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Old 09-15-22, 12:35 PM  
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Join Date: Feb 2021
Problems with Jessica Smith AND Leslie Sansone

I haven’t posted in awhile as I have had a sick family member. I wanted to know if anyone else has had a problem with Jessica Smith and Leslie Sansone. Some history, I was doing primarily Jessica Smith for the last few years. I own almost every DVD (and double couples of each for just in case). I posted about my back pain here before. Well, it got so bad I saw 2 doctors. Finally, I had x rays done because it was so severe. The x rays came back clear. The doctor said it was muscular. I was convinced I had compressed discs due to the pain. I know my form has been good because I put a mirror in my workout room back when I wondered if that could be the cause. Fast forward, despite being vaccinated and boostered, masked up (double) and sanitizing, I got COVID. I got it pretty bad- probably because I have asthma. I was down and out for about 4 weeks (thanks to anti-viral meds that turned it around). During that time, I couldn’t exercise at all. For the first time in a long time, my back stopped hurting. Has anyone else had back pain with Jessica? She does do a lot of twisting in cardio and forward hingeing in strength work. I don’t know what else it could be.

I started back up with Denise Austin and Kathy Smith instead of Jessica. I even got up to the high impact moves and 5 lb dumbbells for strength work. Zero back pain. But, I got tired of the repetition and lost motivation. Started back up with Leslie Sansone for cardio and strength. Did just Leslie. I thought things were going well. I was truly enjoying it. However, I noticed my balance has significantly deteriorated. I was shocked. I knew Jessica incorporated a lot of balance work but I didn’t realize just how much her workouts had improved my balance. I noticed Leslie does zero balance work. So, have other people experienced their balance deteriorating after just doing Leslie? I think this is a hole in her program along with a lack of flexibility work.

I did buy all 5 Jane Adams DVDs and I do have Jessica’s yoga and stretch DVDs. So, I might try to tack those on to my daily Leslie walks. But, I was curious if I am the only one experiencing these issues!
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Old 09-15-22, 12:44 PM  
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Northern CA
I too start having low back pain when I do Jessica Smith's workouts too often. I have an old low back injury. I started eliminating hinging forward, but I still was having problems. I stick to her older workouts and only do them occasionally. Leslie is good once in a while too. I do different moves a lot of the times instead of the main 4 moves. Again, only do her occasionally. Too much yoga irritates my low back. I still have not found a yoga routine on dvd that is exactly what I want, so I am just going to do my own choreography. I use to teach yoga back in the day. I've been really enjoying Lively Ladies and Senior Fitness w/Meredith on youtube. They have some good balance work that I like. Hope your back feels better soon!

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Old 09-15-22, 12:49 PM  
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Join Date: Feb 2021

Thank you for posting your experience. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE LOVE Jessica so it has really been a bummer. I tested it again after doing Denise, Kathy, and then Leslie all with zero back pain. I pulled out a Jessica workout and boom. Back pain again for the first time since it finally healed. I am disappointed to say that her workouts just don’t work for me which is so sad as she is my favorite instructor. The weird thing is that I am just not sure”why” they don’t work for me. What is it about her workouts that hurt me??
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Old 09-15-22, 01:04 PM  
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Join Date: May 2002
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Gemini, I have the same problem with Jessica. I love her as a person, and she is a joy to work out with. So it's very disappointing that I can't use her workouts, but for some reason she tweaks my back.

Is it her tempo? The workouts I had tried seem safe. But the back tweaking happened every time so it has to be something.

It sounds like you've had a lot of troubles. Sending hugs your way.
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Old 09-15-22, 02:27 PM  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: TarHeel country
Count me in as another that canít do Jessicaís workouts. I want to, and I usually think I can when I preview them. But thereís usually something that comes out unhappy (knees or back).
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Old 09-15-22, 03:47 PM  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: AL
Maybe its how we are built (certain ones of us, our frames i mean?) She helps my balance greatly, even tho I have a tweaked ankle that keeps me from doing most people's balance work, yet I do have a low back issue that is aggravated with her workouts. I guess, on my part atleast, its a little give and take. I like to focus on Jessica's workouts, but I can only do them a few times a week.

I have flat feet with sinus tarsi, and she does greatly help my balance issues without injury in that area. But, with the back thing- and it can't be proven, I feel like my lower back slides sometimes when I try to do standing core work? So it may not be just her, for me atleast. but the fact that I like to do standing core type exercises.
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Old 09-15-22, 04:26 PM  
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Join Date: Feb 2021
Pat and Alison- I just can’t figure out what exactly is causing the back pain with her workouts. Pat, maybe you are right that the tempo might play a part. Also…Thank you for the hugs. I will gladly take them right now.

Jenilu- you could be on to something with all the twisting core work. She does tend to include big arm movements with that. Maybe combined with the fast tempo that Pat mentioned is the problem. I just don’t understand and it makes me sad.

I honestly would love to know so then I could try to modify. I am not kidding when I say I have almost every set and multiple copies. She’s my favorite instructor. I have tried to stay upright for strength instead of her forward hinge. I try to be mindful on twist movements. I tried tucking my pelvis slightly during arm movements. I just don’t get it. But I am absolutely 100% positive it is her workouts that are causing my back problems. I did her walking, strength, and barefoot workouts and they all hurt me. I know it’s her because I tried 3 other instructors and was even able to do high impact and my back was fine. Nothing. Nada. I remember doing a yoga routine after my back had healed from Jessica workouts and I was shocked that I could lay down flat and move without my back causing severe pain. It was eye opening.

Now, with Leslie- zero balance or flexibility work. I do have her yoga basics and it’s basic alright…..extremely basic. If anyone knows of a Leslie workout that has legit balance work then please do tell. That was one thing I loved about Jessica was she was so balanced- cardio, strength, flexibility, and balance. I lost a SIGNIFICANT amount of balance when I stopped Jessica and switched to Leslie.

It’s a catch 22. Do I want back pain but improved overall fitness or better balance and flexibility?

Last edited by Gemini2874; 09-15-22 at 06:04 PM. Reason: *Edited as I was rambling as I tend to do!
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Old 09-15-22, 07:51 PM  
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Maryland, USA

You may want to check out Jessica's Strong & Centered Series. I had trouble previously with some of Jessica's other strength workouts - but these work well for me. There is quite a bit of hinging forward, but for some reason it doesn't bother me - I think it is b/c the pace in these workouts is slower than her other strength workouts. I was pleasantly surprised by this set and I actually completed the 8 week rotation.

I have had some things just not work for me - and for reasons I can't explain - for instance, I can't do Pahla B's workouts - I have no idea why - but whenever I try to do them I end up w/ back pain. I stopped doing her workouts about a year ago and my back is much better.

I also came to the conclusion that a number of Pilates exercises just don't work for me either.

I think we just have to find what works for us. It is disappointing though when something you enjoy is one of the things that doesn't work!

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Old 09-15-22, 08:36 PM  
Join Date: Feb 2014
Samesies with Jessica's workouts, even her walk workouts sometimes bother my lower back. Her newest set bothered mine the most of all her workouts. I love Jessica and I used to be able to do her workouts but then boom, perimenopause really screwed me!

But then sometimes my lower back is fine and I don't feel the twinginess for a few months/weeks. And then I'll move awkwardly (or not even!) and it's painful again. My acupuncturist said it could also be nerve-related due to the lack of estrogen and that's why mine comes/goes. My lower back and sometimes hip pain came on along with perimenopause, and then I made the mistake of overdoing exercise to try to lose the menopot (which was never going to happen!) and ended up with a bunch of injuries. It's amazing just how many bodily systems were dependent on the estrogen before perimenopause/menopause, and how all we ever hear about is hot flashes!

Pahla's workouts also bother my lower back and I have no idea why.

I do Cathe Live once or twice a week and unless I go too far in a deadlift, I'm okay.

I do a Tracie Long workout about once a week and her stuff doesn't bother my lower back. Her workouts have a great amount of mobility and balance work, and I feel like my balance is better because of them.

I also do a lot of Ellen's workouts and CS/Essentrics a few times a week too, and those have also helped my balance.

I can't think of any Leslie workout with balance work, but I do her workouts about twice a week. I love her old stuff! My week consists of two Leslie's, two Ellens, two CS/Ess, and one Cathe or Tracie -- all just 30-45 mins -- and I seem to get enough cardio, strength, and balance/mobility that way. And that's how I do them in that order.

I also was vaxxed, masked, and sanitized, and I caught covid too over the summer. My husband was sick for about a month!

So sorry you're dealing with a sick family member! It sounds like a lot to handle right now; hoping for better days ahead!
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Old 09-16-22, 07:30 AM  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Columbia, Missouri
You are so not alone! I have arthritis and bone spurs in my lower back, and I love Jessica but have major pain the next day after doing her workouts. I do believe for me it is all of the hip hinging and the fast pace with twisting.

This is more "senior" oriented, but Curtis has some balancing that might help. I believe YogaPam was the one who posted about this some time ago

Maybe we need a check in!
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back pain, jessica smith, leslie, leslie sansone, walking workouts

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