I have begun doing the Insanity/Insanity: The Asylum hybrid workout program since I am currently without a proper gym and want to exercise from home. I’ve had the Asylum for six months or so and mostly have used it once or twice a week just as a change of pace (mostly Vertical Plyo and Speed and Agility workouts). Up until a few days ago, I had never done the original Insanity so I thought that now would be the perfect time to push myself and combine it with Asylum. Friday through Sunday, I did two of these routines each day to really make me work hard and while they were tough I felt amazing after completing them. Yesterday, I did the Cardio Abs workout from the original Insanity. I really didn’t know what to expect and then when I saw that the DVD was only 20 minutes or so, I knew that Shaun T had something up his sleeve.
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Cardio Abs starts out with a bang, as the first few minutes consist of an intense warm-up of cardio movements that also incorporate the core as much as possible. High knees will have your heart racing and the sweat begin to pour from your body and the variations of this movement will target the lower abs and the oblique muscles specifically to warm them up for the more intense abdominal exercises that are to follow. The important thing to remember is as Shaun T always reminds you during these movements is to keep the core tight. Using your core muscles and tightening them keeps them engaged directly during the entire exercise and is what will help to stimulate muscle growth and development. The high knees is followed with tuck jumps that is reminiscent of the Vertical Plyo DVD from Asylum. The tuck jumps will hit your abs as you have to pull your legs upwards using those muscles, it gets pretty intense.
After that initial warm-up get ready for the C-position, which will have your abs screaming, as you go through all the movements. There are twists that really hit the obliques hard but the C-position also stimulates the rectus abdominus as well so that you never truly get a break from the work. It is amazing how simple Shaun T keeps these movements and he is really proud of the fact that Cardio Abs does not involve doing any crunches, which was one of my favorite things about this workout. In this workout, you utilize the position and accentuate the tightening of the abdominals with leg lifts and bringing your knees in closer to your chest.
Holding that C-position on the movement where you utilize both legs, bringing them in closer to the chest then back out and lifting them straight into the air, makes your already fatigued abs work like crazy to keep going and to keep a strict form. Shaun t in his ab workouts seems to really like to utilize planks to force your core to stabilize your whole body, however, unlike many plank movement where you simply hold the position, Cardio abs brings in movement to target the obliques and abs. Before you finish the workout with a good stretch, you are going to have to do a plank with a pulsating movement that really is no fun but works extremely well.
All in all, I found Cardio Abs to be one of my favorite workouts out of either Insanity or The Asylum. It is short and intense and seems like a great workout to be paired with a longer cardio session or something like Speed and Agility. The ab movements are both effective and taxing and should be a great addition to my workout regimen. This hybrid workout schedule has been really enjoyable so far to undertake and even though it might take an initial 15 minutes or so to get me fully ready to go, once I am into the DVDs, I just want to go as hard as I can.