04 September 2012

RapidFire: Results - with Susan Chung; Kickboxing Video Review

I have a large-ish collection of kickboxing videos, and decided to write up reviews of them all.

Exercise Information - While I have never taken a martial arts class, I was a ballerina for 10+ years, and this has left me with a pretty strongly wired brain for body position (my dad did take MA, and was really disgusted that my back hook kick was ALWAYS better than his ... flexibility).

I write these reviews with my background in mind.  If you are just starting out, the videos I utilize are NOT for you.  It is not that you cannot build up to the them, but without some technique you can hurt yourself, badly.

The 7 minute warm-up is adequate, and gives you an idea of what you can see in the body of the video.

This includes a lot of oldies but goodies.  Kicks - front, side, back, and roundhouse.  Punches - jab, cross, upper, and hook.

But there's also the interesting outside circle, ax, and some jump kicks.  While these are not rare, the speed at which they take place does test your endurance.  Most especially the circle and roundhouse on opposite legs combination - I just don't think my body is meant to move that quickly!  :)  I adapt by doing the roundhouse at a bit of an angle, rather than straight on.

The punching drills are not taxing on the muscles, but are on the mind.  The combos are not even in number, so you'll do a two punch/upper combo following by a three punch/upper combo.  It is only bad when you are tired and the brain is low on the thinking sugars.  I'd say half the time my punch combos look a bit sloppy, because I'd rather do even combos - so I would prefer two 1/2/3 combos than one 1/2 and one 1/2/3 combo. 

And, the elephant in the room - Chung's cueing is all over the place.  For some combos she is spot on, for some she is silent, for some she is slow or quick, and for others she counts every single one out (or so it feels).  So you cannot settle down into her cueing method, because she does not have one for this video.

I do like her tendency to indicate direction with a hand.  In my experience, teachers can be all over the place with right/left verbal indication (is it their right/left or yours?).  With a hand signal, it is hard to get wrong.

Pretty good ab routine, not hard, but hits all the majors.

You do need a dumbbell or weighted ball to get the most out of it.

Here is a situation that I can see someone really hurting his or her back if there is not enough strength to the muscles.  For her rotational movements, I'd recommend doing them unweighted for the first month of following this workout.  After that, slowly add and then raise your weights. 

Too short, but then, most of them are too brief.

I follow her direction, but take much longer per stretch 15 to 20 second minimum, 30 seconds is better.

Also, she does not stretch the quads, back, or hip flexors.

Overall, this is going on my keeper shelf for now - it is a useful, advanced kickboxing routine that could have used some polish.

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