Booty Barre

Tracey Mallett
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Ballet/Barre



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Note: I received a free copy of this DVD to review for the web site Metapsychology.net; you can find a more detailed version of my review on that site.

In her introduction, Tracey explains that she created The Booty Barre workout to combine elements of barre, dance, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. Tracey instructs the workout live in a bright indoor studio with four background exercisers. The only props required for this workout are a sturdy chair (for the barre work) and a pair of light (3-5 lb.) dumbbells, although a mat is also useful.

The Main Menu of the DVD offers options to either Play All or to select each of the four chapters individually. I have described each section of the workout in detail below.

Booty Barre Warm-Up (8.5 minutes)
This is a fast-moving, active warm-up with a bit of a cardio effect. Tracey starts with several variations on pliés, adding in heel lifts and moving from a squat to a standing forward bend. There is also a bit of a dance-like element in swaying the hips from side-to-side. The final sequence includes a flow in and out of a yoga warrior 2 position, from warrior 2 to crescent lunge, and finally from plank to an inverted triangle, or down dog.

Booty Barre Sculpted Arms (10 minutes)
For the first half of this segment, Tracey quickly moves through some more traditional arms exercises, including side delt raise, overhead press, chest press, rear delt lift, and a unique side/rear delt raise which lifts out of a squat position. The second half focuses almost exclusively on triceps work, although it also includes a front delt raise and long biceps curl.

Booty Barre Workout (32.5 minutes)
This glute-focused segment is the heart of the workout; a chair is used throughout. In general, Tracey completes a series of exercises on one side, then does the same series with the second leg. For the first 12 minutes of this segment, the setup is sideways, with one hip facing the chair. Some of the pliés here are similar to the warm-up moves, but the addition of kicks (from lunge and curtsey lunge positions) makes the work both more challenging and more glute-intensive. This first series concludes with a pulsing rear arabesque/attitude. The second 10 minutes also starts with the side to the chair in wide plié for knee lifts. Tracey then performs a squat into a side leg lift, eventually pulsating and rotating towards the chair to change the emphasis from the hips back to the glutes and back again, and finally, concluding with a killer “stork” kick. With just over 13 minutes left in this segment, Tracey introduces what she calls the “cardio section.” Using the seat of the chair for balance, this approximately 4-minute segment involves standing in a runner’s lunge and rapidly moving one knee in and out plus quick-moving plank variations (e.g., mountain climbers, bunny jumps). For the final standing sequence, Tracey returns to behind the chair for an assortment of moves, from parallel feet to additional pliés to bent leg lifts (back and side). The best thing about this segment is that Tracey is constantly changing up the approach: just as you are starting to become too fatigued in one position, she switches to working the glutes from yet another angle.

Booty Barre Abs and Flexibility (12.5 minutes)
For this section, Tracey and crew begin standing on their knees, briefly lowering and raising from this position to work the core. After some push-ups/plank work, Tracey then performs a series of moves in a seated c-curve position. This is followed by more Pilates-inspired abs exercises, including both the single leg stretch and the single straight leg stretch. Tracey performs a very brief (about 1 minute) series of back extensions before moving into the final stretches. The 4-minute seated stretch sequence includes rock the baby, seated cross-legged forward bend, wide-legged seated forward bend, and wide-legged seated side bend; Tracey concludes standing.

One of the background exercisers, Laura, is designated as the modifier, but she actually shows very few modifications—although she doesn’t go as deeply into the pliés as Tracey, for the kicks, Laura is generally kicking higher than any of the other exercisers, including Tracey herself! This just underscores the fact that The Booty Barre is most appropriate for those at an experienced fitness level. The barre segment in particular is challenging in terms of both strength and stamina, as Tracey keeps you constantly moving, producing a strong cardio effect.

Tracey perhaps tried to do a bit too much in this DVD: at just over an hour (approximately 63.5 minutes total), the workout feels a bit long. She might have been better served by making the barre segment a bit shorter and by adding more lower-body focused stretching, which definitely felt lacking. Personally, I loved the arms work and the first 22 minutes or so of the barre section; in the future, I may only use the DVD through that point. I didn't really care for the abs work (it was more of a mis-mash of abs, back, and arms), and again, I definitely thought that Tracey needed to include more stretches for the lower body, so I will probably add that on myself from now on.

Instructor Comments:
My only prior experience with Tracey had been from the old The Method series--she has improved a lot since then! She is very friendly and encouraging, but I definitely don't find her to be too over-the-top. Her cuing is very good, although since she is behind a chair for most of the workout, there were a few times when I had a little trouble seeing her exact positioning. Overall, however, I found her to be very effective and motivating.

Beth C (aka toaster)

03/03/2011

I'm reviewing this one after doing it two times. For some unknown reason I did not enjoy it the first time but loved it the second time and can't wait to try it again.
Tracey really shines on this workout and you can tell she put a lot of time in making it balanced. The UB work is one of the best in the barre genre. She was also very creative with the lower body. Lots of large ROM mixed in with the smaller pulsating moves. I found the ab work adequate, not as grueling as say P57 which just goes on and on!

Instructor Comments:
This was my first Tracey Mallett workout and I really enjoyed how she instructs and cues.

Darisa

02/13/2011

This is a 64 min total body ballet style workout that really targets the lower body! Tracey works out in an open ballet type studio set with 4 b/g'ers- one showing easier modifications. The dvd is chaptered very well so you can play all or select a workout (UB, LB, w/u, core). You will need a light set of dumbbells for the UB section and a chair for the LB section.

Warmup: (9 min) I felt it in my LB and it really got my body ready to w/o. You will do a pliet series with plenty of modifications, hip swings, plank into down dog, warrior and crescent pose w/ variations and pulses.

Sculpted Arms: (10 min) With light hand weights you perform lateral raise, military press, standing chest press, upper back flys, tricep swing to front raise w/ a knee pull, tricep kickback, french press, and a low VW move. Tracey adds in movement to many of these moves so you actually get your heart going a bit. When youre not moving- she adds in a ballet stance to help tone the LB.

Booty Barre: (31 min) Grab your chair and get ready to REALLY hit that LB and get your heart pumping! Moves include: 1st & 2nd position pliets, squats & close leg squats:- she adds in hip shifts and then you pliet or squat down, down, down while shifting your hips & back up, up, up. She adds in knee lifts and a lot of great variations to keep it interesting & challenging. Arabesque & attitude series: that really hits the buns! The next series got my heart pumping- lunge, curtsy dips and squats: with a front or side leg raise.One series reminded me of lying floor work: which Tracey does standing here (ouch)- glute pinches & leg lifts, and a standing donkey kick type series. Theres also a runners lunge/ knee pull, plank-knee pulls into mt. climbers, plank power jacks, and grand pliets.

Abs & Flexibility: (10 min) Moves include: kneeling pelvic tuck variations, single leg stretch, bicycles, push ups, plank to side plank with knee pulls, C-curve variations, back extensions and concludes with flexibility and a final stretch.

I really enjoyed this workout- and to be honest I didnt expect to (as Im not into ballet, dance, or barre). I was pleasantly surprised that my heartrate was up there during the LB section and I worked up a nice sweat. This is not your run of the mill- slow paced, ballet style w/o- Tracey keeps the moves interesting & challenging. Her cuing is wonderful and her form pointers were spot on! I would rate the lower body portion high intermediate and the other sections intermediate. Great w/o, lots of variety & the time flew by. I received this dvd to review from 411 Fitness Info.

lindseylu8

02/01/2011

The DVD has four sections:

Warmup (8:48):
Lots of second position plie variations, including some fast-paced side to side moves. There is a person doing modifications in the back that does not go down very low in the plies. That modification may help some with tricky knees. After the plies, she moves into crescent pose variations and then planks pulling back into downward dog. Then something similar to a pulsing warrior 2, before repeating crescent pose, planks, and downward dog on the other side. The warm up is fast paced, but I found it very doable.

Sculpted Arms (9:57):
All done standing with dumbbells. She recommends 3 lb weights working up to 5 lbs. I used 5 lbs. I find some upper body barre routines using weights are a bit light but really liked this one. While not as intense as Squeeze Stronger, I felt like I got a nice upper body workout. She does traditional exercises, but adds her own twist to make them interesting.

Booty Barre Workout (32:41): Includes:
o calf raises
o diamond plie variations, including side to side hip movements
o second position plie variations
o lunge, and then moving the back leg forward to kick up into the air (similar to grand battement)
o curtsy squats with kicks
o pulsing arabesque/attitude combo for the glutes
o figure-4 standing stretch
o repeat lunge, curtsy squat, and arabesque/attitude variations, and figure-4 stretch on other side
o second position plie, lifting outside leg up and elbow down to work the obliques
o wide squat pulses kicking leg out to the side
o more standing glute work (just over 2 minutes)
o Repeat second position plie/squat/glute work on other side
o The above takes almost 20 minutes and then she moves into cardio. For cardio, she goes into a reverse lunge and then brings the back leg forward. She also includes mountain climbers and a plank variation jumping the legs in and out.
o She then moves into the "final segment" with parallel thigh plie work and more diamond plies
o She closes with some standing stretches, and then more glute work!

Abs & Flexibility (12:43)
o Knee dancing (this is up and down movement and pulsing, as opposed to leaning back that is done in some barre workouts)
o (22) pushups, some slow and some fast (she does these bent knee, I modified to toe pushups)
o Ab work (approx. 4 minutes)
o Side plank balances (T-stand)
o Locust pose
o Flexibility starts at about 8:43

COMMENTS: I really had a lot of fun doing this workout. There is a lot of glute work!! I didn’t feel the intense burn in the thighs I can get from slower paced, small movement, Lotte Berk inspired workouts, but I also think that as I learned this DVD better that might come more with time. Even without the burn, though, I felt I got a good leg workout.

I really like Tracey and think she is a great instructor. She is energetic and peppy, but not over the top. She seems like she is having fun, and I did too!

It is fast paced but not too much so. I was able to keep up through the entire workout and didn’t have any safety concerns that I might injure myself. Tracey gives a lot of pointers on form, too, which is nice. I have a sensitive knee, but was able to do the entire workout. Some with sensitive knees might find parts of the DVD difficult. Always good to know your limitations, and make adjustments if needed. I have hip dysplasia and am fairly tight in the hips too, but only had a minor problem with a short segment of the main workout (had to keep my leg lower than hers). There was a nice cardio pace to most of the workout.

My only complaints were that ab work and flexibility section are pretty short. I did my own stretches after. But overall, I enjoyed the workout so much that those seem like minor points! This is a keeper for me!

kitty12

01/28/2011