The Method: Cardio Kick

I bought Cardio Kick because Tracey Mallet is the trainer and I am a fan of her workouts. Cardio Kick contains two 20 minute cardio workouts. I knew nothing about The Method workouts before I bought this DVD, but apparently (not 100% certain) The Method was a exercise TV show. I hesitate to say streaming just because Tracey makes a few comments during the workout that seem to indicate they are going to a commercial break. There are a lot of The Method workout DVDs for sale and I bought three led by Tracey. The two Cardio Kick workouts are decent little cardio workouts. There were things I liked a lot about them and things I didn’t care for. But it is Tracey leading the workouts and her personality is always energizing and motivating. The set is kind of neat. The floor is a big Ying Yang symbol and there is another one on the wall behind her. She has a crew behind her of men and women and they don’t seem terribly familiar with the workout; it doesn’t seem like it was rehearsed. They are just trying to follow Tracey’s lead. The music was live drummers giving you a beat.

Workout One is 19 minutes long and starts with a 2 minute warm up consisting of some standing yoga moves and judo blocks, followed by 12 minutes of cardio kickboxing and the final 5 minutes was combo stretch/bodyweight work.. The cardio portion of the workout consists of two kickboxing combos. She teaches them both in layers so you you have plenty of time to learn them before she puts everything together at a faster pace. Between the combos she does a short weight training circuit that you can really only use light weights for (I used 5 pound dumbbells; I was also wearing 2 pound weighted gloves). The weight training is side raises, bicep curls while arms are held straight out to sides, overhead tricep extensions, small straight arm circles while raising and lowering arms, forward fold/roll down with arms straight overhead, slow rear delt flys while in plie squat, and slow standing chest flys while doing a plie squat. They are done one right after the other with no breaks, so no opportunity to change dumbbells. But for the majority of them you can only use light weights anyway. After the second kickboxing combo, she has you get down in a low plie squat for punching drills. During the punching drills she says they are here every “Tuesday and Thursday” (so TV show?) then says “we’ll be right back” and screen pans out like going to commercial break. When it returns Tracey and crew on are on the floor with mats with her legs in “Z” for mat/pretzel work. Each leg is at a 90 degree angle, in a kind of “Z”; you lean your torso forward, hands on floor, and raise your back leg keeping ankle and knee level, and hold. This transitions into a stretch. You do the pretzel and stretch twice on each side of the body. Next you do camel pose. Next you do a kind of awkward (for me at least) combo; you start on your knees and sway torso to one side (side leaning stretch), then to the other side, lowering so you’re laying on your side, raise top straight leg to ceiling, then lower and return to knees. Do this combo 2x on each side of body. For the final exercise, you lay on your back and raise both legs/hips and arms/head/shoulders, and hold (core work).

Workout Two is 19 minutes long. The warm up is about 1:30 minutes long and starts with side squats and narrow squats w/ forward reaches. Then side to side reaches w/ a plie squat/stretch. The cardio is about 12 minutes, then you have 3:30 minutes of pilates core work and 1:30 minute stretch. The first move is plyo speed skaters. The next move was awkward for me, but kind of cool if you can get the combination of moves down. I never was able to do the complete combo (tho I did keep trying!)–but that was due to the speed of it and my own poor coordination, I just couldn’t do it at Tracey’s pace. I take that back–the first few times she did it slow so you could learn it and I could do it then–it was when she sped it up that I couldn’t keep up. The move is a walking 2 paces, kick, walk once, kick then take the kicking leg out behind you in a kind of stretch–then you immediately do same combo to the other side. It sounds easier than it was. And it wasn’t hard–not when done slow. I just couldn’t get my leg back in the stretch after the second kick–so I basically had to skip that part in order to keep up with Tracey’s pace. Next is 4 hops with your feet in second position plus two plie jacks. After doing that move a few times you put the two moves together (the walk kick + hops/plie jacks) into a combo. Next you do a front lunge, side squat, reverse lunge all on one leg while raising knee between each move (balance move). Next is bunny hops which is jump rope hops but she wants you to jump higher than just a little hop. Next is jumping jacks followed by 10 push ups. Next you alternate jump rope-heels with bunny hops. Next is side kicks into plie squat 3x. After doing that several times she combines the jump rope heels/bunny hop combo with side kicks into plie squat. Next you do 3 air squats and one jump squat. Next you do alternating front lunges that turn into alternating plyo jump lunges. Next is jumping jacks. Then you combine everything into a long combo starting with the jump rope heels/bunny hop and ending with jump lunges. Next she puts together a move slowly. It starts with a chasse/step touch, she adds arm movements and leg lifts. More jumping jacks and 10 more push ups. She ends the cardio with shuffling side to side with upper cuts followed by fast feet with upper cuts (or an arm move similar to upper cuts, but not full range of motion, so maybe she was just moving her arms fast). For the next 3:30 minute section Tracey and her exercisers are on mats for pilates core work. The first move is called “dipping your toes in the pool”: lay on your back, knees bent and raised, and alternate lowering one leg until toe taps floor. Next is single leg stretches: still on back but this time head/shoulders are raised and you bicycle legs, grabbing knee/shin when leg comes in. Next you are doing the same move (single leg stretches) but this time your legs are straight, so you are scissoring legs. Still on back, knees bent, feet are on floor now; you will do full sit ups, but roll spine up and down and raise arms overhead at top of sit up. The last 1:30 minutes is stretching.






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