Total Body Balance

Jessica Smith
Year Released: 2013

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

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

My background with Jessica's workout has been a change in progress. I tried her DVDs, some of the more recent ones from the past year or two, and didn't keep them. I liked HER in the workouts, but the workouts were hard on my hands and wrists and/or knees. Given I have arthritis in those joints, I look for workouts that don't have much impact and that doesn't require you to support body weight on the hands and wrists. So, I had given up on her DVDs. Then, I tried the workouts on her YouTube channel and loved them - both her and the workouts. So, when she came out with this DVD, I decided to try it given that some of my most favorite LOVES on her YouTube channel are this style of workout. And, am I ever glad I did!

I would rank this DVD as a beginner/intermediate workout with the modifier showing more advanced options. Jessica will often show the easiest option, then they will do the intermediate version, and then the modifier will do the most advanced option. Throughout the whole DVD, Jessica encourages you to work at your pace and your level and to stay in tune with your body. There's not any pressure to achieve a certain move or level, which I found refreshing and nice. As usual, Jessica is really good at leading this workout. She comes across as caring and encouragine. Plus, her cueing is really good; I always knew what I needed to do when I needed to know it.

The whole DVD is set outside except for Cardio Dance Sculpt and that workout is set in front of a window so you can see outside. It really is set in a pretty space and made me feel warm (on ridiculously cold March mornings when winter just wouldn't go away!). Very little space is needed so those with a small workout area can celebrate throughout the workout. As far as equipment goes, you'll just need a mat (unless you work out on carpet like me), a chair, and some light dumbbells. The workout can be done barefoot, so you don't even need shoes, if you don't want to put them on.

This DVD is divided into four 20-minute segments (give or take):

> Cardio Flow - This is a flowing cardio workout with low-impact moves. She uses moves wiwth a large range of motion for the arms and does some lower-body toning work

> Sole Sculpt - This is a toning workout using light weights. I really enjoyed the first 10-11 minutes which was standing strength work and didn't enjoy the floor work she then moved to. But, I hate floor work. I can see me using the first part of this segment with the two cardio sections.

> Core Stretch - This is core work and stretching. It was a good mix that engaged the core and stretched out the body.

> Cardio Dance Sculpt - I would call the moves in this segment dancey. You use the chair for some lower-body toning moves.

Each segment was pretty much described by its name and I knew what I was getting when each segment started. For those that like to create their own workouts with a segment from here and a segment from there, this DVD is ideal for you. You can use these as add-ons or stand-alone segments for a "spark". Or, you can do it 2, 3, or 4 segments as a full-length workout and get what you want: cardio, strength, stretch, or all of the above.

I really, really like this DVD and look forward to using it in the future.

Instructor Comments:
I love her in this workout. She is encouraging and engaging and fun. Oh, and she cues really well, too!

Laura S.