Tracy Anderson's Post Pregnancy WorkoutTracy Anderson
Year Released: 2008
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I enjoy this workout. It is challenging without being strenuous. Tracy's warm-ups are, shall I say, non-traditional. I don't mind the warm up here and it is easy to follow. The bulk of the workout is abs. It is all tough but doable. Various crunches followed by some weighted moves. For me, personally, the plank segment, though short, is the toughest! (Forearm plank with knee drops and alternating leg lifts. Ow!) There is a brief side-lying segment, only two exercises and it doesn't really target the outer thigh though I wish it would. She targets the but effectively during the subsequent segment performed on all fours. This is a butt-burner! five exercises each side with plenty of reps. I dislike the "butt lifts" that follow, butt squeezes performed while lying on your stomach. Arms are last. Others have judged the arms here as insufficient (compared to Mat I suppose), but I like the segments (unweighted followed by weighted) and am ready to stop when it ends! Cool-down starts with plies, which is weird. So I skip it.
Tracy cues more here than in some of her other offerings. She appears warm and friendly. She even gives form pointers and reminds me to breathe! I feel she is working out with me and she seems more down to earth.
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).
I have all Tracy's workouts and this is my least favorite because of the empahsis on ab work (including lots of crunch-based variations). Here is a breakdown:
Gentle seated warmup that activates and dynamically stretches the spine, hips and hamstrings.
Tracy does several controlled abs exercises that involve the whole body:
Crunch series with legs extended (7:00)
• Basic crunch
• Knee pull in to chest / extend / straight leg lift up 90degrees / extend
• Feet apart: Extend one arm alongside the leg in a side crunch and extend the arm overhead on the way down
• Cross one foot on top of the other: Pull feet in with knees open / extend legs together
• Feet apart: Lift leg with knee slightly bent and bring the opposite shoulder to the knee
Crunch series with weight in one hand (2:30)
• Start with legs extended and together: Pull knee in and out (alternating between turn in and turnout) while the arm reaches forward and overhead
Pikes series – both hands hold a single weight (6:00)
• One knee bent and other leg extended, arms overhead: Crunch, lifting leg up to 90degrees and bringing hands to meet it / Repeat with other leg / Repeat with both legs moving at once.
• Legs extended together and arms overhead: Pull feet in with knees apart with hands reaching forward, and return to standing position.
Plank series (6:30)
• Side planks
• Prone plank on elbows / Tap knees down / Alt. leg lift
• Plank with feet apart, alternating hip extension in an attitude position
Side series (2:30) – works the core and lower body
• Lie on side with legs extended: Pull knee to shoulder and extend / Pulse up
• Cross top foot on bottom foot: Bend knees and lift legs up and back
Lower body on all fours (9:30)
A short but intense series that really gets into the glutes
• Straight leg abduction
• Hip extension in attitude position / Pulse up
• Start in arabesque position: Pull knee to shoulder and extend back
• Start in arabesque position: Tap foot to floor across bottom leg and sweep up to a diagonal
REPEAT ON OTHER SIDE
• Bring heels together and knees apart and push heels up toward ceiling (little frogs).
Arm work / unweighted (3:00)
Arm work / light weights (3:00)
This is similar to the work done on the Mat Workout but a tad slower. I personally find that these segments are not long enough to sufficiently work my upper body.
Similar to the standing cooldown on the Mat Workout but it feels more disjointed (editing not as smooth) to me and not as satisfying.
Tracy cues, guides and encourages more in this workout than in her other dvds.
Since Maria already gave a breakdown of this workout earlier, I'll jump in:
DO NOT DO THIS WORKOUT IF YOU ARE HEALING FROM A C-SECTION OR DIASTASIS RECTI!!!! EVEN THOUGH THE WORKOUT SAYS POST PREGNANCY IT IS NOT A REAL POST PREGNANCY WORKOUT!!!!
At the time of this review I am slightly more than 3 months post delivery by c-section. I was released by my physician at 6 weeks to resume exercise. This obviously did not mean resume Cathe or try P90X, but walking and workouts geared towards the new mother. I'd looked forward to this workout throughout my pregnancy since it says it is a Post Pregnancy Workout. It is N-O-T. It should be called "Post Pregnancy Once Your Baby Is In School" Or perhaps "Don't Let Madonna Fool You; Yes She Had Two C-Sections, But She Didn't Meet Tracy Anderson Until Years After Her Last Delivery."
I did this workout a few weeks ago and the area around my incision was sore enough to push me back into inactivity and a few days of ibuprofen. I'd been pain free for over a month when I started out. I was an upper intermediate when I got pregnant and managed to keep up working out through the sixth month of pregnancy, including modified ab work from pregnancy workouts. And I skipped ab exercises that were obviously painful or impossible for me, such as those that involved holding my legs straight out and off the floor.
There are no warnings on this DVD, no modifications shown by Tracy, no information about your body other than your muscles are asleep. Besides being difficult to impossible for someone healing from surgery, most of the exercises are contraindicated for someone dealing with diastasis recti, and you could really hurt yourself if you are not careful. This is inexcusable for a $30 DVD being endorsed by another famous mom, Gwyneth Paltrow.
Luckily I had other sources to turn to for information since my doctor did not tell me anything other than to take my meds and not lift anything heavier than my newborn, including the ladies at Video Fitness Forum, because Tracy gave me zero information about the post pregnancy period other than that she was 60 pounds overweight and out of shape.
If I were post pregnancy with my baby in high school, or had never had a baby, this would have been a challenging workout for the abs and lower body, short on form pointers and correct counting of reps, long on style and a great add on for the abs and buns. The set is uncluttered, the classical music is a nice change, the Stella McCartney for Adidas outfit is cute. The title is a misnomer even though it is a good workout for the non-postpartum, and I think it's a real disservice to women who are looking to get back into shape after recently having a baby.
My grade for postpartum exercisers: F. Other exercisers: B
Tracy Anderson says this workout is close to her heart since she gained 60 pounds during her pregnancy. She does not mention that at the time of filming her son is at least 9 years old, and that she has probably forgotten exactly how it feels to be postpartum. She is long on style, short on substantive matters such as form pointers, showing modifications, keeping count of reps. She has an enviable figure, to be sure, but I found the title to be misleading and potentially dangerous.
Tracy starts you off with a warm up for your abs and hip flexors. A little different but good, then on to ab work; she begins with crunches with your legs on the floor and straight out. You then progress to raising one leg bent with the ab crunch and one leg straight. From those to oblique side crunches, crunches with your legs in table top, ankles crossed then legs extended out straight. Next using a 3lb weight more crunches with legs in what she calls the “Pike” series. First leg and arm meet for a crunch, then both leg come up to meet your arms holding the weight. Then onto Frog crunches; with the weight in your hands and legs meeting in the middle, then legs extending out straight and repeat. Tracy shows and performs a modification so you can work up to a full Pike. All these reps vary in count. Some were 15 some were less. I tried counting to keep my left and right even but I just gave up and went with Tracy’s number.
Finally you lay on your side, hips stacked, legs straight out and stacked, elbow on the mat and raise your body up and back to the mat. Then, same position and leg in towards your shoulder in a bent position. Next, what I would call a side frog; one ankle crossed over the other, bring legs in and back and return to the front. On to plank work; elbows on the mat legs out and hold the position for a few seconds. Then back up to plank, knees touch the mat and repeat for 5 reps. Back to plank and lift right leg up and point toes, back down then left leg up and point toes, repeat for 10 reps. Next is an odd move, you are in an incorrect push up position where your pelvis and hips are on the mat, torso up, legs wide, then lift your butt up and lift one leg up and to the side in an attitude position, then back to the mat and you perform the same rep on with your opposite leg up and to the side. This position is done for 10 reps. On to your other side and repeat side lying series and the Plank series. The ab work clocks in around 20 to 25 minutes. Finally you are done. Killer ab work!!
Next is leg work primarily focusing on your glutes and outer thighs. Tracy has you on your hands and knees with one leg straight out to the side and leg lifts for 20 to 25 reps (or so). Then leg bent, behind your other knee and leg lifts (in an attitude position). Next is knee bent and raised level with your hip and comes forward toward your elbow. Last leg lift, start with leg straight, toes pointed and touching the floor on your opposite side; lift leg up in a semi-circle as high as you can to the other side. Sort of like your windshield wipers. End of one side on to the other to repeat all of the above. The leg work last 10 to 15 minutes and that is perfect for me. My glutes and outer thighs are just burning.
Last is arm work without weights and the last reps with weights. Tracy’s arm work is hard to describe as it’s somewhat like TTapp and Dove’s arm work. The arm work with weights is very brief and somewhat like Squeeze. This part is very short and last maybe 5 minutes. My apologies for not describing the movements, but I just can’t find the words to adequately use.
Finally a cool down that is Ok but I continue to stretch after Tracy is done. I feel my abs and glutes just need more stretching.
Tracy cueing is not bad on this DVD. It’s not great but she is talking to a new Mom who is trying to get her old body back and is really encouraging her to work up to completing the workout and keep going. Tracy seems to really shine in expressing her compassion and knowledge that “If I can get my body back, so can you”. By comparison, I have her Mat Workout and she just doesn’t cue at all on that one. But that’s another review. To my surprise I like this workout. I'm far from a post-pregnancy mom but I keep coming back to do this workout. The arms work I can skip but it's so short that I just go ahead finish the workout. This one is a keeper.
I have been practicing Pilates little over 3 years along with kickboxing, Kettlebells, step aerobics and yoga here and there. I’m also a firm believer that you got to shake things up and try something different. I purchased the original Squeeze and was totally humbled. I’ve read all the threads on Ms. Anderson and through the YA YAs decided to take a chance and see what it was all about. I’ve done this DVD 4 times.
The intro has Tracy stating that the workout is close to her heart as she gained 60 pounds during her pregnancy. Being only 5’ tall the weight gain scared her and was the driving force in creating a workout that would get rid of the “baby-fat”.