Video Fitness

Tae Bo Total, Basics

Billy Blanks

The Tae Bo Total series seems to be much less common than some of the other Tae Bo videos, I believe the series was sold on QVC a few years ago. From what I've seen so far, the series is very similar to the Tae Bo II: Get Ripped vidoes, and these two basics videos are quite similar to the two basics from that series.

The Basics I video is a combination of floor work and kickboxing. It begins with a lengthy (7-minute) warm-up which includes a lot of nice stretches. The warm-up ends on the floor, and you move right into butt moves on your hands and knees. These are tough moves, but the segment only lasts about 3 minutes.

You then return to standing for a 12-minute kickboxing segment. Billy performs many sets of punches, but few kicks; only the roundhouse kick was included. Also, he does not really put together different punches in combination; rather, he combines punches with leg movements (not kicks), and I found some of these combinations felt awkward to perform. At the end of the kickboxing segment, there is about a 2-minute segment where you hold a static balance move with one leg raised. Finally, the workout ends with some very brief (about 2 minutes) cool-down stretches. This video was 26 minutes long.

The Basics II video is a standing routine. The 6-minute warm-up was more active, as it included some moves to begin raising your heart rate in addition to the stretches; there were also two brief sets of push-ups at the end. Billy then moves into a 17-minute kickboxing segment. The first part of this consisted entirely of punches, mostly jabs with a lot of standard aerobics moves mixed in (eg, squats, jumping jacks). Towards the end of the section, Billy gets into some kicks, doing a front kick, rear kick, and then a front/back combo. This segment ends with a knee/kick/punch combination, and then there are 4 minutes of cool-down stretches. This video was 27 minutes long.

I preferred the second video, as I look to Tae Bo for the kickboxing, not the floor work. I wish that Billy would do more kick/punch combinations rather than doing everything in isolation. However, this are nice videos if you don't like combinations and enjoy doing basic punches with only a few kicks thrown in. Tae Bo is expecially nice if you are looking to work your abs in a standing position; Billy frequently emphasizes tightening your abs, especially in the second video.

Instructor comments: As an instructor, Billy Blanks is very likeable and extremely enthusiastic. However, his counting is not always accurate, and he frequently completes an uneven number of sets from one side of the body to the other.

Beth C (aka toaster)

May 11, 2004

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