(Beginner/Intermediate-Step Aerobics, Abs Toning)
Fun and easy intro to step aerobics. Three enthusiastic
instructors (w/o Jane) lead the high-spirited aerobics
section, using simple, mostly low-impact steps and combos
with plenty of modifications. Then Jane presents a
one-on-one ab session using the step. Catchy music and
excellent production quality (like all the recent Fonda
This was my very first video because it came with the
first step I ever bought. I'm not a huge Fonda fan, so I was
relieved to find that Jane only leads the abdominal
workout. I haven't done this video in years (gave it to
my mother-in-law), but I remember that it was motivating
and it helped me progress pretty quickly from a
sedentary, unfit person to about intermediate level. The
production quality is good, though I didn't care for a
couple of the musical selections. Each of the 3
instructors has a distinct style, so there's something
for every beginner. The instruction is clear and so is
the cuing. After six months of doing this video, I was
able to start jogging, which I had never before in my
life been able to do without agony. I guess you could say
that I liked it well enough to stick with an exercise
program, which is no small thing, though it was the only
video I owned at the time, so I had little to compare it
I like this video. I think it is an excellent first step
aerobic video. It got very easy to me after doing it
daily for awhile. However, now that I have done it
inbetween Firm workouts lately and have not been stepping
much, I find that I can still get a good cardio workout
(without being too strenuous) from it using an 8"
step. (I think this is partially because I am not bored
with it and am actually putting some effort into it.) It
uses the smaller size step - I think a full size step
might be awkward at times. I have not done the abs
section many times, as I find that it makes my neck hurt
every time I do it. So I'm not sure how good it is,
assuming you can do it without that.
The instructors for the step aerobics section all cue
quite well, as does Jane in the abs section. Laurel and
Jeanie (I think those are there names) are not irritating
in this tape as I find them to be in Lean Routine.
Like Wendy, this was my very first Step workout. My
husband got it for me for Christmas with the Step that
came with it. Boy was it hard when I first tried it. It
is a very good tape for introducing someone to stepping,
with lot's of breakdowns and close-ups of the feet during
a move. The instructors change during each routine. They
all are very good and motivating, but I find the blond
(Laurel) annoying with all her "work that body"
comments, etc. Before I found this site, I only had this
tape, Step Reebok, Kathy Smith Step, and Kathy Smith Buns
and Thighs Step. I did it regularly and thought it was a
good workout. Since I bought a heart rate monitor, I now
see, that I barely get 15 minutes of aerobics, and that's
only because I add power and start stepping even when
they are teaching the breakdown of the steps. So, I would
have to say, I've outgrown this video. On to more
advanced tapes! I don't know if they still sell the step
that came with the video, but I would not recommend
buying it. It is much wider than other steps and shorter,
so it can't be used with a lot of the newer more
interesting videos which use the full length of the step.
Jane Fonda’s step and abdominal workout is an excellent BEGINNING step workout video. The workout is lead by three instructors, Laurel, Jeannie, and a man whose name I cannot remember. All three are very energetic and fun. There is a lot of whooping and laughing and talking during the exercise, which I enjoy, but others find annoying. There is a long warmup and stretch section followed by about seven short sections of beginning level aerobics, all sections total about 30 minutes of aerobics. The level of choreography and intensity is low. This was my first step tape, and I felt like it was very difficult when I started, but became easier everyday. Some of the sections include optional propulsion moves, so there is a lot of room to grow and improve as your fitness level increases. The cuing by all three instructors is excellent and the moves are very easy to follow. The music is allright, but not fantastic. The cool down and stretch at the end of the workout is a little on the long side, and the moves are repeated so much that I would fast forward through a lot of it. The abdominal section at the end is actually taught by Jane Fonda and is also a very good beginning abs workout, although I always thought it was boring. Overall, if you are looking to start using videos at home and have not exercised for a while, this is a great tape to start with.
The step section of this workout has already been reviewed and as my step career was cut short before I got started (advised against it by a physiotherapist), I shall confine my comments to the abdominal workout.
This beginner/intermediate-level 10-minute ab workout is led one-on-one by Jane, resting the feet on a step bench to protect the back. At first, I couldn't do all the repetitions and thought it was the cruellest, most impossible thing I'd ever attempted. I was so pleased when I was able to do it right through without gasping for breath (too much). I like the results I obtained, too.
The exercises include crunches, oblique work and a rather unusual move in which you lie on your side with the top leg on the bench, bottom leg bent against the bench, arms crossed with the hands in front of the shoulders, and then you lift your shoulder from the ground slightly. It took me several attempts and lots of concentration to do this. The rhythm of the music (country-style) helps you to keep up. The workout finishes with some work for the back and a couple of stretches.
I enjoy this workout, and even though I don't do the step workout, this is a tape I don't intend to part with.
Glynis van Uden
25 June 1998
I ordered the video/step by mail when it first came out, did it for three weeks and threw it in the closet. When I finally got serious about getting in shape but walking wasn't cutting it I pulled this out of the closet. I really like(d) this tape. It's great for a beginner and it really makes you sweat. It does get harder to keep up the enthusiam after doing it 5 days a week for 5 or 6 months but by then you'll probably have purchased a number of other videos to switch off with. The instruction is clear and well timed. The pace is nice. It keeps moving from set to set without a jarring lull in between. Even those with the worst coordination (like me) can pick up the the moves after 2 or 3 viewings. Overall I'd give it an A for beginners.
Instructor comments: There are three instructors leading the 45 minute step section of this tape. I'm not a big fan of Laurel but I didn't mind Jeanie or Mark. Jane does the 10 minute Abs section and she's typical Jane (which I really like).
She's always even toned so I never find her annoying.
Dawn M. Maliszewski