Top positive review
Whoever Said You Needed High Impact Cardio And Heavy Weights To Get A Good Workout Was Wrong!
July 1, 2016
I’ll admit, I often have reached for higher intensity workouts, and heavier weights, because I’ve always thought they were what I needed for a good workout. After completing this workout, it’s clear that I was wrong. This DVD is subtle in its sneakiness, and its promise delivers. Fans of Ellen Barrett, as well as fans of Jessica’s “Cardio Barre” and “Total Body Balance” will enjoy this DVD.
I began my health and fitness journey, 6 years ago, and 35 pounds heavier. I first discovered Jessica Smith thru a free DVD out of a Special K cereal box, starting with 10 minutes a day, and graduating to longer, more challenging routines adding each new (and collecting every old) Jessica Smith DVD as I went along. Through the years, Jessica Smith’s routines have never failed to deliver on their promises and through some feat of “fitness magic” Jessica Smith has YET to create a DVD identical to one before, always delivering on variety and challenge. This DVD will be a welcome, and regularly implemented addition to my growing (and complete) collection of Jessica Smith workouts.
Build Balance + Inner Strength delivers what it advertises, although I will caution you, the DVD heading “Walk Strong” is a bit of a misnomer, as there is very minimal walking/marching in place on this DVD and the work is more “fusion” in nature. If you’re seeking a walking DVD, this is NOT one. For that, I would recommend one of Jessica’s earlier releases, like Walk On: 6 Mile Mix, or the Walk On: 5 Fat Burning Miles DVDs (you will find my reviews to these DVDs also on Amazon)
This DVD includes (3) fusion style sessions on one DVD and arrives, as pictured, in a hard shell case with artwork as pictured. The combined running time of all three routines (plus introduction) is approximately 90 minutes. The workouts featured included a variety of options for advanced and intermediate levels (and demonstrated by Jessica) and feature modifications (mainly decreased range of motion and less balancing) from Jessica’s Mother Debbie, who has been featured in MANY of Jessica’s recent releases. This DVD, unlike the last few releases, is set within a beautiful home in front of a set of French doors which look out to a beautifully landscaped back yard with a pool. You will see Peanut in the introduction, although sadly, she is off-screen throughout the workouts (if you look close though, you can see her reflection in the glass of the French doors, where she is doing what she does best….napping. The music is soft, and does not distract from the on point cuing and bright personality of Jessica. And believe it or not, we do hear Debbie talking quite a bit during these routines!!!! Glad I was not the ONLY one feeling the burn as I worked my way thru this DVD.
The three routines are best done barefoot, with a yoga mat, or supportive surface to help cushion the feet. You will also need a set of light hand weights (2-5 pounds) as well as a medium strength resistance band for two of the routines. All routines are done standing.
The routines are 30 minutes each and include:
Session 1 Core Control: A fusion style combination of standing barre work (swan arms, plies, arabesques etc), fused with Pilates and dance. The routine states it’s for the core, but there is plenty of arm and leg work to be had in this routine. This routine requires no equipment and challenges the entire body, by engaging your core strength with balance postures and poses using the arms to create a safe instability, working the muscles of your core (and back) from the inside out without ANY crunches. LOADS OF VARIETY AND NEW MOVES!
Session 2 Poise and Grace: This second fusion style routine incorporates a light set of hand weights to sculpt the entire body, while continuing to engage your core muscles to build core strength. The recommended weight range is 2-5 pounds. I started light, and am glad I did! Jessica uses “super sets”, doing longer sets with multiple repetitions in pairs of two, then the series is repeated. This routine REALLY WORKS THE SHOULDERS AND UPPER BACK! Plus with the addition of plie and baby squats, you engage the legs many times while working the upper body at the same time for maximum toning and calorie burn. It’s the “sneaky” part warned you about earlier in the review. I’ll admit, I had to stop and catch my breath a few times. Of all the routines, this one made me sweat the most!
Session 3 Balance and Agility: Incorporates the use of a medium strength, flat resistance band. The routine starts with a few minutes of standing work using the band as a “marker” on the floor to help build functional agility, and proprioception. Then it’s on to MORE WORK for the shoulders, upper back, triceps, and biceps and let’s not forget the legs too!!! This one HURT SO GOOD! As with the other two routines, the balance and posture is worked with several moves having the option to be done on one leg, or with one toe lightly tapped.
Each routine on this DVD was challenging, which says a lot, as I tend to associate myself at an advanced fitness level, but the routines are great for ALL LEVELS. This was a surprise from what I expected. When I was finished I did not feel wasted, and my muscles did not feel overly taxed. It was just right for me!!! This DVD will make a welcome addition to any Jessica Smith collector’s library, and would be excellent for someone looking to try a low impact, fun, yet challenging routine from Ms. Smith for the first time.