My New Favorite Workouts with Tracy Anderson

While I usually write about healthy cooking, I want to shift my focus to fitness for this post and share a few fun workouts that I've found really beneficial.  

After getting myself into a bit of a workout rut, I turned to Tracy Anderson to help me change things up.  While Gwyneth's endorsement of Tracy definitely got me interested, it was Tracy's style of workout that ultimately appealed to me. As a former dancer, many of her exercises felt familiar to me - leg lifts, standing ab routines, and weight-free arm routines. But most importantly, Tracy finally gave me permission to stop running! 
Performing repetitive movements in fitness (such as running) creates a distinctive imbalance in the muscular structure and causes the large muscles in the legs to charge up. While running and cycling may burn calories, they do not design feminine muscles or get rid of an imbalance that may masquerade as a “problem area”—even on women who are genetically thin.
Tracy also gave me permission to stop doing weight training with weights heavier than 3 pounds.  I had always thought that lifting more weights would give me excess bulk (which I didn't want), but it was great to finally find a real arm workout that toned my muscles without building bulk.

Before ordering two of Tracy's DVDs, I tried out a few of her videos on YouTube.  I watch them on my TV using the YouTube station on AppleTV.  

First, I tried Tracy's 15-Minute Workout for Goop, and it made me so sore!  It hit muscles that I was clearly missing in my workout routine and got me interested in her other workouts.  

I tried Tracy's arm workout for Gwyneth next.  It may seem tough at first, but after doing it a few times, I got the hang of it and have a lot of fun with it.  
Finally, I like this cardio video, though I mute the volume on the TV and put my own music on instead.  I recommend trying this workout while listening to Girl Talk's Feed the Animals album.  Really fun and upbeat.  At the end of the video, the editing seems to be off and it's harder to follow - just keep up as best you can, or turn the video off and continue to do the movements that Tracy demonstrates on your own.  Sometimes I replay this video until I hit the amount of cardio I want to do that day (usually 20-30 minutes is about right).  

Tip: Make sure to wear supportive shoes for this one, as you will be jumping around a lot.

If you like these videos, I highly recommend the Tracy Anderson Method Mat Workout DVD.  If you're like me, you will be really sore the first time you do this DVD. Just be careful if you have any existing injuries, because this workout is tough on your lower back.  For the ab section, I often keep my legs bent so that my back is flat against the floor.  If that becomes too easy, you can always adjust down the road.  

I am happy to report that I have already noticed results after starting Tracy Anderson's workouts.  In particular, I have found that my ab and lower back muscles are much tighter than before. I also feel like the skin on my arms is tighter now than it was when I was doing heavier weight lifting.  All good results.  Thanks, Tracy!

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