23 September 2012

Review: Bodystrikes Workout Videos by Ilaria Montagnani

Bodystrikes is a lower body focused workout put out by Ilaria Montagnani.

It has some very basic kickboxing combos: front, side, and roundhouse kicks.  No punching combos.

I have not worked out to my Bodystrikes videos in quite some time, as I prefer upper and lower body combos, rather than lower body focus.  However, my shoulder was unhappy with my weight training and kickboxing from the last two workouts, and I decided to rest the upper body.  I would typically do a yoga DVD in such a "take it easy but not too easy day," but yoga requires too much upper body when you want to make sure you are resting a muscle and not further damaging it.

So I did a nice, fairly easy lower body routine with this 1st Bodystrike DVD.  It got my hear rate up, made me sweat, and worked out my legs pretty well.

Bodystrikes are not difficult workouts.  You do not stress trying to remember combinations or what comes next.  In fact, they could be described as kind of boring as far as mental stressing goes. 

It has a nice warmup.

There are four combinations to learn that you gradually add together.  She has stretching and strengthening mixed together, probably in an attempt to get you lean and mean.  However, because it mostly ignores the upper body, I wouldn't make it a regular workout.

The cool down is not long enough.  The stretches are not held long enough and the muscles that get the greatest use are not stretched at all.  Be aware of this and add you own stretches in at the end (hold for 15 seconds or longer)

 The video is approximately 45 minutes long.

Two minor irrigations:
1)  I do get frustrated by her, "One more time" and "one more time" and "I love this, just one more time" comments on a set.  If you are aware of it, you won't put your all into the first "one more time" and fully exhaust yourself to the point you can't finish the last three rounds of the set, that are also the "last" time!  This is the main reason I like counters, 8 sets to go, perfect ... I can adjust.
2)  Ilaria had to do a bit of outfit adjusting with this video.  She has muscular legs, and kept having to pull down the shorts that were determined to ride up.  I can have a similar problem, though not from the same cause!  I'm of two minds on this: "didn't you test your outfit before the video?" and "hey, free clothes are free clothes!"  If instructor adjustments bother you, this may bother you.

I noticed my weightlifting is definitely having an impact, as I could lift my legs much higher and did not exhaust like I remember.

It does work upper body on two occasions: 16 pushups in the warmup, and a squat exercise where you choose your level (squat, floor touch squat, deep lunge squat, or burpee).  I could almost keep up with the burpees, as half of my regular videos incorporate this exercise.  Neither of these movements really involve rotator cuff muscles, so I went ahead and did them, monitoring the entire time.

There are many ways to modify these exercises if you need to adjust: push-ups on the wall or a bench, 1/4 squats.

I would recommend this routine to anyone who wants a lower body specific, low impact workout.  It does go by fairly quickly, with little to no dread factor.


The link above takes you to Collage Video's condensed example of Ilaria Montagnani's Bodystrike workout.

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