The Firm Coretoner Plus Kit

Emily Welsh
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Total Body Workouts

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There is a long advertisement for Gaiam, and other Firm workouts prior to menu screen for the workout (seems to be a trend for many of the Gaiam workouts, they should just place these as an option to view in the menu). My DVD player allows me to fast forward through the ad, but not my laptop.

Emily leads this workout without background exercisers in a simple, uncluttered set (blue walls, wood flooring & the equipment).

The loop band in this kit felt very thin & w/out much tension (I’ve read on the GF that it was the opposite, high tension). I think with a few more uses, it’s likely to snap (I felt that it may snap the first time using the workout because I had to stretch it to create appropriate tension, and I am not short, especially felt that during the deadlift> push-up exercises). The ball is of good quality, but not very heavy, so more intermediate-advanced exercisers can sub in a heavier med ball for more intensity (and a heavier band, too), which I will be doing next time. But the price of the kit w/ the equipment and DVD is a fair price (all met my expectations), heavier band and a longer workout would have obviously increased the cost of the kit.

The workout itself is fast-paced (not many reps for some of the floor exercises before moving on to the next), and focused on total body exercises (mix of different strength, hitting major muscle groups, standing & floor exercises) and does incorporate the band and ball into most of the exercises w/ a good flow. I bought the workout to have an extra ball, but also wanted a short workout to use as an add-on to others or for a light/recovery day workout (works for that). Some modifications are given for some exercises (ex. push-ups on knees vs. toes), there’s not much impact in this workout (only the warm-up has the cardio exercises).

Warm-up- Uses ball

Raise ball overhead> alternate raise ball overhead, side reach/bend, Heel lifts> add alternating angled biceps curl to heel lifts> Alternating Double step touch w/ ball circle into biceps curl> Same exercise but the range of motion is increased: add leg extension
and biceps curl becomes a higher reach w/ arms> Same exercise but knee pull is added
after the leg extension and arms follow knee pull (into body)> Few reps of Alternating Double step touch w/ ball circle into biceps curl & leg extension> Few reps of Alternating Double step touch w/ ball circle into biceps curl w/ leg extension, knee pull & arm pull in> repeat> Alternating double step touch.

Alternating heel lifts w/ torso twist> basketball drill (weave ball around the back/body and then under one knee)> Repeat on other side> Hinge at hips w/ ball held in front of body> Ball held between knees while rounding & flattening the back.

Work portion

The loop band is placed around both feet (middle of foot)> wide stance squat w/ alternating straight leg raise> Squat w/ alternating knee lifts> Alternate two reps of each exercise (leg raises & knee lifts)> Perform alternating exercise just on the right side> Left foot is taken out of loop, body turns to face the side & left hand holds band> rear lunge w/ single arm row, return to starting position> Fast taps to the rear w/ fast rows> Band is placed in opposite hand and body turns to face front in plie position> drop down in low plie for single arm concentration curl> repeat sequence on other side> Place left foot back in loop to repeat sequence on the left side.

Deadlift that starts at the bottom/lower of exercise w/ band around both feet and hands hold the center of band & pulls up w/ lift of exercise (to below hip level)> deadlift, let go of band to jump back into plank position (wide arms & leg stance), then push-up> Repeat> 4 push-ups>Body transitions to the side and into position for single arm triceps extension (1 hand holds loop on shoulder, other presses the band)> same exercise w/ hinge at hips to place body in lower/less upright position for more intensity> Repeat sequence starting w/ deadlift.

Ball is held between thighs>loop is held w/ hands & brought overhead> squeeze ball and alternate one reach to each side, return to starting position> Loop is placed around middle of feet and ball held in hand, rear taps w/ right leg> same exercise w/ overhead press> same exercise but w/ rear leg raise> 2 steps (cued as walks) forward and 2 back w/ ball held in front of body> same exercise with rotation of ball to side of body> same exercise at faster pace> Repeat sequence on other side.

Move to floor, body is seated & resting back on the ball, loop is held in hands and placed around the middle of feet, knees are bent to 90 degrees (and legs held off of the floor)> Extend legs to front of body w/ upper body lying back on the ball> Lie on side of body w/ loop around both feet and legs are apart, the arms are extended over the head w/ the top arm holding the ball> isometric hold for lower body, while upper body crunches and top arm taps the leg> add leg lift to upper body side crunch> Repeat side crunch sequence on other side.

Body in seated position on floor w/ loop around both feet (wide stance) and ball held in front of chest> alternate knee lifts> Lie on floor w/ legs extended up & in the air (loop is off), crunch and place ball between legs> lower upper body down, open legs to drop the ball drop and catch w/ hands> repeat> Glute bridge w/ ball held between knees> isometric hold w/ one leg, straightened at knee level> repeat on other side> fast pulses for glute bridge> Lie on floor w/ legs extended up & in the air again for four alternating reach/crunch w/ ball and two reps of weaving the ball around the legs> quadruped position w/ ball held w/ one leg bent to 90 degrees> lift leg w/ ball> same exercise w/ opposite arm extension> isometric hold w/ bent leg up & opposite arm out> repeat on other side.

Lie face down on floor w/ loop around both feet and ball is under the abs, elbows bent on floor and directly under the shoulders> lift upper body> same exercise with elbows off the floor (first one at a time, then both)>quick child pose stretch> ball placed under hips, bod is place more forward w/ weight on the hands> leg stance is wide> leg lifts.


On floor: Chest and lat stretch w/ ball (child pose position, but ball rolls in each direction w/ one arm to hold position, alternate sides)
Plank position w/ hands on ball> alternate lunge and overhead reach
Standing: low plie w/ ball held on floor for inner thighs> straighten legs for hamstrings> return to low plie> stand for chest stretch w/ ball (ball held, arms straightened behind the back)> 2 overhead presses w/ ball.

Instructor Comments:
Emily does say “Doesn’t that feel good or it should feel good” often and belly when referring to the abs. But overall, she has toned down the chattiness where it is there but not distracting from the workout. I thought her cuing and form pointers were much improved, and she is not talking too fast and tone of voice is more level (not so high pitched). I am not generally a fan of Emily as a lead (tends to be too chatty and frenetic w/ movements and odd form- like having bounce in movements that should not have it), but she does fairly well in this video (don't feel like ejecting the DVD or muting it).



I was very shocked by so many reviews on another site that this workout was frantic. I just watched this once, and then did it with my own loop and ball (not the ones that came with the kit), and I had zero issues with the transitions or the pace. I think this is a nice intermediate workout that flew by. My legs were dying during the static squat/biceps curl sections. There was a nice number of pushups, and a little triceps bonus after those to hit that area. There was also a decent amount of back work with the rows and overhead pull-downs. You do have to work hard to feel it enough, but I'm very happy with this one, as far as short workouts go!

Nyx Black