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Kathy Smith's Kickboxing Workout

Kathy Smith, Keith Cooke, & Keli Roberts

also available on DVD

I just finished this workout and I can say I was quite impressed. I'm not a big fan of Kathy Smith (don't know why) but this was a solid kickboxing workout. Granted, it doesn't have the energy of Tae Bo, but it's a great tape to start with as a beginner kickboxer. For those more experienced it's a good tape to refine your moves. All moves are broken down and demonstrated to insure correct form. Kathy was able to do this without losing your heartrate too much. She usually demonstrates the moves at a slower pace and then speeds it up. I found I was really able to concentrate on my form while giving my all during the moves in order to keep my heartrate up there. The total workout is 45 minutes - 25 minutes is the cardio kickboxing routine. I personally like the length of this tape. It's good for an add-on to a strength day or a day when time is short and you just want to enjoy the workout. There is a 5 minute kicking drill in which you hold on to a chair and slowly do the various kicks (similar to the section in Powerkicks). This was also a good way to strenghthen your kicking muscles and perfect your form. After the cooldown stretch, there is a great ab/back stabilization section. It's a short, tough section and really works those muscles.

I would highly recommend this tape - especially for the price. It is a bonus having Keli Roberts in the video. She is sporting her new short, red doo and looks really muscular. Also in the video is Keith Cooke, who is a martial arts champion. Occasionally the screen is split and he appears - to show proper form and comment about technique. I am a big Tae Bo fan and really liked this workout too. This routine lacks the energy of Billy Blanks but it's still fun. Kathy's routines are more choreographed and probably safer - plus she always works both sides equally.

I'd give this tape an A.

Janet W.

Others have thoroughly described and outlined this workout, so I'll add my impressions. I believe that this video is an excellent introduction to kickboxing, and for those who have been doing kickboxing for a while, it's a great review of proper technique. For the advanced kickboxer it would probably be a bit repetitive, though. I am an advanced exerciser but have only been doing kickboxing for about 5 months and found this to be a great, moderate intensity workout and review of technique. For me, the workout length (45 minutes) is perfect as an add-on to strength training, when I want a challenging, fun workout but one that won't wipe me out. A beginner could take the kicks lower, and advanced people could take the kicks higher and put more energy into the punches to get a moderate workout. The warm up is nice and *very* thorough. The abs/back section is good (but a little short), and nontraditional. No crunches here (we get enough of those elsewhere)--this focuses on stabilization. I highly recommend this one, especially at the $10 price!

Instructor comments: Excellent instruction by all three instructors! For those Kathy fans who were disappointed by her er, "personality change" in her Timesaver videos, the old Kathy is back. She is enthusiastic but not forced, and is very concerned with safety and emphasis on proper form. Keith Cooke does a wonderful job of teaching punches and kicks in the introductory segment, and I especially like the split screen format during the workout where he gives further form pointers. Keli teaches some of the combos, and is her usual self with excellent form and instruction.

Kristin Aziz

WOW! I love this tape. I usually don't do a review after one workout, but I really enjoyed this. It went by so fast too. This is probably the best retail tape you can find and I am usually not a Kathy Smith fan (although I like her book) at all (Aerobox is the only tape I like and she doesn't lead it). Also surprisingly Keli Roberts, who recently released a kickboxing video, is in the tape with Keli and actual leads a little segment (as well as her co-star Keith Cooke).

First there is an instructional section that explains the different kicks and punches, but if you've kickboxed before there are also pointers in windows throughout the video by the Kickbox expert she got, Keith Cooke, who is kinda like a Keanu Reeves looking guy.

Then you have a ten minute warm-up/stretch (yes Billy could take a few lessons here). The warm up does the punches and knees in mini combos with a pretty good stretch. She also includes elbows up over the head which is one of my favorite upper body moves.

You then have a 25 minute aerobic section with lots of simple, but fun combos. Keli and Keith each teach a little segment. There are jabs, crosses, elbows, hooks, front kicks, side kicks, roundhouse AND back kicks (my fav) in various combinations. She also does boxer's weaves and shuffles. Then there is a brief cooldown and onto drills.

The drill section utilizes a straight back chair (similar to Power Kicks) and you do a lunge front kick combo on each side. These are controlled and more for flexibility and strength. Then a back kick. Switch legs and do the same thing. Onto side kicks and round house, and then other side.

She then does a pretty thorough stretch utilizing the chair. Now I have only done the tape once but it seems she forgot to stretch one hip flexor, but I could be wrong (like I said only done it once).

Then she has a "bonus" five minute segment of back/ab stabilization strengthening. Very much like Abs and More by Keli Roberts and similar to the plank in Power Kicks. Then it's onto your hip and you do these side kick crunch things on each side, and it gets tougher when you extend your arm.

The music is pretty good. The set is a boxing ring with the ropes missing, but not dark like in Aerobox or Kick Butt with Kristoff St. John. I think this video is great for beginner through intermediate, advanced would probably need to do more power or tack this onto another tape. For $10 this is a great intro to kickboxing or a great addition to any collection IMO.

Instructor comments: Kathy is good and thorough, except I think she forgot a hip flexor stretch (see comments). I really haven't been motivated by her in videos I have tried and don't care for the set or choreography, except Aerobox but that isn't really led by her and I like it for my aggressive days he he.

Keith Cooke is the one who really teaches form and seems to be on target.

Keli teaches a small segment which is simple to learn as well.

Stephanie Bridges

Others have described the workout, so I'll add my impressions: The video is advertized as a "beginning/intermediate" level workout, and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to try kickboxing: it's the best beginning/intermediate level kickboxing workout I've seen! However, I also find it useful and effective as an intermediate/advanced (depending on the day ;-)). Kathy prepares a lot of the kicks and punches by, for example, first focusing on a hip thrust (for kicks) or the way you should turn your shoulder and hips (for a punch) before going into the full form moves. This seems to both help loosen up those body parts, and helps me focus on my form. I end up with higher kicks, and more powerful punches that use my whole body(like they are supposed to!). At an Intermediates/advanced level, this video is especially useful as an "add-on" after doing weight work, or combined with another video (the workout seems a bit short otherwise). The ending ab and back work is at beginning level for the most part, though there are some lying side kick moves that I found to be more intense. The first back exercise, a plank move, could be intensified by remaining in an elevated position on both toes while Kathy cues raising and lowering opposite legs.

After getting a taste of how Kathy does a beginning/intermediate kickboxing tape, I'm waiting for her to come out with an intermediate/advanced version!

Instructor comments: Kathy Smith is still one of my favorite instructors, and I wish she would make more advanced videos. She's a great role model for us "over 40" exercisers, and looks fabulous in this video.

Kathryn Bulver

I really like this video. It's a short enough workout that I can do before a strengh workout without wiping me out. I use it to crosstrain with high intensity step videos. I like that the workout is mostly low impact yet it does get your heart rate up in the training range. The video goes fast from one move to another so I never find the workout boring. This is my first kickboxing tape and I never thought I would like it so much!!

Ali A.

I really, really like this video. I just bought it last night, and this morning was my first time to actually do it (I previewed it last night), so I can't give too much info about length of segments and exact movements, but I will do what I can.

I have the original Tae-Bo series, and I love this so much more! The moves are basically all done in combination with other moves (i.e. jab-jab-cross-knee-2 side kicks). I have been feeling my shoulders and arms all morning! I really felt like I was strong while I was doing the workout. I imagined myself defeating an attacker with my fantastic martial arts moves.

One thing I hate about Tae-Bo is the music, but this video has a great beat. Very motivating. There is a great deal attention paid to safety. There is a brief lesson at the beginning and then a split screen during some of the segments to help make sure you are doing everything correctly. I also really liked the kicking drills at the end. You use a chair for balance and do all the kicks very slowly - major butt burn!

I would really recommend this to anyone who loves kickboxing, but it would be good to familiarize yourself with the moves before doing the entire workout - like Kathy says, just take it slow don't try to kick to high the first few times!

Great tape!

Instructor comments: I usually like Kathy Smith okay, sometimes she can be rather annoying, but most of the time she is bearable. She does pretty well in this video. Every now and then she will say something a little corny, but overall she is energetic, but not too much like in Timesaver series. Keli Roberts is also in this video (teaches a tiny segment) and she is a great motivator, even though she doesn't say much, her body movements and face show determination! (And if I could only have her arms!)

April H.

This is a decent workout. Others have broken it down so I won't go into details. I am an advanced exerciser, so I didn't feel that my heart rate got as high as I would like and the workout was too short, IMHO. Overall, the music was good, the combos were easy to learn, and Kathy was her usual bubbly self. So, pardon me for saying that I just couldn't really get into this tape. I usually like her stuff, so I was a little disappointed. Nothing about it stood out to me, I guess. Keli Roberts was a big shock, I didn't even recognize her! Still, its obvious she's been doing kickboxing for a while becuase she has great form. I would recommend this for beginners.

Instructor comments: Kathy is very down-to-earth and cues her moves very well. She's not the most exciting instructor out there, but her friendliness makes up for it.


I consider myself and intermediate exerciser and I LOVE this video. It's fun, it's got a lot of variety, and the cueing is excellent. I've done both Tae Bo and Powerkicks as well and this video is my favourite.

Instructor comments: I like Kathy a lot. She's very friendly and is always encouraging.

Lori Doucet
Nov 22/99

I can't believe that I actually like this video. I'm a self-proclaimed kickbox hater. I've tried and tried to like kickboxing to no avail: I hated Tae Bo, Powerkicks, etc. I've only done this workout once, but I really enjoyed it! It's more choreographed that most kickboxing tapes, but not difficult to follow. You don't stand there and kick/punch. And it's completely safe- none of those ridiculous neck rolls. The cardio section isn't long enough for my taste, so I think I'll be following it up with a half hour of step or hilo to finish off my cardio workout. It's not extremely intense, but perfect for an advanced exerciser in other areas to give kickboxing a shot. So if you hate (or are lukewarm to) kickboxing, I highly recommend this video.

Instructor comments: She was the first video instructor I tried back in high school, so she holds a special place in my heart, even though none of her workouts are advanced enough for me now. She's great: not too perky, excellent cuing and can share the spotlight with Keli Roberts and that guy (can't remember his name). Yes, she does miss a quad stretch, but that's ok, Kathy's forgiven!


This is good! I usually find Kathy Smith workouts to be a little on the dull side compared to what I normally do, but I like this one. This is an intermediate/advanced kickboxing workout. Kathy is assisted by Keith Cooke, who is a martial arts expert. He's not too bad at aerobics either! The aerobics are about 35 minutes (including the warmup), and then you do some "kicking drills" for 5 minutes. These are standing exercises similar to what Aaron Lankford does in Strong and Stretched, but not as intense. They're good, though -- you'll definitely feel the side/roundhouse kicking drills, because she does them slowly. Then comes a nice stretch, followed by a 5-minute abs/back "bonus" workout. I really would have preferred to have this before the stretch. It's a good section consisting of stabilization moves. I get a lot out of this part, too, even though it's only 5 minutes. As for the kickboxing itself, Kathy does not do long, involved combos. You do a short routine and then you move on to another. I like this style, because the long routines leave me staring at the screen in puzzlement. Kathy teaches a side kick better than anyone else I've seen. Her technique has really improved my side kicks, not only in this video, but in other kickboxing workouts, too. Keith Cooke and Keli Roberts (a cast member in the video) both teach a small routine at the end. I'm really happy with this workout. While it's not as intense as Tae Bo or Aaron Lankford, it's an excellent, well-balanced workout, and I give it an A+.

Annie S.

Kathy Smith Kickboxing. Nice production. Terrific form pointers. Great background exercisers. Fun workout. And Keli Roberts looks wonderfully Terminator-esque, here! But - and this is such a huge BUT - it didn't get me anywhere near my THZ. OFF WITH ITS HEAD!!!

I highly recommend this tape for beginners and intermediates, but not for advanced exercisers, unless they intentionally seek a low-key workout. Most say this tape is an intermediate/advanced workout, but I question that after doing this workout six times. In frustration, I donated this tape to my library. (It hasn't been seen since, so I suppose some intermediate-level librarian is having a good time with this.)

Michelle Easton
October 26, 2000

This is the first Kathy Smith tape I tried & I really love this tape. I would recommend it for B/I-depending on the level you are on. I wouldn't recommend this tape for anyone just starting to exercise. When you work your self up you really should get this tape. It has a long warm-up which gets my heart pumping in NO time. The routines are short and easy to learn due to Kathy's great cueing & the split screen instructions are a great help for your form. There is a butt section and an ab section that are great too. The cool down is perfect consisting of lying down (my kind of workout haha). The time really does fly by when I do this tape & Kathy Smith is my favorite instructor so far!!!! She is not to peppy but keeps you motivated. (She should give Denise Austin some pointers!) I give this Video & Kathy an A+++++

Peggy Dinkins 11/29/00

While I find Kathy Smith to be quite boring in almost any other of her workouts, this one really inspires me. After I do it, I feel like I could take on the world!

This video consists of alot of basic kickboxing moves, brought together in a really fun and energizing, 45 min long workout. There is also a really great ab routine and a killer stretch. Near the end, Keith Cooke and Keli Roberts also take some turns instructing. I find their sections harder to follow, but I am usually so tired by that point that I am just waiting anxiously for the stretch!

The set is like a boxing ring and gives the whole impression of actually learning kickboxing in a boxing school.

Perhaps the thing I notice most about this routine, is that my arms and abs totally feel strong afterwards. it's a really amazing feeling when that

I highly recommend this workout for a great, all-round introduction to kickboxing.

Cori (ziggy2306)

February 28, 2004

This was my first kickboxing video, and I really enjoyed it. I was a bit hesitant to try it because I don't generally like aerobics videos--I find all that "take it from the top" really boring--but I'm glad I gave this workout a chance. At the start of the video, Ketih Cooke, a well-known kickboxer, provides main instructor Kathy Smith with simple explanations of each of the punches and kicks that will be used in the workout. This brief overview was helpful, but once you learn the moves, you can skip over this part.

Following the instructive segment, Kathy Smith takes over. The workout begins with a warmup which lasts about 10 minutes. This provides the opportunity for you to get used to the movements, but don't be fooled by the "warmup" label--your heart rate will definitely be elevated during this section, and you will sweat! Next comes the 25-minute kickboxing workout. During this section, you will practice punches and kicks, starting slowly and then building up to a faster pace. Kathy was easy to follow, and she gradually worked up to basic punch-kick combinations which were simple to learn yet to fun to do. I did find myself getting pretty tired during this segment, but I was able to keep up by modifying the intensity slightly (eg, keeping my feet on the ground during the hops from side to side). At the end of this section, two short combinations are presented by Keith Cooke and another well-known instructor, Keli Roberts. I liked that these combinations were a bit different yet still easy to learn and that the repetitions of each were kept to a minimum. Throughout the workout, there were times when I felt like I might not be doing the moves exactly right, but I still enjoyed myself--all that punching and kicking felt GOOD!

After the kickboxing workout ends, there is a 5-minute section focusing on the legs and glutes. In this segment, you practice the kicks more slowly, combining them with squats and holding on to a chair for balance. This was a nice way to reinforce what you learned during the workout, and I think that continued practice of this section will help to improve my kickboxing skills. Finally, the workout ends with a 5-minute cool down performed seated in a chair. These moves provided nice stretches for the thighs and glutes (although at one point, Kathy forgets to perform a squat stretch on the opposite side), and when they were over, I felt thoroughly stretched.

I can't compare this video to Tae Bo, as I've never tried those workouts. However, I CAN say that this was a fun, high-energy video that left me feeling strong and powerful rather than exhausted. It was perfect for a kickboxing beginner like me, but it was also challenging enough to provide even non-beginners with a great workout. I'm thrilled to have finally found a cardio video that is truly enjoyable, and I look forward to doing this video as part of my regular rotation.

Instructor comments: Kathy Smith has a nice, easygoing style and provides good overall instruction. There were a few times when I thought she failed to adequately cue a change in movement, but the workout was so easy to follow along that it wasn't hard to replicate the movements after the first repetition or two.

Beth (aka toaster)
April 15, 2004

I only did the cardio portion of the shorter workout so my comments are related to that portion only.

The DVD contains "3 complete workouts" the shorter 45 minute cardio/toning routine, a longer 55 minute workout (which looked to be the same exact cardio workout plus some toning work from my preview) and a Tai Chi workout (led by Keith).

There is an active warmup/stretch. Although there are a couple of unique movement combinations, this is a typical kickbox type workout, with the usual jabs, uppercuts, kicks, etc. (this is not a bad thing)

My overall impression was that I liked this workout very much, and while it took a while to get my heart rate up there, it did get up above my upper range for a short time.

Kathy Smith leads with Keith Cooke and Keli Roberts assisting. There are 3 more background exercisers, 1 male and 2 female. Keith and the other male exerciser are wearing gym shorts and tee shirts (or tanks), the background girls are wearing long pants and tee-shirts. Kathy is wearing long pants and an exercise top. Keli's outfit is a bit distracting...kind of silky looking long baggy pants in a kind of "muddy" color...I can't even remember what top she is wearing because I tend to focus on those pants, lol (but I think it's a tee-shirt).

The set is a gym-like setting.

As I said above I liked this workout, and the cardio portion by itself is around 38 minutes.

Instructor comments: Kathy did a nice job in this workout. There were a couple of times when the cue came at the time you needed to do the move, but overall that was not a problem, and there are a few "you got it" comments, but I did not find those distracting. Keith Cooke is a martial arts person and leads a combination during the main workout. Keli Roberts (who I didn't recognize for the longest time even after they said her name, lol) also leads a combination.

Donna (New2Me)


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