Method Express

TAmethodexpressThe Method Express contains six approximately 10 minute workouts by Tracy Anderson. I chose to try this because I am a big fan of Tracy’s lower body work but she never chapters. This actually has things broken down into 10 minute blocks–so it is similar to chaptering. I can go to whatever body part I want to work. For the sake of reviewing I did do the upper body workouts, and I actually liked one. I note how I may use it in the future. The other one seemed pretty useless, but could probably work well as an upper body warm up if you are doing one of Cathe’s upper body bonuses or add on type segments (Muscle Meltdowns from ICE or Burn Set segments from Xtrain). The lower body segments–I will definitely return to! They are great either as short add ons to a longer lower body workout to polish off your lower body workout, or combine all 3 of them together for a doubles workout. The ab work was good, too. That will also be used as an add on to a longer workout. So overall a nice collection!

Sculpted Arms & Shoulders is 10 minutes w/ a 1:30 minute warm up. For this workout you need a set of 3 pound and a set of 5 pound dumbbells. This isn’t the first workout on this DVD I did. I actually did Upper Body Express before this one (on a different day–not the same session). I was very unimpressed with Upper Body Express but this one is a good one. In 10 minutes Tracy managed to burn my arms and shoulders out pretty decently. Tho this isn’t the kind of upper body strength work I normally do, using this 10 minute segment to finish the upper body off after a more strenuous upper workout is something I may actually use it for. I did like it. For most of the exercises Tracy does 10 reps, but for some she only does 5 reps. I am not going to break down this workout in detail because, as usual, she does a lot of odd arm movements. When I do like Tracy’s arm workouts, it is when she cues well and/or they are easy to follow and she goes through full ranges of motion–really moving your arms through every plane of movement. This is one of those instances where she does this and does it well. The entire workout is done standing. For the warm up she does a lot of her unweighted arm movements; the warm up ends with forward folds. The workout begins w/ about another minute of unweighted arm exercises. Then you grab your 3 pound weights and do weighted arm exercises w/ those for about 3 minutes. Then you grab the 5 pound dumbbells and for the last 3 minutes you do exercises with those. The final 30 seconds is more unweighted arm movements that might be a cool down, but definitely isn’t a stretch.

Tight & Tone Butt is 11 minutes w/ a 1:30 minute warm up. For this workout you need ankle weights and 3 pound dumbbells. I’m not sure what the purpose of the dumbbells are since when you hold them they are not heavy enough to have any effect on your training so if you are going to use dumbbells I would suggest lifting something heavier. You use them for 2 exercises at the end. One is just squats and you could easily lift 15-20 pound dumbbells for that. But due to the nature of the other exercise I would recommend 8s or 10s for that one. The rep count for the exercises in this workout range anywhere from 10 reps to 20 reps. The warm up is done standing and spends as much time warming up the upper body as the lower body. After the warm up you come down to the mat on one knee w/ the other bent in a diagonal in front of you. Lunge forward into the bent leg then bring it around behind you, lowering one hand to the floor while kicking leg straight behind you. Repeat on other leg then put ankle weights on. Get on all 4s; cross one knee behind the other knee then swing the knee out to the side. Next, flex foot and bring foot out to the side; bring knee to the ground next to the other knee with foot still pointing outward then push foot to ceiling (this move sounds–and is–pretty awkward but doable once you get the hang of it). Lift leg into bent knee hydrant but bring hydrant leg behind you rather than to the side; lift and lower leg in this position. Raise leg into high hydrant, still behind body and pulse upward. Repeat these exercises on other leg. Come down onto elbows and knees; bring one bent leg out to side of body (like a low side hydrant but legs are not close together, they are wide) and bring knee in then kick up in this wide position. Repeat on other leg. Grab your dumbbells and stand up w/ legs wide. Do wide leg squats. Next you do a series that, for me at least (due to the screws and plates in my feet) was awkward: press hip to side, squat in middle then press hip to other side; you will pivot feet to do each move. Workout ends with very brief stretch.

Firm Flat Abs is 9 minutes. She starts you out w/ a standing core warm up shifting your ribs side to side, forward and back, etc. This lasts about 1:30 minutes. Once the core workout actually starts, you do 10 reps of almost every exercises. Start in straight arm plank and alternate bringing knees in underneath you. Open legs so feet are at the outside of mat (still in straight arm plank) and raise and lower knees to ground in this position. Do this same move but when you lift knees, alternate also raising one leg. Lower into elbow plank; tap knees to ground and straighten them. Alternate raising one leg. Lay on back w/ hands behind head; alternate raising bent knees while also raising head/shoulders. Roll to hip, hands still behind head, and kick leg behind you, then roll slightly onto back as you bring knee in. Return to back, hands still behind head and tap heels to floor then straighten them to ceiling as you also crunch in your head/shoulders. Lay flat w/ legs straight and raise and lower straight legs, ceiling to floor. Still on back w/ straight legs, open legs wide so heels are on either side of mat and raise one arm overhead (the other is still behind head) and crunch upper body, pressing arm/hand between legs (legs/heels stay on floor). Legs are still wide, both hands behind head; swing one leg to other leg, swing back out, then bend knee, bringing toe to opposite knee, as you do the bending you will crunch upper body up. Get into straight arm plank w/ legs wide, feet on outside of mat. Cross knee underneath you while raising opposite arm and bringing elbow to knee. Ends w/ 30 seconds of stretching.

Long Lean Legs is 10:30 minutes. Ankle weights are used in this workout. I used this workout as an add on after 45 minutes of strength and lower body work–so it worked very nicely as a leg finisher. This segment starts with approx. 1 minute warm up of standing moves then come down to the mat. 10 reps of each exercise. Lay on side, resting on elbow, knees bent; raise and lower top leg. Next start in same position but when you lift leg, you kick it out straight. Next bring bent leg behind you (still in same position) then swing it around in front of you so leg is straight in front of you. Still in same position, raise and lower hips while raising top leg (while bent). Tracy puts on ankle weights. Come onto knees then lean to one side, placing one hand on mat and kick opposite leg out to side then bring it back in. Still on knees bring one leg out diagonal, heel on ground and raise and lower leg in this position (knee is bent). Start in the same position (one leg out and bent on a diagonal, heel on floor) and sweep leg around straight behind you, coming down onto opposite hand when leg is straight behind you. Still on knees bring one leg out straight to side, lean forward on opposite elbow and raise and lower leg. Stay in same position but this time start with leg bent then kick it out straight to side. The last 30 seconds are a standing stretch.

Upper Body Express is 10 minutes long. You need 3 pound dumbbells for this workout. I found it as unimpressive as I do most of Tracy’s upper body work. Tho sometimes she does burn my arms and shoulders out, this one I barely felt. I am not going to break it down in detail because I will never return to it. You start on your knees doing various arm movements w/ the DB. About 3 minutes in you get into plank and do some mountain climbers and some twists while in plank. You lay on your back and do some core exercises that also include arm movements (still holding DBs). At around the 6:30 minute point you do a push up variation where you come all the way to the ground. Set the DBs aside and come back to your knees and do rib shifts. Grab the DBs and start doing more arm movements while on knees. Then stand and do arm movements w/ DBs, standing until the end.

Lower Body Express is 9 minutes long. She does a short 1 minute standing warm up then puts on ankle weights and comes to her hands and knees. Tracy wears ankle weights for the entire workout. For each exercise you will do 10 reps except for the final exercise. Start on your hands and knees and rock lower body to the side so your hip touches the floor, legs together, come back to hands and knees but raise leg (the side that touched the floor) up behind you, knee slightly bent and toe pointed. Do the same move except this time you keep the leg on the side that touches the floor straight both when you rock to the side and when you return to hands and one knee, raising straight leg behind you. Come down on one elbow and lift leg back in attitude (knee bent) then bring it around and kick it straight to side. Keeping leg in attitude, pulse it up to the ceiling. Next bring knee in to other knee so that foot fans out, then push it up to ceiling. Bring knee into shoulder (keeping leg level like a hydrant) and then extend back behind you. Do all of the exercises on the other side of the body. The workout ends w/ plie squats; first you do 5 regular ones, then you raise one heel and do 5, raise the other heel and do 5.

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