Cardio Knockout by Kathy Smith
I like how “active” this cover is – it seems to focus more on the workout than what you’ll look like after the workout. As with my last review on the Super Slimdown Circuit, I dislike it when the workout focuses primarily on the results (you’ll look beautiful!!) and not on the actual benefits involved (stronger muscles, greater control, etc).
I initially picked this up because my sister-in-law does kickboxing. I’ve always thought that it would be fun to try and seeing as how I would never go to a gym or dojo to do so, I snagged this “stay at home and embarrass yourself in front of your fid” approach instead. (Go here for more of my initial reaction and my fid’s reaction.)
Also, I’ve read news stories where a woman got herself out of a dangerous situation using boxing and kickboxing techniques. I doubt I’d ever get to the point where I’d overpower an attacker, but I at least want to have the ability to hold them off and maybe even do some damage.
My stellar ability to do a perfect squat wouldn’t impress them into submission.
This DVD boasts
Three of Kathy’s most best selling workouts including Kickboxing Aerobox and Tai Chi.
This sounded perfect! For one, another family member does tai chi and she swears by it. Apparently, it’s good for balance, focus, and flexibility without being overpowering. I wanted to add another routine to my yoga routines in the evening, so I thought this would be great. 3 for 1!
Not as great as I had hoped.
For one, the tai chi section was only 15 minutes max and it was very basic. We went through some “tai chi inspired stretches” for about 5 minutes (with one instructor) and then it went directly to the tai chi part with very little introduction (none, actually) or instruction (very little – you mostly follow along by watching and repeating and it’s led by a different instructor). I felt very unsatisfied by the end, and I think I’ll look elsewhere for a more proper routine. This was too much like an add-on.
The first workout is the aerobox. This is FANTASTIC. I love this workout. It really works the muscles and it teaches you all of the basic boxing moves while at the same time incorporating an aerobic element. When you do this properly (imagining that there really is an opponent you’re hitting), your muscles will be sore the next day (or two days, in my case). It also incorporates some jump roping that looks easy but is really difficult. Kathy Smith’s advice is to “not use a jump rope” if it’s too hard. Ha! That’s what I was doing anyway. I don’t have room for one and it’d scare my fid to bits if I started to swing a rope around in the living room. I wanted to know what I should do if I wasn’t using a jump rope and still found it too hard! (I found it hilarious that during the 3rd jump rope routine Kathy Smith isn’t even doing it!)
The second workout is the kickboxing workout. (The co-instructor for this one is the man pictured on the front. The co-instructor for the aerobox workout is a different person.) I started this routine with really high hopes, but I was disappointed. I’m not sure if it’s just me or if it’s the routine.
The routine starts with a warm-up that’s fine, but the actual workout is awkward and not as effective as the first one. I found myself trying it two times (in case the first time was just me being clumsy), but I still found myself just kicking my legs out and that was all. With your arms, you can put up resistance but that seems to be more difficult with the legs as you perform these moves. My legs did kicks, but that’s all they were.
The DVD does provide a mini-section on leg exercises at the end to develop your kicks more effectively. In some ways, I wish this was at the beginning since it allows you to perfect the kick and strengthen the muscles before you actually do the routine. Perhaps I’ll swap the order around and see if it makes much of a difference.
Rating: 2 stars
I really LOVE the aerobox workout but the other two workouts are a miss with me. If you can get this DVD for cheap or at your local library, then pick it up just for the aerobox workout. I guarantee you that you’ll feel more capable of delivering punches and that it’ll strengthen your legs and arms. 🙂