This DVD includes a 30-minute “walking” cardio workout and a 20-minute lower body toning routine which uses a device Leslie calls “fit cuffs.” The fit cuffs are a circular resistance tube with two padded cuffs that attach with Velcro to each ankle.
As of the date of this review, the DVD is only sold in a package with the fit cuffs. However, you could also do the toning routine with ankle weights, or crafty VF-ers could fashion something from a regular band or cord. Another option would be to obtain fit cuffs from a fitness supply source (Power Systems sells them as “versa cuffs“). The fit cuffs included in Leslie’s package are very well made and comfortable.
The DVD is chaptered as follows: Introduction, Full Workout, Walk Only and Firming Only. In her introduction, Leslie begins by commenting that while she’s always considered her own hips and thighs a problem area, she’s also come to appreciate that they are primarily for “doing, moving and living” and not just appearance -- a nice reminder! She then explains how to use the fit cuffs, and points out the resistance on the fit cuffs can be increased by tying knots in the cording.
The cardio portion (which doesn't use any equipment) is a nice, quite brisk two-mile walk. Leslie is by herself in her studio (the same setting as her 5-Day Slim Down DVD). The music is mostly new but there are a few familiar tunes mixed in as well. The steps are Leslie staples -- walking (marching in place), side steps, knee-ups, kicks and kick-backs (hamstring curls), but she also includes tap outs (which can be turned into lunges), walking up-two back-two, and hand-to-opposite-knee. Throughout the workout Leslie constantly changes the steps and often adds in simple arm movements. She announces when we have reached the second mile and there is a chapter point (although it isn't on the menu). The cardio workout finishes with a stretch. Leslie is friendly and chatty as usual, and while I personally prefer her in a group setting I enjoyed this walk a lot.
The toning portion uses the cuffs. It can be done with or without shoes. Leslie begins standing, using a chair for balance, moving each leg in half circles, then pulsing the leg in front (inner thigh) and behind (straight leg and hamstring curls). We then move to the floor. Lying on her side, Leslie does leg lifts for the top outer thigh (I felt those!) and the inner thigh of the lower leg. Then it is on to elbows and knees for rear leg lifts and shoot-outs. Lying prone, she does more hamstring curls. Finally, we lay on our backs with knees bent, and Leslie does front leg raises for the quads (a bit like Karen Voight in GWW), and finishes with both legs straight up and pulsing apart (more inner thigh work). She concludes with another stretch.
Leslie doesn’t count reps during the toning portion, instead urging you to work to muscle fatigue. Unfortunately as a result she sometimes unintentionally does fewer reps for the second leg, so if you do this routine regularly you should make a point to switch off the starting leg.
The fit cuffs previously appeared in Leslie’s One Mile Jog DVD, which has a shorter lower body routine.
Leslie is a staple of mine for cardio, but I've had hit-or-miss success with her toning. However, I am always looking for good lower body floor work, and the routine on this DVD fills the bill. I'm very pleased with this package.
As always Leslie is friendly and encouraging. I liked her very much in both workouts.
October 19, 2008