Trainer's Edge: Killer Kicks

Violet Zaki
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

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First off with a name like Killer in the title i though i was in for it LOL. but not the case. the workout moves fairly slowly so its good for beginners that have been working out for awhile and low-medium intermediates that don't know much about kickboxing.

the workout is well chaptered with warm-up, basic punches, basic kicks, kick-punch combos, punches with weights and body bar, and kicking with body bar, abs, and cool-down. the warm up started off very slow with some side steps,chambers, and punches. i believe this was about 6-8 mins long. it did seem to drag on b/c it was so slow. she does some slight stretching but doesn't hold them for long. the next segment is basic punches. pretty much jabs,crosses, upper cuts, and hooks. she does one side then the other then add-ons side steps afterwards. so the cross-punch really is a cross punch. it seems when she says jab and cross they both looked like jabs to me. the next was basic kicks in which she does chambers first then does front kick, chambers then does side kicks, and chambers and does back kicks. this segment was also pretty short and not to intense. she moved slowly going over form, which is good, but to get the heart rate up i felt she should have picked up the pace.

next is the combo of kicks punches. pretty basic combining them all. the hardest move was doing the squat after you kick. it was side kick, squats, two jabs, a cross, hook, uppercut. after the squat i kept wanting to kick. the next was punching with weights. at first she picks up a body bar and does bicep curls and upright rows. then we pick up dumbbells for slow moving punches like in the basic punches segment. i finally started picking it up on my own but it still wasn't doing much for me. she next does kicks with weights. she uses a body bar duing this whole segment. she does some squats first then using the body bar to balance side kicks, places them over her quads for front kicks,i have to imagine this is hard with a body bar b/c i was using db and it was pain. she then using the body bar to do back presses. like a chamber for a back kick. yawn. now its on to about 5-7mins abs. now we are talking. she does some pilates inspired work like corkscrew and a new twist on bicycle(lifting and lowering the extended leg while holding the position) and some basic crunches. the best part of the workout :-). last she does a 3 min stretch cool down. once again she doesn't hold the stretches for very long.

the background was a BLAH white, nothing to it at all. the background exercisers looked like they were trying hard to get into it but looked totally bored as was I. the music was hard to hear but i think it was some kind of house/club with no vocals. the workout itself was boring. the chaptering and basic breakdown was a good idea for beginner/intermediate that want to get into kickboxing, but there are way better ones out there. i didn't find violet to be exciting and she just made the workout more boring for me. i am soooooo glad i didn't buy this one. i was so close when dh suggested netflix b/c he was sure if they didn't post much about the workout, it was going to be one i was going to dislike. i only dislike it b/c it was slow and boring, but when i was starting out i might have said this would be the best workout. so for our advanced folks don't bother and for beginners/intermediates go ahead and try if you are that curious but i think kathy smith, turbo jam, and tae-bo would be much better. at least you can grow with those videos but not with this one. "

Instructor Comments:
She does not motivate me and makes this workout more boring for me. Not one person, including Violet, seems like they are enjoying this workout. If they don't enjoy it, how can anyone else. Violet mirrors sometimes, and then sometimes doesn't mirror her cues, and that is IF she gets them in sync with her movements. I have heard she is a great instructor,but not in this video.



The set is plain, but not distracting and the upbeat instrumental music isn't very loud (it often times gets lost in the background). There are 2 female background exercisers with Violet and one of them demonstrates modified versions. The commercial at the beginning of the DVD is 3:50 minutes long (Liz Gilles and Yoga Zone workout videos). The workout doesn't require a lot of space (enough space is needed for a couple of lateral steps and kicks sideways, forward and backwards).

The DVD is chaptered and the menu consists of:

Play Feature
Chapter Selection
Bonus Footage (5 minute clip of "Fiesta Fitness Mambo Dance" with Giselle de Escobar)
KOCH Vision Online

Intro by Violet (approx. 1 min)

Warm Up (approx. 5 minutes):

Side to side step touches
Inhale arms up and down
Alternating punch chambers
Slow jabs and crosses
Tempo jabs and crosses
Slow hooks
Tempo hooks
Slow upper cuts
Tempo upper cuts
Alternating calf/hip flexor stretches
Inhale arms up and down

Basic Punches (approx. 6 minutes):

Side to to side step touches with arm stretches
Jabs and crosses
Hooks and upper cuts
Combinations of jab-cross-hook-upper cuts
Jab, cross, jab
Jab, cross, hook, upper cuts, jab-cross-jabs and semi jumping jacks
Hooks, upper cuts
Jab, cross, hook, upper cuts
Jab, cross, jab
Side to side step touches
Alternating standing quad stretches
Inhale arms up and down

Basic Kicks (approx. 5.5 minutes):

Alternating front kick chambers
Front kicks (Violet instructs you to lean back)
Stationary squats with arms in guard
Roundhouse kick chambers
Roundhouse kicks with jumping jacks
Stationary squats
Alternating back kick chambers
Back kicks
Stationary squats
Standing quad/hip stretches
Inhale arms up and down

Combinations: Kicks and Punches (approx. 6 minutes):

Roundhouse kick, tap
Roundhouse kick, squat
Jab, jab, cross
Roundhouse kick, squat, jab, jab, cross
Step touches

Punches with Weights (Violet doesn’t state how much the bars/dumbbells weigh) (approx. 6.5 minutes):

Underhand grip on body bar for bicep curls
Shoulder stretches
Upright rows with body bar
Slow jab and cross with dumbbells in hands
Slow hooks with dumbbells in hands
Slow uppercuts with dumbbells in hands
Double jabs with dumbbells in hands
Slow hooks with dumbbells in hands
Slow uppercuts with dumbbells in hands
Shoulder stretches
Bicep stretches
Inhale arms up and down

Kicks with Weights (approx. 7 minutes):

Squats with body bar over shoulders
Deadlifts with body bar
Front kick chambers with body bar over thighs
Front kicks with body bar over thighs
Roundhouse kicks with upright body bar
Back kicks with body bar over the heel of kicking foot
Shoulder rolls
Shoulder/arm stretches

Abdominals (approx. 5 minutes):

Supine abdominal crunches (different variations)
Knees to chest stretches
Bicycle crunches

Cool down (approx. 3.5 minutes):

Supine stretches
Side-lying quad stretches
Standing forward bend with alternating heel lifts
Shoulder stretches

I'm disappointed with this workout; it's not what I was expecting (I thought it would have more pure kickboxing and that it was going to be more intense/faster paced). The entire workout did work my core muscles well, and I like Violet as an instructor (she has good form, and she gives good form pointers throughout the workout).

I think people hoping for/expecting a killer kickboxing workout will be disappointed. I think those who are looking for a high energy, fast-paced cardio workout will also be disappointed. IMO, Killer Kicks is a deliberate-paced kickboxing workout that focuses on good form, but is geared towards beginner-intermediate basic kickboxing and muscle toning exercises (of course it depends on how each person defines exercise levels for herself/himself). Violet constantly gives form pointers and she stops a few times during the workout to look at the 2 background exercisers' form. I like Violet's on-screen personality, and she keeps the comments focused on the workout/form pointers (although she does ask quite a few times during the workout if she's the only one who feels the effect of the workout/if anyone is feeling the effects of the workout).

Instructor Comments:
Top trainer and Black Belt Violet Zaki leads this martial arts inspired workout. She has great form and she constantly gives form pointers. Although she is a serious instructor, she has a pleasant on-screen persona and she is very fit!

Leslie (blue_hydrangea)