All the Right MovesGrace Lazenby
Year Released: 2001
Categories: Pilates/Core Strength
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This fusion of Yoga / Pilates / Ballet exercise has been reviewed several times - just adding my impressions after doing it for the first time. Equipment needed: yoga mat, light hand weights, a ball to squeeze between the legs (used my YBB Squishy Ball), and a body bar or chair (used a Mr. Clean Magic Reach minus cleansing pad, LOL! - worked great - better than it does on the bathroom).
I found ATRM to have pros and cons. Upon a brief review, it turned me off and I regretted purchasing it. The testimonials segment at the beginning seems like a mini infomercial - hello? I bought the thing already? You cannot jump ahead, but fortunately you can bypass that chapter from the main menu. That said, here are the pros and cons:
The Cons: The music ranges from tolerable to awful. At times the techno backbeat helps with the higher rep exercises; at others it distracts from and ruins what would have been a great section. The wonderful stretch at the end is marred by a horrid repetitive organ note. Maybe it was intended to assist with deep breathing; unfortunately it sounds like a church mouse snoring on an organ key.
I had a curious reaction to Grace, herself. It was a "I love her" / "Boy she can be annoying" experience. I must have reached some sort of endorphin surge by the time the second leg series was flowing because I had a profound urge to take her out for a milkshake and grilled cheese. Grace seems to have been existing on espresso or travel mugs of straight-up black coffee. Soon my own craving for a strawberry malted developed, and by the time the leg work was done, I wanted to squirt her with a seltzer hose because she had killed my behind and left me a wrung out mess on the mat.
The Pros: The workout itself. Grace has developed a program that for me, anyway, has a perfect flow - varied, quick enough to raise the heart rate but not overly fast. She seemed to be reading my mind. Just when I couldn't stand one more rep or series, it would switch to something different. I enjoyed the Sun Salutations, for example, but got winded and was sweating, thighs not capable of taking one more deep lunging Warrior variation, when it eased into the next chapter of Pilates mat work. (Did I say "eased?" ~ "Deep intra-muscular hammering of another body part" is more like it.)
Mind-reading again - the pretzels/side lying leg work series fried me, and just as I was thinking, "I'm stopping the DVD to do a nice long Pigeon," Grace has you go into Scissor Dog, raising the worked leg high up behind you, then drop down into a deep Pigeon. Here the wonderful chaptering of this DVD comes into play - you can stay in Pigeon as long as you desire because the second side series is its own chapter.
Other Pros: The time flew. At the end, Grace asks you to check how you feel in forward bend compared to the beginning - sure enough, I was way flexible, my cranky back was happy, and my butt cheeks were singing in tune to the thrumming church mouse on his organ keyboard.
The chaptering is well executed. I felt wonderfully erect and walked regally for the rest of the day. ATRM promotes deep and cleansing breathing, and between that and the full body approach of the workout, I felt oxygenated on a cellular level. The ending stretch segment is wonderful - if only there were a music-off option it would be perfect. Finally, I was able to perform this WO within my limitations (wrists, back) and come out of it feeling better than going in.
Bottom line: the benefits outweight the annoyances, glad I purchased it and even wish Grace would produce another (with better soundtrack). I have Angles, Lines & Curves I - ATRM is way better, in my opinion.
Has some mildly annoying quirks like repeating "uh-huh" and getting breathy and quiet, but this woman knows her stuff so well I can overlook it.
In ALL THE RIGHT MOVES, instructor Grace Lazenby does a nice job of blending traditional sculpting with other methods, mainly yoga but also a bit of pilates and ballet-type conditioning. Her warm up begins with a focus on breathing and incorporates simple sun salutation moves from yoga. (Note: Grace does not use very good form for the yoga poses, thus some prior familiarity with proper form is helpful, although not necessary.)
Following the warm-up, Grace moves on to standing toning exercises. She uses a body bar for balance (a chair can be substituted), and the moves are similar to what you would do with a ballet barre--fans of Callanetics and/or the Lotte Berk Method will see some similarities here. Grace also uses a weighted ball between her legs; I didn't have one, but I found that the exercises were tough enough without the ball! She performs several sets of each exercise, thoroughly fatiguing the muscles. After these moves, Grace returns to the mat for a yoga warrior series which incorporates many down dog poses.
The workout then moves to the floor, beginning with some light weight work for the chest and shoulders. This is only a short section of the video; the overall focus of this workout is definitely on the lower body. The abs section comes next, and here's where the Pilates moves are woven in: Grace starts with the hundred and also does a variation on the roll up using a dumbell. This abs work was a bit of a disappointment to me, as I didn't feel like my abs got a thorough workout doing the few exercises here.
The remaining floor work which follows focuses on the thighs and glutes, and I found it somewhat similar to Karen Voight's Total Body Toning (minus the fitness ring). The moves are simple to execute, yet the many repetitions make them TOUGH to do--just when you think you must be done, Grace throws in another set. Finally, the tape ends with a "warm down" section which provides a nice stretch.
I enjoyed this video; I found the transitions from one method to the next to be smooth and flowing, and the varied workout held my interest. If you are looking for a workout that includes a blend of styles and really challenges the lower body while also being fun, check out this tape!
Grace is a good instructor--encouraging without being overly chatty--although mirrored cuing and proper form would have made this tape even better.
All the Right Moves with Grace Lazenby
This does indeed seem to be a love-or-hate it workout at VF, and there was an interesting thread a while back as to whether the workout "flowed" well. Since the aim of the the tape is to put together elements of yoga, pilates, and dance work into one workout, there is indeed the possiblity of a harmonious and complementary blend of these elements - or an unhappy and awkward one.
But, I'm in the "love it" camp. I must say that even when I did it the first time it did flow for me, at least after the standing leg segments were over. I agree, the first few segments seemed awkward, alternating the sun salutations with the standing leg work. And I do agree, her instruction is not very detailed - she seems to suppose (perhaps correctly) that you've learned your sun salutations elsewhere. So I tended to follow my own breathing rhythmn here and was lucky to find it coincided with hers.
By the time she reached the lunge segment, it really did feel like it started to flow for me. And by the end of the workout, I thought "I love this! I must do it again!"
It actually does have all the right moves for me - all the things I love to hate because they address my flexibility limitations. The lunges, the pigeon, the shin-over-shin at the end. My hips really felt opened up after this tape, and that's what I really need to work on. I also liked the way she did a down-dog/tripod after working one side - I don't know if lactic acid really was flushing out of the glute there, but it sure felt good.
I was put off when I first previewed this tape because I realized it was more of a "compilation" than a fusion...I felt like I could have cobbled this workout together by combining bits of various yoga and pilates tapes I have. After I did this tape, I realized this is actually a good thing - all the bits I really need to do, without all the rewinding and popping tapes in and out, with one instructor.
Some people were irritated by Grace's comments like "beautiful", I didn't notice that as much as the "uh-huh". I *guess* it's like she's reassuring her students that they're doing it correctly, but it just sounded like a Barry White-ism to me (I love you baaaaby...uh-HUH).
All in all, if you can get past the gushy intro where Grace's students sit on the floor and praise the workout (including one guy who says he's tried Pie-laytes before, and looks like he's hoping to be the next Hugh Grant), and you don't mind the grindingly repetitive music, and have had enough experience with other yoga and pilates to have learned something about form, I find this is a thorough and enjoyable workout.
Grace has a competent, no-nonsense style and cues her workout well. However it would have been nice to see a little more warmth and some rapport with her class (I mean, during the workout, not the introductory rap session)
There was a thread on VF recently where someone commented that Vfers fall into two distinct camps with this tape: those who love it and those who intensely dislike it. I fall into the last camp. I did the tape two times and found the beginning yoga sequences interminably borng. I don't have an extensive yoga background but have done and enjoyed Bryan Kest's Energize and Tone, Yoga For Athletes and several others as well. I just didn't feel worked out after finishing this video. For some reason I cannot "mesh" with Grace. I had the same reaction to her in her Step 2 It tape. I'm sure she's a very nice person, but we all have some instructors who click with us and those who don't. I didn't like the harsh bright lighting and found it to be unflattering. The music in the stretch another reviewer described as her child blowing on a harmonica was very annoying. It was the same notes repeated over and over and over for what seemed to be several minutes. I did receive an excellent trade for it when I posted it on the exchange. LeslieM01/26/2002
I was surprised to find only 1 review of this tape, but have seen it praised enough in forums that it could be a potential VF favorite.
When I finaly decided to buy this tape, I wasn't sure what to expect with little known about it. I first previewed it, but posted it immediately on the exchange. It just looked like a alot of yoga with a few strength routines thrown inbetween more yoga. I didn't think that I'd like a tape that didn't have each group of exercises in its own section. Later, when a prospective trade didn't go through, I thought I'd at least try it once. I'm so glad I did!!! This worked out for the best, because I will forever keep this tape. It is so good!
The video begins with some of Grace's students doing alot of gushing about the workout. It is nearly enough to make you vomit, which contributed to my overall first impression. The video is filmed in a large wooden floored room with windows & white curtains. It was very nice, nothing overly cutesy, meaning balls & mats didn't coordinate, they weren't wearning matching outfits.
I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this workout. I usually hate sun salutations, but this variation I really liked. It wasn't all that long and Grace cued when you were on your last one. I liked that she always meant how many more she said, unlike some instructors. She held downward dog pose alot longer than the other poses. I would have liked to have held upward dog a bit more. Next is some standing leg work, similar to ballet, using a body bar for balance (or you could use a dowel) and a ball. You could substitute a ball with a pillow, the opening notes include.
This is the section that made me decide to keep the video. It burned everything in my lower body. After this part is a warrior pose section. I was initially intimidated with some comments about this section before, reading the forum, but I was able to make it through.
There is little upper body work, but I felt my upper back the next day. I suspect that was from holding the downward dog poses. After some light upper body work, there is abwork done Pilates style. Next is floor work--again I felt this part alot. One exercise I recognized from Brand New Butt & More and it was also in Quick Toning Buns of Steel. I could tell I worked my glutes hard when doing the cat pose stretch at the end. The ending stretching was longer than I am normally used to in other videos. I liked it alot.The ending music to the 'warm down' was a bit throbbing which reminded me of my son breathing in the harmonica, but it wasn't as annoying!
I'd rate this tape an A--it would be A+ if she cued to mirror the viewer. I don't like tapes that when they say right, they mean their right and not yours. Oh well, I'll overlook it on this one.
There is no way I'll ever be able to say enough good things about this workout! It's fantastic! Grace blends yoga, Pilates, and dance conditioning moves together in an hour-long advanced workout. When I'm done with this, I feel amazingly relaxed, energized, and all stretched out. It is a nicely tough workout -- hard enough to get lots of benefit from, but not so hard that I don't want to do it. I did this workout this morning, about 10 hours ago, and I can now feel a strong "tightness" in my inner thighs, and my abs are starting to get that good soreness that means you worked them.
When I previewed this, I thought there might be too much yoga in the first half (I'm not a yoga guru), but I was pleasantly surprised to find out when actually doing it that not only is it not too much, but it feels great. The yoga is sun salutation variations, and some of the poses require a good deal of strength and flexibility. After I get into it, I start feeling like "Wow, this is just what my body needed."
There is some standing inner and outer thigh work, but not your typical exercises. It looked easy previewing it, but it's much harder when you do it! The fact that my inner thighs still get sore after doing it tells me that the exercises are doing something for me.
Then there is ab work and lying-down leg work. The ab work is hard -- it's Pilates-style. She keeps you moving and doesn't stop to teach anything (so this is not for beginners). Although she doesn't do a whole bunch of reps, the fact that you go through them pretty quickly makes it tough.
Finally, there's a nice stretch at the end. I am always surprised by how much deeper I can stretch when this part rolls around. I'm not sure why, but I like it!
I give this an A++++ and two thumbs up. If you like the Method tapes, or the Breakthru Core Conditioning, I think you'll LOVE this!