Video Fitness

Fitprime Lower Body Burn

Melissa Grill

Women's Health & Fitness Network Lower Body Burn is part of the FitPrimes series and contains 9 minutes of Pilates, 10 minutes of cardio, 10 minutes of yoga and 19 minutes of weights. It actually clocks in at 52 minutes with stretching. Melissa Grill leads dressed in a red top and black pants, and she is adorable! Her cueing is outstanding, her form is great, and I've never before seen her but I hope we do again soon!

As with all WHFN workouts the colors are vibrant, the music is fantastic, and the production quality is perfect.

I enjoyed this workout very much. My only suggestion is if you want to increase the intensity, pick up heavier weights and lose the balance stick. It's easy to modify this one "up". I'm an intermediate/advanced exerciser and although I enjoyed this one, I know next time I will want to modify up. Still, I have to say it's wonderful to do a lower body workout that doesn't contain a zillion squats or lunges, doesn't hurt my knees from such, and doesn't leave me feeling wiped out. This one left me feeling energized and peaceful!

The warm up uses the stick, and the music will be familiar to those who have Better Body and Buns. Core work is next, starting with one yoga block under the toes and one between the knees. In this position we do upper and lower crunches, with effective variations. The tempo varies, and if you pay attention to form you will feel these.

We then put our feet on the high step and do bridge variations, including one where we cross the ankles to work one leg at a time. A burner without weight!! Pay attention to Melissa's excellent form pointers and you will feel this.

The third core segment puts one block behind our mid back and the other between the knees again, and we crunch staying on the high end. The block allows for this, and it was a real burner in my transverse abs! Not many workouts I've done pay so much attention to this area. I loved it!

Hover squats are next, using the high step and stick, and we focus on the non-dominant leg. This is one where I know I can easily modify by using weights. There is a balance challenge involved though so be careful if you choose to do this. The stick has a purpose - to help us balance the correct way - so not using it requires you still maintain proper form and alignment, and keep everything lifted, or you won't feel the work in the right way. We then sit do to rotation and pelvic tilts.

Heel strikes are next, again focusing on the non-dominant leg. She starts with duck squats, using the stick as balance, and goes on to heel strikes with one foot on the yoga block, and the other extended back. We then lose the block and do balance work with the non-dominant leg.

The first cardio tune uses the towel, and it's really fun! You probably don't need the towel, but it's kind of neat. We do 3 steps to the side, ponies, and heel digs, using the arms quite a bit.

Next we repeat the hover squat sequence focusing on the dominant leg, then the heel strike sequence on the dominant leg is repeated.

4 limb cardio is next, and we use light weights for this. I used 2 5#'s. We do cross backs with biceps curls, mambo fronts with delt raises, squats with front raises, and leg abduction with lateral raises. Nothing fancy, but it's fun and effective!

We then do what Melissa calls negative deficit training, which consists of static lunges on the non-dominant leg using the step as a support if needed, plies, and leg lifts to the side. Again, the stick is to help with proper alignment during balance moves so if you choose to lose it and pick up weights, you might feel the work differently.

Next is engaged leg press using the stick and a light to medium weight. I used a 10# one and could have gone higher. We hold the weight on the same side as the leg we're working, and put the stick in the other. Again, there is a balance challenge here as we do these slowly and in a crouched position, so if you choose to lose the stick please be careful. You will really feel this in your quads and glutes if done correctly. Melissa puts a lot of emphasis on proper pelvic positions so you get the effects of core work as well.

Then we do the negative deficit training on the other leg, and then repeat the engaged leg press on the other leg.

A long stretch ends the workout, first using the step, then on the floor, then standing yoga poses. It's a great stretch and very relaxing!

I give this one a solid A!!

Instructor comments:

April 3,2005

Honestly, there is a nearly obscene amount of lower workouts out there, and this one is really no better than most. I got this one free from WHFN and while the production is crisp and clear, the workout itself is nothing to write home about.

I did like the towel aerobics- they were fun and easy, yet quirky. I'd like to see other people do this- its incredibly simple but does make the usual steps seem a bit fresher. beyond that though, this was nothing special. Lower body floor work, squats, lunges, tall box work- the usual suspects abound. there are some odd steps using a yoga block.

I actually think I'd like this workout with a different instructor and no Tamela in the cast. When the camera hit her, the Poltergeist line- She's Baaack- went through my head, and not in a good way.

Once again, Tamela smirks and pouts through another workout. Ordinarily background exercisers barely register on me, but the camera is on her almost as much as it is on Melissa, so her facial expressions that seem right out of a blue movie are impossible to ignore and distracting. And then she prances around like a Vegas show girl. If you watch the E!TV showgirls program, this will make sense- is she gunning for Fluff LeCocq's job? (She's a director of many a Vegas show.) Maybe its the loinclothed statues??? Yuck.

Melissa is annoying in her own way. She has this tone in her voice that sounds snotty and she uses such pretentious expressions- negative depth training? Inversion training?, which is pelvic lifts.

She doesn't explain form at all. The duck squats, for example, should be better explained- they left me in pain every time I tried this. Its possible I'm doing them wrong- but thats what happens when you don't really instruct.

I wanted to like this since I like doing lower body work, but with the plethora i have, I can't imagine doing this one since I found the instructor and the featured exerciser so irritating.

Seriously, I would like to see more towel aerobics, and did quite like some of the music in this one.

Instructor comments: Melissa is annoying. She has this tone of voice that reminds me of how the snobby girls at school always talked when I was in High School. She's another one who makes faces that just seem weird. Some of her expressions are just awkward- there'sno emotion in her voice so it just sounds ridiculous when she makes lets have fun type statements. At one point she rotates and sees herself in the mirror, makes a very smug smile and says hi to herself.

I wanted to like her sense she sometimes moves with these odd pops and locks (especially at the beginning) that reminded me of Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo, but sadly, the magic didn't last, and she ended up bugging me.


Like many others, I was a little disappointed in the intensity of this workout, especially when compared to Upper Body Burn. However, I do like the floorwork and will keep this one for a less intense day or a day when my knees aren't up for countless lunges or tall box work. Overall, it is more of a beginner workout but can be made more intense for those looking for a greater challenge. For me, its a keeper.

Instructor comments: I like Melissa. She seems knowledgable and did not seem snotty at all as some have stated. Her comment of "there you are" did not seem directed to herself but rather to her cast and audience. I would love to see her in a tougher workout.



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