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Old 03-05-02, 05:53 PM  
cynth64935
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Texas
How does one learn how to step?

How long does it take to learn how to step?? I got a really bad old copy of Leslie Sansone's Basic Stepping with Walk Aerobics from Half.Com. I watched it first just like it said. Then I tried to do the tape. I got about half way through it (but was always like a step or two behind the cast and Leslie) and then she turned side ways on it and I slid off of the blasted step and hurt my foot a little (nothing serious and I will live). I had just the step down without the risers on it (have no idea how tall that is). I liked the fact I was sweating and all (a good sweat) but I felt like I was going to fall of the step when I was doing it. I guess I am a klutz. Good thing I didn't just jump into doing the firm stuff. I would have broken my neck on the fanny lifter and probably my fanny as well. I got also the Kathy Smith Powerstep and the other step videos. Does it just take time or what? I guess I am just frustrated besides being fat and forty.
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Old 03-05-02, 05:57 PM  
Rainy L.
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Hi, Cindy--
What kind of step do you have? That might help us to understand why you were sliding off of it.

Of course, it takes a little practice and some experience, but I'm here to tell you that it can be learned fairly quickly, even by a fellow clutz like me. Some of it is just getting used to the vocabulary. Did you try watching the tape before "jumping in?"

More later--I have taters to tend.
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Old 03-05-02, 06:11 PM  
cynth64935
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Texas
It says "The Step" on the side and it is a strange green color with hot pinkish risers. Yes, I did watch the video first. Okay I will try again. I can dance but I am having trouble with this step stuff. It is hard to watch the people's feet on the video and watch my own at the same time. I am also scaring my animals (cat and dog) out of the room when I try to step. But I will give it another try.
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Old 03-05-02, 07:40 PM  
Lenore Levine
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Join Date: Nov 2001
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You'll get used to it.

I felt overwhelmed the first time I tried to use a step. It seemed impossible. However, I stuck with it, and I can now do Basic Stepping all the way through (and yes, I do think it's a very good video for a first-time stepper).

Once I got good shoes (yes, this does make a difference), I gradually got used to the step choreography. This will happen sooner than you think; you just need to get the pathways etched in your brain. I would now be comfortable with most "basic" step choreography.

The intensity, however, is another problem. Because I'm moderately fat and have very short legs in relation to my height, stepping is incredibly intense for me. I find even Basic Stepping gets my heart rate up just about as much as any low-impact floor aerobics workout there is.

May I suggest another tape? Kathy Smith's Great Buns and Thighs Step Workout is in three parts. You're not going to be able to do all of the first part, but you should be able to do the second (stepping mixed with strength work), and the third (just strength work). Also, the FIRM's Classics #6 and Cardio Sculpt have stepping intermixed with other work, so the intensity doesn't destroy you.

Oh, a final suggestion: Are you starting out on a 4" step? You really don't need more than that. Trust me.
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Old 03-05-02, 08:08 PM  
Rainy L.
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Ah, yes. Good point about the shoes. They can grip the carpet, but still slip on the hard step.

Cindy, the benefits of step work are so many that you'll be happy that you learned it--and you will.

Try to figure out on which side the instructor tends to begin, and then listen to the cues for right and left, rather than watching the feet. Sometimes the weird mirror/not mirror thing about videos throws people off.

Stick with it, and keep us updated!
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Old 03-05-02, 09:04 PM  
Vintage VFer
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a helpful hint...

I've only been stepping for a few years. I am a klutz. One thing that really helped (and still helps) is to ignore the arm movements. Just try to follow the legs. Once you learn the steps you can learn the arm stuff.

Just try to learn one section at a time. Then it won't seem so overwhelming. It wasn't easy for me and I almost gave up. I'm still not great at choreo, but I have some step workouts I really enjoy. Kathy's Great Buns & Thighs is one of them. And I am able to to a few of Cathe's. (It took me 3 months to learn Step Heat.) Don't give up!
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Old 03-05-02, 10:14 PM  
Kimberly33
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Re: How does one learn how to step?

Quote:
Originally posted by cynth64935
How long does it take to learn how to step?? I got a really bad old copy of Leslie Sansone's Basic Stepping with Walk Aerobics from Half.Com. I watched it first just like it said. Then I tried to do the tape. I got about half way through it (but was always like a step or two behind the cast and Leslie) and then she turned side ways on it and I slid off of the blasted step and hurt my foot a little (nothing serious and I will live).
. . .
Does it just take time or what? I guess I am just frustrated besides being fat and forty.
If this is your first time stepping, especially if you haven't been working out, I think you did FINE! This is a new skill, and it will take a little while to develop it--but if you keep trying, you will. You may just want to PLAN on only doing about half of the tape. That way, you can gain your confidence, get a workout, and prevent some of the frustration. When you plan to do the entire tape, and find yourself stopping, it's easy to feel as though you've failed. If you plan on only doing half, and get there and decide to quit, you haven't failed--you've kept to your plan. If you decide to continue on, it's a bonus.

If you're like me, you want to be fit (and thin) NOW. I can be a real perfectionist, and have really undermined myself in the past because of that. It's a real trick to set yourself up to succeed rather than fail. I'm currently learning the value of BABY STEPS (thank you, FLYlady--www.flylady.net--a site that teaches some of us how to keep our home ordered and clean). If you workout for only 10-15 minutes, you're still doing better than when you weren't working out. Sure, you eventually want to work up to more, but if you try to do too much now, your frustration and feelings of failure can overwhelm you. If you plan baby steps, it's easy to succeed, and success breeds success. You feel better about yourself, and it becomes easier to take care of yourself.

I'm sorry if I sound really preachy, but I'm so glad that you've made the decision to start on the path to fitness, and I hope that you don't get too discouraged or frustrated. I think you'll find lots of encouragement and support here at VF.

Good job and good luck!
Be well,
Kimberly
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Old 03-05-02, 11:05 PM  
wickdirish
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What I do

Cindy,

You have gotten some really great advice here, and I enjoyed reading the responses too because I am also pretty new.

What has been working for me is I learn the tape on the floor first, and then when I am comfortable that I can follow it, I move up to the step. Maybe that's not the correct way to do it, but for me it builds my confidence.

Good luck and keep up the good work.
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Old 03-05-02, 11:45 PM  
Nicole
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
It's essential to start out with the basics. My very first step video was Susan Powter's Burn Fat & Get Fit. Nothing fancy at all, she shows you the basic up, down, up, down, teaches you how to switch your lead foot, some knee lifts to the front and to each corner of the bench. She's the queen of telling you to go at your own pace and modifying everything to suite your needs which is the most important thing instructors need to get through to everyone. This isn't a competition, especially when we're just working out in our own living rooms with no judges! Take some time to just get comfortable with stepping and then practice a bit with no thought in your head of having to do a whole video. Think of it like play time or rehearsal for a dance routine, watch what they are doing first then try it out yourself with no pressure that you have to make it your workout for the day. That's what I do when I'm learning something new that makes me stop and look at the tv and say "what the heck did you just do??"
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Old 03-06-02, 01:32 AM  
Lenore Levine
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Susan Powter.

A lot of people really like Susan Powter's videos. On the other hand, many other people find her extremely annoying. I suggest borrowing her tapes before you buy them.

Another thing: In Leslie Sansone's Basic Stepping, you take breaks from the stepping to do floor aerobics. I'm not sure, but I don't think Powter does this. And to me, this is really essential in making a beginning step tape bearable.
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