Strength In Movement

Jen Carman
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts

Jen Carman of Firm fame leads Tracie Long Training's "Strength In Movement". Approximately 52 minutes including final stretch, this workout uses a medicine ball and various sized weights. Jen is upbeat without being fake, her cueing is flawless, and she looks fantastic!

The set is inside Tracie's new gym in Charleston, SC overlooking the harbor. Cindy Thorpe shows some advanced modifications and another exerciser named Lindsey shows beginnier modifications. This workout is TOUGH! I loved it! It was so much FUN! The time flew by and at the end I felt worked out - not wiped out! My one suggestion .. make the music a bit louder. I loved the music in this one but I wish I could have heard it better.

I was already tired from the warm up which uses the med ball in dynamic stretching and light cardio sequences. Lindsey has I believe a 1 or 2 pound ball, Jen has either a 3 or 4, and Cindy is sporting a 5 pound ball. They use the squishy ones and you really do need something like that as opposed to a larger one you can't grip. I didn't have one, so I used a small 3# dumbbell this time.

We then use heavy weights (I used 10# bells) while we balance on one leg, lunge back with the other, and then press overhead. This move will be familiar to TLP fans. It's super tough and tests your balance! We then do rows balancing on one leg, then biceps curls.

Next is cardio using the ball. We dip with overhead presses, progressing to lifting the opposite knee while twisting to that side holding the ball. I love how functional fitness moves in Tracie's workouts show all those progressions! It gives you something to work towards. Lindsey uses a dowel for balance in this segment. Your arms get tired so don't use a heavy ball unless you're familiar with this and have no shoulder issues.

Next Jen says to pick up light weights. Listen to her! There are rotator cuff moves in the next sequence and even though it's weight work, your heart rate will stay up there. We do those "draw the sword" moves it's hard to explain. Think of reaching down with a weight to where the hilt would be and then drawing it up over your head to get ready to fight. That's the best way I can describe it.

Next come squats where you hold the low position and tap back, side, and back. OUCH! I used 8# only because there is scaption in between and I already knew to be ready for that. And now you know as well! We do more swordplay too so don't go too heavy, especially if you have shoulder issues. We then do box squats which are harder than they look, and there is time right before them to heavy up if you want to.

Next is tricep work and you may want to use lighter weights at first until you get used to the moves. They are deceptively difficult and your arms do get very tired. We do across the body moves, pushing the arm back with the palm facing forward, and what Jen calls stomp and throw, which was a little tricky for me but I finally figured it out. Then we pulse back with palms facing back this time and it's fast and you REALLY feel it by then!

Cardio with the med ball again, and this is the highest impact in the whole workout. Lindsey shows grounded moves. We shuffle with progression to really fun pendulum moves!! This segment was a blast!! The arms are working the entire time so again use a lighter ball if you have shoulder issues. Your outer thighs and glutes will burn in this segment too!!

Squats with overhead presses are next and I used 10# dumbbells without trouble here. Then tricep pushups where Jen and Cindy are on light weights and Lindsey is on the floor. You need the weights nearby though since you take turns lifting one arm to the back while doing a triceps press. Cindy is on her toes to do this and Jen is on her knees. We then stand and do rhomboid work with rotator cuff moves, so you may want to keep the light weights when you stand after the push-ups.

Cardio again with the ball where we circle our arms and move side to side, then progress to adding front mambos slow then fast, and finally adding what Jen calls play it safe, which is passing the ball side to side in opposition of your moving legs. It takes coordination and is really fun!

Next are functional one arm rows where you twist the upper body along with the dumbell. Jen had 8# and I had 10#, and I couldn't tell what the other two used. This progresses to lifting the opposing knee which really tests your balance, so don't be a hero and go too heavy at first or you'll fall. I picked up the 8's again for side lunges with inner and outer thigh sweeps, which progress to one leg squats with the opposing leg to the rear and arms out in front. YOWZA!! This was tough!!

Light weights again for delt work. It's very different than what you're used to - this is not your momma's delt work!! My shoulders really felt this with only 3# bells! On the floor then and we do oblique twists with one foot on the ball, which we roll in on every other twist. It's very hard to do and I kept losing my ball. At this point I used my Oof ball, but I think a squishy one might stay put easier. We then hold the ball between our knees and do reverse curls.

The last is bridge work. You keep the hips lifted and walk the feet first in and out, then front and back. VERY difficult to stay lifted and your glutes and hams will burn without weights here, but if you don't stay lifted it will seem too easy. Then we use weights but don't go too heavy because we lift one leg and pulse the hips, then sweep the leg in and out slowly. OUCH!!

The final stretch is dynamic involving first plank work, then standing moves. FANTASTIC workout and I absolutely adore it!! A++!!!