Hey everyone! Hope you are surviving the Hurricane. I got up intending to go to work today only to end up working from home. The NYC roads were a total gridlock and I couldn’t make it more than 6 blocks in about a half hour on the bus! Oh well!
The DVD is 55 minutes in total. Tracy starts with a five minute warm-up which includes plies and stretches. Tracy provides a good sequence of stretches but I wish she would have actually warmed us up more before moving into the stretches-my muscles actually respond to stretches much better when they are warm.
After the warm-up, Tracy moves onto legs and bottom. She uses a chair to simulate a ballet barre and leads us through several variations of leg lifts. Tracy gets all different angles of the bottom but I found the exercises not as effective as, for example, Physique 57, which also requires use of a chair and does similar exercises. I think Tracy lacks repetitions and does not overload the muscle the way Physique does. On the bright side, I can really see the dance influence in her moves whereas most barre classes have really moved away from the more traditional ballet moves. I enjoyed getting back to my roots!
After legs we moved to standing abs which consisted of a lot of isolations. This is typical in traditional jazz dance classes. Will tone your abs? Yes. It is this the most effective way to tone your abs? Maybe, it is effective when you pull your abs up and in the entire time you are performing these isolations and in combination with other more traditional moves.
Next comes the most difficult section of the whole class-arms. This is by far the best section of the whole DVD but one thing totally bugs me about this section. Tracy starts off the section saying that these moves help hanging skin pull back to the muscle. This is completely wrong. You can’t pull skin to muscle-that would refer to skin elasticity which is dependent upon age and genes. What you can do is tone the muscles underneath the skin which will give your arms a more taut look. Tracy uses isometric moves (think arm circles). This was VERY tiring for my arms! After the isometric moves,
Tracy moves into arm movements with weights. She advises participants not to use any more than 3lb weights. Her reasoning is that you don’t want to bulk up. Again, this is completely wrong. Women cannot bulk up because they lack enough of the hormone testosterone which men have a lot of and causes them to bulk up. In fact, in my own experience, using heavier weights can actually cause you to lose inches from your arms because fat is burned off and muscle is made up of lean body mass.
Tracy then moves down onto the mat for the final two sections before the stretch-legs and abs. These moves are generally good but my overall note is that higher reps would be more effective.
Overall I liked this DVD well enough but it didn’t really provide me the calorie burn and that my-muscles-are-working-really-hard feeling that I get in my other classes. I am not sure this DVD provides enough motivational value for me to repeat it.
In other news, hurricane dinner last night was an awesome recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. Her Skillet Chili Mac and Cheese was to.die.for! The only thing was that I made in my Dutch oven not my skillet. Still came out fine! Perfect cozy meal!