The Firm: Tight Buns and Killer Legs

Kelsie Daniels
Year Released: 2007

Categories: Lower Body Strength

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This is a 31 min lower body + cardio w/o led by kelsie with 2 background exercisers. Sue Mi shows the modifications. You will only need dumbbells for this w/o. The set is hardwood floors w/ white walls.

There is a quick warmup and then she moves into the body of the workout. The workout is formatted that she does a LB set on the right leg, a cardio/ plyo burst and then does the LB set on the left leg. I was able to heavy up pretty well on this one; she goes slow enough for good form w/ heavier poundage and there are no UB moves added in.

Some of the strength work includes: 1 legged deadlifts w/ a heel push, curtsey dip w/ a knee lift, side squat w/ an abduction, plank jacks, pliets, and she does include some balance work in these moves. She does include some floor bridge work before the final stretch.

The cardio bursts are fun and high energy (easy to modify up for a real push) and include: squat w/ a side kick, a fun hopscotch move, high knees into a dip, ham curls, side steps, etc.

I would rate this a solid intermediate that would be easy to modify up or down. I got a great challenging w/o by upping the cardio intensity and using heavy poundage. A lot of the exercises had fun twists on straight forward moves, making this a great little LB + cardio w/o. Kelsie is great w/ her cueing in this one and I really enjoy her as a lead here.



This is one of the add on workouts to the Gaiam Firm Total Body Transfirmation System, led by Kelsie Daniels and which is completely focused on the legs. The workout clocks in at 31 minutes and is a combination of leg strength combined with aerobic circuits which are placed directly after each strength routine. Kelsie’s general pattern is to do a leg strength set of exercises on one leg; cardio circuit with the same leg lead; repeat leg strength set on other leg; repeat cardio circuit set with other leg lead. Because of the constant switching of exercises, and of course the short length, this workout goes by really quickly. Kelsie leads with Rebekah and Sue Mi in the background, Sue Mi provides beginner modifications. Production quality is high and the set is one of the open and white, plain and not obstructive. Music is generic but holds a good beat.

The video is great for a quickie leg and cardio workout. Equipment needed are two sets of dumbbells – medium and heavy weight. As is, she does not provide poundage, but I am pretty sure that the usual medium poundage for Pink Firms is 5# and the “heavy” (which in this DVD is the two sets of pink “cardio weights” which came with the infomercial set – the regular dumbbells and the smaller bells with the handles) is 8# total. I used 10# bells for my medium poundage and 12# bells for my heavy, and this worked great. Since this is strictly lower body, you do not incorporate any arm workouts. However you cannot completely max out the poundage because of the quickly paced reps and combination lower body moves (often times with leg extensions leaving you to balance on one leg). I felt like I got an adequate burn with the poundage I used, but like I said she moves so quickly and the sets are short, so this is not going to exhaust any of the muscles unless you are a beginner just starting out.

The strength moves include curtsey lunges (as an aside: Kelsie’s variation of curtsey lunges is to have the legs in one line, in most other videos the back leg is out to the side, which is what I did here and I think is a lot more effective!) paired with one legged squats on the same leg, plie squats with inner thigh extension, and a single leg deadlift series which included a glute extension to the rear for the non deadlift leg. The cardio moves were fun – they included high knees, a hopscotch series (which can be done either high or low – high is great!), and a roundhouse/plie kickbox series done with a quick pace. Warm up included bob and weaving with punches, and inner and outer thigh lifts. The cool down included general athletic stretches.

All in all I would rate this high beginner (if using lighter weights) to low-mid intermediate (heavier weights) – this will not exceed intermediate, even with the heavier poundage. There were just not enough reps to really make strength gains in the legs, and the reps are quick to boot. The cardio however has a great fun factor (and is moderately intense) and that is why I have reached for the workout repeatedly (and because Kelsie leads!). I would recommend this for an easier day and/or to get in a leg-focused cardio workout. Also, I think this is the only exclusively leg-focused Gaiam Pink Firm issued so far, and with its short length, and all standing exercises, and fun cardio intervals, this does fill a unique gap in my collection. Grade B+.

Instructor Comments:
Kelsie is by far my favorite of the Pink Firm workouts and I have all of her workouts (Pink Firm and classic Fitprime). If/when she comes out with future workouts, I will happily get those too! She is intense, gives great cues and gives you constant (but not redundant) reminder on form. She is enthusiastic and smiles the whole time, and she is a natural instructor. And her physique is also WOW. She has great muscle tone which I aspire to!

Emily B.


Toaster gave a great breakdown of the moves, so I just wanted to add a few other things I liked about the workout. First, this is a 30 minute workout. Some of the 30 minute Firms try to get a little too creative with choreography and end up being awkward and confusing. Kelsie doesn't do that here. The moves are interesting, fresh, but basic enough to follow. It didn't feel awkward to me at all. Second thing I like, Kelsie only has two background exercisers in this workout, so the modifier is placed where you can see her at all times. Su Mi Powell is the modifier. Third, the lower body focus lets me go heavier than usual with the Firm, and supersetting each leg separately made a great workout. Lastly, she does a little mini-cool down before going onto the floor for bridges and leg extensions. I really liked being able to slow my heart rate a bit before laying down. My only negative comment is that I would like this workout to be longer, with an express option, because it was SO enjoyable!

Instructor Comments:
Kelsie is great as always, wonderful cueing, instruction, and form.



This is one of the new ones from the Firm, and I liked it a lot. It's not quite as tough as Firm Lower Body Sculpt 1 (an earlier all-standing lower body workout), but it is more aerobic and still quite challenging. Plus, it was nice to see Kelsie again!

Kelsie moves very quickly through a 5-minute warm-up (I had a little trouble keeping up with her transitions the first time through). She adds interesting twists to basic moves such as bob & weave, knee ups, outer thigh lifts, and inner thigh touches; the warm-up concludes with a moving stretch for the hip flexors, calves, and quads.

The main part of the workout is structured so that you do a toning series on one leg, do a short (30-40 seconds) cardio burst, and then repeat the toning series on the other leg. Kelsie cues either heavy or medium weights for each series; since it was my first time through and I was already pre-exhausted from another workout, I just used 10# the whole way through, but you could definitely go heavier.

Kelsie begins with a curtsey dip, upping the intensity by adding a knee lift and then a quad extension. She also performs a single leg squat, again adding the knee lift (which was killer here!). The first cardio blast consists of a back lunge combined with a knees high jog, and then the weight work is repeated with the other leg. In the next series, Kelsie starts with a side squat, first adding abduction, then a repeating abduct lift with balance and final a rear glute lift. A fun cardio blast follows: you begin with a simple hamstring curl but progress to a hopscotch move.

The next weighted series starts with a one-legged dead lift, then adds a heel push to the rear. This is followed by a short forward squat adding a rear glute lift. Kelsie calls the next cardio segment jumping jacks, but the are more jumping planks: you jump the feet out to plank position and then jump them in and out. For the final weighted series, you'll do a 4-count plie, adding a leg balance and then also a leg lift. I loved the final cardio sequence of plie squat to side leg kick.

With about 7 minutes left to the workout, Kelsi does brief cardio cool-down consisting of a few squats with back rolls and a few more plies. She then transitions to the floor for some short, one-legged bridge work which is nicely interspersed with stretching moves for the hamstrings. Kelsie concludes the workout with some nice seated stretches (forward bend, side stretch), bringing in the total time at 31 minutes.

Overall, a nicely intense, fun lower body workout that I know I will enjoy doing again and again!

Instructor Comments:
Kelsie hasn't changed a bit from FitPrime Steamin' Cardio: she still cues great and moves with precise, perfect form. She works out here in the new Firm studio with two other Firm instructors in the background (Son-Ming and someone else). I liked the music here as well; it seemed less "canned" than other Firm music.

Beth C (aka toaster)