Body BoomersKathy Smith
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Athletic Stretch , Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Seniors/Seated , Total Body Workouts
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
This set is a compilation of 3 prior DVDs. I have reviewed each in turn below.
MOVING THROUGH MENOPAUSE
Kathy Smith originally released this DVD in 2001. It is designed to provide workout routines appropriate to middle-aged women, and it also offers educational information. The submenu for this section includes the following options: What is Menopause - Benefits of Cardio - Low-Impact Cardio Workout - Benefits of Strength Training - Importance of Reducing Stress - Stress-Reducing Yoga - FAQs about Menopause - End Credits
I'm in my late 40s, and although not in menopause, I do sometimes modify my workouts, and I often tend to prefer shorter routines. I liked that each of the three sections here (cardio, weights, yoga) was under 20 minutes long. The cardio was basic, with moves such as knees, kicks, taps, punches, and hamstring curls. Smith does do a few higher impact moves, but she has two background exercisers modifying. The strength routine starts with stretching using a towel and moves into exercises using light dumbbells (3-5 lbs.). This was more beginner than my level, but good for light days. The yoga segment was just 14 minutes long, and as a yoga instructor, I thought it felt more like yoga-inspired stretches, but it was fine as a flexibility add-on.
SHAPER BALL WORKOUT
Kathy and her assistant, Michael, begin with a 6 1/2 minute warm-up: moving with the ball held in your hands, stretching using the ball, and sitting on the ball both to open your hips and to get used to balancing. Next comes a 7-minute abs segment which includes a total of 4 exercises: the first three work your upper abs, lower abs, and obliques respectively while seated on the ball, and the final works the side muscles. The following segment consists of a series of back extensions, the first performed face up on the ball and the last last two performed face down; this section is 6 minutes long. The final section, which I clocked at 9 1/2 minutes, focuses on the lower body. I found the hamstring work to be particularly tough as well as the three sets of wall squats (the last two are performed on one leg). The workout ends with a single stretch, no cool-down, for a total of 29 minutes.
There are two things that I really liked about this video: 1) Kathy shows three different levels of modifications for every exercise, so you can make each exercise easier or more challenging, and 2) brief stretches are included between many of the exercises, and these feel so good on the ball. On the negative side, I did not feel that this workout was very intense, as I would have preferred if Kathy had spent less time instructing and more time actually performing the movements. Furthermore, I would have liked to have seen some upper body work included in the routine. Overall, however, this was a decent introduction to ball work and would be good for those who want to build back and lower body strength.
WELLNESS MIND & BODY RELAXATION SYSTEM
This is a compilation of Kathy's prior yoga videos, New Yoga Basics, New Yoga, and New Yoga Challenge. The routines were fine but the compilation felt a bit choppy.
Body Boomers is a compilation DVD that includes Kathy's Moving Through Menopause workout from 2001 along with her Shaper Ball workout (2003) and Wellness Mind & Body Relaxation System (2000). I will review the latter two separately.
The three 20 minute segments cover cardio, weight training and yoga.
I would describe the low impact cardio section as relatively easy going and fun for the most part. Her two partners demonstrate more and less vigorous options. Kathy wraps up the cardio with one her trademark "pushes," aerobic side to side lunges. The weight training section is not one of her best. As a cardio add-on, it helps to keep the workout going, but I would not choose to do it on its own for a weights routine. I didn't find it challenging or well sequenced enough to consider it a bone building workout, but Kathy gives good information on how exercise helps. The 20 minute yoga section is very nice, consisting of all relaxing poses on the floor.
Throughout the program Kathy gives mini-lectures on perimenopause, menopause, osteoporosis, hormones, the need to preserve muscle mass, etc. During the abs part of the workout Kathy leads a series of Kegel exercises, which is a thoughtful contribution to the program.
Kathy is great in this video. She is calm and provides well researched (if perhaps a bit dated at this time) information.