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DVD Review: Kathy Smith's 'Staying Strong'

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The DVD Ageless with Kathy Smith: Staying Strong is Kathy's response to dealing with the physical issues that women begin to experience as they head into the menopausal and post-menopausal years.  The DVD targets strength-building to help women gain muscle and bone mass, and includes four 15-minute routines that are a quick and fun way to improve fitness.

The first 15-minute segment focuses on arm strength. Kathy hits all arm muscles with her exercises, and provides modifications as she goes through the routine.  Kathy is known for her great cueing and frequent coaching on maintaining proper form.  She's also a motivating instructor and projects lots of energy-something that can be helpful when you're struggling through those last few repetitions.
The second 15-minute segment targets legs, and Kathy starts this and every segment with an easy warm-up.  I like how she uses imagery to help assist the viewer with the exercises, as it can be a challenge to correctly follow an exercise when you're not familiar with it.  I did wonder if some of the exercises would be too challenging for a woman whose balance isn't great, and the jumping movements could be a problem for those who have incontinence issues.  

Segment three is 15 minutes of glute exercises.  For anyone who wishes for a firmer bottom, this segment doesn't disappoint.  Kathy puts the viewer through some fairly intense glute exercises that are very effective for firming and shaping.  The dips and squats could be tough for those who have knee or hip issues, and I feel Kathy could have offered more modifications with these exercises.
The last 15-minute segment focuses on the core.  I felt that this segment would be difficult for women with weak abdominal strength, low back pain, and joint issues.  I think there could have been better core exercise choices for the DVD target audience age.
There's a bonus segment that includes chair stretches-- a good option for women with balance problems.  This segment is a relaxing stretching session and, as with any of the segments, can be done on its own or as a cool down.
I give Ageless with Kathy Smith: Staying Strong a 4 out of 5.  It's classic Kathy Smith: a fun, energizing and well-rounded fitness routine.  And as long as the viewer keeps their own fitness level in mind and modifies the exercises as needed, it's a great choice for ''ageless'' women.  Kathy Smith makes 60 look really great, and that's motivation in itself!