Cross Training for Fitness

Cross Training for Fitness is collection of 5 approx. 15 minute martial arts inspired workouts led by Jessica Smith and Guillermo Gomez, whom I recently discovered is Jessica’s husband. If you hit “Play all” you get a 1:30 minute intro from Jessica and Guillermo. They tell you that these workouts are based on the principle of Yin & Yang and that between all 5 of the workouts you get everything (strength, flexibility, cardio–and you do). Then Jessica describes what you get in each individual segment. They are so cute together! Anyway, I expected to like these workouts more. I did the entire DVD in one 75 minute workout. And I did get a good total body cardio + strength workout. It wasn’t super intense but it did a good job. Literally every muscle is worked. But I didn’t love any of the workouts and I did not care for the final Relax & Restore segment at all. I think the biggest thing I didn’t care for was using them all together, in spite of the fact they do work well together. I feel like this review is making zero sense. How will I use them in the future? As add ons to other, shorter workouts. But as a 75 minute workout, I wasn’t thrilled with it.

The bonus is no equipment except a mat is needed (though using weighted gloves for the boxing is optional) and it is low impact. However, there are a lot of balance moves.

Cardio Kickbox is 14:30 minutes; 2:30 minute warm up and 1 minute cool down/stretch. The warm up reviews punches. This section is led by Guillermo only. He builds a cardio boxing combo in layers that you then run through multiple times. You repeat the combo on the other side of the body. The last minute (before the cool down) are some drills: hooks, elbow strikes, speed bag arms while hopping. I wore weighted gloves and found this low level steady state cardio.

Strength & Flexibility is 15 minutes; 1 minute warm up (upper cuts and elbow crosses) and 30 second stretch. Equipment: fitness mat. This section is led by Jessica only. This workout is body weight strength work. I used weighted boxing grips for all of the punches at the beginning.

  1. Alternating front punches in horse stance; add raised heels
  2. Double upper cuts
  3. Round house knee lifts; changes to round house kicks
  4. Repeat #2
  5. Repeat #3 on other leg
  6. Repeat #1 w/ no heel raise
  7. Squats raising arms overhead at top of squat and to the ground at bottom of squat
  8. Pike push ups
  9. Start in deep runners lunge with hands on floor, raise into warrior 3 then return to runners lunge, continue alternating lunge to warrior 3; remain in warrior 3 and do 8 single leg baby squats
  10. Repeat #8
  11. Repeat #9 on other side of body
  12. Repeat #7
  13. Start in horse stance, place hands on floor, jump feet back to plank, do one push up, jump feet back into horse stance
  14. Lay on back with knees bent and feet on floor, raise and lower hips; add reaching arm over opposite shoulder and touching the floor
  15. Lay on side, both knees bent and resting on bottom elbow, raise and lower hips while bringing top knee into chest then pushing it out; hold with hips lifted while continuing to bring knee into chest and pushing back out
  16. Repeat #14
  17. Repeat #15 on other side of body
  18. Get on all 4s then bend elbows and lower to forearms, do tricep press ups, bending and straightening elbows; add extending one leg out straight behind you
  19. Remaining on knees and forearms, press one leg out straight behind you then bend it and bring it under you

Lower Body Balance is 15 minutes w/ 30 second cool down and stretch. This section is led by Guillermo only. The workout starts with 2:30 minutes of deep lower body stretches. This is set up similar to his Cardio Kickboxing segment–one combo built in layers that is repeated on the other side of the body. You finish with some knee drills.

  1. Squats
  2. Step side to side; changes to double side steps
  3. 2 steps to side + side knee raise; knee raise changes to side kick
  4. 2 knee raises (same knee) + bob and weave 2x; add a turn to your knee raises; changes to 4 alternating knee raises, turning as you raise your knees (he calls these “knee spin”)
  5. 2 steps to side + side kick 4x + 4 alternating knee raises, turning as you raise your knees (knee spin) + 4 bob and weaves
  6. Repeat #1 – 5 on other side of body
  7. Jump rope
  8. Step forward with a tap back, alternate legs
  9. Alternating step + side knee raises; side knee raises change to 3 knee repeaters
  10. Step out side to side then pivot to side into a lunge, alternate sides

Core Power & Flow is 14:30 minutes; 30 second stretch. Equipment: fitness mat. This section is led by Jessica only. I love the standing core work but I don’t like the mat core work nearly as much. But that isn’t a bad thing–it was tough and it challenged me. This workout hits your entire core–front and back–very well.

  1. Stand with hands in guard and twist elbows/ribs side to side
  2. Arms still in guard, raise one knee and twist opposite elbow toward knee; changes to lifting leg straight out to side while pulling same side arm down from overhead and tapping elbow to hip as the leg lifts
  3. Extend arms straight in front of you and do alternating breath stroke arms while also doing mini squats
  4. Repeat #2 on other side of body
  5. Repeat #3
  6. Stand in split stance, arms in guard and torso hinged forward slightly, do single knee pulls to the front while twisting opposite elbow toward knee
  7. “Throw” arms in a wide figure 8 while pivoting body side to side
  8. Repeat #6 on other side of body
  9. Sit on mat with legs open in a V slightly wider than hip width, arms extended straight in front of you, and torso leaned back slightly, raise one leg and circle it while crunching torso (crescent kick crunches)
  10. Lay on back, hands behind head, raise straight legs (still open in a V slightly wider than hip width) at about 45 degrees, crunch upper body while also raising legs higher and crossing them as you raise them
  11. Place hands on floor behind you, bend knees and place feet on floor, raising hips so you are in a crab, lower hips while also raising one knee into chest then lower foot back to floor and press hips up to ceiling, alternate legs
  12. Lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, arms in guard, do full sit ups while also doing 4 cross punches then lower back to mat with arms in guard
  13. In modified side plank (bottom knee bent and on the ground), raise and lower hips while raising and lowering top leg and circling top arm
  14. Repeat #12
  15. Repeat #13 on other side of body
  16. In forearm plank, pike your hips up and down
  17. Lay on stomach, legs open in a V wider than the width of the mat, arms extended out straight in front of you, raise chest and alternate pulling elbows back to ribs, raising and lowering chest with each arm pull
  18. Repeat #16 & 17
  19. Sit on bottom, lean torso back slightly, raise bent legs of floor, arms extended straight at sides, lower torso back while also extending legs straight then raise back to starting position; add twisting torso to side at top of move while also raising same side arm, alternate sides

Relax & Restore is 16 minutes. This is led by Guillermo but Jessica is present, too. He does not rush through anything in this workout. You move slowly and with control. The workout starts with Guillermo explaining how you should be standing then you do breathing exercises with hand/arm movements. This is the first 4:30 minutes. Next is tree pose with arm circles. Lower into wide plie squat with elbows/forearms pressed into the inside of your knees/thighs to stretch. Bend forward and place backs of hands on ground between legs and let head hang down. Roll up to standing with arms overhead and arch back. Walk hands out into straight arm plank. Slowly lower body to floor then hold cobra stretch. Child’s pose with arms stretched out in front of you. Return to straight arm plank then step forward into runner’s lunge; slowly raise into crescent lunge. Kneel with glutes on heels and hands on thighs. He also gives you the option of sitting cross-leg. You end doing breathing meditation with eyes closed.

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