Fusion Flow & Glow

Fusion Flow & Glow 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 (those should post the beginning of August). I have already reviewed Walk a 5K (The Fun Way) and Stretch + Relax.

Fusion Flow & Glow contains three 30 minute workouts and one 13 minute core bonus. It is set in a bright studio with huge windows. In the back corner of the room behind Jessica is a small sculpture/statue of a white French bulldog, which I am sure honors the late Peanut😢. During the intro, Jessica says these workouts fuse together elements of barre, yoga and pilates with more traditional strength exercises, giving you a low impact way to build strength and stamina. I found these all effective workouts and, depending on your training philosophy, this type of strength training may be all you need. I like to lift heavier dumbbells so I used these workouts as recovery day warm up workouts before doing some deep stretching/yoga. None of these workouts will burn a lot of calories–just FYI–but they will give you strength, mobility, core and flexibility work. Each one of them (even the core bonus!) will work your entire body.

Full Body Flow is 30:43 minutes; 4:50 minute warm up and 3:20 minute cool down/stretch. Equipment: gliding devices and a sturdy chair. Jessica shows variations for doing the exercises without disks and also for doing the exercises without a chair. You do not use the disks for the warm up. This is one of Jessica’s creeper workouts. It doesn’t seem too hard until it does. And it all depends on whether you take a move to its most advanced level or stay at an easier level (or continue to use the modification that Jessica starts with). I did all of the moves at their most advanced level and I did start to feel it! The plank slide moves especially. I say that with the caveat that this is not an advanced workout–even when doing the exercises at their more advanced level. Depending on the level you chose to do this workout at, it can range anywhere from beginner to intermediate. Personally, I didn’t find this terribly intense. My FitBit shows I spent the majority of the workout in my fat burn heart rate zone with a few spikes into the low end of my cardio zone (that was during the sliding planks at the end). But that’s okay because today is my recovery day. So this served as a warm up before I did a session of deep Yin Yoga. This workout works very well for that purpose, for me at least. I got some nice deep movement in before a deep stretch session.

  1. Stand with front of feet on disks and heels on floor, turn heels in so they touch then turn heels out (internal and external rotation)
  2. Front of feet still on disks, heels are together and toes turned out, lower into plie squats
  3. Stand with feet parallel (and still on disks), hinge torso forward then straighten (deadlift style); add reaching arms down toward feet when hinging forward then pushing straight arms behind you when straightening
  4. Stand with feet parallel (and still on disks), all of your weight is in one foot, slide one leg out to side then back in
  5. Same starting position as #4, keep one leg extended to side, balancing on other leg, tap toe to floor in front of disk then tap toe to floor behind disk, lift leg between taps
  6. Repeat #4 & 5 on other leg
  7. Face seat of chair, disks are still under the front of feet, place hands on chair seat and slide feet out so you are in straight arm plank and hold briefly before sliding feet back into chair and standing, reaching arms out to sides and overhead
  8. (move away from chair) Stand with feet parallel and still on disks, alternate sliding one leg out to side
  9. Slide step to side while sliding other foot across and behind that foot, alternate sides (skater/cross-back move)
  10. Same position as #9, all of your weight is in one leg, other leg slides to side then slides back behind other leg; add swinging both arms down in front of the body and up to the side
  11. Repeat #10 on other leg
  12. Combine #9, 10 & 11, sliding one foot to side and behind other foot then back then changing sides
  13. Stand with feet parallel and still on disks, lower into a partial squat and pulse down; add large figure 8 arms, crossing arms in front of you then extending them out to sides of body
  14. Same starting position as #13, do one pulse squat then slide one leg behind you, alternate sides with a pulse squat between each side
  15. Standing cat/cows (hands on thighs, arch and round spine)
  16. Slide step side to side
  17. Continue #16 but angle body on a diagonal; in this position, stop the slide steps and put all of your weight into the front leg, slide the back leg in and out, reaching both arms overhead then chop them down to back leg
  18. Repeat #16 & 17
  19. Repeat #16
  20. Step off sliders, stand with legs wide and toes turned out, raise and lower into wide plie squats; add 3 pulses at bottom of each squat
  21. Side to side toe taps with wide legs and arms extended to sides in a T; changes to one wide plie squat and when you stand, rotate torso to one side while also raising one arm overhead while tapping same side toe, alternate sides with a wide plie squat between each side
  22. Return to wide plie squats with 3 pulses at bottom of each squat, arms are extended to sides in a T when in squat and when you straighten, raise arms to sides and overhead; continue this move but remove the pulses
  23. Side to side toe taps with shoulder rolls and wrist circles
  24. Face seat of chair, disks are under the front of feet again, bend knees and hinge torso forward, pulse down in partial squat while also raising straight arms behind you and pulsing them upward
  25. Repeat #7
  26. Hold plank
  27. Repeat #24 but with arms raised slightly higher to sides (lower than a T), you are also reaching hands toward each other behind you when pulsing
  28. Repeat #7 but when you slide feet out to plank, slide legs open wide then slide them back together before sliding them back into chair (or hands, Jessica is now doing this one with her hands on the floor rather than the chair)
  29. Repeat #27
  30. Repeat #7 but when you are in plank, do sliding mountain climbers on an angle–both knees are aiming toward opposite elbow (you only do one rep of the slide outs but that is because you hold plank doing mountain climbers for a while)
  31. Repeat #27
  32. Repeat #30 aiming knees in the other direction
  33. Repeat #27
  34. Hold plank and slide feet in and out under body; continue this move but when you slide legs out, slide them out to one side of body, alternate sides
  35. Repeat #27

Fusion Flow Sculpt is 31:02 minutes; 4:30 minute warm up and 1:20 minute stretch. Equipment: light dumbbells (3-10 pounds) and one sliding disk. Jessica does not share the weight of her hand weights but they looked very light. I used 5 pound hand weights for everything. This was appropriate for most of the exercises (for me) but for others it was too light. However, there is no time to swap out weights and no way to know you need to until the exercise is already in progress. I am clearly spoiled by the YouTube workouts I do where I get a preview of an exercise before doing it. It frustrates me to waste time on an exercise that isn’t challenging me in some way. But other than a few of the upper body exercises, I did find this to be a challenging workout. My lower body started burning out a few times and I even felt the burn in my upper body a few times. And many of the exercises are balance challenges as well. Jessica says it helps to be barefoot. This is not possible for me due to having screws and plates in my heels but I wore my flexible yoga shoes so I had more mobility. I had to have a chair nearby for a few of the moves.

  1. Stand w/ one DB in each hand and sliding disk under one foot, slide leg with disk behind you, hinge torso forward and pulse leg out further then back in (you will remain in split stance the whole time)
  2. Same position as #1, but bring leg with disk in front of you, the majority of your weight is in the back leg (the one w/out a sliding disk), push hips back into a single leg squat and pulse deeper, disk foot slides out further at bottom of pulse
  3. Combine #1 & 2, one rep of each, sliding leg forward and back with a deeper range of motion
  4. Wide leg plie squat (no sliding disk), DBs are raised to shoulders, do wide plie squats pushing DBs overhead at top of squat
  5. Repeat #1-3 on other side of body
  6. Do wide plie squats (no sliding disk) lowering DBs to thighs when in squat and raising them to shoulder level in a at top of squat
  7. Stand w/ disk under one foot, elbows are bent at 90 degrees with arms close to sides, slide foot out to side while also pushing DBs straight in front of you, pull elbows back to start when sliding leg back in
  8. Bring legs together (no sliding disk) and lower into a partial squat, pulse hips back, extend arms/DBs in front of you w/ palms facing each other, open arms out to sides w/ elbows slightly bent, bringing shoulders together (this is an upper back exercise)
  9. Balance on one leg with other leg extended out to side, toe touching floor, raise the leg while flexing the foot then tap the floor again pointing the toe
  10. Hold both DBs together in one hand, extend same side foot w/ disk under it behind you, slide leg behind you while reaching DBs toward ground and when you slide back in, row DBs up, pulling elbow up behind you
  11. Repeat #7-10 on other side of body
  12. Stand with one leg extended out to side and sliding disk under foot, slide disk in front of you then back out to side, do tricep kickbacks when foot is in front of you, palms are facing behind you
  13. Balance on one leg, extend one leg in front of you, lift straight arms behind you, pulse straight arms upward behind you while also pulsing leg extended in front of you upward (toe is pointed, leg is straight)
  14. Bring heels together, toes turned out, do plie squats while also doing wide bicep curls (elbows close to sides, arms turned out to sides); remain in partial plie squat and pulse downward, arms are raised halfway in bicep curl pulsing DBs upward
  15. Bring legs together, lower into squat while also reaching arms/DBs down in front of you with palms facing toward body, and when you rise out of squat, raise onto toes while also pulling elbows behind you while rotating DBs so palms face the ceiling (arms also remain close to sides)
  16. Repeat #12 & 13 on other side of body
  17. Repeat #14 & 15
  18. (set DBs aside) Stand with sliding disk under one foot, hands behind head and elbows extended out to sides, slide foot in front of you while rotating shoulders/elbow to side (same side as sliding leg), hips remain facing forward
  19. Stand with sliding disk under one foot, hinge forward sliding disk out behind you, both arms are extended in front of you reaching for floor, slide leg in while pulling elbow of opposite arm up behind you and rotating torso to look to side
  20. Sliding disk is still under one foot, slide foot out behind you and hinge torso forward, front leg is bent and both hands are on thigh, slide disk in while rounding spine
  21. Repeat #18-20 on other side of body
  22. Stand w/ sliding disk under one foot, slide foot back into Warrior 1 and hold; hinge torso forward, raise back leg off disk into Warrior 3, arms draw large circles
  23. Continue balancing on one leg, bring other leg in front of you with knee bent, holding onto foot, pull foot up in line with hip
  24. Repeat #22 & 23 on other side of body

Core Strength and Stretch is 32:01 minute; since this is a flexibility and strength workout, there is no dedicated warm up or stretch. Equipment: fitness mat and 2 gliding disks. This was a really nice workout. Nothing advanced or difficult but I definitely felt all of the exercises. This workout contains flexibility work, core work, strength work and some range of motion work for your entire body. #20 below really surprised me. It is has been a long time since I have used sliding disks regularly but I do remember that they can make some exercises very challenging. I do so much glute and hamstring work with Caroline Girvan’s workouts that I did not expect the bridge slides (where you slide both legs out and in) to be so challenging. Now, I know from doing them in the past that they are challenging, but as I said, I work my hamstrings and glutes so hard these days, I really thought that move would be easier. But nope, it still burned my hamstrings! Jessica hits everything in this workout in some fashion and works the entire core–front, sides and back.

  1. Sit cross-leg on mat (Jessica has her mat folded in half), place hands on knees, arch and round spine
  2. Still sitting cross-leg, do side stretches, reaching one arm overhead and to other side
  3. Get on hands and knees and do cat/cow
  4. Still on hands and knees, toes are on disks (and disks are on floor rather than mat), extend one arm in front of you while sliding opposite leg behind you (bird dog variation), raise leg off disk and circle both the ankle and the wrist
  5. Repeat #3
  6. (remove feet from disks) Downward facing dog; pedal heels
  7. Flow between downward facing dog and beast pose (on hands and toes, with knees bent and elevated a few inches off the floor)
  8. Repeat the bird dog variation from #4, but slide leg/arm in and out
  9. On knees and forearms, round and arch spine
  10. Child’s pose
  11. In a straight arm knee plank, circle hips
  12. Repeat #10
  13. In forearm plank with arms on mat and feet on disks (and disks are on floor rather than the mat), slide body forward and back (plank saw)
  14. Clamshell (lay on side on mat, knees bent in front of you at 90 degrees, top hand behind head, open and close top leg); raise top leg, tap top knee to bottom knee keeping foot of top leg raised then open knee again tapping toes together
  15. Lay on side, bottom leg is bent in front of you at 90 degrees, top leg is extended straight and pushed behind you on a diagonal, draw circles with top leg
  16. Lay on back, knees are bent and feet are close to glutes, heels are on sliding disks, elbows are pressed into the mat beside you, raise hips and keep them raised, alternate sliding feet out and back in (disks are on floor not mat)
  17. Repeat #13
  18. Repeat #14 & 15 on other side of body
  19. Repeat #16
  20. Same starting position as #16, raise hips, slide both legs out, slide legs back in then lower hips
  21. Lay on back, extend both legs straight to ceiling, feet are flexed, heels are together with toes turned out, open legs, drawing a circle with the legs, bringing heels together and raising feet back to ceiling; point toes and reverse the direction of the circle
  22. Lay on back, arms extended overhead, legs are extended straight with heels on gliding disks, bring arms down to knees while crunching upper body and sliding feet in towards glutes; this changes to a full sit up, lift torso upright, raising both arms overhead and sliding heels in closer to glutes; remain at top of sit up, lean torso back slightly while sliding heels out slightly then return to start/upright; add rotating torso/shoulders to side when sliding heels out while also bringing both arms down outside of thighs, alternate sides
  23. Lay on stomach on mat, disks are on floor in front of mat and hands are on disks, slide arms out away from body while also opening arms out into a wide V, then pull arms back in to start; open arms out to sides pulling elbows behind you, then slide disks back in front of you bringing disks together
  24. Still laying on stomach, bend one knee, toe pointed, raise knee off mat and pulse foot upward
  25. Lay on stomach on mat, disks are on floor in front of mat and hands are on disks, slide one arm in front of you then out to side in a big circle, alternate arms; continue but reverse the direction of the circles; continue but do both arms at the same time
  26. Child’s pose
  27. Lay on back, pull knees into chest, with one hand on each knee, circle legs/hips
  28. Lay on back, legs raised and knees bent at 90 degrees, palms push against thighs; extend one arm overhead while extending same side leg out straight in line with hips, alternate sides
  29. Lay on back, extend both legs straight to ceiling, feet are flexed, heels are together with toes turned out, bend knees keeping heels together then push them up to ceiling while lifting hips into a reverse crunch
  30. Lay on back with hands behind head, one knee is bent with heel on glider, one leg is extended straight, knees are in line with each other, bend knee of straight leg bringing it into chest while leg on glider extends straight, bring opposite elbow to knee
  31. Lying spinal twist
  32. Repeat #30 & 31 on other side of body
  33. Figure 4/reclining pigeon stretch
  34. Still lying on back, cross the legs with thighs together, arms are crossed in eagle arms, extend arms overhead as far as you can while extending crossed legs away from you, then bring bottom elbow to top knee while also crunching upper body
  35. Repeat #33 & 34 on other side of body
  36. Lay on back with knees bent and feet on floor, arms are on floor in a goalpost with sliding disks under the backs of your hands, slide arms overhead then slide them back to goalpost
  37. Lay on back with knees bent and feet on floor, arms are on floor in a goalpost, rotate bent legs side to side windshield wiper style while also raising hands/forearms while keeping triceps/elbows on floor and trying to bring arms down into upside down goalpost
  38. Lay on back in corpse pose

Bonus: Pilates Ball Core is 13:39 minutes. Equipment: pilates ball or pillow and a fitness mat. This was a great little add on workout. I felt it everywhere throughout my core and in my upper body. I did this after a tough upper body strength workout so I really felt the exercises at the end (#8 & 9 below) in my shoulders. The ball really recruits lower body muscles when you have it squeezed between your knees. So it is an excellent all around finisher workout, hitting your core hard but also your upper and lower body. Perfect to add it on to the end of an upper body, a lower body or a total body workout.

  1. Lay back on mat with ball under upper back, knees are bent and feet on mat, hands are behind head, lift shoulders in upper body crunch and pulse upward; changes to full crunches
  2. Still laying on back, knees bent, ball between knees, raise heels so you are on toes, pulse thighs together against ball
  3. Lean back onto elbows/forearms, ball is still between knees, with knees bent at 90 degrees, raise legs off mat and draw a figure 8 with bent legs; changes to lowering legs then bringing them in to chest
  4. Lay on back on mat, ball is under small of back, scissor legs; add a pulse each time you pull knee into chest
  5. Same starting position as #4, keeping legs together, do a small hip lift/reverse crunch; straighten legs when lifting hips
  6. Still laying on back, knees bent, ball between knees, raise heels so you are on toes, raise and lower hips in bridge; keep hips lifted and pulse them upward
  7. Lay back on mat with ball under upper back, knees are bent and feet on mat, hands are behind head, lift shoulders in upper body crunch, angling one elbow toward opposite knee, alternate sides; pulse one elbow toward opposite knee
  8. Lay on stomach with arms extended in front of you and ball under hands, pull shoulders back while lifting chest then lower back to start (you are rolling the ball forward and back when doing this); keep chest lifted and pull shoulders back then release (you are not rolling the ball)
  9. Still laying on stomach, put ball behind one knee, knee is bent to hold ball in place, lift knee off mat and pulse foot upward toward ceiling
  10. Forearm/elbow plank with ball between knees, tilt pelvis forward pushing body forward with toes while also rounding back then return to start
  11. Sit cross-leg, ball is beside you with same side hand on ball, reach other arm overhead and to other side while rolling ball away from you to deepen the stretch
  12. Still sitting cross-leg, place fingertips on mat behind you and arch spine

3 thoughts on “Fusion Flow & Glow

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