VERTIFIRM revolutionized the fitness industry over 20 years ago! VERTFIRM means vertical firmness and is a group of choreographed combinations replacing spot exercises traditionally done on the floor. These “standing up floor exercises” provide the benefit of floorwork, but because you are on your feet it is possible to work on more than one muscle group at a time. Jacki took these exercises, which previously only worked one muscle group, up and off the floor and added upper body resistance training. It is not possible to effectively strengthen abdominals without lying down and working against gravity. Each class has a concise abdominal routine in addition to the Vertifirm part of class.

Vertifirm offers you –

  • Muscle toning
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Spot exercising
  • Firmer lower body
  • Increased upper body strength
  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Resistance training
  • Stepped up body metabolism to aid in weight control

Do I have to use weights?

The use of weights is optional. You can still get an effective total body workout using your own resistance.

How much weight should I use?

During the Vertifirm portion of a Jacki’s Dance class, you may use hand weights (up to 6 lbs. per hand) and/or ankle weights (up to 2-1/2 lbs. per leg). During a Jacki’s StrongStep class, the step acts as your lower body resistance, so only hand held weights during Vertifirm are permissible.

May I use weights during the aerobic portion of class?

Weights are NEVER to be used during the aerobic portion of class. Experts agree this practice is potentially dangerous. The speed and force of the movements to produce an aerobic training effect do not allow for proper control of weight. This added mass of weights may cause injury, resulting from exceeding the elastic limit or range of motion of the muscle, ligament, tendon or joint. Possible loss of control also poses a hazard to other students.

What kind of weights should I use?

Hand held weights with fixed ends are recommended. If you have wrist type weights, hold them instead of wearing them. Weights with removable screw on ends are discouraged because they can loosen and could come off during a move possibly causing injury.

Ankle weights should surround or nearly surround your ankle with the opening in the front. The weight should fasten with a buckle or Velcro strap and hold in place securely. One size fits all sometimes don’t fit, so try them on when buying.

Where do I place my weights during class?

At the beginning of a Jacki’s Dance Class your weights should be placed crossed in front of your mat. In a Jacki’s StrongStep Class your weights should be placed crossed on top of your mat at the head of the step. Always cross your weights when placing them so they don’t roll on the floor creating a potential injury. After Vertifirm, abdominals and pushup routines are complete, put your weights away or temporarily place them around the edge of the room until class is over making sure they do not pose a hazard.

How do I know if I’m doing the weight moves correctly?

Listen and watch your Jacki’s instructor. She has been trained to do each move with perfection using proper form. Her cues will offer direction on how to do each move correctly. If you’re still not sure, talk to your instructor before or after class. She will constructively point out the right way to work each muscle group while using weights for safety and effectiveness.

From the Fitness Floor

“I fell in love with aerobic dancing at a demo in a shopping mall. I immediately signed up for classes. Everything about the class was FUN, which I just loved. Jacki’s choreography and each class made us feel like we were The Rockettes dancing on a New York stage. I danced everywhere when traveling with my husband for his business, there was a Jacki’s class all over the country. When I became an Instructor I was taught how to be confident in front of a class of students, how to run a class, break down routines, teach challenging steps, answer questions, be a professional aerobic dance instructor, be part of a larger group, and to work together during fundraisers and demonstrations. I was given opportunities to do things I had never known existed. Thank you so much Jacki.”

— Anne Noyes, Instructor
Old Orchard Beach, Maine