Kickbutt Push Pull

Heidi Tanner, Kimberly Spreen
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

Women's Health & Fitness Network Push Pull is part of the KickButt series and is a fusion workout, but I found it to be mostly strength and it kicked MY butt!! It's a remake of FitPrimes's From The Ground Up, but it's redone enough so that it feels like a "new" workout ... and it's better if that's possible!! As with all the WHFN workouts, the colors are vibrant and alive, the background exercisers are healthy and a delight to watch - especially the fit and beautiful Narty who looks as though she hasn't aged a day from her "Tortoise" and "Hare" appearances about ten years ago!!

Heidi Tanner leads, dressed in a red top and black pants, and absolutely tops her FTGU performance. Kimberly Spreen leads three cardio segments, also dressed in red and black, and does a great job with these! Her kickboxing expertise is given a chance to show itself, which I loved!

The breakdown is 8 minutes of Pilates, 14 minutes of cardio, 4 minutes of yoga, and 20 minutes of weights. Don't worry about going heavy - there are fewer reps than traditional all-strength training workouts so go for it! To increase the intensity of the cardio segments simply make your movements bigger or add little jumps and hops - it's easy to do here.

The warm up will be familiar from FTGU with the same music and nearly identical choreography. Since I love this warm-up, I was happy! I have to tell you I was prepared to not like this workout since I couldn't possibly see how FTGU could be improved. I was pleasantly surprised! I LOVE this workout!!

Static lunges are next with biceps curls and overhead presses, and a balance challenge. I used 2 12# weights and was very challenged. At the end of doing both legs Heidi takes you through a squat sequence where you extend the back leg and do more curls, adding more balance challenges.

Kimberly then leads the first of two kickboxing segments. It's not enough to really elevate your heart rate, but it's a nice break from the weights, just long enough, with a fun tune which will repeat itself in all three of Kimberly's segments.

Heidi returns with drag dips and a nice balance challenge here too. In between legs we do shoulder work. Again I had 2 12# weights, and they were almost too heavy for me. I'm an intermediate/advanced exerciser so anytime I have to stop or lower weights, I consider that a great workout for me!! The balance challenge after doing the drag dips on the second leg is to lift the leg out to the side and curl the dumbbell - harder than it looks! Very functional fitness and working the core kind of move!

Kimberly then returns with the second kickboxing sequence, and this one moves a bit more than the first so you can probably elevate your heart rate nicely.

Next is Heidi with leg press, and I love how she does variations first instead of just traditional leg presses for what feels like a million reps. No repetitious boring sets here!! Finishing this sequence is triceps dips off the high step.

Next is hover squats, where you lift the knee on the way up, then do shoulder presses. I like this because doing endless hover squats really bothers my knee, so the slower pace, the balance work incorporated into the move, and stopping to do shoulder work for a few seconds is a WONDERFUL change! Again I had 2 12# weights and was struggling. The triceps work in this sequence is a french press. We then do the hover squat sequence on the other leg, and finish that sequence with triceps kickbacks.

Kimberly then returns for the final cardio sequence which is a fun set of V steps, step touches, and knee repeaters. You can add intensity easily by jumping or hopping some of it, or going lower into the V steps.

Heidi is back then with push-ups, putting one hand on the tall step. A nice variation in this workout is to lift the opposing leg to the back while pushing down, then bring the knee in. You can really feel this in your core! I loved it! We switch sides then, completing the sequence.

Next is a tall box climb with "stomps" and mambos onto the box. It's not a lot of climbing and it didn't bother my knees at all. In fact, what burned were my shoulders from holding the 2 5# weights while climbing, then doing side lateral raises while "stomping"! OUCH! I kept wishing I had 3# dumbbells in my hands! This one will fool you!

A brief but very needed stretch is next, then onto one arm lat rows and rhomboid rows. We then stretch briefly again before moving onto the floor.

The V-sits are back from the original FitPrimes, and so are the dreaded oblique threads! She only does three on each side so go for it! They are KILLER, but SO effective! She then does that full bridge move where you're up on your shoulders with your hips lifted at the same time. I cannot do this move due to shoulder issues, so I did traditional bridge with weights on my groin. Heidi then says pec flyes are next and to grab LIGHT weights. Don't do what I did and grab your pec flye weight or you'll be dropping them very soon - LOL! We do the heels together and move the legs out to the side move along with pec flyes, but then we keep our legs out to the side and thread through them with the weights! You can see how you'd want LIGHT weights for this, and so did I - a bit too late I might add! We then do the V-sits on the other side, the oblique threads again, and end with plenty of cobra poses.

The final stretch is relaxing, thorough and well-deserved! It says 49 minutes on the DVD case but it's about 51 minutes total. A+!!!

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