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Kick Off Your Shoes and Work Out

8 Feb, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

At the end of the last year, I received an interesting DVD that immediately piqued my interest. It was willPower & Grace, a combination cardio and strength workout (my favorite kind) intended to be done barefoot.

You should know that the minute I get home (or to the homes of my family and close friends), I take my shoes off. I like being barefoot or in my fluffy slippers. So doing the willPower & Grace DVD felt totally natural to me.

The program’s creator Stacey Lei Krauss says, “You wouldn’t do push-ups with your arm in a cast, so why would you work out with your foot stuck in a sneaker?”

She believes that to be fit, it has to start with the feet. Makes sense to me.

Krauss leads the 36-minute workout, which is broken up into four minutes of footwork, specifically moving your toes, arches and feet in ways you might never have never have; seven minutes of warm up; 23 minutes of cardio, which includes some yoga-ish stretches and balance poses as well as some good strength moves; and 13 minutes of flexible strength.

No equipment is needed for this shoeless workout, which is always a plus for me. And instructions are provided for three levels of fitness — another plus for me.

However, even at level three, I wasn’t feeling as challenged as I would like. That’s not to say my heart wasn’t pumping. I just wasn’t panting and drenched with sweat with a beet-red face, like I am when I workout out with Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels.

And with the nice yoga-like moves, I can see why this DVD was voted the Best Cardio/Strength Workout to Unwind With by the Los Angeles Times at the end of last year. Being shoeless, I not only felt I was working my feet, but I felt that my feet, toes included, were helping me attain better technique and better balance.

Krauss says her workout builds better posture, balance and body awareness in addition to sculpting, strengthening and stretching. I can immediately see why.

Krauss is a great new addition to the fitness DVD world. I admire her positive energy, her strength of body and mind, and I really liked her descriptive instructions, which reminded me of the way Jane Fonda was so good at describing exercises.

She created the willPower method and she’s considered a pioneer in barefoot training methods. To order the DVD or to find more about the workout, visit willpowermethod.com.


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