Year Released: 2007
Categories: Abs/Core , Ballet/Barre, Lower Body Strength , Upper Body Strength
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
Previous reviews have broken this workout down very well. I just wanted to add my impressions. I ended up trading this workout because I could not stand Tracy's nonstop "up hold squeeze up hold squeeze, squeeze squeeze squeeze" over and over throughout the whole workout. She talks like she invented this new word called "squeeze" and has to preach it to the whole world. I also found the "upper body" workout to be mostly arm-focused and never felt like my upper body was truly being worked. (I felt like I had to do some extra exercises on my own after completing this, which makes it not worth spending my time or money on, IMO.) I wanted to like this workout because it had so many premix options that make it so versitile, but it's just a lot of premixes of a workout I didn't enjoy.
Good instruction, but non-stop talking.
In her Introduction to this workout, instructor Tracy Effinger describes it as a combination of yoga, ballet, and athletic exercises. Unlike with many other barre workouts, Tracy wears sneakers throughout here. She instructs live in an indoor studio setting, although during the workout, the scene shifts to images of her exercising on a rooftop setting as well. She uses light dumbbells for the upper body work--she recommends 1-3 lbs. but states that she is using 2 lbs.--and for the lower body, she uses a chair, a mat, and a rubber playground ball (I substituted a Pilates ring, which worked pretty well).
The Main Menu of this DVD offers three options: Full Body Squeeze, Power Squeeze, and Custom Squeeze. Only the Custom Squeeze section has its own submenu, which makes the DVD somewhat difficult to navigate (more on this below). I have broken down each of the three workout options, including approximate times and brief descriptions of each chapter point.
FULL BODY SQUEEZE (56.5m)
*Warmup (2m)--Tracy performs the knees up/arms up usually found in barre workouts, but she also does knees/arms to the side. She ends with a forward bend stretch.
*Arms (8m)--This segment definitely burns the shoulders; the weights might feel light at first, but you will feel it towards the end! Tracy does variations of lateral raises, shoulder presses, and chest presses; she also incorporates a bit of biceps work.
*Triceps (4m)--You start in a traditional 1-arm kickback position, except that Tracy has you perform pulses with the arm straight; she does several variations. I felt this the next day!
*Waist (3.5m)--Standing in a wide-legged stance and still holding the weights, Tracy does reaches both overhead and down to the ankles.
*Push-Ups (4m)--Tracy sets up to perform push-ups on the knees, doing one set of 2-count push-ups and then a second set double-time. She also performs tricep dips on the floor, adding in a leg raise to up the challenge. A brief seated stretch for both the triceps and the hips concludes this segment.
*Standing Stretch Series (<3m)--Tracy uses the chair to stretch the hamstrings: you will place one foot on the chair, stretching over and around that leg, and then repeat on the other side (nice!).
*Legs (5m)--This segment also uses the chair for barre work. Tracy includes the v-plie, the wide-leg plie, and "the uncomfortable chair"; she also adds little twists, such as what she calls the "John Travolta move." She concludes with a quad stretch.
*Seated Stretch (7m)--This nice long stretch segment begins on the floor with a camel variation, then moves into a lunge series which stretches both the hip flexors and the hamstrings, moving towards splits. Tracy ends with standing pyramid and standing forward bend.
*The "L" (6m)--Here Tracy has you lie on your mat with your legs perpendicular to your body. She then moves you through many different variations on leg lifts to really get into the outer thighs and glutes; this is especially tough when you get to the SECOND leg!
*The Abs "C" (5.5m)--This segment uses the ball, mostly between the thighs. Tracy forms a "C" shape with the torso and performs various curls in this position while squeezing the ball in place.
*Buns & Thighs (4m)--This is a pelvic tilt series, but the unique aspect is that Tracy sets you up with your feet on the wall, with your legs forming a 90-degree angle. In this position, you perform various pelvic tilt variations, such as heels only, toes in, etc.
*Final Stretch (3.5)--Tracy begins lying for happy babies pose (or dead bug); she also performs an lying straddle and reclined leg stretch. She ends seated in a full forward bend.
POWER SQUEEZE (26m)
*Warmup (1.5m)--This is a mini-version of the full warm-up; the side knee lifts are omitted.
*Power Push-Ups (2.5m)--Here Tracy performs one set of 15 push-ups on the knees followed by a set of tricep dips on the floor. She again concludes with a seated stretch for the triceps and hips.
*Standing Stretch Series (<3m)--This is the SAME segment that is included in the Full Squeeze. Although I liked this section, it felt VERY out of place here--you haven't even started working your lower body yet, so why are you stretching it out?
*Legs (1.5m)--Tracy states that she will be doing one quick set, and this definitely is quick; you use the ball and the chair for one set of dips on the toes.
*The Pretzel (4m)--This section is new to the Power Squeeze. The Pretzel is a move in which you are seated on the mat with both legs bent at 90-degrees, one in front of you, and one behind; you lift the rear leg to work you buttocks.
*Abs (5.5m)--Although this is another abs segment using the ball, it is different from the section on the Full Squeeze. Here Tracy performs more traditional crunch variations as opposed to the C-curve curls.
*Buns & Thighs (3.5m)--Again, you set up with your feet on the wall for pelvic tucks. This time, however, Tracy has the ball between her thighs, adding inner thigh work in addition to the glute and hamstring work.
*Final Stretch (3.5m)--SAME stretch as in the Full Squeeze.
CUSTOM SQUEEZE (38.5)
*Triceps (4m)--SAME as Full Squeeze
*Arms (8m)--SAME as Full Squeeze
*Seated Stretch (7m)--SAME as Full Squeeze
*The Pretzel (4m)--SAME as Power Squeeze
*The Fold Over Plank (5.5m)--This is a a segment of glutes work performed from a hands and knees (all fours) position. Tracy does mostly straight leg lifts but adds a few bent leg lifts towards the end.
*The Flat Abs (6m)--In this variation on the abs work, Tracy is lying completely flat, with one leg crossed over the other, performing small crunches that really target the lower abs. However, she moves into some scissors work that is fairly advanced.
*The Windshield Wiper Buns & Thighs (<4m)--This is another section of pelvic tilts performed with the feet on the wall. In this segment, however, Tracy adds the knees moving in and out (i.e., the "windshield wiper" effect) as well as some 1-legged work.
So, as you can see, this DVD provides a wide variety of options, including three different segments each of both pelvic tilts and abs work. However, I was quite disappointed that the DVD is not completely customizable. For example, I went to the "Custom Squeeze" menu hoping to select my own workout which would include the "L" segment from the Full Body Squeeze; however, as you can see from the above, the "L" is not included on the Custom Squeeze menu. The only way for me to select that section would be to choose the Full Body Squeeze workout option and then to skip through the chapters until I get to what I want--not very convenient! For this reason, I prefer Tracy's second DVD, Squeeze Stronger, to this one. Otherwise, I do enjoy Tracy's athletic approach to barre work and expect to get quite a bit of use from this DVD.
I seem to click with Tracy; I purchased Squeeze Stronger first and liked it enough that I traded for this DVD too. I think I just really like the more athletic approach to barre work--I don't think she mentions having a long, lean dancer's body once! ;)
SQUEEZE is a well-chaptered, versatile DVD that offers an athletic interpretation of the “barre” genre, combining light-weight resistance training and isometric work. It offers an option for a longer (57 minutes) or shorter (26 minutes) full-body workout; you can also easily use individual chapters to create your own workout. Here is a breakdown of the DVD:
FULL SQUEEZE (57 minutes)
Alternate knees up and forward stretch.
This section is a shoulder burner, with several variations on the lateral raise, front raise and overhead press. There are also some bicep curls and a bit of work for the chest and back.
Leaning over with one arm extended back, you perform several small pulses pressing the arm in and up, triceps kickbacks and pulses. This is challenging!
Standing waist work: variations on overhead reach and side bends.
Pushups and triceps dips on floor (4:05)
Standing stretch (3:00)
Stand with one leg on a chair (or barre): Side twist, hamstring stretch and side stretch. This section feels wonderful!
Plié variations in a small first position, second position, and with feet and knees together (Tracy calls this the “uncomfortable chair” – it is!). Lots of pulses and pelvic tucks.
Seated stretch (7:10)
Several lunge variations to stretch the hamstrings, quads and hips.
The “L” (6:00)
Lying on your side with your legs extended in front at a 90 degree angle, you do several tortuous variations on the leg abduction, turning the toes up and down. This really gets into the outer thighs and glutes.
Abs – the ab “c” (6:25)
You sit with the ball between your thighs and hands behind the knees then roll down into a “c” shape. From this position, Tracy goes through several curl variations (both concentric and isometric). This includes some innovative moves, such as the breast stroke. I LOVE this section!
Buns and thighs (4:15)
You lie on your back with your feet on the floor, knees and hips at 90 degrees. This section is all pelvic tucks, changing the feet positions and tempo. It really targets the glutes and hamstrings.
POWER SQUEEZE (26 minutes)
Knees up and forward stretch
Power pushups and triceps dips (2:45)
Includes a neat variation on the triceps dip with a kick
Standing stretch (3:00)
Same footage as the “full squeeze”
Plié variations with feet parallel and ball between the thighs
In a pretzel position: variations on the hip extension and leg adduction
Curl variations with the ball between the thighs (includes lots of inner thigh squeezes)
Buns and thighs (3:45)
You lie on your back with your feet on the floor, knees and hips at 90 degrees and ball between the thighs. This section is all pelvic tucks, changing the feet positions and tempo.
Same footage as the “full squeeze”
This option allows you to play individual segments from the “full squeeze”: triceps, arms, seated stretch, pretzel. It also includes 3 additional segments:
Fold over plank (5:50)
On all four: Hip extension and leg adduction variations
The flat abs (6:20)
Very interesting and thorough ab work (e.g. curls with your legs extended on the floor and ankles crossed)
Windshield wiper buns and thighs (3:50)
Again, this is a series of pelvic tucks with the feet on a wall but it includes new variations like bringing one knee in towards the other, then out and lift (the “windshield washer”)
My favorite way to use this DVD is the following Lower Body Mix I put together; it contains 30 minutes of lower body work (twice as much as the Full Body Squeeze) and the sequence goes from an emphasis on the front of the thighs (standing leg work) to the abductors and medial glutes (L and Pretzel), to the glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs (wall work).
Warmup (Full Body Squeeze) - 2:00
Waist (Full Body Squeeze) - 3:35
Legs (Full Body Squeeze) - 5:00
Legs (Power Squeeze) - 1:30
The "L" (Full Body Squeeze) - 6:00
Pretzel (Custom Squeeze) - 4:25
Foldover Plank (Custom Squeeze) - 5:50
Buns & Thighs (Power Squeeze) - 3:45
Windshiel Washer Buns & Thighs (Custom Squeeze) - 3:50
Flat Abs (Custom Squeeze) - 6:20
Final Stretch (Full Body Squeeze) - 3:30
Tracy is such an engaging, positive instructor! She provides clear cueing and you feel she is working hard right along with you.