Renew You: Sleek and LeanTracey Mallett
Year Released: 2006
Categories: Ballet/Barre, Pilates/Core Strength , Strength Training (Total Body)
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In this DVD, Pilates instructor and personal trainer Tracey Mallett offers a full-body workout which blends various styles, including ballet, yoga, and Pilates. She notes during her introduction that as a busy mother of two herself, she has created this workout so that it can be used in parts for when you are short on time. The Main Menu of the DVD offers the following options: Introduction to Renew You--Full Workout--Pick Your Workout (chapters)--Bonus Features (a breakdown of abs work and trailers of other workouts)--Credits. Tracey is exercising outdoors on location at a classic hotel, and she is joined by two background exercisers, Stephanie and Broni (who shows modifications for some of the exercises). I have broken down each segment of the workout in detail below.
Warm-Up: Revitalizing Yoga (7 minutes)
This entire segment is performed seated in a chair. The moves focus mainly on warming up the spine--e.g., side bends, body rolls, contractions. Tracey concludes the warm-up with some brief legs work (maintaining a "c-curve" position with the spine) and hip flexor stretches.
Ballet Barre (14.5 minutes)
Tracey and crew use a chair for this segment. The initial moves--which include plies in parallel, first, and second positions--feel fairly easy, as Tracey doesn't do many repetitions, and she keeps switching from side to side. However, she gradually adds a bit more intensity: balance holds, side lunges with lifts, rear lifts, and rear attitude lift. She finishes with a side leg lift plus standing crunch to work the legs AND the obliques.
Power Yoga (13 minutes)
In this section, Tracey and her friends have their mats placed perpendicular to the viewer. Tracey basically cues two full sun salutation sequences, moving at an unhurried pace. For the first round, she includes modified plank (on knees), baby cobra, warrior 1, warrior 2, and side angle pose (which she refers to as triangle). For the second round, Tracey again does a modified plank, baby cobra, warrior 2, and side angle, but this time, she also adds in wide-legged forward bend, including a twist here. She returns to downward dog and jumps forward to standing to finish.
Abs and Buns (19.5 minutes)
This challenging segment begins with some Pilates-inspired abs work; Tracey includes the single leg stretch and a version of the Pilates frog exercise. Moving to a side-lying position, she performs a series of leg extensions which target both the core and the glutes. From a seated position, Tracey does the pretzel, a move borrowed from barre-type classes such as Lotte Berk, made quite challenging here by using no arms. She concludes this segment with the Pilates teaser, both 1-legged and the full version.
Upper Body Sculpt (15 minutes)
Although the menu lists this segment as Upper Body Sculpt, Tracey calls it the upper body and back section, which seems more appropriate. She begins in a prone position for a series of various back extensions. After a brief rest in child's pose, Tracey transitions to down dog and then to plank. From here, she does several sets of push-ups Pilates style: she starts with 1, comes to standing, goes back down for 2, comes back up, etc., for a total of 4. Additional work for arms includes table, triceps dips, and reverse plank. A few very brief (about 2 minutes) stretches conclude the workout; these include seated butterfly stretch, seated wide-legged forward bend, and a triceps stretch.
Overall, I liked this workout, but I wound up feeling that Tracey tried to do a bit too much with it, especially at almost 70 minutes long. The yoga segment in particular felt completely unnecessary; it's not a bad segment, it just didn't seem in sync with the barre/Pilates focus of the rest of the workout. And while I liked the short back work in the back and arms segment (most of us don't focus enough on counteracting all of the spinal extension that we do--e.g., from sitting, driving, working at the computer, etc.), the arms work felt pretty insignificant to me, so I think that entire segment could have probably been left out as well.
But, I DID think that Tracey did a great job with both the lower body and the abs work. Although the standing barre work didn't feel that tough, it kind of sneaks up on you, and I think if I had done the Abs & Buns segment immediately after the Ballet Barre (i.e., instead of with the yoga in-between), I definitely would have felt even more of a challenge. So, in the end, although I might not use this entire DVD, I am still glad I purchased it, and I would recommend it to others.
This is the first time I have tried Tracey in a long time, since she was doing "The Method" DVDs. Back then, I tried one of her workouts and did like her but thought that her cuing (on the Method kickboxing DVD I tried) was awful. Apparently, she has improved over the years, because I had no problems with her cuing here: she did a very nice job providing mirrored cues throughout the workout. Overall, I think that most viewers would find her to be very warm, likable, and approachable.
Break out detail of TM Sleek and Lean
Introduction - Tracey describes this as a blend of Yoga, Pilates, Dance and Body Scuplting to increase flexibility and strength
Set in what looks like a backyard, garden, music relaxing
Starts by sitting in a chair with what she calls Revitaling yoga
- feet apart breathe in/out, side bends
- body rolls
- stomach contractions, look like doing a crunch in a sitting position
- upper body circles
- push out legs out/open/in what she calls frog legs, spine in c-curve
- open/close legs to work inner thighs
- drop one hip, looks like a lunge but while still using chair
Ballet Bar (14:38) she uses a chair
- legs together plie on your toes
- feet turnout plies feet flat
- feet second position wider than shoulders plie feet flat
- lift one leg while bending and pulsing standing leg
Switch sides other leg repeat
- repeat all the moves of the first section but after plies do a balance hold of each one
Switch sides other leg repeat
- face bar R knee and do figure eights with leg lifts, switch legs
- side lunge drag foot back to returning position, the add lift to return, switch legs
- left leg lift behind
- bend knee in attitude lift, then hold balance, switch legs
- R leg lift to side, R arm behind head side standing crunch, switch sides
Power Yoga (13:00)
- prayer position, Mountain pose, swan dive head to knees, lift back half way, repeat
- plank pose, modified cobra
- downward dog
- step foot forward front lunge
- up to warrior 1, open to warrior 2
- triangle pose back to warrior 2
- downward dog
- stand back to prayer, repeat all above other side
- repeat again but after warrior 2 fold down with leg apart hold, then with one hand on ground turn body with other hand in air for a twist both directions
- back to warrior 2, downward dog
Abs & Buns(19:48)
- on back floor feet on floor, bridge lift
- hands behind head, crunch then reach hands to feet, reach hands up around back behind head
- feet off floor, pull in one knee at a time other leg out and switch
- extend legs up toes flex, hands behind leg, then reach to feet exhale 10 times
- same legs out but pull legs down frog position
- turn on side on elbow, pull top leg forward and back bent knee
- lift top leg behind and then pulse
- large leg circles
- both legs together lift both legs
- both legs lifting but just lift top leg
- both legs lifted for just lift bottom leg to meet top
- click both feet together
- switch sides
- pretzel position, lift back leg
- extend back leg to side hold and return
- stretch, switch sides
- teaser lie on back one feet on ground other leg extended up round up and down, switch leg out, both legs out
Upper body and back (14:58)
- push up position, lift up like modified cobra
- flutter back legs, kick
- click feet together
- hands out to side lift up like superman
- child pose
- cat pose
- 1 push up
- stand up back down to 2 push ups stand up, repeat doing 3 push ups then 4 push ups
- table top lift up
- legs straight out in front with arms behind and push but up like a reverse plank
- lay on 1 side on elbow side plank, switch side
This video is broken down into 5 segments that can be played seperately or as one continuous workout.
The music is instrumental and not very loud. You've heard it before in other videos (I recognize it from a very early Cathe). There are a few spots in the workout where she doesn't follow the beat - very annoying but short lived.
The set is a beautiful outside scene. It looks like someone's backyard with grass, trees, flowers and a building. The workout is performed on a wood floor. Two background exercisers are present; one is a modifier.
Warm-up: Revitalizing Yoga (7:09). The warm up consists of flowing movements and stretches all done while sitting in a chair. There are side bends, flowing arm movements, body rolls, frog leg movements and hip flexor stretches.
Ballet Bar (14:39). First set is 4 reps followed by 8 pulses of the following moves: plies with feet parallel and on releve, plie in 1st position, plie in 2nd position and one legged plie. Tracey & crew use their chairs as barres so after the moves have been done on one side, they move their chairs to the other side and repeat the sequence. Lots of chair moving in this segment!
Second set is 8 pulses followed by a balance held for 4 counts and consists of the same 4 moves from above.
Third set: passe fold leg in and out, figure 8 with knee.
4th set "Fencing": side lunge then push off lunging leg to balance on standing leg
5th set: Arabesque lifts, attitude.
6th set: Standing side crunches with outer thigh lifts.
Power Yoga (13:00). Includes sun salutations, warrior I, warrior II, side angle (she calls this Triangle), standing forward bend with legs apart.
Abs & Buns (19:47). Floorwork segment that includes bridges, crunches, single leg stretch, breath of fire in hundred position, frog leg movement with crunch, thread the needle (or at least a movement that's similar to it), outer thigh raises, leg circles, side-lying double leg lift, side lying leg beats, mermaid, double pigeon, pretzel variations, teaser, seated forward bend, seated twist stretch.
Upper Body & Back (14:59): Prone position: back extension with flutter kicks, heel beats, arm raises. Childs pose, cat stretch. Pilates push-ups, inverted tabletop, tricep dips, reverse planks, side plank. Stretches: side stretch, triceps, butterfly, straddle.
My overall impression: This is a decent workout. Nothing terribly creative or innovative and for a person who uses barre workouts regularly, I don't think it is particularly difficult. I like some of the segments (power yoga, abs & buns) but I don't think they flow well as a complete workout. This workout reminded me of Breakthru Pilates Plus with Michelle Dozois and Tracy York but I like the barre work better in that program and think it flows better as a complete workout.
The Renew You videos are my first experience with Tracey. I don't have an especially strong opinion of her. She's certainly not one of my favorites but I don't mind working out with her and found her to be a good cuer. The only thing that irks me is when she says, "HHHHHHEEEEEEEXHALE."
Setting: Very pretty outdoor setting, you'll feel relaxed as you workout. Very lush surroundings.
Music: The music is upbeat instrumentals. I recognized some of it from other instructors who have used it in their workouts.
Modifier: Broni demonstrates all modifications during the workout.
Warm Up Revitalizing Yoga:
Seated in a chair, Tracey begins with deep breaths and side bends. Body rolls will open up the spine. Rotations with pelvic twists warm up the core. To open the front of the chest you'll perform big circles with arms overhead. Next she performs a move she calls froggies which will work abs and inner thighs. Gentle stretches using the chair are also shown.
Using the chair as a bar, Tracey begins with plies. Many variations of the plie are demonstrated. One legged moves will really tighten you legs. Repeat twice to each side. Next she'll perform some unique moves that will define your hips. Following is a fencing series (which are side lunges). Back leg lifts will help lift and define the buttocks area. Tracey also performs some side oblique crunches using the chair for stability.
Power Yoga: Broni, the modifier, uses blocks for modifications of some of the poses for beginners to yoga. The poses are done slow and deliberate for more toning benefits. You will also get a nice deep stretch for the muscles you are working. Easy to follow sequences allow anyone to participate. This segment will become a favorite for a nice quick stretch.
Abs & Buns:
Pilates inspired matwork will shape and define your abs and buns. Some moves are challenging and you'll feel it working right away.
Upper Body Sculpt:
Using your own body weight, you'll tone your upper body with specific exercises that work that area. Planks and reverse planks with tricep dips are some of the moves you'll see. A nice relaxing stretch concludes this segment.