I've only done this video once, but I know a lot of
people are wondering what it's like so here goes.
This is not the type of strenuous workout that most
Firm users are used to, but I think it would be a good
tape for those days when you don't want a really vigorous
workout, but still want to feel like you've done a decent
workout. The tape is about 45 minutes long, so it's also
good for those days when your pressed for time.
The equipment used includes: a dowel rod (about
48") -- a mop or broom handle could be substituted,
dumbbells, stool, and towel.
The sequence of exercises is similar to Strongheart
and Strongbody. It's primarily strength training, with
some aerobic segments interspersed. I wore my HR monitor
in order to see if the workout kept me in my target zone.
I found that it usually stayed in the lower range, but
once or twice dropped below my target.
I'll try to give kind of rundown of the sequence and the
types of exercises. It starts with a pretty basic warmup
(marches, toe taps, fast squats) and moves into the
stretch , which uses the dowel for balance. The first
section after the warm-up/stretch is low-impact aerobics
with light (3-5 lb) weights. Next are dips (backward
lunges) with 1 heavy weight and the dowel for balance.
Dips are used extensively throughout this workout,
sometimes alternating with frontal kicks, or glute
contractions. Next come squats (w/the dowel), then back
to dips. Hover squats are next, first with the weights
held at your sides, then on top of the thighs. The one
section that I really didn't care for was next. You sit
on the stool and alternate leg lifts (interspersed with
"power breathing") My heart rate went way down
during this section. Maybe that's okay, but I really
didn't feel like the leg lifts were doing anything for
me. Next are more dips, then plies (sp?). The plies are
done with upright rows. Dips again, then more low-impact
aerobics with light weights. More dips, squats, then
range-of-motion exercises sitting on the stool. BTW, the
only squats that are done with weights were the hover
squats. The rest are done with the dowel, either planted
vertically on the floor in front for balance or held
horizontally in front while you squat.
One thing that I wanted to mention with the dips, is
that I felt like I was able to dip lower because of the
dowel rod and the balance that it gave me. However, I
also found that I really needed to pay attention that I
didn't use the dowel to come back up, that I use my front
leg instead, in order to get the full benefit from the
Ab work was pretty basic, although a towel is used to
cradle the head/neck. Basic crunches, lower crunches, and
oblique crunches. This is followed by bridgework (very
similar to the bridgework in Strongheart), and then
stretching is done while sitting on the stool.
I thought the set would be distracting, but it really
wasn't. I did this tape back-to-back with the Prime Power
Fat Burning tape and I felt pretty good when I was done.
I felt like I had gotten a decent workout. While I was
doing the Lower Body tape, I didn't really feel like it
was very strenuous, but when I started the next tape, I
could feel that my legs had done some work.
I don't think these Prime Power tapes will be my
favorite Firm tapes, but I do feel they make a good
addition to my exercise tapes.
Kim Bartlett has excellent form; however, I wish she
would give more form pointers when doing the exercises.
She looks like she's in great shape!
What I liked about the workout:
- I liked using the towel for neck support during ab
work. This is really a comfortable alternative to
- The warm-up was fun. I think both the Prime Power tapes
have great warm-ups. In my opinion, they are the best
warmups the FIRM has done to date.
- I liked the triple-count squats w/ rear and lateral leg
lifts. You do these exercises with the dowel. The music
during this segment was nice.
What I DID NOT like about the workout: (here we go...)
- Too many dips. You do dips, then more dips and then
dips again. Dips on the right, dips on the left, dips
with a kick, dips with a curl, etc. etc. etc. I was bored
out of my mind from doing sooo many dips. There are
plenty of other exercises that work the hips, buttocks
and thighs. A little variety would have been nice.
- I did not like the "range of motion"
exercises. You sit on the stool, touch your toe with the
opposite hand, then reach back. I don't really know what
range of motion these exercises are beneficial for, but
they felt kind of useless to me.
- I thought there were too many exercises that work the
quadriceps. Personally, I have a tendency to overbuild my
quadriceps, and I typically try to avoid doing exercises
that emphasize working the quads. Quadricep exercises in
this workout consist of standard squats and dips, plus
these seated and standing "kick lifts".
- I thought the aerobics segments were too repetitive.
They were pretty boring, with the same combinations time
Just, FYI, this Prime Power workout runs about 42
minutes. Another thing I noticed with both of the Prime
Power tapes is that the cast is more varied. The
exercisers don't look as lean as typical FIRM people. In
fact, one or two of the cast members in the Lower Body
Sculpting tape looked like the average woman off the
street. Also, men are included in this workout series.
Personally, I was quite disappointed with this tape. For
lower body sculpting, I think I'll mostly stick with
Tough Tape. I think the Prime Power companion, Fat
Burning, is a real winner... but LBS comes up somewhat
Instructor comments: Kim Bartlett looks like the an
updated, aerobically-conditioned version of Betty
Crocker. I don't know if it's her hairdo, or her
"glazed over" eyes, or the way she smiles...
but she looks like she stepped right off a box of cake
mix. That aside, she is in great shape, but I really
thought her instruction and cueing left a lot to be
desired. Especially during the dips with the dowel rod, I
was left wondering, "what hand should I hold this
dowel, what hand does the weight go in, and what leg am I
dipping with now?" Basically, I did not think too
highly of this instructor.
The new Prime Power videos are great. They are each 45
minutes in length and give a total body workout. While
you are doing the exercises you don't feel like you are
working as hard as you really are because you are getting
the support from a dowel (I use a broom handle-it works
just as well)But after the workout is over I know I have
worked hard. I get that sensational feeling in my arms
and legs like my muscles have been put to the test again.
Another great feature in this new set is the use of the
stool. (I use my step up stool- the one my husband built
for me to look just like the FIRM's.) It is used as a
support for stretching and during the hamstring exercises
under your trunk to help keep the back straight while you
excercise the legs. Can you picture yourself laying
across a stool doing leg lifts? At first I thought it was
crazy until I realized that the hamstrings were really
being worked properly because I didn't need to worry
about holding myself up on my hands and knees. This is
another terrific innovative idea from the FIRM. They
really do have some smart ideas.
I own all of these tapes: Volumes 1-6, Not So Tough
Aerobics, Five Day Abs, Tortoise, Hare, Strong Heart,
Strong Body, Tough Tape, Ballroom Aerobics,Lie Down and
Workout, and now the 2
new Prime Power tapes. You know all this about not liking
the Ballroom moves on the Hare and Tortoise is not true
for me. I don't get exhausted with the Hare as some of
the other videos but I truly enjoy it and think it is
fun. It is something to look forward to when I don't want
to work out too heavily. I like having all the variety.
The Prime Power workouts are not as long and I like that
aspect. They are also a little different from any of the
other videos. There is wide variety of music. The
settings take on a jungle look,and all the exercisers are
wearing bright colors like the feathers of parrots.
I am not interested in any other form of tapes or
workouts. The FIRM does it all for me. I'm always ready
for the next new thing the FIRM comes up with. I think
they do the job like no other fitness industry.
The name is Lower Body Shaping, but I found it to be
more of a full-body workout. There is arm and shoulder
work as well. The lower-body work consists of dips,
squats, a few (very few) lunges, some bridge work, and
some "kick-things." For the kick- things, for
lack of a better name, you stand with one knee raised as
far as you can raise it, and then you slowly extend your
leg with your foot flexed. The instructor says you should
feel it in your glutes, but I don't - I feel it more in
This is an intermediate-level workout. All levels of
exercisers can do the arm work by varying the size of the
weights. For the leg work, beginners will have a hard
time keeping up and advanced will not find it very
The set is bright, colorful, and a wonderful change
of pace! There are lush green trees and a pretty blue
sky. It makes me want to go on vacation!
The total workout is about 45 minutes. I think this
is great for an intermediate-level exerciser, or for a
beginner who wants to work his/her way up. This would be
a good introduction to the FIRM way of workout out.
By the way, they don't call this a FIRM workout on
the label. It's copyrighted by "Bodylab." I
wonder if they're changing their name?
Instructor comments: The instructor is fine. She
seems "friendlier" than the instructors in the
early FIRM tapes.
I did this tape this evening and then did the Prime
Power Fat Burning tape. Afterwards, I felt really good. I
wasn't totally exhausted as I am when I do some of the
other Firm tapes, but I still felt like I got an adequate
I prefer this tape to its Fat Burning counterpart. I
still feel that the lower body work is not as challenging
as it could be, but it was a fun change of pace from some
of the other FIRM tapes (like Vol 2 (Low Impact)--I
really hate that tape even after all these years.
The music was nice. And I like the range of motion
exercises. They are important to older adults or to
anyone who suffers from arthritis. I also enjoyed the
"Power Breathing" sequences as well.
The dowel was put to better use in this tape than in
the "Fat Burning" tape. For advanced
exercisers, I would recommend using higher poundage
weights during the aerobic sequences (I used 8 pounds
during some and added a little impact to some of the
This tape is good for 1) beginners to the FIRM, 2)
those who want a less intense, yet effective workout, 3)
those who are ready for a FIRM change of pace.
And to those who hated the Sousa Stars & Stripes
Forever stretch and the workout sequence to the
"Skater's Waltz"--it's not included on this
Grade for this tape: B+
Instructor comments: Christine L. is right--Kim
Bartlett really DOES look like Betty Crocker. This is not
to be taken as an insult, she (Bartlett) is really fit
and quite attractive. I liked her better than the
instructor on the Fat Burning tape from the Prime Power
series. She was quite pleasant and easy to follow.