As I mentioned in my review of Element: Cardio & Conditioning Yoga, while browsing the workout DVDs at the library I noticed they not only had new workouts but workouts that had just been released in December 2015. Tracy Anderson’s Targeted Training Boot Camp was one of them. I really like Tracy Anderson’s lower body work and was especially pleased to see this DVD was primarily lower body work and would not be wasting time on her upper body workouts. It contains three 20 minute workouts: 1. Abs, 2. Hips & Thighs, and 3. Glutes. And since there are 3 workouts, I don’t have to worry about her lack of chaptering–they are already separated for me. Tracy mentions in the intro to Abs that her preference is for you to do all 3 workouts back to back for an hour long workout, but if you don’t have the time they are broken up for you. (There is also a “Play All” option.) Since I rarely do barre/mat work for an hour, having it broken up in segments is perfect for me since I use these for my doubles workouts or I use them as an add on, to finish off another workout. I have also recently gotten a great (in my opinion) idea of another way to use my barre/mat workouts. I do yoga every Sunday and I’ve recently purchased a lot of Element yoga workouts. Quite a few of them contain two 30 minute yoga workouts. I think Sundays will be my yoga/barre day from now on–20-30 minutes of barre/mat work followed by 30 minutes of yoga. I am liking the sound of that and the two lower body segments of this DVD fit perfectly with that plan.
Since I found this at the library and I’m already familiar w/ Tracy Anderson, I didn’t bother to look at the reviews until I got home. Well, the reviews on Amazon are mixed. Some people gave it 5 stars and said it was great, and others said it was too easy. Now, several of these people were comparing it to Tracy’s Metamorphosis which I have never done (and probably never will). However, I did not find these workouts easy. My legs were burning during and afterward. In fact, Hips & Thighs was brutal! How is this beginner? Someone else commented that it is “classic Tracy mat work.” I found Hips & Thighs comparable to the lower body work in Perfect Design Level 3–which I found very difficult. Glutes was challenging but not nearly as hard as Hips & Thighs. I found them both excellent for my purposes–as an add on or doubles workout. I will note that the Ab segment was pretty low intermediate. I wasn’t too challenged by that. But I thought the two lower body segments were great.
The setting is some empty concrete structure with the paint flaking off the walls. Tracy is wearing some of her interesting workout wear that looks like it could double as a clubbing outfit and her hair is looking a little flat. She didn’t seem too prepared for these workouts. Her cuing is never stellar, but she seemed as if she didn’t even practice this before filming it. Oh–and I mentioned above that I was pleased there was no arm workout? Well, she manages to fit her arm exercises in anyway–into the warm ups and cool downs.
Abs is 20:30 minutes long but the first 30 seconds of that is the intro mentioned above. There is a 3 minute warm up that consists of primarily arm movements. You will need 3 pound dumbbells for the 3 minute cool down. Her rep range is all over the place through the second half of this workout. When I was sure of how many reps she did I noted it; otherwise I have no clue.
Exercises: 1. sit on bottom and lean back on one arm, same side leg is straight in front of you on floor, other leg is bent w/ arm wrapped around it; raise and lower straight leg in attitude (slightly bent knee) (20 reps); 2. Open legs into V sit then bend one knee, setting foot flat on ground and wrap same side arm around ankle; bend and straighten straight leg, bringing knee into chest (10 reps); 3. lay on back, legs straight, hands behind head; crunch upper body only (20 reps); 4. still laying on back, bend one knee and cross over body so knee touches ground on opposite side (over other knee) so you are on your hip; from starting position kick knee out to same side (rolling to back), then roll back to hip (returning to start position) (20 reps); 5. Lay on back, hands behind head, legs straight up in air; crunch up with toes pointed to ceiling, then lower feet (bending knees) and tap toes to one side of body; alternate sides; 6. start with legs straight and raised, feet to ceiling; slowly lower legs, opening them as you lower them so when heels touch ground they are in a V on either side of mat (10 reps); 7. bicycle legs (with head/shoulders raised but not twisting); every 3rd bicycle you kick the leg out; 8. get into straight arm plank and cross one foot over other ankle; dip hip/body to side 8x each side; 9. mountain climbers; 10. still in straight arm plank but legs wide, on either side of mat; drop one knee to ground and rotate onto hip, return to plank and raise the same leg; alternate sides; 11. the actual abdominal part of the workout ends with standing rib isolations. For the 3 minute cool down you will grab the 3 pound dumbbells for stretching and arm exercises.
Hips & Thighs is 19 minutes; 3 minute warm up and 1:30 minute cool down. For this workout Tracy uses 1.5 pound ankle weights and at the end she adds 2 pound ankle weights right above them. I would also have a chair on hand for one of the final exercises; tho Tracy doesn’t use one she does suggest using one for balance. I found this workout very hard. I cannot believe the reviewers that found this too easy! WTC? This workout was made up of some very complex/complicated moves that I have no idea if I was performing properly but I did my best and I felt it! They hurt! I was extremely challenged!
For the warm up she does hips shifts that she goes into a lot of detail explaining exactly how she wants you to perform them. You also do some squats, forward folds and side bends. When the warm up is over she puts on the 1.5 pound ankle weights. You will do 20 reps of every exercise.
Exercises: 1. start sitting in pretzel [sit on mat, one leg bent in front of you and the other bent behind you, so your legs are in a sort of Z] w/ one hand on floor and one hand (back leg hand) on hip; push up onto front leg and and push back leg up and back toward opposite hip; 2. come onto knees, place one hand on ground and extend opposite leg straight out to side, toe on ground; lift leg then bend slightly and push/rotate it up and back behind you; 3. lean on one arm and hip, legs bent and knees stacked; lift hips and kick top leg up high, lower leg, stacking knees again and roll onto opposite forearm and kick the other leg up and back behind other hip; 4. come onto knees, place one hand on ground and extend opposite leg straight out to side; bring knee in to chest then press out to side again. Repeat all 4 exercises on other leg. Tracy then put the 2 pound ankle weights above the 1.5 pound ankle weights and stood. This is where you can use a chair if you want. Kick leg in and out to side 20 times, then do the same on the other leg. For the cool down she has you doing a wide leg forward fold with hands clasped beneath your chin. First you hold then you rock side to side. Push hips out to side to stretch them. Deep plie squat/inner thigh stretches that turn into hip stretches.
Glutes is 19:30 minutes; 2:30 minute warm up and 2:30 minute cool down. The warm up and cool down were rather odd (but what’s new–this is Tracy Anderson). She is apparently determined to get her arm exercises in there somewhere because she had them in the warm up and cool down. She uses 3 pound dumbbells in the warm up and cool down only, and for the workout she had two separate sets of ankle weights. Though the warm up does work your lower body, it focuses primarily on the upper body w/ the dumbbells. When the warm up is over, set the dumbbells aside and put on 1.5 pound ankles weights (remember, she has a second 2 pound set nearby that she will add on later).
- Start in a lunge w/ one knee on the ground, toe of rear foot tucked under; lunge forward, both hands on the ground beside front foot then bring front foot/leg under you, pushing it up in the air (so you are pushing up into a 3 legged down dog); 15 reps
- Get on all 4s and bring knees together w/ foot/calf of one leg inverted out; hinge bent leg out, bringing knee to elbow then push up behind opposite hip to other side of body, knee still bent in attitude; 15 reps
- Remain on all 4s, knees together, shift body to side so hip nearly touches the floor then return to all 4s and kick same side leg (as hip that touched floor) out to side of body; 20 reps
- Come down on one elbow (opposite elbow as working leg); cross working leg behind stationary leg then push leg up behind you toward ceiling; 20 reps.
Repeat all exercises on other side of body. Then she adds her other set of 2 pound ankle weights right above the 1.5 pound ankle weights.
- Get on all 4s and raise one knee to side, hydrant style (foot is level w/ knee); bring knee in to elbow then kick it back and up behind you; 10 reps each leg
- Lower down to both elbows and do basically the same thing you did in #2 above (bring knees together w/ foot/calf of one leg inverted out; push working leg up behind opposite hip to other side of body, knee still bent in attitude); 20 each leg.
She removes all of the ankles weights and grabs the dumbbells for the cool down. She does some squats, rocks one hip in and out w/ one arm overhead presses, wide leg forward fold, twists side to side w/ arms out straight to side, more one arm overhead presses. Set the dumbbells aside for some inner thigh stretches, then stand and start working the upper body again with unweighted chest presses/stretches. She ends with this weird thing where you stand w/ one hand on your forehead and one on your stomach, then switch.
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