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Mega Trainer Tracy Anderson Shares How To “Nature” Yourself—& Get In Dancer Shape
Fad workouts and fitness gurus may come and go, but Tracy Anderson and the body-sculpting Method she’s been perfecting for the last twenty years don’t seem to be going anywhere. Although Anderson may be most well-known for being the go-to trainer for Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez, she’s worked with thousands of women, helping them rethink the exercise process—especially when it comes to targeting smaller muscles and avoiding overworking the larger muscles that tend to get all of the attention in many fitness styles. Her approach also prioritizes staying engaged with your movement and making a concerted effort to connect your awareness to your reps.
Her dance-based program can benefit almost anyone—you definitely don’t have to have J.Lo levels of dance experience or talent! Moreover, her online workouts are a great option for those of us who prefer to workout at home on our own time and at our own speed. In my experience with Anderson’s Method, I’ve only needed a mat and a chair with the option of including low-weight dumbells–very user-friendly!
Whether you’re just embarking on a new fitness regimen or looking or try something different or more challenging, Anderson’s sage fitness (and life) advice may come in handy!
Celeb Trainer Tracy Anderson’s Tips for Achieving Peak Fitness–In and Out of the Studio
Wake up on the right side of the bed. Anderson begins her morning with an uplifting mantra: “‘Trust that I’ve got myself.’ When I was younger, I used to wake up in more fear than I wake up with now,” she explains. “And any worry, fear, or self-esteem block really dim that ‘morning spark.’ It’s important to wake up confident and assured with yourself.”
Stuck at a desk? Don’t let yourself get stiff, Anderson advises. Do a few stretches at your desk periodically. “Dynamic stretching for me is for me what it’s all about,” she says. “Anytime you’re moving your own body weight and your limbs as a force of resistance against the core of your body, you are expanding and contracting your body in a way that stirs up movement and motion. It’s like oiling the Tin Man’s joints, really. It’s so key — and quite energizing.”
A dancing body is a dancer’s body. “If you want a dancer’s body, dance. Dance aerobics is my favorite cardio. It’s very frustrating if people think you have to become a dancer to do it – you don’t. My DVDs are very user-friendly,” she says. “You can take one or two combinations a day and learn them.”
Just say no to flinging heavy stuff. “There are a lot of boutique fitness practices that wear and tear on your joints or are not super healthy. Or people flinging kettlebells—you don’t really know where the force is ending up,” she adds. “I see more people with injuries in my studios from kettlebells than anything. It seems like everything [has gotten] very extreme: We watch weight-loss shows where people are pushing cars up hills. It’s just wrong.” Instead of reaching for something that could strain your body, try one of Anderson’s workouts, which stick to bodyweight exercises and modest hand weights (no more than 3 lbs!).
Variety equals balance. “There is not one move that can do anything result-oriented for anyone. If you do one move over and over again you’re going to end up creating imbalance in your body. I’m about the opposite — I’m about creating balance where there is imbalance in your body, which is why every single week in my studios and in my online studio I deliver a new sequence of 9 – 13 different moves.” For those of us working out at home, it’s important to vary the workouts we do to make sure the various parts of our bodies are getting targeted equally. This will maximize functionality, comfort, strength, and agility.
Finally, listen to yourself. “Beyond fitness, my most important health habit is the way I fight for nature in myself and don’t allow myself to be denatured, meaning I listen to my gut as a mom, I listen to my gut with food — you know, it doesn’t take a genius to know that processed foods are probably bad for us and whole organic foods are probably good for us,” Anderson explains. I lean into nature when it comes to relationships; good love not bad love (if you’re in bad love, you leave). It’s a principle in life. I lean towards what my gut tells me.”
Have you tried the Tracy Anderson Method? What’s your favorite fitness style?
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Photo: Tracy Anderson Method via Instagram