Tony says: Legs and back routine exists because I wanted to work on the two parts that I use the most. I love to climb ropes and I love doing pull-ups and I love that kind of acrobatic stuff. I’m also a skier, so I know the benefits of the leg routine, so people say to me, my god, how do you get legs like that and how do you do so many pull-ups? Because I do legs and back, I do them together on the same day. So I thought it would be silly to not provide that lovely little package for everybody who’s doing P90X.
Overview: This is a tough workout. At a solid hour, it comes into about three leg exercises for every pull-up, and even Tony is sweating bullets by the end. I don’t know about you but I’m no fan of deep lunges, so this workout really tests me. Not as fun as Arms and Shoulders, or as macho as Chest and Back, Legs and Back is a grueling, necessary workout that will leave you burned out and pumped by the end of it.
Combining a wide variety of lunges and squats with the occasional calf raise, your legs will definitely be trembling by the end of this. And if they’re not, all you need to do to add fire to the workout is grab some free weights and see if that doesn’t kick up the intensity level for you. There are 8 total pull-up exercises in this workout, and they range from close to wide grip, and from palms facing you to palms facing out. Standard fare, but like I said, grueling.
Do not skip this workout! While it’s one of my least favorite, I force myself to muscle through because you absolutely do not want to be somebody with a chiseled top and skinny legs. Work your way through this, enjoy that burn, and know that nothing burns calories more than squats and deep lunges.
Tip of the Day: Quality over quantity. Don’t fight for more reps because you’re jazzed up about the numbers, focus on quality over quantity.
The warm ups in P90X are for the most part identical in each workout, so you will quickly become familiar with this routine. This one is 10 minutes long and starts off with high knees, jogging on the spot, jogging with wide knees, heels to your butt. Then transition into jumping jacks and running lunges, and you’re done with the warm up.
As usual from there Tony moves into a stretching section, where he begins with a series of head rolls, arms reaching to the ground, working it from side to side. Roll the shoulders back, and then roll them forward. Bring your hands together before you, and stretch out your shoulders. Then lock your hands behind your back, and roll your shoulders back. A series of pec stretches, starting with the chest expansion and followed by some ballistic stretches, from huggers to arm shakers and back strokes.
Finish off with some ham string stretches, a good deep runner’s stretch, and side lunge. The last of the leg stretches are some deep quad stretches, and then we’re in business.
Balance Lunge [1:42 sec]: Place a toe on a chair behind you, and then lower yourself into a lunge, making sure your knee doesn’t go beyond your front toe. Maintain balance, and throw in some weights if you want an extra challenge.
Calf Raise Squats [1:18 sec]: Feet shoulder width apart, chin up. Lower down into a squat, and then rise up to the top of your toes. Hold for a beat, then lower back down into the next squat.
Reverse Grip Chin-Ups [41 sec]: Palms toward you and shoulder width apart, do as many pull-ups as you can.
Super Skaters [53 sec]: Lower yourself down onto one leg, the other leg slipping out behind you, arms scissoring as if you were taking a stride while ice skating. Raise up, and then back down on the same leg. For an extra challenge, don’t touch your toe to the ground. Do both legs.
Wall Squats [1:30 sec]: Place your back against the wall, and then lower yourself into a squat, knees at 90 degrees. Alternate height so that every 15 seconds you are either lower or higher. Focus on breathing.
Wide Front Pull-Ups [55 sec]: Palms facing away from you, hands wider than shoulder width, do as many pull-ups as you can.
Step Back Lunges [1:42 sec]: Hold weights by your side, and then step back and lower into a forward lunge.
Alternating Side Lunges [1:22 sec]: Holding weights by your side again, take a deep sideways lunge, lower down into it, and then explode back up to a standing posture and do the other side.
Close Grip Overhand Pull-Up [44 sec]: Palms facing away from you and hands close to each other, do as many pull-ups as you can.
Single Leg Wall Squats [1:01 sec]: Like the wall squats from before, place your back against the wall and lower yourself down into a deep squat. Then extend a single leg before you and hold for 10 seconds, and begin alternating.
Dead Lift Squats [1:46 sec]: Stand straight, raise one foot from the ground and lower yourself so that you can touch the ground with your fingertips. Rise back up to a straight position, and do both sides.
Switch Grip Pull-Ups [59 sec]: Do two pull-ups with your palms facing away, and then switch so that your palms are toward you. Keep going and alternating.
[Water Break 1 min]
Three Way Lunge [2:00 min]: Drop into a lung toward the side, and then snap back up, lunging leg either rising straight or doing a karate kick. Drop into a 45 degree lunge, kick on the way back up, and then into a forward lunge. Each time snap back up into a standing posture.
Sneaky Lunges [2:32 sec]: Keeping your weight at all times on the balls of your feet, drop into a really deep lunge, lean forward, extend your arms overhead, then back, and rise back up. Do a second lunge on the other leg, extend arms, back, stand straight, turn around and repeat.
Reverse Grip Chin-Ups [39 sec]: Palms toward your face, hands shoulder width, do as many pull-ups as you can.
Chair Salutations [1:26 sec]: For this yoga pose, place your feet together, bend your knees to a 90 degree angle, back at a 45 degree angle, and extend your arms directly overhead.
Toe Roll Iso Lunges [1:47 sec]: Drop into a deep lunge, and roll forward so that your back foot rises to the tip of your toes.
Wide Front Pull-Ups [40 sec]: Palms facing away, wider than shoulder width, do as many as you can.
Groucho Walk [45 sec]: Drop into a deep squat, legs at 90 degrees, and then walk forward 4 steps, back 4 steps.
Calf Raises [2:41 sec]: Grab a set of weights, and then do 15 slow reps, 15 fast. Do this three times, once with toes out, once with toes straight, and last with toes pointed inward.
Close Grip Overhand Pull-ups [34 sec]: Palms away, shoulder width apart, as many as you can.
80-20 Siebers Speed Squats [1:24 sec]: Stand straight, 80% of your weight on one foot, 20% on the ball of your other foot. Lower down into a squat and go back up rapidly.
Switch Grip Pull-Ups [1:18 sec]: Same as the last, switching hands every 2 reps.
Cool Down [4:15 sec]
Four minute cool down, which consists of jogging on the spot for awhile, some ballistic arm swings, reachers, pot stirrers, some chest stretches and hamstring hangs. Do downward dog for a little, pedal your feet and finish off with a quad stretch. And with that, you’re done with one of the most fun of the P90X workouts!
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