INSANITY REVIEW: Core Cardio & Balance

INSANITY Core Cardio Balance

Congratulations! If you’ve reached this INSANITY workout, it means you’re into the Recovery Week, and are halfway through your workout. That means you’ve put weeks of intense work behind you, and are ready to take a break before hitting the Max workouts that will push you to the limit for the remainder of the workout. Not that the Recovery Week is a walk in the park-this workout is legitimately challenging, and for most people would be brutal. Following what you’ve just been through though, it’s going to be a welcome change of pace. As Shaun T says, you don’t want to be burned out by the end of this exercise-you want to allow your body to be recovered by the end of the week, and ready for the intensity that comes later.

The workout is shorter than most, coming in at only 37 minutes. It follows the regular pattern that the others do, which is to begin with a Warm Up, proceed into a stretch, then hit the main workout which consists of ten moves. Then Shaun puts you through a hip flexor segment, followed by come core work, and then you ease into the last stretch, and you’re done.

Warm Up

This actually feels like a warm up. Usually I encourage people to do their own warm up before starting their INSANITY workout, but you can ease into this one without any difficulty. It consists of six exercises, each about one minute long, and the pace at which they are held is constant. For people used to the three sets, each being successively harder than the last kind of warm up, this will be a welcome change; the intensity remains constant, and by the end of it you’ll be ready for the stretch.

The six exercises are:

1)      Switch Heel Kicks (imagine jumping rope slowly with alternating feet)

2)      Mummy Kicks (a warm up standard)

3)      Football shuffle (not nearly as intense as the Suicide Drills version, just moving from side to side)

4)      Over the Log (a mild version of the Heisman’s-just jog in place, and leap when told)

5)      8 High Knees/8 Power Jacks

6)      8 Fast Feet/8 Hooks

Stretch

The stretch is a little less than 4 minutes, and is also less intense than your standard stretches that you’ve grown used to. The focus is on the core, and involves opening your hips and pelvis, stretching out your hamstrings, lunges and the like. You don’t have the intense yoga stretches, or the power stretches where you extend both arms ahead of you. Instead, you ease through this and work deep into the stretch. This is followed by a 30 second water break.

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Main Workout

This is a series of 10 exercises, each of which you’ll actually do for about one minute, though the total time allotted to them is 13. The reason is that Shaun takes his time explaining how to do each one, giving you a moment to breath, to recover, to not over heat. As such, make sure to get perfect form with these, to really focus on doing them right, going as low as you can, jumping as high as you can, so that you get a good a workout. Don’t push too hard though-remember, you’re not supposed to burn out!

1)      Moving Ski Hops (jump four times to one side as if skiing, and then go back) 1min

2)      Hit the Floor (Shuffle from side to side, lunging down to touch the floor, speeding up halfway) 1 min 15

3)      Level 1 Drills (four push-ups, and the run it out for 8 counts) 1 min

4)      Heismans (side to side, knees raised, arms swinging, speeds up halfway) 1min

5)      8 Switch Kicks/8 Hop Squats (kick in place, and then drop into a deep squat and hop)

6)      High Jumps (Jump as high as you can, land softly, focusing on height)

7)      Moving Plank Walk (Get into plank position, and then travel to one side, and then back)

8)      8 Elbows/4 Suicide Drills (throw 8 elbows, and then side to side travel and touch the ground like the Hit the Floor move)

9)      4 & 4 Hops (Hop from one foot to the other, 4 times on each one)

10)   8 Jabs/Jumps (throw 8 jabs, then jump and completely spin around)

Hip Flexor Burners

This section focuses on the core and the muscles around your hips. It starts of easily, with your arms up, and raising one leg over and over again, bringing the knee up to hip height, and then lower your leg and tap the floor, exhaling as your knee comes up. Do this for 30 seconds, and then the first variation is to keep you knee high, and pulse it up above waist height. The final variation is to keep the knee high, and then extend the leg so that it is straight and parallel to the ground. Repeat the same three moves on the other side, for a total of 3 minutes.

Obliques

After a 30 second water break, you do a minute of Obliques-simply bring a knee up your side as high as you can, and bring that elbow down to meet it. Then lower your foot, raise your arm, and keep flexing and bringing it back down to connect.

Shoulder Burners and Plies

The final segment is to go deep into a squat, arms extended out to the side, head raised. When you are in position, pulse your arms up and down as if taking off for flight. That lasts for 45 seconds, and then you begin to close your arms before you, and then bring them back for 30 seconds. The next part is to bring your arms directly straight above your head, and then lower them back down. Keep your knees over your ankles. Then you circle your arms around and around in tight circles for another thirty seconds, and the final variation is to switch the direction in which you are swinging your arms, and you’re done.

Stretch

Final two minute or so stretch, where you stretch out your shoulders, back and hamstrings. It’s brief, but a necessary way to finish your stretch, and then you’re done with the whole INSANITY workout!

 

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