JessicaSmithTV: Cardio Ball Blast

Cardio Ball Blast is an excellent 30 minute cardio/core workout from Jessica Smith. And it is free on YouTube! This workout ended up being more intense than I expected and I really liked it a lot. Like all of Jessica’s workouts that I have done so far, she shows several different levels for each exercise, so you can make this workout as intense as you need it to be. Jessica used a playground ball–so very light. She recommends that if you use a medicine ball to go no heavier than 5 pounds. I own several medicine balls, including a 4 and a 6 pound ball. I also own a pilates ball. My pilates ball just looks like a tiny stability ball–the size of a volley ball–and it is just filled with air so very light; btw, my pilates ball looks exactly like the ball Jessica was using. I had my pilates ball and my 4 and 6 pound medicine balls setting in front of me. I never did use my pilates ball. I started the workout with the 4 pound medicine ball and that was quite enough for the majority of the workout! Though there is some impact in this workout it is not plyometric, and Jessica shows modifications to make it low impact if that is what you need. A lot of the intensity in this workout is from arm movements with the ball. And using a 4 pound ball really jacked my heart rate up there. For a few of the moves I had to use one 8 pound dumbbell. Here is why–I have chronic wrist problems that flare up intermittently and over the years I have received different diagnosis. The current diagnosis is due to X-Rays–my thumb joints are degenerating (WTF? I am only 46! Thumb arthritis?!?!) and I am having a flare up right now, so when Jessica has you pass the ball under your legs during lunges or knee raises, gripping a 4 pound medicine ball in one hand while maneuvering it like that hurt my thumb joints. So this problem is unique to me. It probably wouldn’t have hurt with the pilates ball because it is nearly weightless and a little squishy, but I wanted to keep the workout intense, so for those moves, I swapped out an 8 pound dumbbell which I can grip differently (no pressure or awkward wrist angle) and didn’t cause me pain. So do what works for you. I’m just sharing why I had to use a variety of equipment. Jessica used her playground/pilates ball and nothing else. For me, 4 pounds was sufficient for the cardio due to the speed of all of the arm movements. But the standing abs at the end was done slower so I needed something heavier. I really like my 6 pound medicine ball because it has handles so I used that and it was perfect for the standing abs.

Peanut is also present! She is sitting on a pink mat or rug looking super cute while enjoying chewing on a bone, making the workout that much more enjoyable for me.

Cardio Ball Blast is 30:30 minutes long; the intro is nearly a minute long, not sure when the warm up ended but the cardio ball portion of the workouts is 24 minutes long and standing abs w/ ball is 4:30 minutes long. It ends w/ a 1 minute stretch (also using the ball if you want). Equipment needed: a ball. As mentioned above, I used a 4 pound medicine ball for the cardio + one 8 pound dumbbell and a 6 pound medicine ball for the standing abs.

For the cardio portion I will list the moves below. Jessica starts every move at the lowest level then builds it up to the most advanced level. I won’t be describing every single level below. You can keep this workout at whatever intensity level works for you. You are holding the ball with both hands the majority of the workout unless it states otherwise in the exercise description. And the movements with the ball are large movements–not small.

  1. Stepping side to side, bring the ball side to side (from hip to hip); this changes to arching it up and over head like a rainbow but bringing it to hip level at bottom; stepping changes to hamstring curls while chopping the ball to each hip; changes to squats w/ chops; chops change to figure 8s; stay in squat and continue doing the figure 8 arms while pulsing in squat
  2. Alternating front knees while chopping ball from overhead to hips; knees change to high knee skips
  3. Alternating side squat while chopping ball to side; this changes to staying in squat and jumping side to side, still chopping ball
  4. Side lunge side to side while figure 8ing the ball
  5. Pivot hips side to side w/ wood chops; pivots change to lunges (standing then pivot into a lunge w/ wood chops from shoulder to down by calf)
  6. Do #4 again
  7. Chop squat (raising ball overhead then squatting and bring ball down between legs); this changes to a squat jack with same ball movement
  8. L step while arcing ball over head
  9. Hamstring curl while chopping the ball from overhead to hips
  10. Chop squat/squat jack
  11. Repeat #8-10
  12. V step while twisting ball side to side
  13. Alternating rear lunges while passing ball under thigh (I used an 8# DB for this)
  14. Repeat #12 & 13
  15. Alternating knee raises, passing ball under knee (I used an 8# DB for this)
  16. Jumping jacks pushing ball overhead; changes to scissor jacks pushing the ball in front of you; you alternate between these two jacks
  17. Step side to side w/ figure 8 (this is the cool down)

Standing Abs:

  1. Put all your weight on left leg, hold ball in right hand, arm raised overhead; pull up right knee while pulling down right arm, tapping knee to elbow
  2. Wood chops (chop to one side while squatting then stand, pivoting and bringing ball overhead/shoulder to other side of body)
  3. Holding ball in both hands, weight is on left leg again, twist torso while raising right knee, tapping left elbow to right knee
  4. Repeat 1-3 on other side of body

For more info on JessicaSmithTV and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.




4 thoughts on “JessicaSmithTV: Cardio Ball Blast

  1. I just wanted to tell you that your blog is great and that I follow it on a regular basis – so much information, and so reliable! I can’t even remember how I came across your blog, but we seem to share a very similar attitude towards exercise – like you, I am also 46, an avid home exerciser and my favourites are, guess who: Kelly, Jessica and Cathe! I also have a huge rotation of workouts (1000+ at this stage) and regularly use most of the instructors and many of the DVDs you list here. Before I purchase anything new on Amazon, I routinely come to your blog and look for it and, sure enough, it is always there! Besides, your views and comments coincide almost 100% with my own impressions once I’ve done a workout.

    So far, I hadn’t found any workouts by Jessica here; I discovered her YouTube workouts about 3 years ago, after undergoing major surgery for a shoulder injury, when I started to look for alternatives to Kelly, Cathe and others for my recovery period, which I knew would be well over a year. I discovered Jessica and I never looked back. True, I’ve returned to all my previous instructors as well, but there is something to her personality (and, of course, Peanut!!) that make her workouts so thoroughly enjoyable. Jessica’s workouts are versatile and cater to a wide variety of exercisers and levels: I usually make them harder by using (like you, once again), 1 or 2-pound weighted gloves and, for the lower-impact ones, ankle weights as well, and this works for me. I also string shorter workouts together, especially at weekends, to have a long steady-state workout that leaves me energised for the rest of the day.

    Anyway, so glad you’ve discovered Jessica and, once again, congratulations on your blog. It’s absolutely great!


    1. Hi Nuria! I think you have even more workout DVDs than me! I don’t think I’ve hit 1000 a yet–but with all of the YouTube workouts available–it seems like it now! I am so glad I discovered Jessica! I agree–she is probably THE most personable trainer I have ever encountered on video. Something about her presence and the way she relates to the camera (and use through the camera) somehow makes the workouts better. And I also love how she shows so many levels. Because I know that every single time I workout I don’t want my butt kicked and Jessica’s workouts work me hard but don’t kill me. I also know that one day the workouts I do will be to hard for me so I love how Jessica shows so many ways to keep working out–even when I can’t do Cathe-level workouts anymore. That’s also why I love KCM–she almost always shows so many levels, too.

      Anyway! So glad you posted and so glad this blog is helpful! I love that other people are working out at home just like me! And loving the same workouts.


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