Walk On: Tone Your Trouble Zonens

Jessica Smith
Year Released: 2014

Categories: Walking Aerobics

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This DVD features two 32-minute walking routines led by popular fitness instructor Jessica Smith. Smith originally offered these workouts online only and then, as per the wishes of her fan base, released them on DVD as well. For both routines, she instructs live on a dockside setting with a marina in the background (too bad the day is a bit overcast). She has two background exercisers: her friend, Lisa, and her mom, Debbie, who shows modifications for some of the higher impact moves. I have provided general breakdowns for each of the two workouts below.

Smith begins this walk with an approximately 4-5 minute warm-up. The moves here are fairly traditional, including marches, side taps, hamstring curls, and knee raises. Following the warm-up, Smith immediately starts to increase the heart rate with a wide-legged tire run, although her mother always keeps things lower impact. She adds many little twists to classic moves to increase the focus on the lower body: for example, during a march forward and back, the walk back becomes a squat; a step up walk/walk back becomes step up/rear leg raise; etc. There are also some unique lower body exercises such as stationary skaters and "Oompa Loompas" (low side-to-side squats). In addition, Smith constantly adds arm movements to many familiar moves, including knee raises, toe taps, and grapevines.
The one thing I didn't like about this routine is that at 17 minutes, Smith spends a few minutes on some toning-only moves for the lower body, which result in the heart rate decreasing. For the last few minutes of the walk, she gradually slows down the pace and offers a few quick stretches.

Smith again starts right in with a warm-up (4 mins.) that includes marches, side steps, and hamstring curls with a twist to begin targeting the abs. She raises the heart rate with a higher impact "twist and shout" move. Similarly, Smith adds twisting moves throughout the routine to increase the core work: some examples are a twisting cha-cha, a skater's twist, and a heel did and twist. She also includes punching arm movements to both keep the heart rate elevated and focus on the abdominal area at the same time. As with the first workout, there is a brief period of non-cardio toning (at the 11-minute mark) when Smith engages in a hinge move. At 26 minutes, Smith starts to slow down the pace of the cardio just a bit, although she continues the focus on the abs by including a squat with twist and hamstring curl with core work. She performs a few minutes of static stretches to conclude this routine.

I thought that Smith did an excellent job with both of these workouts. I was impressed that each routine actually did target the intended "zone" and yet still provided a good cardio effect, an issue that I've sometimes had with walking workouts. I preferred the ABS WALK a bit more, as I think it did an even better job of targeting the core and was a bit more fun overall, but both workouts were very good. I would definitely recommend this DVD to anyone looking for fun and effective walking programs.

Instructor Comments:
I know Jessica Smith is a favorite of many, and I think she does are really nice job here. As noted above, she she definitely makes these routines target the intended areas. She is also pleasant and low-key.

Beth C (aka toaster)