The Firm Wave: Rock Solid Cardio

Kelsie Daniels
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Step Aerobics

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This DVD is one of the add-on workouts available for the Firm Wave step. I was excited to see that it was led by Kelsie Daniels, who has always been one of my favorite Firm instructors. Kelsie work out here with four background exercisers, one of whom, Jen, shows modifications for some of the exercises. In addition the Wave, you will need a set of light dumbbells for the final segment of this routine. (Please Note: This DVD offers both a 30-Minute workout and a 20-Minute "Express" option; I've reviewed the full 30-Minute routine below.)

Kelsie begins with the step in the stable (upside-down "U") position. She performs moves both behind and on the Wave, including grapevines, pivots, squat/kicks, A-steps, and a squat/dip combination to stretch; I found that my heart rate was already starting to get up during the warm-up. Keeping the Wave in this (stable) position, Kelsie moves into the first cardio combination, which include basic step, step/kick, mambos, walk around the Wave, L-steps, and moving up and over the Wave. Next, Kelsie has you flip the Wave to the unstable ("U") position for rocking the Wave, performed at several different tempos--this was a lot of fun! Coming off the Wave, she performs hamstring curls on the floor/over the Wave with a tap/leap over the Wave. She then moves back on top of the Wave for dips and split stance rocks.

Moving the Wave back to the stable position, Kelsie moves through a move traditional step series that includes step-knees, L-steps, and lunges. The choreography for these moves is a bit tricky, as you are doing some twists/turns and sometimes facing away from the TV, but I found it easy enough to modify. Finally, Kelsie again flips the Wave over to the unstable position for a final series using light weights (up to 5 lbs.). This is sort of an AWT (aerobic weight training) segment, where Kelsie takes you through moves such as bicep curls, deadlifts, upright row, bent over row, and overhead tricep extensions, all while rocking on the step--again, a lot of fun! To finish, Kelsie alternates between three sets of push-ups (hands on step) and three sets of kicks (front, side, and back). The 3-minute cool-down stretch emphasizes the lower body and uses the Wave to stretch the inner thighs, hip flexors, and quads.

I enjoyed this workout quite a bit. Unlike some of the other Wave DVDs that I have tried, this routine really seemed to use the Wave to its full advantage, incorporating both the balance aspects and the fun factor. If you like the Wave--and especially if you have enjoyed Kelsie's other workouts--I would recommend this DVD.

Instructor Comments:
As noted, Kelsie is one of my favorite Firm instructors! I just really enjoy her enthusiasm, and I find her more "real" than some of the other instructors. Some people say that she doesn't cue well in this workout, but I think it's more that some of the choreography is a bit complicated--personally, I usually don't like complex choreo, but with Kelsie, I was willing to endure this short segment. ;)

Beth C (aka toaster)