P90X Series: Stretch XTony Horton
Year Released: 2004
Categories: Athletic Stretch
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This workout is part of the P90X set. I shared an order with another VFer and only have the cardio, Core Synergistics and this one, so I cannot compare it to Yoga X.
It is an hour-long stretch workout in the style of Slim Series Cool it Off, but I liked this one better because I prefer Tony to Debbie. There are 3 sun slautations to warm up, then the workout begins. A man shows modifications for the less flexible, and he has one girl who is super-flexible who who keeps teasing. Tony was a little more goofy and teasing in this than in some of my other workouts with him so those that found him annoying might not like this one.
There are some nice neck stretches to start, then shoulers and forearms all get attention. There is a short section of ballistic stretches, then a few yogaish moves and some floor stuff that works the legs, glutes and back. Then stand up for a low squat, then seated for more hamstrings, then close with upward dog and child's pose. It's about an hour long.
It was kind of annoying to keep switching between standing up and sitting down. I would have preferred to have allt he standinf, seated and floor work grouped accordingly, and that would also have made it possible to do this workout in sections. As is, it's tooo random to do that way so you can't really use it unless you've got the whole hour. It's a solid routine, but I seldom have time to do that much stretching at once. I liked the routine, but I think I will probably get more use out of others on my collection.
X Stretch plays a pivotal role in the P90X series. It appears weekly in the rotation and then twice a week during the recovery weeks. It is the P90X first-aid kit. The workout is very thorough and it features a good mix of static and ballistic stretching. You literally stretch out your entire body, even your forearms and ankles! It seems like Tony vacuumed up almost every available stretch, as X Stretch is so rich in variety. You will see the same stretches from the other P90X warm-ups and cooldowns, but X Stretch still introduces a handful of new exercises. X Stretch also features most, if not all of the exercises from Power Half Hour Stretch, but clocking at twice the length, there is definitely more variety.
There is a lot of emphasis on the hamstrings and back, which is logical as the hamstrings are the tightest part of the body. And of course, with P90X you get a double dose of Back workouts (twice a week instead of once) so the extra back stretches are necessary.
X Stretch is not only very well balanced since the first half of the workout is dedicated to stretching the upper body and the other half, the lower body but it is also organized: the workout flows from top to bottom. It opens up with a 4 minute yoga warm-up, then follows with stretches that start at the neck until you work your way down to the ankles and closes with a short 4 minute yoga session. But since the emphasis is on the hamstrings and back, these muscle groups are worked in two instances of this workout, which just slightly interrupts the natural flow from head to toe.
There is a lot of calmness in this workout, even from Tony himself. The flooring like in Yoga X has changed to give the set a warmer appearance. The music is pretty especially the music that is featured in the X STRETCH menu. The crew as always is inspiring. They all demonstrate different levels of flexibility which gives you someone to focus on.
X Stretch is for all fitness levels. In comparison to Yoga X, X Stretch is very easy because it is not focused on balance postures or more strenuous exercises that build endurance it is more relaxing in nature. Even during the warm-up, when the crew is doing yoga, Tony will ask you to step up to your hands instead of jumping up to them. There are a few exercises that might take you out of your comfort zone such as the camel (bend back slightly while on your knees) and plough (raising legs above your head and then bringing your feet directly behind your head) but these help keep me awake because I do not want to be in a constant state of relaxation. The majority of the exercises however, are very doable for people of all levels of flexibility.
If you are like me and do not have the attention span for long stretching sessions, do yourself a favour and split the workout into different days instead of tossing this workout. I usually break this up into three days, doing 20 minute sessions each day or you could do upper body one day (the first half of the workout) and lower body the next (the second half), or skip chapter points to specific muscle groups.
There are a lot of pluses to this workout. The stretches seem to be held for just the right amount of time: long enough to increase ones flexibility but not overstraining either. The breaks between exercises are short as the exercises flow nicely from one to another. Compared to a lot of stretch workouts on the market, X Stretch offers more variety and room for increased flexibility. My only complaint is that I wish the DVD menu would offer chapter points that featured muscle groups so if I just wanted to stretch my hamstrings I could select that from the menu.
I once thought that dedicating one day to stretching alone was out of question, X Stretch has made me reconsider. I really do think that after trying X Stretch, not only will more people be embracing the concept that stretching is vital, but they will be doing it too.
It is nice to see the calmer side of Tony. Tony can still manage to be funny here and there even in this stretch workout. His instruction being clear and detailed is extremely helpful.
This is a 60 minutes worth of excellent stretches. I'll run down a list of what he does and try to explain them a bit:
Sun Salutations-3 times through--I think there is one more sun salutation at the end, but these are the only other ones.
Neck Stretch-Reach one arm behind body, grab wrist of that arm with other hand and pull while tilting your head in opposite direction of side you are pulling. Do other side
Back Up the Car-With arems straight out shoulder sheight, Slowly look over shoulder on each side. Held for a nice long count.
Head rolls to each side
Expand/Contract Back chest shoulder stretch-Nice upper back chest stretch
Topas shoulder stretch-In horse stance start in prayer position open arms straight out with palms up pointing thumbs behind you.
Wrist-forearm flex-While on hands and knees done in 2 positions, fingers pointed in and fingers pointed back, leaning back and forth and toward the back, REALLY stretching the forearms and wrist. Nice!
Dreya Forearm stretch-Tensing arms moving arms through air pretending like you are going through cement stretching your fingers, arms etc. Tough to describe!
Seated Spinal Stretch on each side
Cat Stretch-nice and slow
Glute stretch-Lie on back place one ankle on opposite thigh. Reach through and pull your knee toward you. Repeat other side. Nice hip opener as well
Shoulder-Tricep Combo stretch-Extend one arm at shoulder height, pull toward your body. Take same arm and do standard Tricep stretch. Repeat other side
30 Seconds Ballistic Stretches
Wide-fee forward hamstring stretch-=Nice-held for a long time
Side twist-From forward fold place right hand on floor reach left arm up and look to ceiling. Do both sides.
Camel-Good instruction given here.
Standing side stretch
Roller-Rolling in a ball on your back 10 times
Shoulder Stand to Plough pose
Back Hero-Kneel with knees and feet wider than hips, slowly lie backward to stretch quads.
Kenpo quad Stretch-Sit on bent leg in front of you with back leg extended. Reach back grabbing back ankle and pull toward you stretching quad. Both sides
Low Squat-Stand with feet shoulder width apart, squat all the way down keeping chest and head up with hands in prayer. Use elbows to press against thighs and open hips. Rock slowy back and forth. OHHHHH SOOOOOOO NICE!
Frog-One hands and knees, les spread wide in parallel position. Lower upper body down toward floor while gently pressing hips backward. He shows nice modifications for this one, and it is an awesome stretch.
Seated Single-leg Hamstring stretch
One leg out, the other foot up on inner thigh, reach forward. Do both sides. Each is held a long time.
Seated Two-leg stretch-held for a long time
Ballistic Hamstring Stretch-Keeping both lebs straight with flexed feet, scissor legs sot that one is parallel with floor and other is pointing up, whitch back and forth.
Standing split leg Hamstring Stretch-Take a step forward with one leg with heels aligned, turn back heel out, exhale forward over front leg
Toe Flexor-point and flex feet and do circles to loosen up ankles
Downward Dog with calf stretches
Upward Dog with Ankle stretch
Child's pose with right and left side stretches
This was very thorough, and went pretty quickly IMO. I enjoyed the music, Tony's instruction and the way the backround exercisers showed modifications to make the stretches meet the needs of those that are less flexible or more gumby-like!
I like this much more than I liked Cool It Off from the Slim Series.
It's Tony but he is pretty subdued. I really like him in this one. He conveys his love for and the importance of stretching in a fun and motivating way.:)