Saturday, January 25, 2014

P90X3: Dynamix Review

On the Classic calendar for P90X3 Sunday reads as follows: Rest or Dynamix. Because it was the first week, and I was curious, I decided to give the Dynamix workout a try. I am so glad that I did!

Dynamix is a dynamic stretching workout designed to help with flexibility, mobility, and strength. For anyone who does any athletics, I think it will be a big help. I plan to keep it as part of my weekly program going forward for quite some time. Dynamix seems like the type of workout that will really help you keep your body balanced and help prevent injury. I find my flexibility to be a challenge, so I think this workout will greatly benefit me. I also think that a lot of these moves could be helpful with keeping my body in good shape for my running.


The number of exercises in the workout is lengthy. I'll go through each one but will only indicate comments next to moves that I think people might find especially beneficial or especially challenging. We often did moves in sets, doing three or four moves on one side before switching and doing them on the other side. (This is instead of doing each move on each side.) I'll note these groupings in the list below.


On side, all lying on left then all lying on the right (Note: We went through these four moves first on one side and then the other instead of alternating sides within the set.):
  • Leg Lift: Lying of your side, lift your leg straight up. Do on both sides.
  • Adductor Lift: Cross your right foot behind the left leg and lift your left leg towards the ceiling. (The people on the DVD had various ranges of motion for this move. I couldn't get my leg very high at all.)
  • Horse Step: Pull your right bent knee towards you, extend out in front and sweep back.
  • Forearm Plank: On bend elbow and on your side, keep yourself in a straight line in side plank balance. (My supporting arm was fairly tired at this point, making this move more of a challenge.)
On stomach, right side then left (Note: We went through all seven of these moves on one side. Then we started back at top and did the other.):
  • Glute Lift: Face down, light leg straight up behind you.
  • Scorpion: Face down, lift you leg bent up behind you and twist to touch your toes over your back to the opposing hand.
  • Shoulder Stretch: Sit on your knees. Interlace your hands behind your back. On your knees lower your head to the floor lifting your arms towards the ceiling. (For this move, Tony Horton says you should try to sit back so your glutes are on your feet. I found this to be a bit hard -- I had to be a bit more forward. I saw people in the DVD doing the same thing -- not getting all the way back onto their heels -- so I think this is okay.)
  • Ham/Hip Rocker: Coming up on one knee, place you hands on your waist as you drop your pelvis towards the floor. Next, extend you front leg out in front of you, bringing your hands to either side of the leg.
  • Groiners: Bring your hands to the floor inside your foot, have the other leg extended straight behind you. Alternate your foot from plank to lunge. (I know of these as Spider Lunges.)
  • Pigeon: In plank, draw your knee in to pigeon then go back into plank. (Pigeon is probably my favorite move! It always helps my hips and is something I do most days to help with my tendonitis. I had never though to do it as a dynamic move before and greatly enjoyed it.)
  • Lunge Push-ups: In a low lunge, bring your hands both inside your front foot. Bend into a push-up. (Because of the way you have your bent leg under your chest, I found my range of motion limited for the push-up part of this move. I also found that the front leg took a lot of the work out of the chest when doing the push-up. Bending down into the push-up position seemed to provide a stretch in the legs more than work in the chest and shoulders.)
Standing (Note: These moves were just done once each, straight through):
  • Polka Stretch: Do a calf/hamstring standing stretch on the left side by extended the leg along the floor and lifting the toes. Bring your right arm to the outside of your foot. Switch arms and legs. Keep repeating. (My hamstrings and calves are very tight, so I really appreciated this stretch. I've done this before, but almost always as a static stretch.)
  • Hip Circles: Lift leg and circle it to the outside with knee bent, then repeat to the inside. Switch sides. (This was part of the warm-up in some of the Les Mills Combat workouts, and I really like it. It does a good job warming up the hips.)
  • Polka Plus: Stand in a hamstring stretch like in Polka Stretch. Then step that front leg back into a lunge. Repeat on the other side.
  • Double Knee Pulls: Grab your knees and bull it up twice towards the chest. Switch legs. (This move is done in almost all of the P90X3 warm-ups and was very familiar. Still feels fantastic.)
  • Front to Back Lunges: Step forward into a lunge with the right leg. Using the same leg, step the right foot in back of you. Switch legs after 30 seconds.
  • Double Quad Stretch: Do a standing quad stretch, lifting your foot towards the glutes behind you and pulling. Alternate left and right. (Again, a familiar move from the P90X3 warm-ups. Running works the quads, so I feel like I can't get too much of this sort of stretch.)
  • Glide Lunge: With wide legs, lunge side to slide keeping your torso level and moving smoothly.
  • Tin Man Zombie: Have arms extended at shoulder level and alternate kicking straight legs to your hands. (This is one of the early moves in the T25 Stretch DVD. I am not too keen on it in either workout -- I'm not sure why but it doesn't feel like an effective stretch for my body.)
Supine (Note: As with the standing moves, we moved through these moves straight through doing each one once and alternating sides within the set.):
  • Glute Rocker: On your back, cross one foot over the other knee and bring the bent leg towards the chest. Lower and raise again in a rocking motion. Repeat on the other side. (The static version of this glute stretch is one of my favorites. This is one of the only cases where I think I prefer the static version of this move to the dynamic one. I just didn't feel like I got as good of a stretch doing the dynamic version.)
  • Double Knee Pull: The same as the standing Double Knee Pull but done on hte back.
  • Double Pigeon Pull: On your back, pull the calf of your right leg towards you twice while keeping the ankle even with the knee. Alternate. (This is the same as the standing Double Pigeon Pull done in almost all the P90X3 warm-ups expect it's done lying down.)
  • Spinal Twist: On your back, bring your knee up to the chest and cross it over your body. Hold with your left hand leaving your right arm extended out shoulder high at a 90 degree angle to the body. Switch sides and back forth. (I could have easily done this for wa more than 30 seconds. I have done this as a static move and not loved it, but it felt great when done as a dynamic move. My hips and back really felt good afterwards.)
  • Fifter Scissor Stretch: On your back with shoulders curled off the floor, lift one leg straight up with the other hovering straight a few inches off the ground. Alternate legs pulling on each leg twice when it's in the air. (This move is taken from Pilates where it is just called Scissors. Great work for the abs.)
  • Marching Bridge: Lay on your back with knees bent. Push hips up in Bridge. Lift one foot off the ground lower and repeat on the other side, like marching.
  • Farrthing Stretch: While supine with shoulders curled off the floor, bend one knee to the chest and extend the other leg to hover off the ground. Alternate bringing the other leg into the chest and straightening the bent leg.
  • Side Banana and Superman: Lie on your side with hips stacked. Curl your arms up and lift your legs so you are in a "u" shape with only hips on the ground. You are now in Banana. To transition to Superman, rotate to your stomach. Extend arms over the head and raise arms and legs off the floor so only your core is on the ground. Finish by transitioning back to Banana on the alternate side.


I started today feeling very sore all over. After doing this workout I felt much better. P90X3: Dynamix plus a glass of cherry juice with chia made me set for the day!


I really appreciated this workout which is very different from most flexability workouts I've done. Instead of static stretching this was all dynamic. I like the feel of this way better than yoga, where you often spend a lot of time holding poses. While static stretches can make the muscles feel good, Dynamix -- where you had exercises that allowed you to move through ranges of motion -- seemed to be more beneficial for preparing you to succeed at other activities.


Dynamix is a keeping. I definitely see this as a workout I will continue to use even after I am done with the P90X3 program. Similar to how I feel about X3 Yoga, this would be a perfect workout for a rest day or a supplementary workout on a day when I have worked hard and am feeling sore.


I'm hoping to see improvement in my range of motion from workouts like this. I would not normally spend the time to do as much stretching and flexibility work as have done since starting P90X3. I think that incorporating these workouts into my schedule is definitely beneficial and should lead to improvements in all areas of fitness activity.

1 comment:

crazyarchitect.13 said...

This is the best set of reviews for P90X3. Very thorough and detailed. Great job!!!