Pilates Super SculptTracey Mallett
Year Released: 2010
Categories: Abs/Core , Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Lower Body Strength , Pilates/Core Strength
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In this DVD, Pilates instructor Tracey Mallet offers six Pilates segments which can be used either separately or together to provide an excellent workout for the abs, back, and lower body. The exercises incorporate the use of a small ball (I purchased the Body Back Ball & Pump set from Amazon.com to use with this workout); although I have been practicing Pilates for years, I found that the ball allowed me to perform the moves with better form as well as greater ease in my lower back. Tracey works out with two background exercisers, Rebekah and Amiee, in a bright indoor studio.
The Main Menu of the DVD offers the following options: Play All--Total Body Warm-Up--Obliques and Buns--Legs and Thigh Burn--Total Body Challenge--Flexibility. You may notice that there are only FIVE workout segments listed here; unfortunately, the second segment, "Classic Abs Series" was mistakenly left off the menu (although the DVD is chaptered, so you can skip ahead to it if you select "Play All"). Another reviewer, kitty, has already broken down all of the moves in detail, but I have added some thoughts on each segment below.
Total Body Warm-Up, 9.5 minutes
Tracey starts with the ball between the knees for pelvic lifts, moves it under the small of the back for toe dips, and then places the ball behind the shoulders for a few crunch variations. She finishes with some brief c-curve abs work with the ball between the knees.
Classic Abs Series, 11.5 minutes
This is a challenging segment that includes many traditional Pilates matwork exercise such as the roll-up, roll-over, double leg stretch, rolling like a ball (really felt this in the hamstrings with the ball behind the knees!), and single leg stretch.
Oblique and Buns, 10 minutes
This segment focuses on side-lying work, starting with the ball between the ankles; Tracey also places the ball behind the knee and even under the armpit at one point. Many of the moves are adapted from the Pilates side kick series, but Tracey also weaves in some more traditional floorwork as well as ballet-inspired moves to really target the glutes.
Legs and Thigh Burn, 9.5 minutes
Although intended to target the legs, this segment, which is again performed on the back, also really targets the abs as well. With the ball under the sacrum, Tracey performs a long series of leg exercises (this work feels similar to some of the moves in MTV Pilates except that there is the addition of the ball here). Tracey finishes with pelvic tilts with the feet on the ball.
Total Body Challenge, 10 minutes
This segment is actually fairly similar to the Abs & Back segment on Tracey's previous video, Renew You Sleek and Lean. Lying face down,Tracy completes a series of back extensions, first with the ball under the chest, then with the hands placed on the ball. With the ball between the ankles, she then performs hip circles on the elbows and Teasers 1 and 3. She concludes with a series of Pilates push-ups.
Flexibility, 8.5 minutes
Tracey starts in a seated pretzel stretch with the ball under the knee. She then uses the ball to facilitate the stretch in seated wide-legged forward bend and seated forward bend. Tracey concludes the workout standing for a few side bends and final stretches.
As noted, I really enjoyed this workout. I loved the addition of the ball--it helped with both form AND fun! And I found the way that the program was broken into segments to be very convenient for me; I expect to use parts of this DVD as add-ons in the future. However, I do want to offer some cautions about this workout. Tracey says that it is appropriate for beginners, and I don't agree. The modifier, Amiee, offers modifications for the most difficult exercises only (e.g., the rollover, the teaser), but she doesn't show basic modifications that many beginners might require, such as bending the legs when performing the roll-up. Furthermore, as a high intermediate exerciser myself who has been working out regularly for years, I found much of this program quite challenging! Again, I do recommend it, but my recommendation would be for AT LEAST advanced beginners and above.
I think Tracey does a really nice job here. She mirror-cues (although mirror-cuing always seems less useful to me in a lying position), and her instruction is very precise and deliberate overall.
First to mention, I don’t have previous experience with Pilates but I did try to use the actual names of Pilates exercises as much as I could. You do need a small ball for this routine. Tracey says a playground ball would work, but I think a softer ball works better. I used a FitBall Mini.
These are the sections:
Total Body Warm-Up (9:55):
o Bridge with ball between thighs
o Toe taps with ball under sacrum
o One leg circle with ball under sacrum
o Chest curl from arched back with ball under upper back between shoulder blades (straight up, with rotation, semi-circle)
o Squeeze ball between knees in static c-curve
Classic Abs Series (11:32):
o Roll-up with ball between hands
o Double leg stretch with ball between ankles
o Rolling like a ball with ball placed in back of knees
o Single leg bent leg stretch variations (ball against knee for resistance, rotation)
o Roll over with ball between ankles
o Ball toss crunch, moving ball between ankles and hands
o Half roll down raising arms overhead, ball between hands
o Half roll down with obliques, transferring ball between hands
o Roll-up to twist, raising one leg
o Spine forward stretch with extension
Oblique and Buns Sculpt (10:16):
o Side leg lying leg circles, legs together with ball between ankles
o Side leg lift series with top leg bent and ball behind knee (several variations)
o Side leg lift series with ball under armpit on supporting side (kick back/front, raise/lower, grande ronde de jambe)
o Mermaid stretch
o Repeat on alternate side
Legs and Thighs Burn (9:32):
o Adductor and thigh exercises with ball under sacrum (frog variations, open/close legs, leg circles, leg bends, double toe taps, scissors, helicopter, psoas stretch)
o Pelvic tilt variations (shoulder bridge with feet on ball, body long with feet on ball)
o Roll-up with feet on ball
Total Body Challenge (10:00):
o Back extension variations
o Child pose
o Double leg circles resting back on elbows, ball between ankles
o Teaser variations with ball between ankles
o Pilates pushups with ball between feet
o A mix of seated and standing stretches
I normally do a mix of traditional, barre and yoga for exercise. I really like Tracey’s latest Booty Barre DVD and had seen clips of this Pilates DVD and thought I would give it a try.
Overall I really enjoyed this DVD and completed the entire DVD in a sitting, although I did leave off a portion of the flexibility section. There isn’t any upper body work to speak of (no planks, only a few pushups) but that didn’t detract from the workout. I was surprised that I had some inner thigh DOMS after doing it and am interested to see if I have them next time around. I really enjoyed the core work and it nicely complements the other exercises I do.
My only complaint with the DVD was that Section 2, Abs Series, doesn’t show on the top menu where you can select individual sections. It does play if you select ‘Play All’.
I see my self using this DVD on a regular basis and look forward to Tracey’s next Booty Barre offering as well! I think Tracey did a great job