Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tracy Anderson Mat Workout DVD: Taking it to the Next Level

Tracy Anderson Mat Workout DVD Taking it to the Next Level

In this post, I thought we could discuss some tips for taking the Tracy Anderson Mat Workout DVD to the next level. As you can see from past posts: Tracy Mat Workout which has a full review of the Mat Workout DVD and Tracy Arm Webisode Review, I am a fan. This is one of the first DVDs that I wake up wanting to do. It gives this good burn kind of feeling, especially the arm portion. It makes me feel like I did something good today. It’s not hurting that my arms are looking more toned either.

After a while though, you may start to feel like you aren’t pushing yourself anymore – and that is the enemy to the workout. So, I thought I’d share a few things that I have done to increase the intensity for myself or to get past plateaus. I’d love to hear any of your ideas on how you’ve changed things up in the comments.

Add ankle weights
Add small ankle weights during the leg portions. I actually leave them on for the whole time as it doesn’t affect the arm and standing ab sections but I find them beneficial for all of the leg series and the lying ab series.

1 or 1.5 lb ankle weights are best. The Tracy Anderson method is designed to avoid bulking so the last thing you’d want to do is add crazy heavy ankle weights but she had advised that you can use 1 or 1.5 lb weights for another leg webisode series she has done giving it the okay.

In addition to the obvious benefit of having extra weight bearing against your lifts in the various rotations – I found an added benefit that the weights kept my movements more focused and created an awareness of proper placement that I hadn’t noticed before, especially in the lying on the mat legs portion.

Work in the webisodes
Throw in a webisode during the workout. Another thing I have done is midway through the Mat Workout DVD, I will pause and have a previously prepared webisode ready.
For example, after doing the two arm sequences, when my arms are appropriately exhausted – I know I can do more. I will pause the mat dvd and push play on the cued Arm Webisode or Goop Arm Webisode. Then, without pausing, I pick right back up where I left off in the Tracy Anderson Mat Workout DVD. Alternately, you could do the complete arm series twice. You can do the same with the leg webisodes or abs webisodes. Anything that tires out those muscles and changes it up is good. Sometimes, I will add in a webisode at the end of my workout too.

Observe nuances
Another thing I found myself doing is really focusing on the nuances in what Tracy is doing. After you’ve done the workout for a while, you know what is coming next and how to do it so now it’s time to really refine your technique.

For example, I noticed that Tracy holds the weights differently than I was doing in the second arm series. Does this make a difference? I’m not sure but I did notice it felt a bit different after I tried holding my weights exactly as she had. Notice if she is lifting an arm with palms up or down – are you doing it exactly the same?

Add in your own ballet arms
Once you really know all of the leg series and are sure your technique is where you want it to be, one thing you can do is create your own basic ballet arm series during the leg sequences. For example, during the standing leg series when you are doing basic leg lifts to the side, hold up your arm like a ballet dancer, moving it over your head and to the side with intention. No flopping around of course! Only try this if you are confident it won’t affect your form and focus on the legs.

Finally, as Tracy Anderson discusses in her cardio DVDs, it makes a lot of difference if you PERFORM
the moves rather than just doing them. The same goes with the Mat workout DVD – do the moves with intensity – point the toes all the way when you are supposed to point. Feel the tips of your fingertips when you place the arms in each position in the arm series. Pretend you are on stage and completing each and every motion counts. No half-hearted action. When I focus on performing and really completing each repetition, I notice my heart rate going up and feel a stronger burn.

I hope some of these tips help you take your Tracy Anderson Mat Workout to the next level. Now, share your tips in the comments. Also, if you haven't tried her Cardio, don't miss out: Tracy Anderson Method Presents Dance Cardio Workout DVD. What tips do you have to get past plateaus and take the Tracy Anderson Method to the next level?

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