Booty Barre Plus Abs & ArmsTracey Mallett
Year Released: 2011
Categories: Ballet/Barre, Total Body Workouts
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This is a well chartered 79 minute workout led by Tracey in an open studio with 4 b/g exercisers- one providing modifications. You will need light hand weights, a chair (or barre), and an optional playground ball for this workout. The sections include: Fusion Warmup, Killer Arms, Booty Barre & Abs, Core Challenge & Calming Stretch. The music is instrumental & I liked it.
Fusion Warmup: (7 min) This is a fast paced yoga + flowing movement section that really gets you ready for the work ahead. Exercises include: flowing squats w/ big arms, crescent pose, low pulsing pliets, pulsing chair, one legged chair etc. Great warmup.
Killer Arms: (14 min) You will use light (3-5 lb) weights for this section. Though the emphasis is on the upper body- you will also work the lower body and hit the core. Exercises include: overhead tri press, head taps, punches & torso twist punches in pliet, curtsy – side leg raise- with big arms, preacher curls w/ pliet pulses, windmill arms in pliet, wiper arms, one leg balancing tri press, & trip dip variations.
Booty Barre & Abs: (34 min) This barre inspired ballet-esque section really hits the lower body but the core is worked as well. This section is mostly standing & you will use your chair back for balance. Exercises include: closed heel pliet, wide toe pliets, wiper knees, elevator pliets, pelvic tuck, oblique tucks, 1 leg balance- side leg sweep, slow Mt. climbers, balance elbow to knee pulls, etc. The work is quick and she includes some exercises that do get the HR up.
Core Challenge & Calming Stretch: (23 min) This core & stretch section felt pilates inspired to me. You will need light weights for many of the moves. Exercises include: can can, c-curve roll down, toe drops, pilates bike, weighted lower ab crunch, swan dive rock, snake, roll over series, & scissors.
I would rate this a high intermediate/ low advanced workout. Tracey does a fantastic job of adding in lots of movement to raise the heartrate and she hits all the muscle groups with lots of unique exercises. Her cuing and form pointers/ reminders are fantastic. I really enjoyed the challenge that this dvd offered. Great unique barre
Received this dvd to review.
Please see Beth C's fantastic review for a breakdown of the exercises. Here are my thoughts:
Does its job to get your body ready for this 80-minute barre bootcamp. I agree that standing splits are a little too intense for a warm-up, but I personally LOVE working on them. If anyone is not familiar with proper form for standing splits, I recommend modifying and doing simpler hamstring stretches and/or hip flexor stretches during this exercise. To shorten this workout, I might skip the warm-up and substitute a minute long p57/core fusion/lotte berk-esque warmup. Tracey's warm-up gives a head start on frying the lower body, which I don't particularly need, as the actual workout doesn't need any supplementation for me. lol
Killer is right! No barre instructors hit the upper body like Tracey does in her booty barre workouts. Loved it! For my upper body strength, I found 3 pounds to be sufficiently toasting for every exercise except one that was like kettlebell swings for the upper back. As long as I plan properly, it shouldn't be too hard to quick switch to 5 pounds for those. Since barre workouts generally use such light weights, I usually feel like my biceps weren't worked well. Tracey's focus on the extension instead of the flexion burned my biceps. Loved it! And I really appreciated the triceps work as well. Awesome segment particularly for my bis and tris although I felt that every muscle was worked well.
Booty Barre & Abs:
I think BB+ is a great compliment to the original BB because the barre sections from each have a different focus. Like Beth C, I felt BB+ much more in my quads and hips than my glutes and hamstrings. In both workouts she incorporates grand battements (leg swings and kicks) and I think that really helps so I don't have so much doms the next day...frees the lactic acid to move versus all the barre workouts that focus on only small range of motion exercises. There are plenty of those too though, so don't despair.
Tracey offered new moves that I have not seen before. I enjoyed the plies work with passe and shifting from side to side because I felt it worked thigh at a time, which you don't always see in barre. My new favorite move is what I will call "barre warrior." You hold onto the bar with one hand and then go into warrior 3. Single straight leg pulses. Then my favorite: go from warrior 3 to standing split, return to warrior three and stand up. Leg and arm extensions of each other and moving at same pace at all times. I felt it in my core/back like nobody's business, plus it felt amazing to get a quick, intense stretch in too. Love this move!
As many people have said, this is an advanced workout. I am not advanced in barre (yet! muahaha) so I modify. For example, during the 1-minute cardio sections, I stretched my quads, hamstrings, and hips instead. Helped me revitalize for the next leg circuits. Also, I have sensitive knees, so I modified any time things didn't feel right. For example, I never do grand plies. Almost always, in BB and P57, they are executed too fast to be safe for my knees. I also do not spend the entire workout in full releve. I find that by lowering my heels halfway to the ground, I feel less pressure to my knees.
The barre segments really works the core (especially the obliques) with standing crunches, leaning your elbow on the barre and lifting/circling your leg to the side. Yowch!
I was pretty tired by the time we got to this section, so I don't think I gave the core work my all. It was quite challenging. My lower body is much more advanced than my core, so I had to modify a lot during this section. Very challenging for me.
The flexibility was nice. I do yoga and love to work on flexibility, so usually I found workouts' ending stretches to be laughably short. Tracey did a great job with hers. She held the poses long enough so I could feel my muscles relax a bit.
Overall, great workout! It's definitely one I will save for my higher energy days. Every segment is challenging, so I think it would work well to split them up and do them on different days when you don't have time to do the full workout. Modifying is key in these workouts if you are not an advanced exerciser or if, like me and my knees, you have special concerns.
I loved this DVD!! It is, though, the most challenging barre DVD I own (at least for me). It is rated Intermediate-Advanced which I think is fair. I think it does require good knowledge of one’s own body as far as what things you can or can’t do, skipping an exercise or using the modifier, or just doing fewer reps where needed. It certainly gives me something to work up to which I appreciate. Physical therapist and Pilates Certified Instructor Chantal Donnelly (Strong Knees DVD) performs the modified versions and I did need to follow her during the main Booty Barre workout.
I performed the entire DVD in one sitting after doing 20 minutes on the elliptical. I could also see breaking apart the different segments.
FUSION WARM UP (7:01)
A fairly intense warm up including a mix of calf raises, and variations on squats/chair pose, lunge/crescent pose, standing splits, wide leg squat with butt back, and standing side leg lifts while balancing.
KILLER ARMS (14:23)
Tracey recommends 3 or 5 lbs. I used 5 lbs but I’m pretty strong and think many might need 3 lbs. The first part is done with legs together and lifted on the toes which adds a nice balance challenge. Chantal does it with her feet flat instead as the modifier. I usually do mostly body weight exercises for upper body but like to include weights once a week (usually Squeeze Stronger Upper Body & Waist). Many barre workouts that include weights are pretty easy for me. While this one is not as tough for upper body as Squeeze Stronger, I really liked the nice combination of waist and upper body work on this DVD. This was a very unique routine and I liked the fast pace.
Tracy hits the biceps, shoulders, triceps, chest….in various positions – on the toes, wide leg squat, curtsy squat, side leg lifts, and also balancing on one leg in a high static single-leg squat. She adds some nice twists to hit the obliques and waist. You then move to the floor for tricep dips variations.
BOOTY BARRE & ABS (34:37)
(Need a playground ball and chair for support – I used my Fitball)
This is a ballet inspired routine with an athletic feel. If you are familiar with barre workouts and are looking for a challenging workout, this is it. I have hip dsyplasia and can’t lift my leg as high as Tracey does so I followed Chantal keeping my leg lower and also staying lower on my toes during relevé. These modifications worked really well for me. You move your arms constantly through this segment.
This section includes:
o First position plie variations, including alternating with passé, second position and fourth position plie
o Second position plies – she does one version with butt back and knees moving in and out that I really felt in the butt! Another version uses pelvic tilts to the front and sides.
o Brief cardio segment starting from plank and kicking both legs off the ground into a pike
o A variety of side leg lifts to work the glutes, obliques, and abs
o Cardio segment with low pulsing lunges, hands resting on the ground, quickly switching legs
o Parallel leg plies
o Static single leg plie with forward leg lifts – this might be too challenging for some to remain on one leg. I do single leg squats twice a week so this was a challenging alternative doing them in relevé!
o Parallel leg plie alternating with a forward leg lift, leg bent at the knee – works the abs
o Leg kicks forward and then to the side
o Warrier 3 inspired segment (I really liked this)- pulsing raised leg and one raised arm, then bending at the hip to touch extended arm to the ground and back up again, and then sweeping the raised leg out to the side and straightening the upper body
o Parallel leg plie moving hips in a figure 8, raising and lowering
o Cardio segment – plank tucking one leg up towards the abs, and then moving into mountain climbers
o Glute work with playground ball tucked behind the knee
o Plies squeezing the playground ball between the thighs
o Sit on chair leaning back in small c-curve, ball tucked between knees, legs bent – raising and lowering the legs to work the abs
CORE CHALLENGE AND CALMING STRETCH (23:43)
Using a 3 or 5 lb weight is optional in this segment – I skipped the weight.
o Brief c-curve segment (approximately 2 minutes)
o Mostly pilates inspired ab work including bicycle, can-can, reverse curl with weight between legs, classic crunch raising lower and upper body, oblique crunch, explode segment (start on back with legs in table, extend into boat/V with arms raised, includes rotation), roll over, single straight leg stretch, climb a tree
The ab portion lasts about 13 minutes.
o Back extension: cobra, swan dive, snake
o Pushups (20)
Stretching starts about 15 minutes into this segment.
I really liked this DVD. It was fun and intense and for such a long DVD, time really went quickly. The Booty Barre segment is similar to her first Booty Barre DVD, but feels like a completely different routine. If you have her first DVD and liked it, I think you would probably like this one. This DVD makes up for the missing ab work on the first one.
My muscles felt nicely tight after I finished the workout, but because I had been careful to not lift my legs to high during the side leg lifts (followed Chantal) I didn’t have any muscle soreness to speak of. I did put in my Strong Knees DVD and did the stretch segment from it after I completed the workout (I like a lot of stretching).
Just as background, I’m 48 with hip dysplasia and some cartilage damage in one knee (although the knee doesn’t bother me much anymore). I consider myself to be advanced-intermediate for barre work.
NOTE: I received a free review copy of this DVD from the instructor.
This DVD is a follow-up to instructor Tracey Mallett's popular Booty Barre DVD. Although the original Booty Barre was quite tough, Booty Barre Plus Abs & Arms (or BB+) kicks things up a notch. As the title would suggest, this DVD offers more work for both the arms and the abdominals, and Mallett also places a greater emphasis on the core throughout the workout. However, this is still Booty Barre, and so there is still plenty of work for the glutes as well. Props required for this workout include a sturdy chair, a light set of dumbbells, a small ball (one like 9" Body Back Ball & Pump would work well), and a mat. Mallett is working out in the same studio she used for the original Booty Barre, and there are four female background exercisers, one of whom shows some modifications.
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 (times in parentheses are approximate).
FUSION WARM-UP (6.5 minutes)
Mallett incorporates some dynamic yoga-type movements into the warm-up, such as chair pose with pedaling the feet and pulsing lunges. She also includes stretches designed to open the hips, but these felt too intense too soon--e.g., leg pulses performed from a standing splits position. The warm-up concludes with sumo squats and side leg lifts.
KILLER ARMS (14 minutes)
For the arms work, Mallett suggests 3-5 lb. weights. She and the crew basically perform three circuits, with the first two circuits each being repeated once.
*Circuit 1: on toes for pec flies, high side bicep curls, and punches; curtsey lunge with leg kick/front arm raise
*Circuit 2: on toes for shoulder circles, high front bicep curl, chest press, shoulder press, and lat pull down; finish bent over for windmill (alternating arms pull back)
*Circuit 3: begin standing for tricep lifts rear, add alternate leg lift; go to floor for about 2 minutes of tricep dip variations
BOOTY BARRE & ABS (34.5 minutes)
As with the original, BB+ uses a chair for the barre work, but a ball is also used for some of the moves. There are four total barre circuits; with the exception of the final circuit, Mallett ends each with brief "cardio"--just like in the original BB, the cardio involves coming around to the front of the chair and performing jumping plank-type moves (a.k.a. mountain climbers).
*Circuit 1 (side to chair): on toes for plies, wide-legged plies, and open fourth position (stepping both forward and back); also grand plies, deep squats, and pelvic tucks; cardio starts in down dog position (upside down V), then 3 pulses to "pike," or jump in the air (balanced on hands only)
*Circuit 2 (side to chair): plie with leg raise, side crunch, side kick, leg circles, knee swings, knee lifts, stork kicks; cardio involves knees in and out to pike
*Circuit 3 (face chair): on toes for closed leg plies, pulses, leg lifts, and cat crunch; grande battement to front and side; warrior balance leg lift lifts, then touch down & raise up; Figure 8 dips to stretch; cardio involves knees in and out, adding rotation
*Circuit 4 (uses ball): ball behind knee for internal/external rotation of hip, hamstring pulses; ball between knees for squats and pelvic tilts; finish seated on chair with ball between thighs for abs crunches
CORE CHALLENGE & CALMING STRETCH (23.5 minutes)
The first 15 minutes of this segment focuses on the abs/core, and the final 8.5 minutes provides a cool-down stretch. Mallett suggests using a single 3 lb. or 5 lb. weight for the abs work.
The core work begins with a more traditional feel. Mallett does start with a modified Pilates roll-up (coming down and up to the "bra line" only). She follows this with several moves propped up on the elbows, including toe touches, bicycles, can can, and rock-n-rolls. Next, she places the weight between the legs just under the knees for a series of crunch variations, including pelvic tilts, double crunches, and classic crunches; she finishes this segment by repeating the rock-n-rolls with the weight. The following sequence is more Pilates-inspired but also more advanced. Holding the weight in her hands, Mallett moves from lying with the weight overhead to rolling up into a bent-leg V-position and then "explodes" into a straight-leg V (or full teaser); she keeps the pace slow and even here. She follows this with the Pilates rollover. Next is the single straight leg stretch, made even more challenging by placing the hands behind the head and then twisting to either side. The final seated move is an alternating "walk up the tree," rolling up one leg, then the other. Following this, Mallett flips over to her stomach for the swan dive, another advanced Pilates move, and then she performs the snake to stretch. To conclude the core work, she does several sets of push-ups.
The stretch segment begins with a wide lunge to stretch the hip flexors. Mallett then moves into a hamstring stretch and encourages participants to move towards a full split (which she and everyone but the modifier perform). Additional floor stretches include wide legged forward bend (adding a twist), seated twist, and a hip/glute stretch. Mallett performs a few brief stretches standing to finish.
At almost 80 minutes total, this is a LONG workout. In terms of stamina and flexibility required, I found this to be an advanced routine--in fact, I would suggest that the Core Challenge segment would only be appropriate for those with good pre-existing core strength as well as prior Pilates experience. With respect to the Booty Barre segment, however, I actually didn't find BB+ to work my glutes as intensely as the original BB. I do think the barre work in BB+ is intense, but I felt it more in my thighs rather than my "booty." I also found that while I really liked many of the moves that Mallett included in the arms section, I didn't feel comfortable just using one set of dumbbells throughout, as this weight sometimes felt too light, sometimes too heavy; unfortunately, there is little time for weight changes.
As noted, this workout is clearly designed with experienced exercisers in mind. Despite the presence of a modifier, I would not recommend this DVD to a beginner. Furthermore, if you were hoping that BB+ was going to be BB2, you may well be disappointed, as this is a completely different routine--with some of the same elements, yes, yet with a totally different feel overall. But if you are up for a challenge, not just for your booty but for your entire body, then the new Booty Barre Plus Abs & Arms might be for you.
I really do like Tracey as an instructor. Although she may look like a Barbie doll, she comes across as quite genuine--I find her enthusiasm to be as real as her accent (which is kind of cute). But the problem I have with Tracey in both BB+ and the original BB (and, to a lesser extent, in her two "Super Fit Mama" workout DVDs, although I really like those), is that she does not seem to be in tune with the fitness level of her audience. Here she includes some moves which require WAY too much flexibility (such as the standing splits in the warm-up), and although she listened to the complaints about BB and had the modifier show more modifications, it is STILL not enough. One last issue I had with Tracey in this DVD is that she sounded somewhat hoarse, as if she had overworked her voice during the rehearsals.
Yet, despite these complaints, I still find Tracey to be very likeable, and as noted above, some exercisers will likely really enjoy this DVD.