Squeeze: Lower Body ChallengeTracy Effinger
Year Released: 2008
Categories: Ballet/Barre, Lower Body Strength
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
Squeeze Lower Body Challenge (2008) with Tracy Effinger
I am in my 40’s, an advanced level exerciser, and my most reached for dvds are Powerstrike, Booty Barre, Squeeze, and Tracy Anderson.
I do this workout probably twice a month, and have for a year or so. It is quite tough, every single time, and so has a dread factor. It seems silly that it should be so hard and leave my hamstrings sore for two days afterwards, because the workout is only a half hour, and half that time you are doing easy basic moves, although at high reps. It’s the last 15 minutes of standing leg lifts that kills! I would say this workout is for people who are already advanced, and just want a new way to torture their legs. Tracy starts of with deadlifts at rapid speed. If you have done deadlifts to death in the past years, and you can zoom into them with perfect form, you are safe. They are just to warm you up, they don’t fatique the legs, just one set. Then she does 3 sets of tiptoe lunges and squats, which are doable, and she keeps you going by adding on a pelvic tilt towards the end of the many reps. Tipping your pelvis up towards your belly button really pulls on the muscles, forcing them to work in extension. Then, I think 3 sets of 20 reps on lunging back, all reps on one leg and then switch. These are mundane. The last section Tracy calls “around the world” leg lifts. She basically does 4 sets of leg lifts, lifting your leg, forwards, to the side twice, and then back. All on one leg and then switch. I think the reason these just burn is because of the pulsing lifts, where you hold your leg as high as you can lift it, and pulse. Once, I threw my hip flexor into spasm, forcing myself to do the reps, and had to see a massage therapist afterwards to sufficiently stretch it out again. But that is just a reflection on me, accepting the gruelling work and not having the good sense to stop early. And that is the end. I usually do this workout with a half hour of cardio before, or a half hour of yoga after, since I have an hour to work out. And sometimes, followed up with an Epsom salt bath, to relieve the anticipated soreness. If anyone does this workout with ankle weights on, I’m in awe of them.
This 29 min. workout consists of lower body bodyweight & weighted exercises, and just requires dumbbells (1-8 lb. range for 1 pair of dumbbells is recommended on the video cover, Tracy does have has 2 pairs on set, one light/5 lbs. & one heavy/ maybe 10 lbs. cannot tell) and a chair (there is a ball on the set, but it is not used). Workout is chaptered by the primary exercises (which I’ll list the exercise breakdowns for), there aren’t any premixes or custom mix options, but there is an option to select one chapter (at a time) and play that (returns to the menu afterwards). The set looks like the same for the other Squeeze workouts, but the music seems louder in volume and more rock-ish than the previous workouts. There is not a real cool-down (just a brief stretch), so people may want to stretch or cool down on their own if desired. I'm not a fan of fast-paced deadlifts for a warm-up, so I do some dynamic stretches before this workout (do the same for Squeeze Stronger).
Exercise breakdowns by chapter
Deadlifts (Warm-up set)- 20 reps, fast-paced deadlifts w/ dumbbells (uses heavier set of dumbbells).
Slow scoop plies- Uses chair, 8 count plie, toes turned out w/ legs in wide position (on tippy toes/heels off of floor)> pelvic tuck scoop at bottom of exercise (8 reps), pelvic tuck forward & back( 4 reps), pulses w/ arm up (15 reps).
Tip Toe Lunges- Uses chair, static rear lunge w/ front heel raised. Variations: 4-count lunge (8 reps), lunge down> hold> tuck pelvis forward ( 4 reps), lunge position down w/ pulses (8 reps), and fast paced, lunge>scoop (tuck pelvis) & return to starting position (4). Repeats on other side, followed quad stretches.
Step backs series- rear lunges, 20 reps per leg each set, 3 sets total. 1st set: bodyweight> water break
2nd set: w/ weight of lighter set (5 lbs.)
3rd set:w/ weight & with alternating dumbbell curl and knee added to it).
Around the world series (4 sets): Uses chair, all sets are completed on one side.
1st set/quad focus-knee hug into leg extension (cues to straighten leg and aim height for higher than knee> leg raises w/ toes tapping the floor (8 reps, cues to “hit waistband or higher” w/ leg height, feet are pointed), 2 bent leg pulses returning to leg extension (hip/waist level, 8 reps), 8 small range of motion raises w/ flexed foot (w/ legs at hip/waist level).
2nd set: both hands are on chair (light touch, not death grip), standing leg has a turned out foot and is bent> other leg has a pointed foot & is straight and to the side (but angled so that it is in back of the other foot) 8 reps, 10 reps of reverse motion/ press down into floor (vs. focus on lifting leg up) 10 reps, 10 reps of leg circles to the back, 10 reps of flex foot & it is turned straight ahead, 10 reps of small range of motion side lift into rear lift, 10 reps of rear lifts.
3rd set: called snowplow thigh lift- side leg lift w/ feet parallel (8 reps), 30 small range of motion lifts.
4th set/hamstring focus: opposite arm to working leg has hand on chair, the working leg is bent so knee is at 90 degrees/ leg parallel to floor> 2 counts to push/press back, 1 count to return to starting position (10 reps), 20 reps of small range of motion press/push backs, flexed foot> 2 counts of squeezes (hamstring curl) into 1 push/ press back (10 reps), 10 reps of push/press backs.
Tracy provides great form pointers & instructions, and is of a similar personality than in her other workouts (pleasant, not overkill chatty). I think she does say "squeeze" less in this workout, I know she did say it a bit too much in the original Squeeze.