P90X2 Recovery + Mobility: Deloading from your P90X2 workouts.
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P90X2 Recovery + Mobility First Impressions
P90X2 Recovery + Mobility. Strictly speaking, P90X2 Recovery + Mobility should not be considered a workout. It’s actually a lesson on how to do foam roller exercises and their benefits while listening to Tony philosophizing about recovery and stretching. Doing this routine is optional. If your muscles don’t need any tender loving care, you can skip it altogether and take a rest day from Tony and P90X2. Or, you can join team Shaun T for the day and do hardcore cardio. P90X2 Recovery + Mobility is similar in format to the Stretch X routine from P90X, but with P90X2 Recovery + Mobility, the emphasis is not on classic stretching moves, but foam rolling.
A low intensity, low impact routine, P90X2 Recovery + Mobility is about 57 minutes long. Recommended gear are a foam roller, weighted bar, and yoga mat. The last two items you can do without, but with about 50% of the routine devoted to foam rolling, it would be pointless not to have one handy. Joining Tony today are Juan, Cedric, and Christie. Nice, every major ethnicity is represented. I’m obnoxious, so I nicknamed them the P90X2 Recovery + Mobility Rainbow Team.
Juan has an interesting life story because he suffered two heart attacks and had a cholesterol level of 300 before turning his life around with P90X. Now, he looks like a buff dude and his cholesterol level is down to 95, and he’s a fitness demonstrator on P90X2 Recovery + Mobility. I love hearing these types of stories. Cedric is a Beachbody employee. I hope he’s not in customer service because he seems a bit prickly [Cedric will show more humor in a future P90X2 workout]. Don’t know much about him other than that. Oh yeah, he’s extremely flexible for a big dude. Don’t know anything about Christie, except that she’s tight in the shoulders (she complains about her shoulders at least four times) and has questionable taste in athletic wear. I noticed as a whole that there is an odd lack of chemistry in the group, unlike the teams from the other P90X2 workouts. I guess it’s because this routine is so low intensity that there’s not much high fiving, fist pumping, or other displays of camaraderie. Unlike doing 20 pullups, finding a muscle knot is deeply personal and not something your other team members can get too excited about. P90X2 Recovery + Mobility is not about pushing your limits.
Breaking Down the P90X2 Recovery + Mobility Workout
P90X2 Recovery + Mobility begins with a couple of sun salutations, back bends, and hamstring stretches. Nothing too exotic. It then progresses to leg and hip openers. Stand on one leg and using an upright foam roller for stability, swing the other leg front to back as high as possible. Use momentum to help you open up your kicks. Do so for both sides, then swing your legs from side to side to open up your hips. I remember doing these types of active stretches many times as a kid in martial arts classes. I start daydreaming about my idol Bruce Lee while swinging my legs.
Next up are step back lunges with a torso twist. You can get serious extensions on this stretch if you use a weighted bar. If you don’t have one, use a towel or broom handle as Tony suggests. Then, you’ll do a series of squats and shoulder presses with the weighted bar. The first round of exercises in P90X2 Recovery + Mobility ends with your doing single leg squats with touches to the toe. If you’re pooped from P90X2 Recovery + Mobility so far, you have no business doing P90X2 .
The next 25-30 minutes of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility can be described as foam roller porn. There is so much groaning, grunting, and moaning that if you turned off the video and only listened to the soundtrack, you could easily imagine that you were on a set of a porn movie rather than a workout DVD. It’s all in there—the agony and the ecstasy. Such is the power of the mighty but humble foam roller.
Tony will show you how to foam roll out the knots and kinks in your muscles from head to toe. He doesn’t’ scrimp on time showing off his new favorite fitness device. He works on the inner thighs, calves, IT band, chest, shoulders, arms, triceps, quads, back, gluts, outer thighs, forearms, wrists, lats, and everything else in between.
Everyone will have different trouble areas. You will learn in P90X2 Recovery + Mobility that the key is to roll around and search for “hotspots.” If you find one, stay on it and put some pressure until the knot recedes. There’s a tendency to avoid the hotspots because they cause discomfort, but the idea is that if you work on them enough times, they will go away.
I have some issues with my lower back from doing Insanity, and the foam roller does help a lot. Regular stretching didn’t do much, but the foam roller made the knots go away. Since using it for only two weeks, I have not felt any type of lower back soreness or discomfort. P90X2 Recovery + Mobility has turned me into a foam roller convert.
Just to prove that foam rolling works, Tony has the team repeat the previous exercises with the weighted bar. He asks if things were easier or better after half an hour of foam rolling. Everyone reports improved mobility. I agree with them, but am concerned that I might have fallen victim to the power of suggestion or Tony’s Jedi mind trick. You decide on your own.
The last series of stretches in P90X2 Recovery + Mobility should be familiar to P90X grads: pigeon for the gluts, frog for the hips, and forward bends for the hamstrings.
Is P90X2 Recovery + Mobility Worth Doing?
I know from my own experience doing P90X2 and P90X that stretching and recovery are the things that are most likely to be ignored in a workout program, especially if it’s listed as optional. I recognize now that I was short-changing myself because stretching and recovery are important components of any fitness program. It helps your muscles to heal, keeps the body properly aligned, and reduces soreness.
For a fitness program that is marketed as being intense and hardcore, it was a bold move on Tony’s part to include a routine such as P90X2 Recovery + Mobility that is dedicated almost exclusively to foam rolling. I’m glad that he did, because I believe it has made a difference in my workouts, and has allowed me to push myself more intensely knowing that I won’t suffer too much for it the following day, because I’ve got my trusty foam roller to smooth out the aches and soreness from the other P90X2 workouts.
The bottom line is that I would not ignore the benefits of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility. If you don’t want to do it for the recommended two days per week, do at least one day. The payback is worth the time you put into it.
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