Look Better NakedJessica Smith
Year Released: 2010
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts
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Look Better Naked! is the companion DVD to a book of the same name, both of which were developed by Michele Promaulayko, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health magazine. This intermediate-level workout is led by popular instructor Jessica Smith; oddly, her photo and name don’t appear on the front of the DVD cover.
The premise of Look Better Naked! is simple — a combination of interval cardio to burn fat and strength work incorporating lots of rotational movements to cinch your waist so you won’t need to wear Spanx!
The DVD comprises a 20-minute “metabolic workout” (cardio), and a 20-minute strength workout, plus a five-minute warm-up, and a five-minute cool-down and stretch. The “play all” option provides a 50-minute workout; if you select just the cardio or strength section, the warm-up and cool-down/stretch play automatically, giving you a 30-minute workout.
The DVD also includes a brief “behind the scenes” segment in which Jessica reveals that she got into fitness when she was 40 pounds overweight, so she understands how hard it is to lose weight. There is also a “music only” option.
Look Better Naked! has excellent production values; the picture quality is crisp, and the graphics which slide across the screen naming the exercises and number of reps are sharp and easy to read. Jessica works out in a brightly-lit studio decorated with gym equipment together with Karena and Jenny, who provides beginner modifications. The workout doesn’t take up much space, and the music is pleasant instrumental fare with a trance influence. Jessica uses one set of dumbbells throughout the strength workout.
Metabolic Workout: This is an interval workout incorporating lots of athletic moves like squat jacks, jumping jacks, leaps, jump rope, and even some hopscotch moves, as well as bodyweight exercises like dynamic lunges and burpees. Although the workout moves quickly from one exercise to the next, Jessica’s cueing and the on-screen prompts make it easy to follow. This workout is lots of fun; the hopscotch makes me feel like a kid again.
Strength Workout: This workout could also be described as a “metabolic workout” as it moves briskly and incorporates compound moves to keep your heart-rate up. The exercises often include a rotational element, for example rear lunges with a cross chop, and squats with a figure eight chop. Jessica says these rotational movements create “a strong girdle of muscle, so when the clothes come off, the belly stays nice and flat without any help from girdles and corsets.” You will also be working your core with exercises which incorporate a balance element like single-leg deadlifts, as well as classics like renegade rows and wall climbers. As in the "metabolic workout", Jessica demonstrates each move slowly, then picks up the pace.
In summary: This DVD is very well-designed, and will give you a thorough workout. In line with its title, there is some talk about getting nekkid and Spanx, but you can always use the “music only” option; the on-screen prompts would make it easy to follow.
Ratings out of five:
Production values *****
Workout design *****
Fun factor *****
Meets expectations *****
Jessica, as always, cues very well and is motivating and friendly. The fact that she once had a weight problem makes me like her even more.
This dvd has a 21 minute cardio+strength segment, a 22 minute cardio segment, a 5 min w/u and a 6 minute c/d that can be combined for a 54 minute workout or broken down into shorter segments via the chaptered menu. Jessica leads in a nice studio gym set w/ 2 background exercisers, one showing modifications. You will need dumbbells for this workout.
Strength: This strength w/o includes 6 sets of exercises that each target different muscle groups.. Execises include: squat chop, squat figure 8's, 1 legged deadlifts, balance knee pull rows, dip- lunge & rear fly, plank rows, pushups, crunch- pec fly, low side lunge- shoulder raises w/ a leg lift, lunge -knee lift- overhead press, single leg squat w/ a crul, sit up & reach, jackknife, plank elbow pulls, prone spinal extensions, etc. I like the combo moves that really get a lot done in only 20 min and keep the heartrate up.
Metabolic (cardio): This is an interval workout where the moves accelerate in intensity and get gradually more challenging. Exercises include: squat jacks & plyos, 4 corner hops & X jacks, lunges to plyo lunges, lunge chops, jump ropes, modified burpees to burpees, plank to side plank, figure 8 scoops, bob & weave, basketball shoot, spiderman crawls, mt. climbers, etc. Good variety of exercises!
I would rate this workout intermediate that is easy to modify based on your needs. Jessica is an awesome instructor that does a great job of keeping the moves fresh & fun but not overly complicated and still very effective. Very versatile and accomplishes a lot in each 20ish minute segment. Great cuing and form.