Review: Erica Ziel’s Prenatal Sculpt

Looking for a killer pregnancy workout DVD? Erica Ziel’s Prenatal Sculpt DVD is one of my absolute favorites.

Erica Ziel is  exactly what I want in a workout DVD instructor. She’s very friendly and upbeat, but she’s not obnoxiously perky. She doesn’t feel the need to jabber the entire time, but the directions and cueing she does give are legitimately helpful. The backdrop of the DVD is also awesome. For this DVD you get to work out looking at a stunning, rocky coastline view. It that makes me feel like I’m back in my childhood playing on the Oregon coast.

Erica Ziel

Now, how are the workouts themselves? They are absolutely incredible, but in a totally pregnancy-safe way! If are looking for a pregnancy workout DVD that’s an actual challenge rather than a let-down or an insult, then this one is a must-have. If you weren’t super active before pregnancy, I’d still recommend it. Simply stick with Erica’s moodier, Monica. She looks to be third trimester in the DVD (and is still in fabulous shape!) but does a good job demonstrating less-intense versions of the moves Erica does throughout the workout. You can get this DVD on Amazon for $19.99, and it’s worth every penny.


Just a heads up: This page and a few others on my blog contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link on one of my posts that takes you to another site where you buy a product I recommend, I get a small commission. I take that as a huge virtual high-five and thank you from my readers! So, if you like something I recommend enough to buy it, it would make my day if you used my link to make your purchase. But I hope you know that I have a staunch policy of ONLY including affiliate links for products that I actually own and think are incredible, as well as only linking to the best price I can find for any given product. 🙂


Here’s my breakdown of each section, including exact runtime and how many calories I burned per workout.

Prenatal Cardio Workout (runtime 19:22 and 176 calories burned)

Most prenatal DVDs that feature cardio are lame. They tend to be hokey, boring, and overly easy. But this one, my friends, is none of those things. I found myself working up a serious sweat and was shocked to see my calorie burn by the end. I’d even go as far as to say that, in my opinion, this segment is the best and toughest prenatal cardio DVD on the market today. I felt AMAZING knowing how hard I’d worked by the end. Yet there wasn’t a single move that required any kind of jumping or jarring movement. It was 100% safe, effective, and fun. I absolutely love this one and give it a wholehearted 5 stars.

Lower Body Workout (runtime 21:36 and 107 calories burned)

 Why does it matter to have strong glutes during pregnancy? Well . . . maybe it doesn’t other than for vanity, but I know I’m not above wanting a beautiful bum. Ha! Judge all you want. 😉 In fact, my caboose is one of my favorite parts about myself physically speaking, so I was excited to see a workout unabashedly stating that it’ll help you keep your butt lifted and perky throughout pregnancy.

This segment was largely mat work, very reminiscent of Beachbody Brazil Butt Lift’s High & Tight, for anyone familiar with that particular DVD. While my heart rate wasn’t through the roof, my thighs and bum were on fire by the end of many of the exercises. I thought this was a great segment, and one I’d definitely consider doing even non pregnant. For an extra challenge you could throw on some ankle weights . . . but I haven’t been that brave yet! And as an added bonus, the short stretching segment Erica includes at the end feels absolutely divine.

Prenatal Core Workout (runtime 15:24 and 37 calories burned)

This core workout is made up mostly of standing moves and mat work on all fours that hit your obliques. The first time I did it I was unimpressed; I get that it’s hard to put together a prenatal core workout simply because most traditional core moves aren’t safe for pregnancy, but this seemed more like easy stretching than core work. But I gave it another try and was glad that I did. The key is to really focus on engaging your core muscles by “pulling your baby close to you” and trying to lift up your pelvic floor. Do these two things consciously as well as make sure to breath in the way Erica cues you to and you’ll find this to be a great little core workout. Engaging those abs is the key that will take a move like the “kneeling circles” from meh to fabulous.

Prenatal Arm Sculpting Workout (runtime 18:33 and 72 calories burned)

 I’m just going to say it: this section is a bit repetitive. You spend your time standing and using dumbbells in a series of arm, back, and shoulder moves, and some of those moves come up a few times within the 18-minute workout. That being said, though, the moves were hard enough that while I noted that they were repeats, I wasn’t actually bored simply because I was so challenged. I appreciated the emphasis on triceps, since I know that’s a region of my physique where extra calories like to settle in.

Alignment (runtime 11:23 and 14 calories burned)

 My two-year-old joined me for this segment the other day. That cute little stinker wouldn’t sleep quite long enough for me to finish my workout. 🙂

Erica Ziel

Honestly, the stretches Erica includes at the end of each of the other segments feel sufficient to me, so I wouldn’t feel the need to do this one as a daily cool down. However, it did feel great, and I plan to throw it in on any days that I feel particularly tight. I especially liked the mermaid stretch sequence at the very end. It felt awesome and was very fitting for the beach setting.

So there you have it! Erica Ziel offers a wonderful challenge for every area of the body in this amazing pregnancy workout DVD. I grabbed it on Amazon for $19.99 and I’m glad I did—it was worth every cent for the cardio section alone. I hope you like it too!

About Sarah

My name is Sarah. After years of struggling to eat and exercise "normally," I've finally started to figure things out. I started up this blog to keep myself on a healthy track and to share what I've learned with anyone else out there who struggles with binge eating, body image, or anything along those lines.

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  1. Pingback: The 6 Best (and Worst!) Pregnancy Workout DVDs - The Girl with the Green Apple

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