The Firm Parts: Cardio Step Mix

Lisa Kay, Nancy Tucker, Tracie Long, Heidi Tanner, Jen Carman, Tamela Hastie, Carissa Foster, Dale Brabham, Allie Strickland
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Step Aerobics

This is one of my go-to workouts when I want fun cardio that's not complicated and not draining. It's Firm-style cueing (i.e. not good if you're not used to it - infrequently do the leads remind you "left" and "right" and they have Firm-only names for some moves). Having said that, if you have passing familiarity with the complete Firm workouts from which this Parts tape is made up, you'll pick up the moves fast.

All of the step moves are very basic: up-down, L-step, over the box. This workout is definitely more athletic stepping than dance-y, though Jen Carmen's final "mambo-shuffle" has a little more floor cardio than most. You'll need a High Step topper or short end of a regular Club step, 4-8", and a pair of light dumbbells, 3-8# maximum. The dumbbells are used for simple "four-limbed" movements like overhead press or biceps curls when you're doing simple footwork on the step. Nancy Tucker uses a dowel for balance for one section but you can easily do without it.

In addition to almost 50 minutes of mostly low-impact step, there is a 6-minute ab workout before the final stretch.

This is one of the compilation Firms that I don't find to be choppy. The edits are smooth and the step sections flow well from one instructor to the next. Tracie Long's sections are my favorites, and I also like the two step sections that Heidi does from CrossTrainers Cardio and the Lisa Kay step sections from Fat Blaster.