Thursday, July 30, 2009

10 Minute Solution KnockOut Body!

THE WORKOUT: 10 Minute Solution: Knockout Body Workout Kit w/Weighted Gloves

WHO CAN DO THIS: Intermediate exercisers. If you’ve taken boxing or kickboxing fitness classes, even at the beginner level, you’ll be OK, but this is not for newbies to exercise. No instruction on form is provided and getting the most out of the workout requires knowing how to use your muscles safely and effectively. On the other hand, hardbodies are not likely to find this challenging enough.

THE BREAKDOWN: I promise that my next few reviews will be anything but 10 Minute Solutions. I know I review a lot of these, but this is a new favorite.

First of all, the weighted gloves are a fun new gizmo. They get a little sweaty, but it’s otherwise a pretty comfortable way to add a little extra effort to any activity. I wore them cleaning house the other day.

Also, I’m always looking for good upper-body workouts, since most DVDs tend to focus on the more commonly griped-about (by women) lower body. But I’m never wearing a miniskirt or short-shorts again, so I’d rather feel comfortable showing my arms. Though this DVD is designed to provide a whole-body workout, the arms get a little extra with all that punching in weighted gloves.

I’ve never taken any kind of boxing cardio class and didn’t think I would like it, but these little 10-minute routines—two aerobic segments, an upper-body segment, a kickboxing/cross-training segment and an interesting abs segment—are fun and a refreshing new style for me.

Jessica Smith’s hit-or-miss cuing is a little frustrating—some counts with the jab-cross-uppercut-hook combos would have been very useful, but you can supply your own. Fortunately, moves are easy enough to learn after a couple of times through the workout.

If, like me, you’re new to boxing, start with the first segment, Knockout Body Blast, which kinda sorta breaks things down.

THE SWEAT FACTOR: I work up a sheen doing one, a sweat doing more. I can see that the real muscle workout is in learning to control the punches rather than just flinging those weighted gloves around. It’s a decent cardio workout, too, though some of the bobbing was hard on my knees.

BUT IS IT FUN? Yep, it is. And yes, I did imagine punching people. I’ll never tell who.

WHEN IT'S OVER: You’ll be invigorated and probably feel your arms and back.

GEAR AND APPAREL: You don’t need tons of space, although the kickboxing segment has you kick side and front, so watch the bric-a-brac. The gloves are entirely optional, of course.

FINAL WORD: Today I did the upper body segment before my 40-minute-ish power walk (with hills). It was a perfect medium-exertion workout. I like it. A keeper and a doer.

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