Tracy Anderson's Post Pregnancy WorkoutTracy Anderson
Year Released: 2008
I should start this by pointing out that I have never actually been pregnant! I just thought I'd try this workout as abdmoninal surgery (laparascopic surgery, so no major incisions) and several weeks of no exercise has left my mid-section out of shape.
There is a gentle sitting warm-up and then Tracy gets straight into some serious ab exercises on the floor (variations on crunches and pikes, and some pilates-esque moves), for 20 minutes or so.
I enjoyed all the exercises even though they were very challenging and I wasn't able to do the full amount of reps required on most. However I think this is a good thing in a workout DVD because it gives you something to work up to.
After the ab series, there are a series of plank and side plank variations, I avoided these completely as I find this type of exercise aggravates an old hip injury (from gymnastics as a teenager). There was also an exercise where you are in a plank and lower your hips to the floor and raise them again, I had to avoid this too for the same reason. I would imagine that a woman who has just had a baby should be careful with these due to the stress placed on the hips and pelvis, as I understand pregnancy causes loosening of the pelvic/hip ligaments as well as weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, all of which can leave you vulnerable to hip, pelvis or lower back injury if you're not careful.
There is then some nice lower body and hip work on the mat, which I quite enjoyed, followed by standing arm exercises, without weights and then with light weights. These are similar to the arm exercises on Tracy's mat workout but much shorter. They remind me of T-Tapp arm exercises and feel quite effective.
The cool down was adequate but quite short and didn't leave me feeling stretched out enough for my liking.
I have only done the workout once (after watching it once through also) but will definitely add it to my rotation of DVDs, probably once a week (but will skip the planks) as I think it will be a good supplement to what I already do and will help get my abs back in order following my surgery.
I prefer more of a full body workout as my main workout (such as Tracy's Mat Workout or Callanetics Evolution - which I do a couple of times a week along with the odd kettlebell workout).
Having never been pregnant I can't comment on it's suitability for new mothers, but I think it is good as a general ab focused workout for any woman. It has a calming atmosphere with pleasant classical music in the background (a nice change of pace from Tracy's other DVDs which are set to dance/house music), so I imagine that would be good if you've got your baby in the room with you, though whether or not your baby will let you have 40 minutes of uninterrupted exercise time is another matter! That said, it is the kind of workout you could pause and pick up again later, though you might need to re-warm yourself up.
On thing I thought odd was that for a post pregnancy workout, there was no mention of pelvic floor muscles, which are an important area for any women, not just post-pregnancy women IMO.
I find Tracy quietly motivating, she doesn't talk too much which I like, she tells you and shows you how to set up an exercise then lets you get on with it in peace, you don't necessarily have to keep watching her because she tells you when to change to something else (e.g. when to do a different leg position for the numerous crunch variations).