Insanity Asylum Review 3: Back to Core

Insanity: The Asylum Volume 1 doesn’t have an ab ripper workout like the second installment and other Beachbody products feature but it does come with a DVD called Back to Core. Back to Core focuses on, you guessed it, your back and core muscles. While for the purposes of this website, getting ripped abs, the lack of a direct abdominal workout can be considered a negative for Asylum, if you are doing the workouts correctly and engaging the core as Shaun T says to then abdominal development will still come. I feel that Asylum is a great workout for strength and function but how your physique changes aesthetically will depend solely on the form you maintain during these workouts and what kind of diet you are following. With that in mind, I would like to write a little bit about the Back to Core workout in this third installment of my Insanity: The Asylum Workout Review.

The Back to Core starts out with a warm up of jumping jacks. These aren’t the standard jumping jacks, rather, they are a variation that uses your body to target the back or core. For example, the back fly jumping jacks target your lats by squeezing the back muscles with every repetition. It doesn’t sound like much but when you get the correct form down you definitely feel the burn in that muscle group and this is while your heart rate is increasing just based on the basic movement. Shaun T’s workouts in the Asylum are pretty notorious for incorporating various movements into one exercise. For this reason it may be a good idea to preview the DVD’s before you start your workout in order to learn some of the more complex movements so that you don’t have to pause and rewind every few minutes to figure out what you are supposed to do.

The Back to Core workout is the one in which it would seem the most beneficial to have the power bands to add resistance. Now, Shaun T as always, has designed the workout so that you can still do each of these exercises without the power bands but it would definitely help. I don’t own power bands so I either do the exercises (the back flys, wide lat flys) with nothing but my body or I use some light 10lb dumbbells for certain movements. Lat flys without weight are actually pretty taxing just based on the stance and really focusing on the squeeze, the bands would be great but you still get the muscles engaged.

As I have stated in other reviews my shoulders aren’t as healthy as they used to be due to old injuries so I occasionally have to modify exercises in this DVD series in order to accommodate my needs. In other review I have read for the original Insanity, many other people seemed to have had to do the same thing for old knee or foot injuries. There’s nothing wrong with that, risking injury just to do one movement that your body might not be able to handle isn’t a smart move. In the Back to Core DVD, the Hip-up twist curl is an exercise that I have to avoid, and really need to come up with a substitute for it.

What I really like about this workout is the swimming movements that you get to simulate. I have recently gotten back into swimming so to be able to utilize the same muscles on dry land is pretty convenient. These movements really target the middle and lower back and I notice the degree of difficulty really increases the more I lift up in the movement and get my thighs higher off of the ground. Also, when it come to the Gameday DVD these movements are reintroduced in the swimming section of that workout. The Back to Core workout finishes up with hip up variations, reverse planks, and a cool down.

Overall, this workout is the easiest one in terms of the amount of cardiovascular work.  The Speed and Agility or the Plyometric workouts have lots of jumping and other movements that really have you sweating. You still sweat plenty with Back to Core, only not as much. However, this is a great strengthening routine that will help not only with your athletic performance but also will help to see improvements in getting through the other workouts in Asylum. These workouts on their own are great and some are more difficult than others but they demand to be used in conjunction with one another so that your body keeps having to adapt and you are always hitting different muscle groups in different ways. Personally, I love to do back workouts so I supplement Back to Core with further row and fly movements using my dumbbells after I complete Shaun T’s workout. Hopefully, this will take my back development to another level. One last thing, this workout seems to be the perfect candidate to use the Overtime DVD with. Overtime is really cardio focused and is only 15 minutes so using it as another supplement is a distinct possibility for me.


Insanity: The Asylum Day 1 Review (Speed and Agility)

Insanity: The Asylum Day 2 Review (Strength) Product Page for Insanity: The Asylum

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