Another tough lower body conditioning workout by Ilaria Montagnani. This one is much more advanced than Vol 1 and I enjoyed it a lot more than I remembered. This is another one I haven’t done in years and what stood out in my memory about it is that I liked Vol 1 a lot better. Now, that hasn’t exactly changed; I still prefer Vol 1, but I really like this one, too. It is very challenging. It is set up and structured the same as Vol 1, but what makes it more challenging is the moves are more complex, it is faster paced and there is a lot of balance challenges in this workout–a lot more than in Vol 1. Put those 3 components together: complex moves, fast pace and standing on one leg a lot–and you have a tough and advanced workout. I was feeling the burn pretty quickly.
Like Vol 1, Vol 2 isn’t exactly a kickboxing workout as there are no punches. It is all kicking and lower body drills. It also has a long warm up that includes kick drills. It has 4 “exercises”–and just like in Vol 1, these exercises are actually combos. She teaches each lower body combo individually then at the end of a teaching session combines all of the combos taught thus far–so it is layered. At the end of the 4th combo you do the “finished product” combining all of the combos together. And just like in Vol 1, the teaching consists of doing each move many times! So you are really drilling the lower body. Vol 1 was fast paced, too, but you got a bit more rest between combos–Vol 2 gives you almost no rest between moves and combos. Vol 2 is a little bit longer than Vol 1 and it also doesn’t include the additional leg conditioning at the end. It does have a little bit–but not much. It seems more like an active cool down when compared the the rest of the workout–but it is more lower body conditioning work.
I had no problem with any of the exercises in Vol 1, no problem with form or keeping up, and no problems with balance even though I confess, I am balanced challenged. Vol 2 was a different story altogether. I still got a great workout, but I lost my balance repeatedly and sometimes missed a kick because of it! It moves very quickly so one totter will throw you off. Now, it’s not hard to pick up again in the sequence, but don’t expect perfection the first time through! This one takes practice!
I like the set of this workout (and all of her earlier workouts). It is at an Equinox gym with an entire wall of windows so you can see the city. It is good quality production, unlike her newer workouts (let me qualify that–Ilaria’s actual workouts are always excellent and well-done–it is the quality of the video and set that went downhill). Ilaria, as always, looks amazing. She is so effing ripped! I am always so impressed with her incredible physique. If I had the kind of drive and willpower needed to achieve such results, she would definitely be the role mode for the body I’d like to achieve. But alas, I do like food too much to eat the kind of diet needed to cut your body like Ilaria’s. I digress. As always, Ilaria has perfect form, cues perfectly and gives specific and usable form pointers as well as demonstrations of poor form.
On to the breakdown….
BodyStrikes Vol 2 is a low impact (but highly intense) cardio + leg conditioning workout. It is 51:30 minutes long; 3:30 minute intro, 10 minute warm up, 36 minute training time and 2 minute stretch. The intro is showing form. She goes through all of the kicks you will be doing and teaches proper form. The warm up starts with basic warm up moves, then some stretches, two sets of 8 push ups (she always adds push ups to her warm ups) then goes into 3 minutes of alternating reverse lunges. The warm up ends with kick drills. You do 8 reps of each kick: straight front kick, front snap kick, front push kick, back kick, round house kick and side kick.
1st combo (6:30 minutes): front and corner snap kick + roundhouse into side squat + 3 front push kicks and back kick.
2nd combo (8:15 minutes): side squat + squat then bring knee up behind opposite knee while turning upper body (core work) + squat and front push kick + reverse lunge into front push kick.
3rd combo (8:45 minutes): raise straight leg front, side, front, side (toes/foot never touch the ground; she likens it to ballet moves) + same move but hold front raise then hold side raise.
4th combo (6:30 minutes): knee crescent and crescent kick (same leg) + other leg crescent kick one way then the other (she calls these reverse crescent) + 3 side kicks (for these your working leg never touches the ground; she describes it as pushing/pumping 3 times with the leg).
Do the “finished product” for 4:40 minutes–one combo right after the other.
The workout ends with one minute of squat variations and a 2 minute stretch.