Video Fitness

Step This Way

Kristin Kagen

First, let me start by saying that I am an advanced exerciser who loves complex choreography. My favorite instructors include Cathe, Christi, and Andre. In my opinion the music and set in a video can enhance or detract from the it but are not of the utmost importance to me. So, you can take all this into consideration when reading my review.

Step This Way is both an athletic and somewhat dancy video with complex choreography. It is a cross between Cathe and Mindy with a little Christi thrown in. There are six combinations with four intensity blasts. Kristin completes the first combo, moves on to the second and then combines one and two. She then does the third combo and combines it with one and two. These three combos are not repeated after the exertion check. She begins the fourth, fifth and sixth combos and then combines them as above. This is a very high impact workout but I believe a lot of the moves can be modified without markedly decreasing the intensity. The combos move along quickly without a lot of breakdown. This workout is definitely for the advanced exerciser.

WARM UP: Kristin starts out fast and does not slack up. The warm up consists of one combo and some stretches. You will definitely be warmed up at the end of this.

1ST COMBO: A few of the moves include a mambo-cha cha to the back-pivot-cha cha to the front and then a ham curl grapevine off the side of the step. She does a revolving door which is like an over facing over that Cathe does. She ends with an intensity blast which is done with one foot on the step (facing the side wall), three jumps and then over the step. You do three jumps on that side and then back over the step and then repeat it a few times.

2ND COMBO: A few of the moves include a reverse turn straddle, squat-jump-turn and face other direction and squat-jump and then into a figure 8, and a straddle single-single-double tap that I just love. She then combines combos one and two. There is another intensity blast that just squating on the short end and going across the length of the step, squat and back over, squat and back over and then an L step back.

3RD COMBO: A few of the moves include a lunge off the step, over the length of the step, and then lunge on the other side and then back over the step and richocet-straddle and a six-point mambo. This is very tough for my tired legs. She then combines all three combos.

4TH COMBO: She does a pony on the long end of the step and crosses over the length of the step to do a teeter totter and cha cha on the step and then four quick lunges that is really fun. The next intensity drill is vertical leaps with one foot on the step and then switch feet for more vertical leaps.

5TH COMBO: A few of the moves includes a swing to the side and mambo to the other side of the step, hop turn, reverse hop straddle and quick lunges off the short end of the step. The last intensity blast (thank goodness) is two jacks, a power squat, two flies (up in the air with legs out to the side, which I can only do in my dreams), and two vertical leaps.

6TH COMBO: She does a V-step, jump twice, pizza boy (four hops on one leg while turning around) and then you walk your step back and forth and a football type drill and box step. She then combines the last three combos.

COOL DOWN: The cool down is done without the step and is just basic moves such as step touch, double grapevine, ham curls, walk forward and back and mambo front and side.

ABS: She does bicycle crunches, reverse curls (just lower end), regular crunches with varying counts, pelvic tilts, knees to the side for oblique crunches and then a basic plank which she adds some difficulty by just using one arm for part of it (another move that only happens in my dreams).

STRETCHES: She includes stretches for the abs, back, hip flexors, quads, side (ribcage area), inner thighs, shoulders, triceps, and chest.

MUSIC / SET: A lot of the music is the same from Cathe’s Cross Train Express series but it really does seem to go well with this workout. The set is the CIA southwestern red but for me it doesn’t detract from the workout.

BACKGROUND EXERCISERS: They make very few mistakes and smile quite a bit. They seem to know what they are doing and stay right with Kristin.

SPACE NEEDED: I have very little space on the sides of my step but a fair amount front and back. I had to modify the ham curl grapevine off the side of the step by just angling it back instead of to the side. For those that have little space front to back might have a little trouble with the mambo to the back and the figure 8. I also have to modify the double grapevine in the cool down but this is just done a few times so it is not a big problem.

INTRUCTOR COMMENTS: Kristin is very likable and has done a wonderful job with the choreography in this video. She cues extremely well and I think we would be in trouble with this workout if she did not. She is upbeat and pleasant. She amazes me because she never seems to be out of breath even after the intensity blasts. I would definitely buy her next video.

Kelly Davidson

I was pleasantly surprised with this workout. Kristin Kagen is new to CIA and new to video, so I didn't know what to expect. She turned out to be a mixture of Cathe Friedrich and Franny Benedetto, with just a little bit of Christi Taylor thrown in. This is a high-intensity, advanced step workout that runs about an hour including the warmup and cooldown. (There's also an abs section afterward.) The choreography is advanced, but athletic-based versus dancy. You do separate routines in each half of the workout, and they're a lot of fun and fairly easy to learn if you're experienced with complex choreography. There were some places where I thought she could have broken down or cued better, but this is a minor criticism considering this is her first video. All in all, this is an excellent video, and Kristin has established herself as a pro her first time out. Grade A.

Annie S.

As Kelly has given such a good break-down of the workout I will just add my thoughts.

This is definately a workout for the advanced stepper. The high impact moves and intensity drills really get the heart-rate up. An the aerobic segments in between the drills maintain the high heart-rate. I consider myself an advanced exerciser and have to march in place at times!

It is such a fun workout. The choreography is tricky-I have done the tape 3 times and am still struggling with the last section, however Kristin's cuing is superb. The music is also good.

I would definately reccomend this video to an advanced exerciser who loves high impact moves and dancy, creative choreography. I would also reccommend it for someone like me who generally likes basic choreography (like Cathe)but wants a change to more dancy footwork, whilst still retaining the high intensity.

I can honestly say that this workout is more intense than Cathe's MIC and BodyMax!

My final question is: When is the next video coming out Kristin??? You rock!

Instructor comments: Kristin is great. She has a friendly personality and really encourages you as you work out.

She does cue really well, which is essential for such complex choreography.

23 March 2002

I love this step tape! In thanks to Clare* for her very generous loan I am writing this review (my first!)

Kristin teaches six combinations ("combos"). Between the learning phases she inserts some basic but challenging intensity blasts which you can make as easy or as difficult as you feel up to! These are basic jumping or "over the top" moves which can easily be modified to less intense resting phases if this is what you need. Some of them are "real doozies" and will definitely get your heart pumping!

After teaching combos 1 & 2 Kristin puts them together and then quickly moves on to add combo 3. These are combined and split before the exertion check.

The second half of the tape starts off kind of slow which is great if you only have a short time to work out and split the tape over two days. Kristin follows the same format with combos 4, 5 and 6 - intensity blasts are inserted between the teaching segments and the three combos are combined and split and the end.

The only thing that could possibly improve this tape imho is if at the very end Kristin would combine all 6 combo's as Cathe does on her Rhythmic Step. Nonetheless this is a very fun, athletic, intense step workout and is definitely for the advanced exerciser. Compare to Cathe's Rhythmic Step or Franny's step workouts for approximate indications of both complexity and intensity.

The cool down is done on the floor and is very repetitive and somewhat long - I would've preferred more step and a shorter cool down!

The abs section is a good short abs workout and is followed by a great stretch.

All in all a great job. A+

Instructor comments: Hard to believe this is Kristin's first video!

Kristin is a great instructor, her cues are timely and clear and she breaks down the moves just enough so you can get them but not so much that you loose the thread of the combination.

Looking forward to many more workouts from Kristin.

Janet B

May 1, 2002

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