Lift HigherTracie Long
Year Released: 2010
Categories: Lower Body Strength
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This is Volume 1 in Tracie Long Fitnessí Focus Series.
Iím reviewing this workout after it three times.
General workout breakdown: PeakFitness, AlisonCooks, and DeniseR have already described this workout well, so thereís not much I can think of to add.
The total workout time is just a hair over 30 min. Each chapter really is almost exactly 10 min.
The standing exercises in Chapter 1 are nothing too fancy, just a lot of tried and true moves. Chapter 2 is kind of a ďbest ofĒ Tracieís ragwork; I think this is one of her most varied rag segments, moving the leg in various directions. Normally Iím not the biggest fan of floorwork like in Chapter 3, other than what you find in a Pilates workout and bridgework, but I donít mind the moves here, mainly because Tracie mixes things up and doesnít do anything for too long.
Level: Iíd recommend this to intermediate through intermediate / advanced exercisers, although this can also be appropriate for lower intermediate and even beginner / intermediate exercisers (who can use lighter or no weights).
Normally Iím at the int. / adv. level. When Iím at that level, I find itís not exactly a super duper challenge on its own, but it leaves me feeling worked out without feeling wiped out, and some days I need that. Currently, however, Iím working my way back up to fully intermediate, and this was a doable level of challenge workout at that lower intermediate level.
Class: Tracie alone, instructing live.
Music: upbeat instrumental music.
Set: bright interior space (part of Tracieís fitness studio, I believe) with a brick wall, windows covered with white blinds with cutouts, and exercise equipment tastefully arranged around the space.
Production: clear picture, mostly helpful camera angles, although sometimes I saw just feet when I also wanted to see Tracieís arms, for example. While some people have complained about the sound issues on the earlier Focus series workouts, I canít say Iím one of them. There are some fluctuations in sound level from song to song, and sometimes Tracieís microphone picks up some static as she shifts position, but thatís all Iíve noticed.
Equipment: Youíll need a pair of medium to heavy dumbbells (I used 10s), 2 rags (substitute: gliding discs, paper or disposable plastic plates, furniture moving discs), a pair of ankle weights, and perhaps also a mat (depending upon your flooring).
Space Requirements: Tracie works out on puzzle mats; it looks like her set-up is identical to mine: 12 2í x 2í mats, giving an area of 8í wide by 6í deep. Neither she nor I came close to using all of that space.
Comments: This may be my favorite workout from the Focus series because it is the one that is the most, well, focused. This workout is pretty well rounded in terms of lower body work; Tracie hits the glutes, hamstrings, quads, inner thighs, you name it.
Do you have around an hour to work out, both Lift Higher and Power Up, and a desire to feel that burn, baby, burn? Do you also have two DVD players hooked up to your TV (or, alternately, your regular player and TV plus something like a laptop with a DVD player) and room to leave your step out while you still have plenty of space to do squats and lunges? Have I got a ďFranken-workoutĒ suggestion for you: After a warm-up on your own (although Iíve toyed with the idea of using the lone all lower body segment from Kick Back as the warm-upÖ), alternate a Lift Higher segment with the two cardio segments from Power Up (so do something like Lift Higher #1, Power Up #1, Lift Higher #2, Power Up #2, and Lift Higher #3). If you only have one player or just donít want to bother with the switching back and forth, an alternative is to do one, then follow it up with the other; I recommend Lift Higher followed by Power Up because I prefer to do my strength first, but if youíre a cardio first type of person do the opposite. Youíll get a pretty darn well-balanced lower body workout that will work your body from various angles plus increase your strength and especially endurance while also raising your heart rate and working on your range of motion. Note: I donít want to suggest that you have to pair these two workouts together in one session in order to get an effective workout, nor do I mean to imply that if you donít have that much time, desire, or ability to do more than one of these that youíre missing out or not working out how you should be. This is simply a suggestion from my attempts to figure out how to use these workouts in my own rotations. (I also realize this is a pricey workout recommendation, since each of these workouts retail for about $17 apiece, meaning thatís a $35/hour session! Even Cathe doesnít charge that much for an hour+ lower body workout DVD these daysÖ So please do not feel compelled to wreck this monthís family budget just to get these two workouts for this purpose. There are plenty of other options out there, probably many of them a heck of a lot cheaper. But if you already have these and donít know how to use them, I hope this helps!)
This workout is different from Tracieís new Figure:30 series. The idea is similar: all three are around 30 minutes and focus on the lower body, using a combination of standing exercises, both traditional gym style moves and more functional balance-oriented moves and floorwork, and Tracie uses minimal equipment: a pair or two of dumbbells, ankle weights, and maybe some rags. But Lift Higher is a complete lower body workout whereas the Figure:30s have the area of focus, one on the Hips and one on the Butt (as things stand Tracie doesnít have a Figure:30 for the hamstrings or quadriceps).
Tracie is, as always, a true fitness professional. She focuses on cuing the working, with some encouragement and some nice form tips from time to time and no extraneous chatter. Tracie mirror cues, meaning when she says ďrightĒ she means the viewerís, not her own. I still wish sheíd be just a wee bit more descriptive in parts; I feel like even after Iíve done the workout a few times I still need to watch her closely to make sure Iím getting all the movements in an exercise or make sure I catch the transition to the next move or am on the proper side.
This workout focuses on lower body (glutes and legs). On the main menu, you can choose from 3 10-minute segments, each one works the lower body in a different style, or you can choose the full workout with all 3 segments. I found it hard to figure out what I was clicking on the menu, because as you scroll down the menu, the font changes from white to "less white" so I ended up selecting the wrong thing the first time I did the workout. They could have made the menu highlighting a little more obvious, IMO.
The workout itself is really good. The moves were varied and interesting. I'd label it intermediate. The first segment is weighted squats and lunges, with negatives and pulses. The second is standing unweighted, such as sliding with one foot on a rag or sliding disc. The third segment is floor work, like donkey kicks and leg lifts, with optional ankle weights.
The music is the right bpm for the workout, but it sounds kind of ominous to me, like someone is about to be murdered or something! lol!
This is my first Tracie Long workout. I didn't do any Firms at the time she was with the Firm. She is fantastic! Her cueing is Firm-like, but she wasn't StepFIRMish. She seems "down to business" but not cold.
I did this workout one time and these are my impressions:
*The 3 10-min segments go quickly and would make great add-ons.
*The moves are varied and interesting.
*The set is nice, albeit a little cluttered for my taste.
*The start-up menu/screen is annoying...nearly impossible to tell which selection (whole workout, individual scenes) has been made.
I generally enjoy working my lower body, but for some reason, this workout just didn't "click" for me. I found myself having a difficult time with the sliding moves; I was working with a plastic frisbee, but maybe if I had some real "sliders" this would've felt more smooth. For me, the workout seemed to swing between moves that I didn't feel at all, to moves that were too challenging. However, I did have some soreness in my glutes and hams the next day....but since I just didn't see myself reaching for it often, I parted with it.
Tracie Long is in AMAZING shape here; her body really is inspirational! She's professional and cues well.
Looking for great glutes? Look no further! This workout has 3 totally different techniques to key in on the lower body. Chapter 1 uses medium to heavy weights. Reverse lunges begin and you'll perform them slowly. Pulses are added to them as well. Squats follow. Tracie adds a tap out (almost making it a one legged squat) then adds a drag in with knee. Repeat other side. Hip flexor/hamstring stretch before going into a one legged dead lift. The tempo changes here really made me feel it in the glute/hamstring tie in area! Slide work is next and begins chapter 2. Side slide outs followed by circles begin the segment. Next you'll stay in a low squat and push the slide leg forward, then to the side, then to the rear all while remaining in the deep squat. Great inner/outer thigh work is next. You'll brake to side and then cross back to rear (like you are skating). Put rag away and perform rear hip lifts followed by side leg lifts. Hop to side and then rear follow. Repeater knees and then stretch. Tracie includes several balance moves here as well. Now perform all choreography to other side. Reverse plank lifting one leg then the other (tough) then walk legs into table top position and perform a tuck. Come in for a wonderful butterfly stretch for the groin/inner thighs. Next is a quick hamstring stretch and then grab your mat for the next chapter. In chapter 3 you'll also need the rags again and optional ankle weights (if you dare). The first move, while lying on your side, you'll position the top leg in an L position and then lift and lower it with hips stacked. Then with that same leg you'll perform side kicks. Table position on all 4's, again with working leg to side in L from the body, you'll do little circles front and back. Hydrants with table lifts follow. Pigeon stretch. Next you'll grab your rags and position yourself into bridge position. Put your heels on rags, then you'll scissor your heels forward and back like you are running. This is done all while keeping the hips up off floor-TOUGH! Frogs are next. You'll lay on your stomach, put your legs in a diamond position with feet together and lift and lower the legs. Quick stretch before performing entire sequence to the other side. Butterfly stretch, seated forward stretch and side stretch finish up the workout.