Tracy Anderson exercise DVDs review
I saw Tracy Anderson, a skinny little blond woman, fitness trainer to the stars, on The Dr. Oz show where she did a mini arm workout, and I followed along. My arms were tired after just a few minutes, and I work out with weights consistently, so I got two of her DVDs, shown above. Her exercises are very odd looking, and she explains that her method trains the accessory muscles in addition to the large muscles, which creates a lean look. In both DVD’s, the arm workouts delivered; they weren’t too hard to do, yet, I could feel my arms getting tired and stronger. The older DVD, Precision Toning, has four 15-minute workouts, and I like that arm video best because it’s more challenging than the newer DVD, Method Express, but what I don’t like about this older video is how unlikable she is. Tracy is condescending, saying that we need to watch the video three times before even trying it. She has an attitude in the tone of her voice in the whole DVD, but in her newer video, she seems nice and friendly, so I prefer the newer one for only that reason.
There’s things to like and dislike about these workouts. She doesn’t say at the beginning of the exercise how many reps to do, she just counts. Sometimes it’s ten reps and sometimes it’s forty. That’s not a typo, 40 repetitions in a row is a lot! Most the moves are bizarre or awkward, but some just seem like a really bad idea unless you’re very flexible and have taken a least a year of ballet because you’re on the floor with your head down, bending your leg up and back a ridiculous number of times.
In her leg section, her “squats” are where her knees are slightly bent, and she just bends her chest towards her thighs a bunch of times; that’s not a squat, and it doesn’t do anything to strengthen your lower body. She explains that her workouts really lift that butt, except that she has hardly any butt to speak of, and I didn’t feel my glutes working at all.
Most of the exercises are faced down, or away from the TV so you can’t see if you’re doing the exercises correctly, yet she emphasizes doing the movements exactly as she does. The camera only shows one view, from the front, so you don’t have a good idea of what it looks like from the side or from the back. I had no idea if I was really doing the exercises the right way. There’s a lot of floor work where you’re getting partially up and moving back down to the mat, which is great from a cardiovascular perspective, but not so great if these exercises don’t come easily for you (they didn’t for me), so I was worried I was going to injure myself and hurt my lower back.
All in all, her workouts are weird, but they have some merit. I really like the arm workouts and some of the abdominal exercises, but if you want to strengthen your lower body and/or get a good cardio workout, these exercises won’t accomplish those goals, and you might end up hurting yourself.
P.S. If your goal is to clean up your diet and lose unwanted pounds, check out my flexible eating diet book at http://www.thehighfivediet.com