Belly Blasting Walk

Leslie Sansone
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Abs/Core , Lower Body Strength , Walking Aerobics

This is the first Leslie Sansone workout I have done in some time. I have tended to find her routines somewhat repetitive and not quite intense enough for my intermediate level, even when she attempts to take things up a notch (such as with her Walk Away the Pounds - Walk and Kick and Walk Away the Pounds - Walk and Jog, both of which I owned for quite awhile). In this latest DVD, however, Sansone adds quite a few new moves, and I'm happy to report that it just might be a keeper for me.

The Main Menu of this DVD offers four different options: 1) Play Entire Belly Blasting Walk, 2) Play Belly Blasting 2 Fast Miles, 3) Play Belly Blasting Floor Session 1, and 4) Play Belly Blasting Floor Session 2. I will break down each individual segment below. As always, Sansone is teaching live in a large studio, and she is joined by five young, long-haired, all-female background exercisers; everyone is attired brightly in pink and yellow. One of her background exercisers shows a few modifications when Sansone specifically asks her to do so, but otherwise, low-impact modifications are NOT shown throughout the workout.

As always Leslie introduces her four main steps, which includes the walk (marches), side steps, knee ups, and kicks. However, she adds MANY more variations here, including knee lifts with twists to the thigh, shuffles with punches across, larger squats with twists, and jogs forward and back with twists. As you can see, Sansone incorporates many rotational moves with the specific intention of targeting the core. Although this mile is fairly intense overall, Sansone builds up gradually--i.e., my heart rate did not hit my target zone until about 8 minutes into the 15.5 minute segment.

This mile begins at the quick pace where the first mile left off. (Note: The song "The Heat is On" is used in both miles to set a fast pace.) Sansone adds even more new moves here, including side-facing shuffles with a punch, jumping rope and hops, and small plyo jumps. At about 26.5 minutes, she begins slowing things down for the recovery period, and at 29 minutes, she starts about 2 1/2 minutes of very simple stretches, beginning with the upper body and then moving on to the lower.

FLOOR SESSION #1 (10.5 minutes)
This section focus on flexion. Sansone incorporates traditional exercise such as curl-ups and bridgework. She combines these with Pilates-inspired moves, including her version of the hundred, single leg stretch, and scissors. Sansone moves VERY slow through this segment, and I did not think she provided effective instruction for the Pilates exercises.

FLOOR SESSION #2 (10.5 minutes)
Sansone notes that this segment will focus more on extension. She begins on hands and knees for alternate arm/leg raises, incorporating both straight and bent leg lifts. Coming forward, she performs half push-ups and half plank, and then coming all the way to a prone position, she moves through variations on supermans, including raising just the legs, just the arms, and alternate arm/leg. Sansone is constantly moving in this section, flowing back to an elbow plank, adding in a few more push-ups, brief holding a full plank, and coming back to hands and knees to repeat the arm/leg raises. She finishes by holding full plank for 10 seconds. I liked this segment much better than the first corework section; it felt much more effective.

Overall, this is a nice new offering from Leslie Sansone. I really enjoyed the new moves that she incorporated into the walk both to increase the intensity and to target the core. I do wish that she had picked up the pace a bit sooner in Mile #1--and similarly, that she had delayed the start of the recovery a bit in Mile #2. However, I do like that there is a chapter break at the start of the second mile, so I do have the option of skipping directly to that point; I may even try doing the second mile twice! In the end, I definitely would recommend this DVD.

Instructor Comments:
Leslie is Leslie, as always! She is encouraging and chatty, both with the viewer and with her background exercisers, but I didn't find her to be over-the-top here.

Beth C (aka toaster)