Great Moves II (201): Hi/LoKari Anderson
Year Released: 1996
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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I was surprised that there were not more reviews of this tape. It is one of my favorites by Kari.
This is a short tape. I think the whole workout is 40 minutes. This includes the warm up and the (very brief) cool down. One thing I like about this tape (I am sure somew will not like this), is that it does not have static stretching in the warm up. When I start a tape, I want a warm up, but get rather impatient if there is too much stretching. I prefer to save my stretching for the cool down. Unfortunately, this tape has no stretching in the cool down either. I just tack on another tape's stretching segment.
O.K., enough about the warm up/cool down. What is it that I like about this tape so much? Well, first there is Kari herself. She has a warm personality and cues well. Next, I like the music. Yes, it is familiar from CIA 9702 and 9802. I don't get tired of it, though. Finally, the combinations are fun. Kari has a knack for mixing up complicated and simple move so that even the first time through, her tapes are doable. Some of the moves I really enjoy are the hop turn step off the end of the step and a straddle then turn step.
This tape won't wipe you out, but you will work up a good sweat before you know it. It is rated as intermediate/advanced. I would agree with that. The set is the same studio used in her other tapes. It does not appear as bright and airy as it does in Body Tech or Classic Step.
This tape may be picked up rather cheaply from several sources. I highly recommend it.
I've done this video twice now, and the difference between the first and second attempts were like night and day. The first run-through was after a strength workout, so I was already a bit worn out. I didn't really feel like thinking, so I spent most of the time either staring at the TV or feeling like a baby giraffe, falling all over myself during the turns and direction changes. But it looked like it WOULD BE a lot of fun, so I gave it another shot.
Am I glad I did! This tape is excellent. Definitely dancy, but pretty easy to master if you put on your thinking cap the first couple of times. I'd say I'm moderate at picking up dancy/complicated choreography, and I felt pretty cool for catching on to this one so quickly. That's a compliment to Kari's cueing, of course, not to me! Some of Kari's moves are quite innovative, and when they're all put together they flow extremely well.
I consider myself to be advanced, and I'd rate this tape as intermediate/advanced. I'd say it's on the same level as Sweat Express, although I think the aerobics in Sweat Express are a little longer. But as someone mentioned above, if you wanted to go longer you can just rewind it to the point where she "takes it from the top" three last times and get in about ten more minutes.
I definitely see myself using this tape a lot - especially for days when I don't want to totally kill myself, but I don't want to take it easy, either.
Kari is an excellent cuer, and her choreography is interesting. She's seems extremely likeable and easygoing, too. This was my first tape where it's just me and the instructor without any background exercisers, and I thought it was pretty pleasant. No distractions - just me and the instructor working hard and having fun.
I really, really love this video. It quietly slipped by me, because it didn't garner as much "buzz" on VF as some of the CIA hi-lo tapes. But it definitely outshines many of them, in my opinion.
Kari melds together some beautiful combinations. My favorite move is her pivoting lunges that you perform while twirling around. It's hard to describe, because I've never seen anything quite like it. Rather than have you move laterally all the time, Kari has you moving vertically: Walking toward the t.v. with a knee up, lunging vertically, running forward with kicks. It makes things *so* much more varied.
Kari also doesn't choreograph in left-right block format. Her transitions are perfectly timed so that they move you from the left foot to the right foot through carefully timed transitional moves. I really love this, especially since other instructors (Cathe included) don't use teach this way as much.
On intensity: This video is pretty high impact. Towards the end, everything is done running, hopping, or leaping. If you go all out, I think you'll get a nice advanced (though not killer) hi-lo workout.
On the take it to the top ISSUE: Kari does add on to moves and does a full run through of all the moves about 4 times. But Kari's version of "take it to the top" isn't used as a stall tactic or for filler. Like many other VFers, I can't stand it when an instructor goes back to the top every time she adds a knee up. (bleh). The repetition in this one was perfect. Especially because you'll need some time to perfect the transitions.
This is one wonderful hi-lo video. I think I enjoy it more than CIA 9801 with Christi Taylor. So sorry I didn't find it sooner.
Kari is really the only video instructor I know who can take the "one-on-one instruction" format and make it seem fun and lively! She's so charismatic, charming, and at ease with the camera.
It's taken me a while to grow into Kari. I didn't really like some of her earlier tapes, as hard as I've tried. This tape probably appeals to me because it's dancy, without being dorky, if that makes any sense. Before some of Kari's move struck me as too floppy and goofy. Not here!
I got this video at the same time I ordered Two the Max. If you read my review of Two the Max, you will see that I had a hard time with the hi/lo moves. Well, I tried this tape after doing Two the Max only once, and really disliking the hi/lo portion of that video. So, I guess I went into this tape already assuming I wouldn't like it. And I felt that way after the first time. But, I tried it again this morning, since I had enjoyed Two the Max the second time through. Once again, I had an open mind and reminded myself that I bought this tape to try something other that step aerobics. I really had fun this morning and got a great workout, although, just waking up with this new time change gets my heart rate up! I was able to get the first 3 combos this time without too many mistakes, and even managed to throw in some of the turns. I'm still pretty hopeless on the 4th and 5th combo. The 4th combo looks really fun, if I can get the darn pivot at the end which leads into a cross back type of thing. She makes it look so easy, but I'm never on the right foot to leap and cross back. I don't know if it's because I'm on carpet, or because I have no dance background, so pivots don't come naturally at all. The 5th combo really isn't that much harder than the 4th, I just think by then, my mind couldn't follow along any more. I think once I give myself some more time to learn all the combos, this tape will be a blast. The only thing that I also found strange to get used to is the one-on-one style. This is the first tape I've done like that. It was a nice change not having students making comments in the background, although it would have been encouraging to see some participants in the background making mistakes along with me. J Anyway, if you like hi/lo aerobics, I think you will enjoy this tape. And if you want to try hi/lo, I think this tape can be a lot of fun, just give yourself several times through to learn the moves.
This is a hi/lo video, with advanced choreography and intensity. It took me 3 times to master all the moves. The video is only 45 minutes long, including very short warm-up and cool down. Kari stresses do do more on your own. More moves, less extraneous things. The music in these great moves series is very good; she got rid of the *generic* aerobic music(such as Sweat Express). She has some moves that I've never seen before, such as a knee up/leg extension(with the other leg), knee up again with the first leg and a kick front with the leg that you did the extension with. And that was only the warm-up. Other fun moves, boxing double knee with a reverse turn, jacks with *attitude* and lots of turns! :) Of course, you know-I LOVE turns. Sometimes the turns make the move easier (but not always). Fianl grade:A+
As always(and I hope she doesn't change) Kari is dancy, enthusiastic, fun and professional in all her videos. She's quickly became one of my favorite instructors.
Kari Anderson is the best floor aerobics instructor for the advanced exerciser. After being disappointed with the G-Force Ultimate Hi-Lo, Kari's video brought back to me the meaning of what floor aerobics is all about. She doesn't do much of a warm-up or cool-down, but that's okay, because you can do that on your own. And if you want to supplement 35 minutes of hi/low with a Firm tape, it's perfect. Her moves are so fluid, she seems to be gliding. Her voice never cracks, she just moves with such style and grace. Only a couple of times she will say walk or jog in place while she gives instruction (not like the G-force, more marches in place than patterns). If you like Sweat Express, Two the Max aerobic section, you will love Great Moves. Her moves may be a little complicated at first, but she even says you have to practice the moves and it is well worth it. You will glide with style just like Kari. I guess it's time for me to get Great Moves I Hi/Lo. G-Force - learn from Kari.
This is the first of the Great Moves series I've tried, and I loved it! Although the series was designed for instructors, it's also perfect for those who don't need or want a lot of choreography repetition.
Kari is true to her tradition of complex combos, though surprisingly none of the steps would be considered as "dancy" as those in Kari's earlier tapes. A set of heel jacks comes closest, but she gives a hamstring curl variation for those who can't quite get the heel jack. Even her version of the "running man" is made more athletic and less funky. Most of the complexity comes from the gradual addition of turns, pivots, and rotations. Those with two left feet will have trouble, but the moves are not really as difficult as they look, and Kari teaches them well.
Kari is also more no-nonsense in this video than usual, which is appropriate considering the target audience. Although the lack of a class, slightly softer music, and a less bubbly Kari detract a bit from the "performance" element of this tape, the structure was perfect for me. There are 5 combos in all (plus a warm up). The cool down is basically just marching in place while she gives some teaching pointers. You are reminded to stretch out on your own after completing the video.
Kari teaches each combo quickly, but builds each one systematically. You learn combo #1, do it a few times, learn combo #2, do it a couple times, then #1+#2, learn #3, and so on until by the end you get several repetitions of the whole series of 5 combos. This structure makes it easy to rewind a bit and be able to do a few more "from the tops" to make the workout longer, if you want. The length of the five strung-together combinations makes it feel more like a performance--a feeling I like very much.
I think the production team could have done a better job on the lighting, however. There is a large backlit window behind Kari, so her front is more shadowed than it should be. I just would have liked to be able to see her face more clearly, though I didn't have any trouble seeing her movements.
Anyway, I really liked this side of Kari's choreography. Complex enough to keep me really motivated, but not so dancy that I get frustrated at not being able to move like her! Next time I buy videos I plan to get at least one more from the Great Moves series.
Great video. Being an instructor, I have all four of Kari's videos in this Great Moves Series, because it gives me new moves for my classes. A fun, challenging, and well choreographed video--it brings the fun back into hi/low.
This Great Moves tape really does have some great moves! This one is intermediate/advanced hi/lo. I would call it advanced for choreography, and intermediate for intensity, except the last 10-15 minutes when the intensity gets up to the advanced level.
I really enjoy this workout, although there are still times when I find myself on the wrong foot. You'll probably need a few sessions before you get it completely down, and even then, it's confusing in some places because you want to step on one foot, but you're supposed to use the other. But it's not so confusing that it makes you dislike it.
The total workout is about 40 minutes. There are no stretches, so you'll have to do your own if you want to. After this workout (which is mostly high-impact), I think stretching feels particularly good. I would have liked to see Kari add another 5 minutes to the program with stretches.
Overall, this gets an A from me!