Lower Body Blast

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Gliding Disks, Lower Body Strength , Step Aerobics

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My new favorite legs workout! This is Cathe's lower body workout from the four-workout post-STS series (others are Intensity, High Reps and STS Lower Body). This one reminds me of a fun, updated Leaner Legs: lots of reps, moderate weight, familiar exercises sequenced well. Cathe leads with a cast of thousands behind her: Amanda, Jai, Cedie, Nancy and Brenda. They're in the well-lit set with a fake skyline looking out onto something bright and beach-y. Equipment needed is a High Step with two risers, various dumbbells, a barbell (can sub dumbbells and the barbell weight stays the same throughout the workout, nice), a firewalker band and a gliding disc. If you tack on the bonus "leg conditioning" section, you'll need a chair or barre to hold onto. Music is upbeat sound-alikes with good volume; I thought the fake-o lyrics would annoy me but I don't even hear them when I'm doing the workout.

Cathe uses the floor and the High Step for the warmup, which has some brief step work like power 7s, lunges off the step and a heel-toe-over move. It's not the best-cued warmup in the world but it is fun. After that she alternates blocks of four exercises with a cardio blast between blocks. The blasts are high impact (ice breakers, jumps onto the step, and split/lunge jumps) but are easy to modify to low impact. The strength work is straightforward, like lunges, squats, plie squats and deadlifts, with lots of pulses and low ends. The disc work is lots of fun and challenging; it's a nice break between the toning/weights and the cardio bursts. I found the rep counts to be perfect in this workout: not so many that I was exhausted but enough to really feel the burn while keeping good form. A floorwork section - band work for outer thighs/glutes and hands-and-knees leg work for glutes - completes the workout, and there's a nice stretch to end things.

I'd classify this workout as high intermediate to low advanced. It's not one of her killer workouts where your legs are jelly at the end but you will be dripping with sweat and feel thoroughly challenged by it. You could certainly up the intensity with heavier weights than Cathe uses - she doesn't always announce her selection but her barbell looks like it's at 20 or 25 pounds, with dumbbells ranging from 5 to 12 or 15. If you can increase the weights and keep up with her faster reps, you're a GODDESS and I bow down!

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is very upbeat, smiling and happy in this workout. There's not much extra chatter and what there is, is focused on the workout, cues and how she's feeling, plus a little encouragement to you and to her backgrounders. As always, her form is excellent. The warmup step section could be cued a leeetle better, before the move rather than on it.



Equipment: High Step w/ 2 risers (or step stool), barbell (light- moderate loads, can sub in body bar), dumbbells (3 pairs of varied sizes, they don’t appear to be very heavy, Cathe’s lightest is 5 lbs, heaviest is 10 lbs., not sure what the moderate weight is, likely 8 lbs.), resistance band (loop), sliding/gliding disc (or paper plate) and mat for floor exercises.

Cathe leads w/ 5 background exercisers (two of the new ones, from Cathe’s Road trip auditions), all had great form. Cathe does provide modifications to increase & decrease intensity/impact, and she provided great instruction & form pointers.

Set: neat, same one used in Cathe’s workouts (view of a downtown area).

Music: there is an option to only play Cathe’s voice or both her voice & music. I recognize some music from her High Reps workout.

All workouts are chaptered well by each exercise (except warm-up, stretch, they’re single chapters).

I’ve only used the full workout and found it to be a thorough lower body, hits everything w/ a nice mix of floor & standing exercises (different variations, tempos) and not overkill use of equipment (really just need dumbbells, gliding/sliding tool & a band). And there is a good cardio effect w/ the circuit-style, high rep exercises & athletic short cardio segments. I think this DVD is really versatile w/ the 5 premixes & bonus workout/s, and one can create their own workout (just barbell exercise, combine floor & bonus bar sections, etc, lot of options to play with).

Full workout (59 min.)


Step tap w/ alternating single arm reach over head> Shake it Down (alternating both arms punch down, then to the side)> repeat> 3 reps leg abductions w/ double arm sweep to opposite side, then double step to side> 1 rep leg abduction w/ double step, alternate sides.

March in place>Out, out, in, in w/ feet> repeat> Step into side lunge, 3 reps alternating lunges, repeat on other side> static rear lunge, 3 pulses right, single rep left & right, repeat on other side> Marches.

(On high step w/ 2 risers) Alternating knees> knee repeaters each side> knees w/ foot turned out (inside of foot meets the working leg), then 3 pulses (in lunge position) into a front kick, single reps of lunge & kick> marches> repeat on other side (start w/ knee repeaters)> marches.

Knee off the side, down tap, uneven lunge, over the top w/ circle arms, land w& pulse, alternating sides, 3 times> over the top, Push in Place (one leg on step, one off, bend knees and push off step & floor w/ legs, arms reach overhead)4 reps, over the top, repeat on other side, 2 times> exit step> Alternating knees> add power to knees> repeat sequence on other side.

Alternating knees> power 3‘s, both sides> jumping jacks (2 reps to face each direction)> Face side, heel toe on step, diagonal hop turn (face opposite side), one jumping jack, repeat on other side> Up & lunge (step up on step, alternate 1 lunge on each side), turn to face other side, repeat on that side, turn to face front for Power 7’s, two jumping jacks> repeat sequence on other side, starting w/ jumping jack sequence> Repeat entire sequence once (starting w/ jumping jacks).

Calf hops, alternate feet close & feet apart> squat jumps w/ arms overhead> w/ alternating arm swing to each side, repeat once> marches.

Standing Lower Body

Walking Lunges: uses two dumbbells (moderate pair), 4 slow paced traveling lunges w/ right leg (dumbbells held to side of body)> turn to face front in plie position, 4 pulses (dumbbells held in front of body/above chest)> face other side, 4 pulses in lunge position, repeat on other side, 2 times through.

Leg Presses (high step w/ 2 risers): uses one dumbbell (held in front of body), 15 reps, slow switch of feet, repeat on other side, repeat sequence once.

Barbell Squats (can sub in dumbbells): barbell held in back, 2 sets of 8 reps> 7 pulses in lowered position of squat, 1 count to stand, repeat three times> lower 3 sec.: lift 1 sec. count, 4 reps> Low end (lowered position, 3 halfway up/partial reps, 1 count to stand), 2 reps> single reps (8).

Front Lunge Pick Ups: uses one light weight (Cathe uses 5 lbs.) held in one hand (opposite side hand to leg lunging forward). 3 pulses of front lunge w/ 1 knee lift> 2 singles, repeat sequence 5 times> repeat on other side> alternating hamstring curls for active rest.

Cardio Burst Split Jumps: 2 sets of lunge jumps w/ double arm overhead reach on right leg> march in place> repeat on other side.

Warrior Slide Lunges: Arms in Warrior position (near side of head) w/ chest coming over thigh, head looks down) w/ lowering part of exercise, 2:2 count, 4 reps> 2:2 count warrior lunge, hold in lowered position w/ two knee pull-ins, stand, 4 reps> 2:2 count warrior lunge then 2 single reps, repeat once, single reps (8)> repeat on other side.

Platform Barbell Deadlifts (on high step): 3:1 count, 6 reps> 2:2 count, 6 reps.

Barbell Plie Squats (barbell held in front of body): 2 sets of 8 reps (singles)> 15 pulses in lowered position, 1 count to stand> 7 pulses, 1 count to stand, repeat once> singles (8)> Low ends (lowered position, 3 halfway up/partial reps, 1 count to stand) 3 times, 4 single reps> adductor/side lunge stretch (hands on high step), both sides> hinge forward w/ hands on step (hamstring stretch).

Disc Side Slide Lunges (ball of foot on disc): 2:2 count 1 rep then 2 single reps, 2 times> add arm sweep forward, 2 reps> 1 rep lunge, in lowered position, leg slides in twice (to meet other), stand, 4 reps> Inhale w/ overhead arms for active rest>repeat on other side> heel kicks (butt kickers) for active rest.

Cardio Burst: Ice Breakers: plie jumps w/ alternating elbow strike, 4 sets of 8 reps (4 per side)> marches in place

Single Leg Deadlifts: uses one dumbbell (moderate to heavy weight, Cathe uses 10 lbs.), 2:2 count, 12 reps> repeat on other side. Lesser intensive modification: back foot flat on floor vs. just ball, advanced modification: back leg comes off of floor.

Elevated Lunges (back foot is on high step, bodyweight): single reps (8)> 7 pulses, 1 count to stand, repeat once> 8 singles> 15 pulses, 1 count to stand> singles (8)> Low Ends, 2 times> singles (8)> knee lifts for active rest>repeat on other side> knee lifts, hamstring curls or heel kicks for active rest. Modification: lesser intensive-use body bar for balance, increase intensity- add resistance.

Hover Squats (dumbbells held in front of body, moderate weight): 15 pulses, 1 count to stand (dumbbells come to sides), repeat three times.

Sit ‘n’ Slides w/ disc: side lunge, w/ flexed foot (only heel) on the disc (cues to visualize leg sliding in 10 & 2 o’clock, when body faces forward, legs not sliding directly to side), 4 single reps> 1 rep 2: 2 count, then 2 singles, once> add arm sweep forward, 3 times >repeat on other side.

Cardio Burst: Low box jumps- jump onto high step & off, then plyo jack (plie position), 10 times> active rest w/ heel kicks. Modification: perform basic step to get onto box or perform jump in place on floor for jumps on step.

Wide Stance Deadlift w/ Barbell (feet turned out): 3:1 count, 6 reps> 2:2 count, 6 reps.

Static lunges w/ barbell (barbell held in back): singles (12), 7 pulses, repeat once> singles (8)> Low ends, 2 times> singles (8)>repeat on other side> calf stretch> inhale w/ arms overhead.


Floorwork w/ band: Butterfly motion (seated on floor bent knees off of the floor, band around thighs, upper body leaning back & w/ arms to side, feet together). Single reps (8), open & close legs> 1 pulses in open position, 1 count to close, 4 times> singles (4)> repeat sequence> Open position, partial rep/halfway in, out to open position, close, 4 times.

Move into quadruped (table top position, keep band on), fire hydrants, 16 reps> 3 pulses, 1 count to to lower leg, 8 times> child’s pose> repeat on other side> stretch (legs crossed, arms to side, hinge at hips), both sides (switch front foot).

Table top position: One knee is on ground, other leg is straight lift(in line w/ body), 32 pulses w/ pointed foot> 32 pulses w/ flexed foot> place elbows on floor, Glute kickbacks w/ pointed foot, 32 reps> 32 reps w/ flexed foot> Cat/cow stretch>child’s pose> repeat entire sequence on other side> Prone glute stretch (front leg bent to 90 degrees/outside of leg flat on floor, back leg is straight/knee & foot rest on floor, arms straight, hinge at hips)> in same position for lower body, bring elbows to floor & hold, both legs.


Supine position w/ palms up, body is relaxed> knees to chest & hold> knee circles, both directions> inner thigh stretch (from previous position, turn out feet, hold soles together, reach hands through to hold onto ankles, elbows press down on inner thighs)> Happy Baby pose (open legs, brings knees to chest, hands are placed on “instep or ball” of flexed feet)> lying hamstring stretch w/ pointed foot, then flexed> lying glute stretch> repeat on other side> drop knees to one side & hold w/ both arms to opposite side> repeat on other side> roll up to seated position.

Stretch (legs crossed, arms to side, hinge at hips), both sides (switch front foot)> child’s pose> cat/cow> downward dog> from DD, lift leg, turn outward w/ bent knee & hold> repeat on other side> standing forward bend> straighten arms w/ clasped hands together in back> roll up & arms overhead.

The premixes & bonus workouts names & times I’ve just listed (not listing the exercises).


Timesaver: No Floorwork (49:31 min.)

Standing Leg + Leg Conditioning Drills (66:31 min.)

Standing+ Floorwork + Leg Conditioning Drills (76: 38 min.)

Standing & Floorwork (No cardio bursts) (56:22 min.)

Standing & Leg Conditioning Drills (63: 15 min.)

Leg Conditioning Drills (uses Cathe/Altus Tower, a chair could work, too), found in the “Chapters” part, bonus workout/s.

Leg conditioning drills (single leg, 16 min.)

Leg conditioning drills (both legs, 10 min.)