The Firm Wave: Speed Slimming Sculpt

Allie Del Rio
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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This is one of the workouts included with the Firm Wave kit. It comes in a DVD package with Riding the Wave (instructional) and Rock It Off. It clocks in at 30 minutes and is a complete sculpting routine (no cardio). Allie leads with four background instructors, one of which demonstrates beginner modifications (no weights, smaller range of motion on the Wave). Equipment needed is the Wave step and light-moderate poundage dumbbells (Allie uses 3, 5, and 8 pounds). The set is a little darker than the other Pink Firms, although the set was very clean and professional looking (and production qualities were high). The music was played louder in the background than what I am accustomed to (which I liked); the music itself was the same forgettable instrumental music as in other Pink Firm workouts.

The quick warm up includes steps onto the ďcrestĒ or the top of the Wave when in the stable position. Allie quickly moves on to the weight work, which includes several combination movse on the unstable part of the Save: squats with overhead press, French press with quick rocking, one arm lat row with the rocking lunges sideways on the Wave, another set of squats while rocking left and right (simulating a one leg squat) and hammer curls, and two sets of pushups wit hands on the Wave. Exercises on the stable part of the Wave included side steps onto the squat, squats with one foot off the Wave, lunges and backwards lunges on and off of the Wave, and ab work while laying over the Wave. Due to the instability of the moves, I kept my weight a little lower than I normally would, so instead of 8/12/15 pound weights I used 5/8/10 pound weights-and I got a great workout with this. The combination moves in conjunction with the instability of the Wave really gave a good indirect cardio workout as well. The strength was comprehensive and every major muscle group was hit at least one time.

I did this workout directly following the ďRide the WaveĒ tutorial, to ensure correct form, and the whole workout was my first time using the Wave. I liken the Wave step to the Bosu, it functions very similarly. I was very pleased with how quickly the heart rate raised with the burn in the legs due to the instability of the squats and rocking on the unstable part of the Wave. The side to side lunge move on the instable part didnít do much for me but hopefully my technique will improve.

What I didnít like about the Wave was that the stable side was very slippery Ė the side lunges onto the step was NOT happening. It felt it was much safer to do that move on the floor. My sneakers are almost brand new so the traction with my footwear wasnít the problem. The other thing I didnít like was that when I was doing squats and rocking on the unstable part of the Wave, it creaked and groaned under my feet, and since Iím over 100 pounds lighter than the weight maximum of 275 pounds, I was pretty surprised! It didnít feel like it would fall apart under me (and I havenít heard of any Wave mishaps since it came out in 2008) so itís more startling than problematic. Other minor complaints: doing side crunches on the Wave was pretty uncomfortable, and Iím not sure how much benefit doing them that way really was. Also, the pushups with your hands on the Wave was sort of awkward Ė at a glance, I thought having my hands around the rim of the Wave would be more comfortable (and stable), but it was not. So with your palms on the Wave, your fingers can slip into the rectangular grooves-it was just awkward.

Overall it was a good, quickie sculpt workout and I think this will be great for muscle confusion. Even though the workout maybe wasnít as intense as some other Firm workouts (classics, BSS3s or BSS4s) I think the instability of the Wave and the different way the muscles are worked might benefit many. I know that Gaiam is highly unlikely to make more Wave workouts, which makes me wish that they had made the existing ones longer. But as the first Wave workout I tried, I am optimistic that I will like the set. Grade A.

Instructor Comments:
Ali is one of my least favorite Firm instructors. I donít consider myself high maintenance when it comes to instructors (Iíd say I like about 90% of those I try) but I just canít stand the baby talk that has consistently come out of Aliís mouth for years. I just donít want an instructor telling me to ďtuck in my tummyĒ when they should tell me to ďengage my abs.Ē Ugh! Also, she has a limited vocabulary when it comes to form pointers-twice she tells you to stand (on the Wave) like youíre riding a horse, when she could have been more specific about leg placement. Also, she doesnít really mirror cue (which would have been helpful on the Wave, cause itís hard to shuffle around!) and furthermore she sometimes doesnít tell you what poundage youíre using (she just says to pick up your cardio weights) so youíre left to guess.

Emily B.