Kathy Smith's Step Workout is a splendid introduction to step for the novice, and a solid workout for intermediates. The main workout consists of three 12-minute, progressive step segments. Beginners do only the first, the... more »n fast-forward to the cool-down; intermediates do the first two; seasoned steppers may do all three. The beginning segment uses very simple moves repeated frequently: the basic up-up-down-down, knee lifts, toe taps, leg curls, and leg lifts. The intermediate segment introduces more moves, still presented simply, and puts them together into simple combinations. It's athletically more challenging, but not complicated. The advanced segment adds more strenuous moves such as straddles, lunges, and gentle propulsion moves. After the cool-down is an abdominal segment using the step as a slant board, and then a short upper-body sculpting segment starting with pushups and then using weights. At the end, a special teaching guide for novice steppers demonstrates the basics of stepping. Experienced steppers who like a lot of choreography will get bored quickly, but if you want the athleticism of step without complicated choreography, you'll be happy here. Smith's cueing and safety guidelines, as always, are excellent. --Joan Price« less
AC | Ventura County, CA, United States | 11/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fitness-wise, I'm at the beginner level because I haven't worked out for a couple of years after having my first child. However, I've done step aerobics classes before, so I'm not a total neophyte in that area. At the same time, I'm not into dancy moves & prefer easy-to-follow steps. When I decided that I needed to get back into shape, I bought this video at the same time I bought my step. Pros:
- Movements are not difficult to follow & gave me a good workout even at my very first use.- Absolute beginners can benefit from one step model who is right at front & demonstrates simpler moves
- It's not boring & most of the steppers look enthusiastic enough
- Broken up into 12-14 minutes sections so you can customize your workout (when I started, I was only able to do segment#1, so I skipped to the cool-down section immediately. Now I can do all 3 aerobic segments).
- Has cool-down segments & toning segments as well
- Kathy Smith has fairly good cuing in this video (2 or 3 slip-ups, but it doesn't bother me anymore) & straight-forward instructions
- Good intro at the beginning to give you safety tips for your workout. However, this is also a drawback since I don't need to watch this part anymore & have to fast-forward everytime I use the videoCons:
- Movements may be too simple/boring for intermediate-advanced steppers or those who like a lot of dancy movements
- The intro at the beginning of the tape is kind of long & you'll have to fast-forward through it to get to the warm-up segmentBottom line:
This video is a good workout for beginners, beginner-intermediate, and for people who don't want to deal with complicated dancy moves. Combined with a low-fat, sensible & balanced diet, you can start losing that extra weight!"
Excellent Total Body Workout!
mwreview | Northern California, USA | 02/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I work out every day and use a step aerobics tape between 4-7 days a week. This one is one of my favorites in a rotation of 13 videos I currently use. Kathy Smith is one of the best instructors. Her directions are so good that, after using this tape a few times, one can actually complete the moves without having to watch the screen (which makes it easier to maintain proper body alignment). She mirrors her instructions (when she says "left" she means YOUR "left") and it's very fun. Smith and her crew seem to have a great time which, to me, rubs off on the viewer! The video starts with an 8-minute warm-up and follows with three step segments from beginning level to advanced (12, 13, and 10 minutes respectively). One can fast-foward to the 5-minute cool down after the first or second segments if they are just beginning step aerobics or if they are hard-pressed for time). After aerobics, there is a 5-minute ab toning segment which utilizes the inclined function of the Original Step. Finally, there is an 8-minute upper body toning segment using hand-weights (one can probably improvise with cans of veggies, etc.) Finally, you cool down with a 5-minute stretching segment. Few videos are as well-rounded as this one and, although it's about an hour and ten minutes long, it's over before you know it because it is so fun!"
A fantastic step workout
J. Stevens | Eden Prairie, MN | 02/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a re-release of one of Kathy Smith's VHS workouts from around 2003. It is my all-time favourite step workout ever, from any instructor. It breaks down like this:
- An 8 minute warmup - A 12 minute step routine (beginners) but is great for all levels! - A 13 minute intermediate step routine but is also great for all levels. - A 10 minute advanced step routine. - A 5 minute lower body cool down - A 5 minute abdominal toning session - 8 minutes of upper body - 5 minutes of a cool down and stretch.
The biggest asset to Kathy's DVD's is that it is suitable for all levels. She classifies parts of her DVD as beginner / intermediate / advanced but it is more so that beginners can just do 12 minutes of stepping, etc. The whole workout is fantastic and is not too hard to follow. I am not the most co-ordinated person in the world and I can do her workout without stumbling around like an idiot (which trust me, I would do if it contained a lot of dancey-steps).
I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone that is interested in step aerobics. It's a great workout and you won't be disappointed!"
From a clumsy girls point of view
Karma wilson | United States | 01/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so I'm not a gazelle. I'm not graceful and I'm not light on my feet. We have an eliptical which is probably best suited to my skill level. It's hard to fall off of one. :-) But I hate it. I mean, I devise ways of not looking at the clock and the minutes just drag on and on and on. So I bought a step and I bought this workout as my introduction to stepping based on the stellar reviews here at Amazon.
I love it! Stepping is really much less boring than the "eviliptical". Okay, so I fell down on my #@%#$% the first time I followed this tape. I would chalk that up to me, not the tape. As a child my grandmother put me in ballet. After two lessons the instructor met her at the door and told her I'd be better of in tap. The fact that I only fell once and didn't kill myself is actually a testimonial for Kathy Smith!
I would advise anybody who is new to stepping and coordination-challenged like me to skip doing the arms when first starting. Just look at the feet and do those. Add in arms slowly over time. I still do just feet in some things. And be careful with the move "over the top" because that's the move that sent my feet "over the top" of my head.
The ab section is short, but a killer. Don't start on the incline! Just start flat.
Kathy is fairly easy to follow, the music is cheeful, and the moves are challenging enough to keep you from thinking about how much it sucks to actually do them. All in all a great workout for me! The only annoying thing is Kathy does let off a high pitched "drill team" squeal once in a while and say things like, "Now that you've got that down let's pick up the pace" (Uh, wait, I don't got that down!) Thank God for rewind. But all in all she's a lot less "chipper" than some other aerobics tapes, so it's not bad. And Kathy doesn't have an annoying voice either--a big plus! She's also older. I find it easier to take instruction from somebody who isn't carded when the buy booze.
Lots of fun!
Karma wilson | 01/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I used to take regular step classes about 10 years ago, but apart from horseback riding have done nothing along those lines since then. Having just turned 40 I decided I should probably start doing something and began wondering what I would enjoy and stick with. Step aerobics popped into my mind and I went ahead and bought a Step, mat, weights and some videos. I had such a blast the first time, and even though it's been a while I found I hadn't forgotten most of the moves (a couple of goofs on my part, but Kathy's explanations weren't to blame). I even felt comfortable enough to complete the entire workout without having to skip through any sections. I need motivation, and Kathy and her crew gave me that. The moves aren't complicated, they are well explained and, in my opinion, the video is suitable for anyone from a total beginner (skip the more advanced sections) to an advanced-intermediate. Not to say an advanced stepper wouldn't have fun and get a good workout, but the moves are not complicated and the more adventurous sorts might want to have a more complex, highly choreographed workout. In summary, it's lots of fun and I look forward to my workouts! One minor point -if I had access to a DVD player where I choose to work out in the house, I'd probably pick that over VHS. It would just be easier to skip through the intro, which certainly isn't necessary to watch each time."