Sunday, June 2, 2013

P90X Core Synergistics

Today I pushed play on what might be my favorite P90X workout, Core Synergistics.

This hour-long workout it for the total body though it specifically focused on how engaging your core related to all your movements. I found this workout to be somewhat similar to the total body workouts I've seen in Insanity or Asylum. While we used some hand-weights, a lot of the moves used your body-weight for resistance. I found that I was sweating more from this P90X workout than any others. I also thought that this workout provided great cardio while still making you do resistance work. It is truly one of those workouts that has it all.

After a warm-up and stretch that lasted around 10 minutes, we began in earnest. Unlike in lots of the other workouts, we did each exercise once and moved on. This kept things interesting and made the workout seem to fly by.

Things started pretty hard right away with staggered push-ups. We then moved into banana rolls, where you maintain a banana shape and roll from your back to side to front to other side. Believe me, this really uses your core and rolling while holding the proper form is quite a challenge.

Next came some lunges and squat runs, which worked the legs, but which I found somewhat easier overall. There was an option to add light weights (think 5 to 8 lbs. for most women) for the squat runs, and I took advantage of this.

We then went back to more floor work with sphinx push-ups. With this move you start with forearms of the mat and push-up until your arms are straight. Very challenging. We then did some bow to boat, which reminded me of the banana rolls a little and I think may have worked similar muscles.

There was then more leg work. I loved the lung and reach, in which you hold and hand weight and do a chopping motion with a twist (think floor to shelf). We did this for two minutes, alternating sides every thirty second, and this really got my heart-rate up!

It was then more floor work with prison-cell push-ups -- think a variation on a half-burpee mixed with some floor sprints -- followed by hip raises. My right hips has been giving me a lot of problems, so I took it easy on this move. I'm hoping to go see my doctor next week to deal with the discomfort I've been feeling in my hip and want to take it easy on that part of my body until then.

Next we moved onto squat presses, always a favorite and guaranteed to bring your heart-rate up. There was more floor work such as floor sprints in plank and in low hover (the latter of which I didn't have the hip flexibility to do) and walking plank work, which reminded me a lot of Asylum.

Superman/banana and the Dreya roll both make appearances in this workout and still proved to be excellent fun. We also did an excellent compound weight movement with a lunge/tricep kickback/bicep curl/shoulder press. I had my 10 lb. weights with me for this and probably would have done better going with 8 lbs. Most of the people on the DVD kept their weights much lighter in this workout compared with others.

Another great core and upper body exercise was push-ups into a t-stand with a front twist. This worked all angles of the core plus your balance and your arms (especially shoulders and chest).

We ended with a bonus round of three exercises: isometric planks and low-hovers, tire jumps/high knees back, and tricep dips with alternating leg raises. We finished off with a five minute cool down and the standard P90X stretches.

I found this workout to be absolutely great! I loved the plank work, which worked my entire body and really made me engage my core. The exercises were done with good attention to form and at such a pace that you felt you were getting a cardio workout along with your resistance training. I was left feeling accomplished and well worked. I will definitely do this workout again and with frequency.

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