Secrets of a Great Upper Body

Kathy Smith
Year Released: 1993

Categories: Upper Body Strength

In this tape, Kathy Smith has put together a strong workout for each of the major muscle groups in the entire upper body. After a short (4 minutes) warm up, Kathy goes through the muscle groups one-by-one, staring with chest, moving on to triceps, shoulders, and back, and finishing with biceps for a total of 21 minutes. Next comes a fast-moving 6-minute ab workout consisting of just a few moves for the abs and back, and finally, the tape ends with a 2-minute cool down.

Although the exercises in this video are pretty standard, Kathy adds some unique twists; for example, doing front shoulder raises at a slight side angle was something I'd never seen before. In addition, Kathy's excellent pointers on form ensure that you will really focus on working the muscle--her tip not to let the arms move forward on french presses made me feel the exercise in my triceps like I never have before! Using both voiceovers and live remarks, Kathy provides perfect cuing and gentle encouragement.

Some of the prior criticisms of this workout are warranted; namely, that the instructional portions inbetween the moves interfere with the flow of the workout and that some of the transitions happen too quickly. However, I found these flaws to be minor, particularly given that the educational information was brief and provided not only helpful refreshers but also a welcome break after some tough moves! Also, it was easy enough for me to pause the tape here and there if I missed the first repetition or two.

The studio is sparse, and the music is light and non-distracting. This workout is perfect for beginners (using light weights) wanting to learn correct techniques as well as intermediates (using heavier weights) looking for refreshers on form.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy is a great instructor who is warm and friendly while remaining serious about the workout. She is shown here with four helpers, three women and one man, who serve as models on form. Using both voiceovers and live remarks, Kathy provides perfect cuing and gentle encouragement.

Beth C (aka toaster)