Body Blast: Kick, Punch and Crunch

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2003

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

This is Cathe Friedrichís second kickboxing workout. It has 45 minutes of cardio followed by an ab routine using a stability ball. I much prefer this workout to Cardio Kicks for several reasons: thereís more kickboxing with less hi/lo; Cathe and her background exercisers show much better form on the kicks and punches; and itís really intense throughout. Cathe seems more comfortable teaching kickboxing now, and there are fewer pauses for instruction and therefore fewer spots where your heartrate might drop. There is still a bit of a hi/lo feel, and I think fans of Cardio Kicks will still enjoy this one. Like Cardio Kicks, there is virtually no instruction on form, so this is not a good video for someone new to kickboxing.

The video starts with a warm-up (7 min) followed by intermediate-intensity kickboxing drills (7 min). These start to get your heartrate up, but they also serve as an extended warm-up, and are followed by a very brief stretch. Next is high-intensity kickboxing drills (17 min), which definitely get your heartrate up! The drills sections are more Tae Bo like Ė you repeat a single move or *very simple* combo on one side for a bit, then on the other side. Thereís a fun hammer punch move thatís new, and some hi/lo-flavored bits like speed skaters and grapevines that turn into shuffles are thrown in. The drills are more intense and move more quickly from one exercise to the next than the drill section at the end of Cardio Kicks.

The drills are followed by 3 kickboxing combinations that total 21 minutes. These combos are similar to those in the Powerstrike videos or at the very end of Kathy Smithís Kickboxing video. They have a few punches that are taught together followed by some kicks that are taught together, then you put the whole combination together and repeat it a few times. The first one is taught more slowly than the second two. There are some fun jump kicks and punches in this section.

The ab section is 7 minutes long and get a lot done in that time. A stability ball and an 8 pound dumbbell are used. There are crunches on the ball, some pilates-inspired roll-ups using the ball, a neat move where you pass the ball between your hands and your feet, which really gets the lower abs, and some plank work on the ball. This section doesnít work your obliques as specifically as most of Catheís other ab routines do. I like this ab routine a lot and often use it as an add-on to other workouts. The music in this section is a faster, orchestral version of the Jurassic Park theme song Ė it is really unique from most exercise video music, and itís a major reason I like this ab section so much.

The music throughout the workout is really good. It fits the moves and the kickbox style well. It is all (or almost all, maybe) instrumental, and itís quite energetic.

The DVD version is combined with Legs & Glutes, a lower body weight workout. There are two premixes that create circuit workouts of kickboxing and lower body exercises, which really expands the uses of this DVD. (L&G is a great workout, too, so get the DVD!)

Instructor Comments:
Catheís kickboxing form is much better in this video than in earlier kickboxing workouts. She also seems more confident and comfortable with instruction. She really delivers a fun and intense kickboxing video here Ė itís worth trying if you like Cathe and kickboxing but were disappointed by Cardio Kicks.