Total Body Balance

Jessica Smith
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts

There are four workouts on the gem of a DVD workout, and you can play them individually, or play them all. A matrix option would have been nice, but I quibble.

In “Cardio Flow”, Jennifer is joined by one other person, and together they work beside a beautiful shimmering swimming pool. We begin with side-steps and add arms, then move into mini-squats and add arms, then add a side toe-tap with the option to turn it into a leg lift. (Jennifer reminds us to work at our own comfort level; we don’t have to do all the “layering” just because they’re doing it.) Alternating side taps are next, with added bow-and-arrow arms, then we sway side-to-side with “Figure 8” arms and add front toe-taps with the option to change the toe taps to leg lifts. Next is alternating corner-to-corner mambos, then we return to squats with added rear toe-taps and big arm circles. A rocking-horse move is next, then wide squats with chest-fly arms and pulse squats with wide “V” arms before finally moving into cat-cow and final stretches. The energetic percussion music in the background made this a real treat!

Jennifer is working with her partner again in “Sole Sculpt.” They are beside that beautiful pool, and there is fun calypso music in the background. We begin with step-taps that change into side lunges before moving into plie squats and dead lifts with arm rows. Next we do flat back plie pulses with wide-stretched arms, then move into spinal twists, with one arm toward the ceiling and the other toward the floor. We return to center and grab our weights (Jennifer uses 3-pound weights; her friend uses 5-pound weights) for side lunges with overhead presses. This turns into front lunges with overhead arms, then pulse squats with alternating chest flies and pressed back arms. All of this is repeated on the other side. We do a nice combination of plie squats with front reaches, wide-stance dead lifts with back arm presses, plie squats with “W” and “Y” arms (overhead arm reaches) before we move down to the floor for slow swimming, pulse push-ups, bridges, crunches, planks; and finally sink into some nice, well-deserved stretches!

In “Core Stretch”, Jessica is alone by the pool, with nice woodwind music in the background. She begins with plies, then add arms (arms overhead, arms forward with a flat back, etc.) and several forward fold into flat back moves. It’s back to plie squats, turning for a side lunge and bring the back knee to ground, then lowering the torso over front knee for crunches. This transitions to a twisting chair pose (back knee still on floor); then the torso lifts into a mini-backbend (knee still on ground, arms lifted overhead). After repeating everything on the other side, it’s down to the floor for a plank, side planks, cobras, and bow poses before gratefully sinking into child’s pose. But we’re not done yet! We work our way into boat pose, move into a seated forward fold, and do some pulse crunches and scissor legs. We finish with bridge, cat-cow, downward facing-dog, and a nice long spinal roll-up.

“Cardio Dance Sculpt” is the only workout done indoors, but it’s still a gorgeous setting: the crystal blue pool is visible just beyond the white curtains billowing around the large floor-length windows, and the lush green trees make a nice backdrop to the pool. The workout begins with marching in place, and moves to alternating side toe-taps. Next up are V-steps with an added twist; side steps with added arms and level changes, and alternating side mambos. We move into wide-stand plie pulses and alternate arms reaching overhead; then mini-squats while pressing arms back, adding knee lifts, and a crescent knee move. Repeat on the other side. We grab a chair for front lunges, rear leg lifts, and side crunches; this is all repeated on the other side. We continue to use the chair for tricep dips, then sit on the chair and lean back while first bringing alternating knees to our chest, then bringing both knees to our chest (sort of a “pike” move.) Then it’s back to standing for mambos and tap-outs with opposite arm overhead, finger pointed up (think “Saturday Night Fever”, LOL!) We return to the chair for some final stretches.

Instructor Comments:
Jessica offers gentle encouragement thoughout all of the workouts; it feels as if she is talking directly to me, like my very own personal trainer!! :-)

Debbie J