Stephanie Morris, Carol Murphy
A 40-min intermediate step tape with a bonus 15-min toning section that utilizes the stability ball to add intensity. Two instructors incorporate the ball into simple step combinations by bouncing & throwing the ball - innovative and it adds intensity. It's really fun!
It's about the same intensity as typical FIRM step moves or a Gay Gasper or Keli Roberts workout. Not as intense as Cathe, Mindy Mylrea or FIRM Super Cardio, for example. Choreography is simple-moderate, not tricky.
It's a fairly decent production, midway between a Sara City production and CIA/Greg Twombly. Filmed on a beach in Florida it's a beautiful setting that reminds me of Gilad. It's apparently filmed in the morning and the wind begins blowing noticeably later on during the workout - which adds background noise to the vocals.
However it's well-cued and the music is pop/rock/jazz instrumental with some vocals, Dynamix-like and loud enough to hear well. At one point I recognized the music from either Cathe's MIC or Pure Strength workout, and I did hum along with "Smooth."
The workout sells for $25-30, VHS only, which I think is a bit pricey.
In the 2min introduction they recommend using a 55cm ball and mention that the step moves are done using 118-128BPM.
with the ball, stretches & step moves using the ball. I liked the hamstring & calf stretches.
39min step workout
Stephanie teaches 3 combos (16min), using cha chas, knee-ups, v-steps, turn-step, A-step & Charleston kicks - with ball tosses & bounces thrown in after you get the steps down. Then she stitches the three combos together & TIFTs twice.
This routine is fun & fairly intense.
Carol teaches 2 combos, more repetitive, taught at a more introductory level. She uses L-steps, over-the-top, step slides, hamstring curls - with bouncing & tossing. This takes a little more floor space. She uses a tricky cha cha to switch leads and doesn't cue the switch well, this frustrated me a bit.
Next they TIFT all the combos together three times, then slow down to begin a cool-down.
5min lower body toning
Squats & leg lifts with the ball on the bench or rolling the ball on the step. Leg lifts rolling the ball and using it for balance.
3min upper body toning
Push-ups using the ball under the thighs as an axis and the hands on the step. Nice chest stretch. Ball pikes with the hands on the step.
Mostly lying on the step platform. Lower ab lifts with the ball between the legs, lowering ball to floor. Obliques with legs extended over the ball, turned to the side. Hamstring bridge work with ball.
Cool down & stretch using the ball. This section was performed to instrumental piano music. Good inner thigh-hip flexor stretch, runner hurdle-type stretch usign the ball, and final back stretch.
I like this workout but found the toning sections too short and not challenging enough (I am intermed-advanced and routinely do Cathe, FIRM or Tamilee weight training routines). But the step section is priceless. It's just plain old fun to toss the ball & bounce it while stepping. Definitely puts a new twist on classic step. And the stretches at the beginning and end are very well done.
I do the step routine a couple of times a month, the music is motivating the scenery is divine and the ball-bouncing is fun. I do have to plan to do this workout on weekends as the ball makes a fair amount of noise when bounced.
I've seen this workout advertised at www.spriproducts.com for $28 or for $25 from http://www.leighcrews.com/shop/SB_Professional_Videos.htm or at http://www.carolmurphy.com/videos.html .