Fitness KickboxingStacy Cronin
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
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This aptly-named, intermediate-level workout (132bpm) focuses on kickboxing for
the sake of fitness, not for the sake of learning martial arts. While the instructor
alludes to her prior experience with the martial arts and successfully demonstrates
good form in the glossary section at the end, both she and her background exercisers
reveal many form lapses during the actual workout. The specific examples of poor
form include roundhouse chambers that looked like hamstring curls and jabs that
looked like hooks. Even the hooks that were cued as hooks didn't always show the
leg pivoting, as it should. When she did pivot, Stacy sometimes was too loose through
the hip joint, adding some extra swiveling motion that suggested she was not bracing
her core properly.
The choreography and format of the workout reflect the familiar influence of typical aerobics classes, as shown by the breakdown below (taken from the inside of the cover):
1. Warm up & Stretch (10 min)
a. Deep breaths / Back stretches / Shoulder rolls / Reaching up / Slips
b. Jabs / Cross / Hooks / Upper cuts
c. Front kicks / Back kicks / Side kicks / Roundhouse kicks / Shovel kicks
2. Cardio (30 min)
a. Jab combination / Trip him up / Throw ?em down / Set him up / Pin him down / Workin? it all out / Shin-chin / Shovel kick / Last word
3. Core strengthening & abs for cooling down (10 min)
a. Torso release / Spine roll / Abs / Crunches / ½ time crunches / Super set of crunches / Bicycle / Scissors / Reverse plank / Plank / Child?s pose / Spinal flexion
4. Stretch (5 min)
5. Instructions for essential movements
The warmup progresses methodically from punches for the upper body to squats and kicks for the lower body, although I felt the kicks came too soon and would have preferred more squats and chambers to warm up my legs first. There were a lot of repeated jabs using the same arm, which might feel a bit draining to some. The main body of the workout consists of various short drills, at most about four moves long (e.g., front kick, back kick, roundhouse kick, hammer punch; front kick, touch floor; three knees, jump front kick; jabs to the side, alternating low and high). Aside from the jump kicks, the choreography was primarily low-impact, also including moves such as speedbag arms and flurries. Stacy typically practices a sequence on one side, then the other, before tossing that away and moving on to a new sequence. She has a habit of showing the upcoming moves while her background exercisers continue the old pattern, then cueing everyone else to "Join me" after a few repetitions.
There were some occasions when Stacy appeared to start a new pattern on beat 2 or 3, rather than on beat 1. This might be because the music wasn't completely matched to their movements; I wondered whether the music had been added in afterward. It's standard Muscle Mixes music, including a tune that I recognized from Cathe Friedrich's CTX Kickbox. The sound balance did not always favor Stacy's cues, and the echo-y hall didn't improve the glorified whooping that she occasionally encouraged from her background exercisers.
The slight resemblance to other better-known kickboxing workouts (by Powerstrike, Cathe Friedrich, and Kimberly Spreen, for example) doesn't provide the most favorable comparison, since this workout is noticeably less polished. This is evident in the production values (the mismatched music, the poor sound, some clumsy editing, and the corner-of-the-room set), as well as in the packaging (the same kind of flimsy cardboard-and-plastic box used for Bryan Kest's Power Yoga DVD and Ali MacGraw's Yoga Mind and Body DVD, which doesn't stay closed well). What is more problematic is the poor form shown throughout the workout. However, Powerstrike and Kimberly Spreen's early workouts don't boast terrific production values, and Cathe's early kickboxing attempts weren't paragons of good kickbox form. Stacy may be worth watching for future kickboxing workouts if her product quality and form improve along these dimensions. In the meantime, this DVD can provide interesting but not necessary variety to one's collection.
With her warm and inviting smile, Stacy looks a little like a shorter Patricia Moreno (of Powerstrike). She's obviously comfortable leading and teaching fitness classes, which translates to a natural camera presence. Although she evidently knows proper kickboxing form based on her demonstrations and descriptions of the moves, she doesn't always maintain it during the workout.