Walk a 5K (The Fun Way)

Walk a 5K is part of Jessica Smith‘s new Strong + Centered Series, which is made up of 6 DVDs/19 workouts total. Jessica has also created an 8 week rotation calendar using the Strong + Centered workouts. All of the workouts are available both on DVD and as a downloads. All of the DVDs in the program will eventually be reviewed on this blog, but some will post sooner than others. Since I am currently doing Caroline Girvan‘s 6 week Iron Series, the strength workouts in the Strong + Centered Series will be the last reviews to post.

Walk a 5K contains two cardio walk workouts plus a warm up and a cool down/stretch. You can choose each individual section (the warm up, the cool down/stretch, or either of the walks) or you can do a “play all” for each walk. All this means is the sections play one right after the other: warm up + one of the walks + the cool down/stretch. During the intro, Jessica shares that since a 5K is approximately 3.1 miles and each walk is 3 miles, one walk + the warm up and cool down equals a 5K. She also says that each walk is chaptered by mile, so you can make the workouts shorter by skipping sections if you need to. The walks are set outside in front of a pool with the ocean or sea behind Jessica.

I think I own all of Jessica’s cardio walk DVDs and I have done them all many times. Jessica got me through a very rough period in my life (breast cancer treatment) and I continued to do her workouts for a while even after I was fully recovered. She does not create the most advanced workouts, but her workouts are fun, solid and safe. She always gives you an excellent and effective workout while also making sure you never injure yourself. So when she came out with the Strong + Centered Series, I decided why not? And I am glad I did. Though I do not see myself returning to these walking workouts any time soon, I am glad I have them. You never know what life will deal you. Plus, I am getting older. One day Jessica’s walks may be my primary form of cardio. These walks were fun and I enjoyed them. I liked Fast Walk much more than Steady Walk. Neither walk gave me the intense cardio that I am accustomed to getting with the rebounder workouts I gravitate towards for my cardio, and they also are not nearly as fun as rebounding, but rebounding isn’t for everyone. And if you want a solid cardio workout without any burpees or tuck jumps or mountain climbers, then these types of workouts are for you. If you cannot do any impact (or just don’t want to), these are for you as well. Even when Jessica introduces impact, she always shows low/no impact modifications. And even if you are an advanced exerciser, everyone needs recovery days and lower intensity days. So, IMHO, these workouts are for everyone, no matter your fitness level.

Warm up is 7:14 minutes. Equipment: a high back chair. This is a pretty low intensity warm up but what is really nice about it is Jessica warms up every muscle and joint in the lower body by taking them all through full ranges of motion. So your lower body is definitely warmed up and ready to go.

  1. Walk in place
  2. Balance on one leg, extend other leg and circle the ankle
  3. Heel to toe walk forward then toe to heel walk backwards
  4. Raise onto toes, walk forward and as you step, flex your foot but land on toes, when you walk back, take big knee raise steps backward, still walking on toes
  5. Stand in split stance with arms extended to sides in a T, shift body forward and back
  6. Hold the chair for balance and swing one leg forward and back, bending knee when raising it and when swinging it behind you
  7. Crescent knees
  8. Side leg lifts
  9. Leg lifts to the rear
  10. Repeat #6-9 on other leg
  11. Walk in place
  12. Heel taps (hamstring curls, turning legs out to side when curling them, tap heel with same side hand)
  13. Insole taps (raise bent legs in front of you, leading with the insole of foot, tap opposite hand to heel when it raises)
  14. Walk in place

Active Recovery (cool down/stretch) is 7:24 minutes. Equipment: high back chair.

  1. Walk in place; add shoulder rolls; add neck stretches, looking over shoulder
  2. Still walking in place, clasp hands behind you, lift arms behind you stretching shoulders and chest; reverse this, clasping hands in front of you and rounding shoulders; raise arms overhead, as you lower them circle the wrists
  3. Step side to side
  4. Hamstring curls
  5. Zig-zag (raise toes, pivoting on heels to side, then raise heels, pivoting on toes to side–continue this zig-zag movement laterally)
  6. Repeat #3, reaching arms overhead and lowering them then doing shoulder rolls
  7. Hip stretches using the chair
  8. Calf stretches using the chair
  9. Quad stretches using the chair
  10. Stand with legs wide facing the back of the chair, hinge forward with elbows on chair back, round shoulders then arch back
  11. Repeat #8 & 9 on other leg
  12. Repeat #10 w/ legs closer together
  13. Seated pigeon/figure 4 (sit on chair and cross one ankle over other thigh, hinge torso forward over crossed leg)
  14. Still sitting in chair, hands reach behind you to hold chair back, arch spine, looking upward
  15. Standing cat/cow (stand and lean forward, hands on thighs, arch and round spine)
  16. Stand and take a deep breath, reaching arms overhead

Steady Walk is 50:35 minutes (65:13 minutes with warm up and active recovery). This workout is approximate 3 miles and it is chaptered by mile. You are marching in place between many of the moves. There are also arm movements with most of the moves even if it isn’t mentioned in the breakdown. Occasionally Jessica does a move with impact but she always mentions it is optional. I did Fast Walk (below) before I did this walk. Fast Walk is supposed to be more intense than this walk and, I since I didn’t find Fast Walk terribly intense, I decided I needed something to make this walk more intense. I wore my 8 pound weighted vest for this walk. Even with the 8 pound vest this was a low intensity walk. For me at least. According to my FitBit I did burn 466 calories and walked 5672 steps but looking at the graph, I spent as much time in my fat burning zone as I did in my cardio zone, and I never got high in my cardio zone. However, if you just need to move, burn some calories and get some cardio in–but without anything super intense or complicated, then this is the walk for you. I did the “play all” option that contains the warm up and the active recovery, and it is a pretty long walk. I’ve done most if not all of Jessica’s other walks available on DVD and this was probably one of the least enjoyable for me.

  1. March in place
  2. Step out wide to narrow
  3. Hamstring curls, reach arms forward and pull elbows back behind you; changes to double hamstring curls
  4. March in place
  5. Step side to side; 2 steps to the side and back
  6. Repeat #1 & 2
  7. Repeat #5
  8. March with legs wide
  9. Repeat #3
  10. March forward and back
  11. Step side to side with alternating large arm circles
  12. Repeat #10 & 11
  13. Double side steps
  14. Repeat #10; changes to jog forward and back
  15. Repeat #3
  16. Alternating toe taps behind you
  17. Tap one foot back + 3 fast triple steps
  18. Repeat #16
  19. Step forward then back with same foot; triple step to change legs, repeat on other leg
  20. Side steps traveling forward and backward
  21. Repeat #2
  22. Step side to side; changes to lateral skaters
  23. Hamstring curls with legs close together
  24. Alternating knee lifts to the front
  25. Repeat #23 & 24 several more times
  26. Repeat #22
  27. Repeat #24 traveling forward and back
  28. Jog forward and back
  29. Alternating heel digs, heels angle out on a diagonal; changes to double heel digs (still alternating sides); add a hop while pushing arms overhead/to the side
  30. 4 lateral steps in each direction, do a partial squat with each step; changes to 2 lateral steps in each direction
  31. Step side to side
  32. Repeat #29
  33. 2 lateral steps in each direction with a partial squat with each step
  34. Repeat #2
  35. Alternating toe taps behind you; add alternating large arm circles, rotating torso toward arm as it circles
  36. Repeat #33; add goal post chest fly arms
  37. Step side to side
  38. V step forward and back
  39. V step backward and forward
  40. Repeat #38 & 39
  41. Repeat #36
  42. Wide leg alternating hamstring curls
  43. Wide leg alternating knee raises; add raising arms overhead then bringing them down to frame knee as it raises
  44. March forward and backward
  45. Repeat #42 & 43
  46. 2 side steps; changes to grapevines
  47. Alternate tapping foot in front of you; changes toe tapping on a diagonal to opposite side
  48. March in place with arms extended overhead in a Y, pull elbows down behind you
  49. Repeat #46
  50. Grapevine variation crossing foot in front
  51. Repeat #47 & 48
  52. 2 side steps
  53. Grapevine crossing foot in back then grapevine crossing foot in front (alternate these two variations)
  54. Step side to side traveling forward and backward
  55. Double side steps with large single arm circles; changes to single side steps
  56. Repeat #42
  57. Alternate tapping leg out to side
  58. Repeat #55
  59. Repeat #42
  60. Lateral skaters swinging arms side to side
  61. March or jog forward and back
  62. Step side to side with large alternating arm circles while traveling forward and back
  63. Repeat #60
  64. Repeat #57
  65. Alternate tapping feet behind you; add alternating chest fly arms, turn chest/arms in the direction of the leg you are tapping back; changes to doubles (2 each side, alternate sides)
  66. Double side steps on a diagonal; add pushing arms overhead in the direction you are stepping
  67. Repeat #2
  68. March or jog forward and back
  69. Repeat #2
  70. Grapevine variation–each step is also a knee raise
  71. V step forward and back
  72. Wide leg hamstring curls traveling forward and back
  73. Face the side and do side steps, head/torso is angled forward and hands are in guard, do double front punches each time you step forward
  74. Stand keeping heels on floor do alternating toe taps
  75. Repeat #73 facing the other direction and punching w/ the other arm
  76. Step side to side while punching both arms overhead
  77. March forward and back with alternating punches to the front
  78. Wide leg alternating knee raises, arms are in guard, rotate torso toward knee as it raises; add a cross punch w/ opposite arm when knee raises
  79. Double wide leg knee raises, arms pull down to knee when it raises
  80. Repeat #77
  81. Repeat #79
  82. March forward and backward, taking deep breaths and reaching arms out to sides and overhead
  83. Stand with legs wide and do alternating toe taps with shoulder rolls

Fast Walk is 43:43 minutes (58:21 minutes with warm up and active recovery). This workout is approximate 3 miles. You are marching in place between many of the moves. There are also arm movements with the majority of the moves even if it isn’t mentioned in the breakdown. When the move becomes high impact, you can always remain at the earlier low impact version of the move. This cardio walk was more intense than the Steady Walk (above). You are not only moving at a faster pace, but you are doing intervals. Not HIIT (high intensity interval training) level intervals, but you move from low intensity, to higher intensity to highest intensity. You cycle through these 3 levels the entire workout. When you are at the highest intensity, you have the option to go high impact. I did the “play all” option of this workout that contains the warm up and active recovery. I followed Jessica, going high impact when she did. According to my FitBit I burned 461 calories and walked 4709 steps. I never went into my peak heart rate zone. I spend the majority of the workout in my cardio zone except during the warm up and cool down. This was a solid and fun cardio workout.

  1. March in place
  2. March forward and back
  3. Repeat #1
  4. Jog in place
  5. Repeat #1
  6. Alternate tapping legs out to side; add single arm jumping jack arms, alternate sides (half jacks–do a single arm jack arm while also tapping same side leg out to side, alternate sides)
  7. Jumping jacks
  8. Repeat #4
  9. Repeat #6 & 7
  10. Repeat #1
  11. Step side to side
  12. Double side steps
  13. Repeat #11
  14. Wide leg hamstring curls
  15. Lateral skaters bringing arms hip to hip
  16. Repeat #11, circle arms overhead bringing them down to your hip
  17. Repeat #15
  18. Repeat #12
  19. Repeat #1
  20. Alternating high knee raises; reach arms overhead and pull them down to knee when it raises; travel forward and back
  21. Alternating low front kicks
  22. 2 high knee raises same leg, alternate legs, reach arms overhead and pull them down to knee when it raises
  23. Continue #2 but add a hop with each knee raise
  24. Repeat first part of #20
  25. Repeat #1 & 2
  26. Repeat #23
  27. March or jog forward and back while pushing arms overhead
  28. Repeat #1
  29. Repeat #14
  30. Step side to side on a diagonal 4 steps forward and 4 steps backward
  31. Repeat #14
  32. 2 hamstrings same leg, alternate legs
  33. Repeat #14 while traveling forward and back
  34. Repeat #12
  35. Double hop shuffles to side with large arm circles
  36. Repeat #11 & 12
  37. Repeat #35
  38. Repeat #12
  39. Repeat #11
  40. Repeat #1
  41. Walk in a circle
  42. Repeat #4
  43. Jog forward and back
  44. Jog forward and back on a diagonal
  45. Alternate tapping legs out to sides but on a diagonal to the front; add single arm jack arms (see #6)
  46. Repeat #44
  47. Repeat #45
  48. Jumping jacks, each jack you turn to the side on a diagonal
  49. Repeat #44
  50. Forward V steps
  51. Repeat #11
  52. Repeat #12
  53. Lateral skaters pushing one arm down across body, alternate arms
  54. Repeat #12
  55. Repeat #53
  56. Double side steps crossing one foot behind the other on second step skater style, pushing one hand across body when foot crosses back
  57. Repeat #53
  58. Repeat #14
  59. Repeat #53
  60. Repeat #14
  61. Repeat #11
  62. Repeat #2
  63. March or jog in place
  64. March with legs wide
  65. Alternating wide leg knee raises; reach arms overhead then bring opposite arm down to knee when leg raises
  66. Repeat #14
  67. Repeat #64
  68. Wide leg double knee raises, alternate legs, reach arms overhead and pull them down to leg when knee raises
  69. Repeat #65
  70. Repeat #68
  71. Alternating toe taps to the back, punch both arms overhead when tapping foot back
  72. Repeat #43
  73. Repeat #71
  74. Scissor runs punching arms overhead
  75. Repeat #21
  76. Repeat #1
  77. Repeat #11
  78. Repeat #30
  79. Repeat #11
  80. Alternating low cross over kicks
  81. Repeat #33
  82. Repeat #11 & 12
  83. Double side steps punching arms overhead then pulling them down; changes to a shuffle hop
  84. Side step side to side punching arms overhead
  85. Repeat #83
  86. Repeat #41
  87. Repeat #11
  88. Repeat #14
  89. Repeat #11
  90. Repeat #1 & 2
  91. Repeat #11 &12
  92. March or jog in place, raise arms overhead in a V then lower arms to sides in an upside down V
  93. Repeat #43
  94. Repeat #32
  95. Repeat #11

11 thoughts on “Walk a 5K (The Fun Way)

    1. Hi Amy! No, I do not have any plans at this time to do Jessica’s Lift & Shift. I may change my mind after doing her Strong + Centered strength workouts, but we’ll see!


  1. Good Friday to you!

    This looks like a really good low-key routine to do on rest days or when you need a “break” from crazy workouts. Thanks for posting it!

    Today I did Heather’s Day 48 LB supersets which I think you reviewed recently as well. Good workout! She kinda kicked it up a notch cardio-wise towards the end. 😉 I tacked on a 20 min glute band workout from Sydney which totally fatigued my butt. I started out with my gray band but a few min in I had to switch to pink. I figured I could use some extra stretch love in my hips so after the cooldown I did one of Sarabeth’s yin style pigeon pose vids. That one felt really good!

    I was thinking back to what you said the other day about Heather recycling her warmups and cooldowns for H2.0. I guess I didn’t pay close attention but I felt like they started feeling kinda familiar … and that is why! Wearing the same outfit for a series helps hide the recycling, I suppose.


    1. Yes, I did that one a month ago: https://2lazy4gym.com/2022/05/20/lower-body-supersets-workout-day-48-hr12week-2-0/

      I am positive Heather recorded everything in advance. In her intro to the 12 Week program it says there are almost 400 different exercises. I think she filmed all of the exercises, plus 5-7 warm ups and 5-7 stretches. Then she and her crew (I am sure she has a crew–online sources estimate she makes something like $500,000+ a year from her YouTube videos) pieced together 60 different workouts using everything she filmed in advance. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Jillian Michaels did the exact same thing with her app–and she is charging you for it! Jillian has even more exercises. You can create some personalized comprehensive workouts on Jillian’s app using that method. My only complaint was the appropriateness of some of the warm ups/stretches with the workout they are paired with. I KNOW (from doing over 40 of these workouts) that the appropriate warm and stretch exists in the collection!


      1. Yeah, there was more than one time where I thought “that was a weird warmup (or cooldown) for the vid” after I was done.

        Remember I mentioned that I pulled a muscle in my back by sneezing? I don’t think it’s a muscle. I think it’s a pinched nerve. It runs down the right side of my spine from mid to lower back. I sneezed this morning and was brought to my knees by instant pain. I was sitting in my desk chair and gingerly leaned back because that chair allows for some excellent back bend stretching and I heard/felt a series of crrrrr-ACK and I felt better. Still very ginger with it for sure but no longer waddling and in pain. I see the surgeon Monday about my elbow so I’ll bring up my back while I’m at it.


      2. That sounds painful! When I had bronchitis all of my coughing made me pull an ab muscle–it hurt for days! I hope your surgeon can help you get some relief!


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