Lose The Belly Flab

Tracey Mallett
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core , Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball, Pregnancy/Postpartum

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Like its companion DVD, Get Your Body Back, Lose the Belly Flab is part of fitness instructor Tracey Mallett's Super Fit Mama series, which also includes the book Super Fit Mama: Stay Fit During Pregnancy and Get Your Body Back after Baby. Obviously designed with new moms in mind, this DVD offers short (around 10 minutes each) workout segments which solely target the abdominals and glutes. The workouts are broken up into two phases: "Phase 1" contains two slightly easier routines for the abs and the butt, whereas "Phase 2" ups the challenge a bit. In addition, the DVD includes two extra features: 1) Core Foundations, a segment in which Mallett has Leah, a new mother just 6 weeks postpartum, demonstrate how to test for abs separation as well as how to perform basic exercises to start pulling the abs back together, and 2) Bonus Hard Core Abs, a more challenging abs segment which adds use of an optional dumbbell and which includes many Pilates-like moves (e.g., roll-ups, v-sits, rowing, teaser, plank).

The Main Menu of this DVD reads as follows:
*Core Foundation
*Play All
*Pick Your Workout (Phase 1 Abs - Phase 1 Butt Blaster - Phase 2 Abs - Phase 2 Butt Blaster - Bonus Hard Core Abs)

Mallett exercises with one background exerciser who modifies some of the moves. They are in a small, bright furnished room. The routines require an exercise band and a ball (or towel), although the background exerciser frequently modifies without equipment; a chair is also used for the Phase 2 Butt Blaster segment. Mallett cues live throughout, offering mirrored left-right cuing. I've provided a brief overview of each of the four main segments below.

PHASE 1 ABS (12 minutes)
This routine begins with pelvic tilts. The band is used for resistant in pelvic curls and single leg stretch, then Mallet performs alternate side reaches. Moving to a side-lying position, she performs hip lifts; next comes some tucks in an elbow plank position. Mallett then shifts to the back for single leg lowers and work with the ball between the legs. This workout ends on all fours for a "wagging the tail" move.

PHASE 1 BUTT BLASTER (9.5 minutes)
This routine begins on all fours, using the band around the instep for rear leg kicks/lifts. Next, Mallett transitions to side lying for leg lifts, pulses, and a forward/back move. Lying on your back, you keep the band around your feet while pointing the toes out to work the glutes. This is followed by dolphin leg lifts, and then it's onto the stomach for frog leg lifts, swimming, and leg crosses. Mallett concludes with a seated twist. (NOTE: I found this to be just as hard as Phase 2!)

PHASE 2 ABS (10.5 minutes)
Mallett again starts with a pelvic tilt and adds the band for resistance in single leg stretch as well as scissors. There is a very tough move with the ball between the legs involving a pelvic lift and twist--definitely harder than Phase 1! Mallett also includes a kayak move, plank work (moving one knee in and out), and she concludes lying back supported on the elbows for alternate leg raises.

PHASE 2 BUTT BLASTER (10.5 minutes)
Here you'll start with the band tied around your ankles, first for a plie squat, then a walking side lunge (aka firewalkers). Mallett then uses the chair for some barre-like lifts (a preview of her Booty Barre DVD). Moving to the floor, she performs side-lying work with the band (similar to Phase 1). She concludes lying on the stomach for additional glutes work, including swimming and heel taps. Mallett again ends with the seated twist.

Overall, I liked this DVD, but I do have a few caveats to mention. First of all, it is TOUGH! I am not a new mom myself; in fact, I generally consider myself to be a high intermediate exerciser. I think that new mothers with no previous exercise experience might be frustrated by some of the moves on this DVD, which are fairly challenging. Therefore, I would recommend these workouts mainly to those who were fit BEFORE their pregnancy or to others with some pre-existing fitness experience (prior familiarity with Pilates would also be beneficial). The second issue I had is that I preferred the glutes segments to the abs work. Regarding the latter, I felt that Mallett put a bit too much emphasis on the obliques rather than focusing on the lower abdominals--not only a problem area for most women, but especially for women who are postpartum.

In the end, however, I definitely think that this DVD would be a good option for experienced exercisers interested in shorter segments targeting the abdominals and glutes.

Instructor Comments:
Although some people might find her to be a bit over-the-top, I like Tracey: I find her enthusiasm to be genuine, and I enjoy her laughter (and her accent!).

Beth C (aka toaster)


I liked this workout as it is a nice combination of core training with pilates mixed in. I did all 4 sections for a 40 minute workout. I particulary loved the leg section. She has a leg section that is reminiscent of winsor pilates with a resistance band. She does a sidelying section, then a section on all 4s. I had some slight DOMS the next day when using the band. The abdominal section is very pilates influenced she again used the band which gives some nice variations. She also has a modifier that does not use the band, which is nice. The music is neither good or bad, it sort of blends into the background for me. The set is made to look like someone's very whitish living room and the girls are dressed in purple, which is nice. Tracy has a great demeanor, pleasant but doesn't make any silly remarks. The breakdown of segments is really nice as you can use these workouts as add-ons. I think it was worth the purchase.

Instructor Comments:
I like tracey, but could see how some people may think she is a little stepfordy in this DVD. I think she is more personable in booty barre



This is the second DVD of the Superfit Mama series and complements the Get Your Body Back DVD. I am reviewing the download version of this workout.

Lose The belly Flab has five 10 minute workouts, three that target the abs, two that target the glutes. There are two phases, 1 being slightly easier, 2 being more challenging, and a final advanced ab workout. Tracey works out with a Pilates teacher who provides modifications for all the exercises.

The DVD also includes an introduction to abdominal exercises for women who have just had a baby. If you have just had a baby, donít skip this introduction! Tracey offers valuable advice that could help you prevent injury and provides gentle and effective exercises for building core strength.

Phase one: You will need a mat, a small squishy ball and a resistance band. All exercises in these two segments are performed on the floor, either on your back, your knees or your side. My yoga mat is not thick enough to protect my sensitive knees, so I recommend that you use a thicker mat to protect your knees if they are sensitive, or putting a cushion or towel under the supporting knee. My sensitive knee was twinging rather painfully the first time I tried the workout.
You will do pelvic tilts, oblique twists, single leg stretches, toe taps, front and side planks, plank to pike on your elbows and more.
Glute exercises are done with an optional resistance band and include donkey kicks, leg pulls and pulses in a tabletop position, leg exercises lying on your side, straight and diagonal leg raises from dolphin position, Pilates swimming and flutter kicks.

Phase two: besides the mat, the ball and the band, you will need a chair or a piece of furniture that is about hip high for support. The abdominal exercises in this phase add a twist or some more intensity. This phase is really not for people with weak abdominal muscles because some moves require a lot of control to avoid injury. The use of the ball and the band is optional.
The butt work becomes tougher here. You will do traveling squats with a band tied around your calves, some barre exercises supporting yourself on a barre, chair or piece of furniture, some more Pilates exercises lying on your side on the floor with the band around your foot for resistance, and some more from tabletop and dolphin position. You will end with flutter kicks, star fish and some little pulses to burn out your muscles good and proper.

I found this phase hard to finish the first time I tried it. It is still a challenge, and my last baby was born three and a half years ago!

Advanced ab workout is definitely more challenging than the previous two workouts.
For this segment you will need your mat and a dumbell (optional), for a tough Pilates-inspired mat workout. Lifts, modified pikes, full pikes, oblique twists, kayaking, side planks with thread the needle and with arm raises, and teasers.

The targeted audience for this DVD is new mothers, but it provides very good and challenging exercises for the more experienced too.

Instructor Comments:
Tracey cues very well and moves swiftly from exercise to exercise without wasting any time. She is friendly throughout and encouraging.