Functionally Fit: Lower Body Firming

Kathy Smith
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Lower Body Strength

NSTRUCTOR: Kathy Smith
DURATION: 31 minutes
EQUIPMENT: sneakers
LEVEL: Basic/Intermediate
TYPE: Toning
MUSIC: nondescript
IMPACT: Low, but can be tricky if you have knee issues

This is a lower body toning workout led by lovely fitness veteran Kathy Smith. Found on the compilation DVD "Yoga Sculpt", this workout features lower body toning exercises using no equipment. Most of the exercises are fairly simple, standing lower body routines, but if you know you cannot do squats and lunges, stay away!

The setting of the workout has wooden floors, bright windows, and looks as if it's being done in someone's living room (maybe Kathy's LOL!). There are four participants, a guy and female showing advanced moves, and two females showing easier moves. Kathy shows moves that are in between. She also demonstrates the modifications before letting the others show them throughout the workout.

The workout begins with a simple warm up. Side to side moves with knee raises, swinging the arms, swinging the legs, the standard stuff. Then we move on to the first half of the workout. The moves consist of basic squats, one legged squats, bent one legged squats where you do a leg raise, plie squats, and a variation of the one legged squat. The first workout is the "basic" workout and the second workout is the "challenge". What is the challenge? Well, instead of alternating legs like you do in the "basic" workout, in the "challenge" you do the entire series of exercises on one leg and then you switch to the other. However, they are all the same exercises. Following the "challenge" workout is a nice cool down/stretch.

PROS: this workout is great for small spaces! I also found that I had some great DOMS after doing this workout, even without using weight. You can really grow with this workout, because you can make it harder by adding weights or pulses. Kathy Smith also cues very well in the workout. I also like that she has modifiers that you can clearly see. Finally, the time is spot on: who can't spare 30 minutes for a lower body workout?

CONS: I wish that the "challenge" workout had included different exercises.

This may be a con for some, but it wasn't for me: the workout was made in 1996, so some folks think it looks dated. I don't. I think that production quality is top notch, the exercises were executed safely and effectively, and that the workout outfits would still look good today.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy is charming and lovely, giving clear instructions. I like working out in her living room.