The Firm: Total Body Lite

Total Body Lite is pink Firm workout. It is led by trainer Emily Welsh. This is another workout the uses the CardioWeights. This workout is a recovery workout–so it is meant to be easier than other Firm workouts. During the workout Emily states you are meant to use light weights.

I had a hard time deciding when to use this workout but then circumstances related to my cancer treatment presented themselves. In short, the radiation I am receiving has caused the sack around my heart to swell leading to pain (when it rubs against my ribs and sternum–so every time I breathe) and problems breathing. This has obviously made most workouts impossible for me. I have been doing mostly gentle yoga and some easy Jessica Smith workouts. But then it occurred to me that my current situation is perfect for a workout like this, so I did it this morning.

I remember this workout when I bought it many years ago. I didn’t like it back then because it was so easy. Which means I did like it this morning because it fit my current needs. But that also means that advanced exercisers probably will not care for this workout. If you are looking for a recovery workout, this will definitely give you that. For my purposes it worked me nicely without wearing me out or making me hurt myself. This is a cardio + strength workout but the cardio is very low intensity and low impact.

Also included on the DVD is a 25:30 minute Express premix (includes warm up, circuit 1, circuit 6, circuit 7 and stretch) and 4 minute Firm Moves tutorial in which Emily demonstrates some of the moves in the workout.

Total Body Lite is 47:30 minutes; 50 second intro, 5 minute warm up and 5 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells. Emily says they are using light and medium dumbbells. Since they are using cardio weights, that means they are probably using 3 and 5 pound dumbbells. The dumbbells listed in the breakdown below are what I used. There is a beginner modifier.

Circuit 1:

  1. Squats holding one DB on both hands; add a bicep curl; changes to bringing DB overhead into a fast tricep extension; add alternating knee lifts when doing overhead tricep extensions; add holding knee up and extending leg while also doing an additional tricep extension (one 12# DB)
  2. Alternating 4 count reverse lunges; add alternating straight arm front raises (7# DBs)
  3. 4 count squats, stepping out to side to squat, alternate sides; add alternating bicep curls (7# DBs)
  4. Combine and alternate 2 & 3
  5. Deadrow; add glute raise when rowing, alternate legs; add scoops to the front when standing; add alternating side leg lifts when scooping (8# DBs)

Circuit 2:

  1. Step forward into a lunge, raise knee, step back into lunge then return to start; add scooping arms forward when lunging, open arms out wide when raising knee, return arms to front when returning to lunge and lower when returning to start; Emily makes some changes in DB position/which way palms are facing (5# DBs)
  2. Step out into wide plie squat then slide foot in to meet other foot, alternate sides; raise DBs in front of you with elbows pinned to waist, open DBs out to side when plie squatting and bring to front of you when standing; each plie squat turns to 4 count plie squat and when DBs are open to side, extend arms/DBs out to side then bring elbows back to waist (5# DBs)
  3. Stand w/ feet wider than hip width and pivot side to side; add bicep/tricep curls; add a glute lift every time you pivot (5# DBs)
  4. Single arm row (hold both DBs on one hand); add a knee pull when doing the row )5# DBs)

Circuit 3: step tap front and back; add knee lift; add leg extension when knee is raised; cross step side to side w/ tap back; tap changes to glute raise; changes to 3 glute lifts; V steps; V step changes to a turn step; side lunges w/ knee raises, 3 to each side then a narrow squat before changing sides

Circuit 4:

  1. Side lunge to the right then to the left then 2 front kicks; add one arm scoop toward opposite side when lunging and pull DBs back at hip level when kicking (8# DBs)
  2. Bicep curl to overhead press to French press (overhead tricep extensions) + shoulder roll; add a step squat to side during bicep curl, narrow squat during French press and calf raise during shoulder roll; side squat changes to “tap squat” (one heel raised when squatting) (8# DBs)
  3. Knees bent slightly, hinged forward with flat back, hold one DB in both hands and swing it to side, circle it in the middle then swing it to other side (Emily calls this move a pendulum); release DB w/ one hand when swinging to side so it becomes a single arm reverse fly, but grab the DB with both hands to still circle in the middle before passing DB to other hand; add tapping one foot in to other when doing the fly, alternate sides (one 8# DB)

Circuit 5: step tap side to side; add a step tap forward; add a triple step; samba front and back then to each side; mambo to each side w/ a triple step between each side

Circuit 6:

  1. Side lunge and hold, shifting side to side and holding one DB in both hands, alternate sides; add lifting leg out to side after shifting side to side; add doing a figure 8 motion with the DB while shifting side to side then raising up to side when lifting leg (7# DB)
  2. Alternating front lunges but between each lunge you do alternating knee lifts (still holding one DB in both hands); add a woodchop to side when lunging then raise DB overhead and pull down when raising knees; add a French press after the lunge (7# DB)
  3. (set DBs aside) Lower into chair pose then step to side (while still in chair) and step back to center and reverse lunge w/ arms reaching overhead; hold in lunge and bring opposite elbow down to tap front knee
  4. In Warrior 2 pose, bend and straighten leg; hold Warrior 2 then flow to side angle pose back to Warrior 2

Circuit 7:

  1. Lay on side, leaning on forearm w/ knees bent, raise and lower hips; add lifting top leg when raising hips; extend leg straight when raising hips; hold isometrically at top of move with leg extended
  2. On all 4s, bring one knee in underneath you to chest while rounding back then extend out straight behind you and do a push up, alternate legs; add lifting leg higher after push up
  3. Repeat #1 on other side of body
  4. Lay on back, knees bent and feet raised off floor, do one chest fly then scissor arms (one arm overhead while the other lowers to hip); add scissoring the legs when scissoring arms (7# DBs)
  5. Still on back, knees bent and feet on floor, hands behind head, do a circle crunch, alternating sides; add extending  arms straight
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