DVD's and VHS for years. I also walk outdoors when the weather is nice or even a little rainy. Also used the gym periodically, too. I think I collect and use various exercise DVD's and own Cathy Friedrich (love it), Jillian (ouch), Kathy Smith, etc., and find Leslie is one I can adapt to my level. I do a lot of boosted walking and raise my leg a little higher when doing the lifts. My husband has joined me and now has lost the middle he has been working at for a long time. It's easy and her various workouts can be adapted to low or high impact. Report
Sorry about that. My computer keyboard stuck! I need to go workout. Report
I like doing Leslie when I want to get in cardio and don't really feel like doing anything at all. This is my go to workout when I can't get motivated to do anything, but know that I need too! Report
I love her DVDs but she can be a bit annoying after a while (Leslie exercising alone versus with her friends, corny jokes and consistent talking after getting a new move). I was over 200lbs, just released from the hospital after being diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes in the middle of winter. I was told by a friend to try Leslie's DVDs since going outside for a walk was not an option. I also had two toddlers that were not in school at the time so again, she came in handy. I gave away her boot camp DVD to a friend because it did nothing for me. I recently bought 5mi Fat Burning Walk and Walk Slim since I already completed her 3mi Fat Burning Walk. It helped me not only lose weight but it also got me up to the point where I could jog. If you get bored, switch up between some of her other DVDs. Report
I'll be honest and admit that I did her workout only when I was too tired for a challenge. Report
I love many Leslie DVDs. Interestingly, because of this blog, I decided to try this DVD, and to do it all the way through. I figured that I should be able to succeed given the comments, and I did make it through the entire video. I think that this makes it quite a good starter video.

I really like her "Start Walking at Home" DVDs (1&2 miles, 3 miles). These ones raise your heart well much quicker, and keep it there longer, even if you're only doing the 1-mile workout. That's part of why I like that video so much: it takes so little time to do a 1-mile workout, and it's a great workout! Report
I have used Leslie for awhile. I love her but I have to admit when she is alone on the the video it is ver boring. I enjoy it more when she has her posse...U also don't have to buy all the DVDs because they are pretty much all the same moves.. Report
I have been doing Leslie sans ones workouts for 3years and lost 15 pounds. I love her workouts.
I also will try other workouts as well to mix it up. I will order Nicole's to use as well. Report
better than nothing. I work out 4-6 times a week. I love how she interacts and
explains the work out. I have many many of her dvd's. I just don't reach my target heart rate no matter how hard I try. I need something a little more advanced than what she provides. The work outs are perfect for beginners though for sure!
Cindy Report
I enjoy her DVDs as many of the other commenters, but I can see how you could get bored with it. Report
I am a Leslie fan! I do not want to be an expert. I do not want to focus my life on exercizee! I need to exercize but my life is so much more! I teach children, I am a caregiver, I have friends and family and grandchildren, exercize is necessary for my health but it is not my life. Go Leslie, you get me moving and destressing! Report
Nicole, given that you are in such great shape and rather young, I can understand your reaction. However, I really like Leslie Sansone workouts. I use them along with your strength-training workouts on SparkPeople. Some of her DVDs are more challenging than others, so people can pick what is right for them. And, yes, they are wonderful for beginners. One of her videos that I checked out from the library includes jogging and is more rigorous. On days that I don't feel like exercising, I pop in a Leslie DVD that I've used a lot. It's probably not as vigorous a workout, but it gets me exercising, which is better than losing the behavioral momentum that I've built up. I credit Leslie's DVDs and your bootcamps for getting me back into an exercising routine this year. Report
I love Leslie's 4 mile fast. It is interval walk/jog routine that I find challenging and easy to follow. I tried other videos but this is for sure a daily wake up ritual for me then I do a circuit routine in the evening. And I am at a pretty steady loss now !! Report
She has a video titled 4 Fast Miles that I love and has lost weight doing it. The Walk Your Belly Fat video I found to be slow and I don't enjoy as much. Report
I'm an advanced exerciser and love these dvds; I do other, intense workouts like Insanity, Cathe Freidrich's STS, or a kettlebell routine in the morning, then in the afternoon pop in a Leslie walking dvd for a few easy miles. This second, afternoon "walk" really seems to kick up my metabolism, and reduce muscle soreness. It's a great boost, esp. in the winter when I can't get outside for an afternoon walk. Also, her positive, genuine personality always brightens my day! Report
Add one more LS fan here! She's taken me from being short of breath walking to the mailbox to blasting through her 5 mile dvd and the 4 mile super challenge. I've dropped 20 pounds in the process. I detest the dvd's where the leaders are screaming at me...I can get that by calling my Mother and it doesn't cost me anything! I'm now also doing Gin Millers Step Aerobics and find my "sweat level" is much higher with Gin now than with Leslie....I agree that after a while, and getting into better shape, her workouts do border on being not so tough. I use her DVD's now between my Gin Miller days and when I'm not feeling so strong. Some DVD's out there the leaders and back drop "players" remind me of Stepford wives...every move perfect, every single toe point and fist exactly the same...and I'm one with 2 left feet so I really don't enjoy these type dvd's because I'm concentrating so hard on getting the movements exact I find myself stopping and trying to get back in sync...makes me crazy. Even the new 28 Day Bootcamp dvd from SP has the "Stepford wife" look to it....I bought it but have yet to make it past day 1 because I can't do the movements! I just get frustrated and stop. I'm sure that's MY fault but it's hard for me and I give up to easily .... Report
I'm male, 51 and weigh in, right now, at 311 pounds...I have been enjoying the Leslie Sansone DVDs for approx 11 years - whenever I would start up an exercise program...Too bad I never lasted that long - but this time around, I am on a mission to lose 200 pounds by 1/24/13...I recently purchased her Walk - Eat - Lose series and love the 21 meals that she prepares...I truly believe I will make it this time - with Leslie and crew's help...These DVDs are challenging for me and I'm only up to the 2 mile workout at this point... Report
I use Leslie's dvds whenever I can't get out to walk. Especially after back surgery (blew out a disc--bummer!), this is something I can do without any worry about my six months of restrictions. In most of Leslie's dvds, there is a group of people exercising with her. I choose the one putting the most into it, and work on beating her--lifting my legs higher, swinging my arms wider--what ever I can do to make it more challenging. I have three of her dvds, so I don't get bored with them. I do, however, recommend going through the entire dvd unless the kitchen's on fire or the baby's crying. Once you begin stopping early, it is too easy to continue doing that. And since there are often others in the studio, you can choose a slower or gentler workout. Report
i love leslie and not sure she only good for beginner I think it what you put into the workout what you get out Report
I love leslie.. her workouts are great for me because of my age, balance issues, and havi having had a total hip replacement. Her videos are numerous and easy to do, safe and fun Report
Leslie's DVDs are indeed great for beginners. They helped me get in shape after a pretty long break from exercising due to an injury. But for the more advanced (like I am now) it doesn't do much. I tried it again just a few weeks back, cause I had forgotten to program myself at the gym and there were no more places and I honestly didn't feel like I had worked out. It felt more like a relaxation thing then a real cardio workout. But again, for beginners or people with certain injuries Leslie's workouts are amazing! Report
I love this DVD and Leslie is a hoot!! I enjoy a number of her in-home workouts. I have Osteoarthritis in both knees and her workouts are easy to follow and challenging enough to make me want to work harder!!! LO) Report
I love Leslie and her walking DVDs. They are not too hard for me to do. I have bad knees and ankles and I can't do a lot of other workout DVDs because of the moves they do. I work up a good sweat with Leslie's workouts. They are my favorite! Report
I am grateful to Leslie for her DVDs. I have back and neck problems, and I use her 1-2 miles as a warm up to my at home physical therapy exercises. I do them in my own pace, I keep the kicks and leg lifts low, and it helps me keep moving in the mornings. Report
I really like Leslie. She's encouraging and not at all mean. (I'm not a big Jillian Michaels fan.) The workouts are easy to follow for the coordinatedly challenged. They are great if you don't have a lot of space to work out in. They are not high impact, but this is great for those of us who have a lot to lose or have joint problems. I'm a fan in general, but some of her DVD's are better than others. I recommend getting them from the library before purchase to find the ones you like the best. Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.