P90X Series: Core Synergistics

Tony Horton
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Abs/Core

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The video is from the Power 90X set by Beach Body. This is the only video I have tried from this 12 tape set so far. I loved this video!

The video was just under an hour, but the time flew by. There was a huge variety of exercises, many of them I had never tried before. The video was tough at times, but never overwhelming. You are given a certain amount of time, and you set your own goals. You decide how many reps you can comfortably do. You can work at their pace and take breaks if you need it or you can go slower for the entire time and work up to their level. The video has a little bit of everything. There is some athletic style cardio, some upper body, lower body, abs, and a nice stretch. Overall I would give this video an A! This is the first time in a long time that I liked a new video this much the first time I tried it.

Instructor Comments:
I like Tony. He cues well, and lets you work at your own pace. He is encouraging and gives options if you are not up to doing the routine as is.



I loved this one! Tony meets FitPrime is the best way to describe it. This reminded me of Strong Bear and FTGU but WAAAAAy harder. I have also heard it compared to the TLP's, but mine are on the way and can't make that comparison yet.

The music is very soft in this one, but it was perfect for the workout. There is a 10minute stretchy warmup and then he gets down to business. He moves from exercise to exercise, most last roughly 1 minute with a touch of rest between them. You can go at your own pace and do as many reps as possible. I liked that.

Here's the list in order:

Stacked foot/Staggered Hands pushup-One hand forward one back, one foot on top of the other--do 5 pushups and switch sides until you can't anymore

BananaRoll-Start on back with legs and arms extended 6-12 inches off floor-hold for 5, roll onto side hold for 5, roll onto back hold for 5....Keep going!

Leaning Crescent Lunges-Lunge forward at 45 degree angle while extending your arm in one straight line with your back leg holding dumbells.

Squat run-Squat position with one leg in front, holding dumbells moving your arms back and forth like you are running--switch legs.

Sphinx Pushups-Rest on forearms elbos under shoulders. Press up off forearms until arms are straight. Great lat exercise.

Bow to Boat-5 seconds in bow flip over 5 seconds in Boat---OUCH!

Plank to Chatarunga run-While in plank run your knees in for 10 seconds then go down to a chat positions and do a fast type of crawl while hovering!! :eek:

Walking Pushups-I did this on the hardwood part of our basement. Get in plank with your toes on a towel and walk with your hands 4 counts forward and back keep repeating for a minute.

Superman/Banana-Alternating Superman and then roll onto your belly for arms and legs off floor position/ Go back and forth

Low lateral skaters-Slowly shifting side to side in a deep lunge while lifting your straight leg at the end of the movement

Lunge and Reach-With wieght in hand reach down to front leg as if you are lifting something off of the floor, then reach up and twist as though you are putting it on a shelf. 30 seconds on each side repeated

Lunge-Kickback-Curl and Press-20 reps-Very tough total body movement provided you use adequate weight. I loved this!

Reach High and Under Pushups-Combine standard pushup then a sideplank from sideplank reach under like a pilates twist and repeat. Very tough.

Prison Cell Pushup-Prison Cell Pushup
From standing bend forward to pland do a pushup bring your right knee in and out, do another pushup, bring left knee in and out do another pushup, do third pushup and ump back to standing. Do 8 times.

Side hip raise-Lying on sideresting on forearm. Lift hips up off of the floor and lower them. Do a bunch on each side.

Squat X press-Holding weights do plie squats while you are performing a wide shoulder press to that your body forms and X. 30 reps

Steam Engine-Standing knee to elbow crunches-50 reps

Dreya Roll-From standing squat down rolling onto your back, kick legs straight up in the air, almost like a pilates control balance and roll forward coming to standing again. To make it harder jump between reps.

Plank to Chaturanga Iso-Alternate 10 second counts between plank and chat position

halfback-Agility moves simulating going through football tire drills 60 sec

Table dip/Leg raise-Get yourself into a yoga table. Raise one leg in the air keeping hips up, and do tricep dips changing after 5 reps. 60 seconds

5 minute cooldown with yoga stretches

This is an excellent alternative strength workout. You hit all body parts with emphasis on the core, but it gives you a break from straight lifting.

Instructor Comments:
It's Tony but more subdued. I like him, but there is a sort of "turn Tony off" features on the DVD's. So if you don't like him, you can get around it.

Janet Frost (frostyjan)


I should begin this review with a short disclaimer that this is the only strength workout I own from the P90X set, so I have nothing to compare it to. I split an order with a fellow Vfer to get the cardio as a solid hour of push-ups and pull-ups did not interest me :-)I should also point out that I am a fairly advanced strength exerciser, and in addition to every single beachbody program to date (including Tony's original Power 90, which I seem to be among the few who liked) I also have tried Cathe, Joyce, the Firm, Body-B-Fit and nearly everyone out there. I have NOT tried TLP or Fitprime, which I understand are similar to this workout.

That said, it is with absolutely no hyperbole at all that I say this is the oddest, most interesting and toughest home strength workout I have ever seen. Tony and the crew look slicker, fitter and scarier than ever. The workout had some extremely interesting moves, and some new twists on some old favorites. BUT---be warned that it is hard-core, and there is in my opinion a HUGE potential for injury with this routine if someone over-pushes when they are not ready. I saw this potential the first time I did this routine, and it has made me think hard about how or if I plan to continue using it.

I'll start with the good---Tony as always is a stickler for proper warm-ups, and this one felt adequate and reasonably thorough. It included the usual mix if gym-style cardio burts and static stretches held for a long time. Tony then jumps right into the moves.

First up is push-ups, with some interesting variances in hand positions. he has the hands staggered, one pushes further forward and the other at the side. Periodically you switch them. I thought htis was a very interesting change on the usual push-up, and I felt a difference.

Then he has the "banana roll" where you basically do a Pilates-type V and every few seconds roll over and resume the pose. This was where my first "don't hurt yourself" warning bell went off as it goes a bit fast here, and due to the nature of the exercise and the addition of the role move, I see potential for hurting one's back here. It's a tricky move; be careful with it.

Then we get some leaning lunges, which I quite liked, a squat variation, another push-up, a move similar to the banana roll but with less rolling, two lunge variations (one of which is similar to the pickming up the cards move Kathy Smith does int he first Lift Weights to Lose Weight video) and a short stretch break.

Round 2 begins with yet another push-up variation that I found problematic, It involved bringing alternating knees to your chest during the push-up. I found this problematic because the move is only possible if you are doing the push-up from your toes, and that sort of push-up is tough enough that I am not sure the extra balance challenge here wouldn't be a potentially dangerous distraction. Vanessa does a plan variation for people who can't do a push-up from their toes, bu Tony never points this out, so warning, keep an eye on Vanessa here :-)

We next get a hip raise, which I found problematic too because it was not very comfortable and I think it folds the back into a flexion that is neither safe nor necessary. I think there are ways to work this part of the body that are equally effective and certainly more comfortable. But that could be a personal opinion thing :-) Next we get a squat move, a sort of running plank that was quite fun, and an also fun travelling push-up. Also in this section are another of those ridiculous banana things, a lunge/kickback/curl combo, some stretches and standing oblique work.

Then we get a fancy move called the "Dreya Roll" which is one of the most hard-core things I have ever seen. I have not been so dumbfounded by an exercise since Cathe's "pike" move. It's a very impressive roll-down type move except it begins standing up, Dreya's back is perfectly straight and her hands never touch the floor. It's quite impressive, but again, I think it would be EXTREMELY easy to hurt yourself here if you aren't ready for this.

The workout ends with a short "bonus round" which I did not do.

My overall verdict: mixed. I am not sure I want to risk throwing out my back by trying this workout again all the way through. Every exercise in this workout is certainly different and impressive, but some of them are so in a show-offy way and I thinkt hat without careful supervision by a live trainer, potentially dangerous. On the other hand, some of the moves really are unique and interesting ina good way. Those, I will probably jot down on a cheat sheet and practice on ym own without the dvd.



The total time of this workout is about 58 minutes.

The music is instrumental rock. I like the P90X music. It is not very loud, and you do have the option on the DVD of turning it off and having vocals only. You also have the option of having music and cues only, which cuts out all of Tony’s chatter, or you can have cues only, which cuts out all of the music and Tony’s chatter (I happen to enjoy Tony’s chatter).

This video has a little bit of everything. There is a class of two women (one of whom completed the P90X test class, the other being Dreya Weber, who appears on a couple of the Power Half Hour videos and a couple of the P90X videos), and one man. I like that they use real people who completed the test class in all of the P90X videos.

There are different segments. The warm up consists of rolling the head from side to side, raising the arms to stretch the shoulders and chest, shaking the arms and legs, “huggers” (wrapping your arms around yourself), reaching up and back, marching in place, running in place, jumping jacks, run lunges, hamstring stretches, and standing quad stretch.

None of the exercises are repeated in this video. They show modifications for all of these moves. I definitely recommend watching this video through once before doing it (although I didn’t). All of the P90X videos are very well chaptered, so they are easy to preview.

The first workout is Stacked Foot/Staggered Hands Push-up. You put one hand out in front, put your other hand by your ribcage, stack one foot on top of the other in plank position, and do pushups. You switch your hands every five push-ups. Next is the Banana Roll. You start by lying on your back with your arms and legs off the floor. You roll to one side, hold. Roll to your stomach (like Supermans), hold. Then roll to other side, hold. You just keep rolling and holding for about a minute. Leaning Crescent Lunges are next. Two of the exercisers use light weights on this. You lunge to the right, reach up, reach back, then step back. Lunge to the left, reach up, reach back. Next is Squat Run. You hold two light weights (one exercisers doesn’t use weights) and swing your arms back and forth like you are running, but your feet stay still. Sphinx Push-up is a move where you have your forearms on the floor, and then raise your body up into plank position. It is hard to keep your body straight when doing this. That is followed by Bow to Boat. You start on your stomach in the Bow position, then roll to your butt and go into Boat position. You repeat for 5 reps of each. Low Lateral Skaters are next. You lunge to the right, lift a leg, then lunge to the left, and lift a leg. Then you do Lunge & Reach. You pick up a weight and reach like you are going to place it on a shelf. There is a 45-second break at this point. Next is Prison Cell Push-ups. You do a push-up, pull in a knee, push-up, pull in the other knee, push-up, and then jump feet forward and stand up (modifications are shown to reduce the number of push-ups). Next is Side Hip Raise. Lying on your side, support yourself on your forearm. With all your weight on your feet and forearm, lift your hips up. Squat X-press is next. You stand in plie position and lift a light weight up like a shoulder press, except a little more out to the side to create an “X”. Then there is the Plank to Chaturanga Run. While in push-up position, bring knees forward as if running in place. Lower the body to Chaturanga (just an inch off the ground), and continue running in place (I can’t go low yet, but neither does one of the exercisers on the video). The Walking Push-up is next. You “walk” in plank position forward and back for one minute. Then you do Superman Banana, where you start on your stomach with arms and legs raised. Hold for three counts, then roll to your back and hold your hands and legs up. Next is the Lunge/Kickback/Curl/Press. With a light weight, lunge forward, do a tricep kickback, bring upper body up, do a bicep curl, corkscrew shoulder press, reverse curl. It takes a few times to get the “feel” of this combo move. You do 20 reps. The final exercise in this set is Towel Hopping (from Power 90 according to Tony). You jump over the towel, back and forth, for one minute. Then there is a 45-minute stretch break. The last set starts with Reach High & Under Push-ups. You do a push-up, raise up on one side, raise your arm up, lower your arm down, do another push-up and raise up on the other side. The next exercise is Steam Engine. You put your hands behind your head and reach your elbow to the opposite knee. You go back and forth for 50 reps. The last exercise before the Bonus round is Dreya Rolls. These are hard! You roll back on a mat with straight legs and straight arms. You bring your legs straight up to the ceiling, then roll back and stand up. The bonus round is Planks and Chaturanga Iso, Halfback (from Plyo X), where you do tire drills forward and high knees back, and Table Dip Leg Raise, where you go into the Table position, then lift one leg at a time and dip down. This is followed by a 5-minute cool down.

I wore my heart rate monitor the last time I did this, and my heart rate stays up pretty high during the whole workout. I had to do this one a couple of times before I could decide if I liked it. Some of the moves are so different that I couldn’t be sure what I thought of them at first. I have decided that this is a good total-body workout with a good cardio side to it.

Instructor Comments:
I like Tony. He is very personable.

Debbie Wagar


This is one of those videos that makes me scream and curse. I know when i'm saying "holy crap" during a workout, it's a keeper. This is one of the hardest workouts I think I've ever done. It is awesome, awesome, awesome. It is a keeper. It's not cardio and it's not weight training. It's pure core, pure "body strength", pure 'muscle strength" and it is HARD. I can't even describe to you each and every move but he does crazy variations on push ups (about 4 different kinds) and all kinds of squat thrusts (which on some occasions he'll mix with a push-up); he does a lot of compound exercises. What can I say - it is just great. If you're advanced and you want to try something new and different - this is the video for you. It first perfectly into the rotation as well. Thanks Tony - job well done. I give this one an A and that's only because I'm stingy with my A+.

Instructor Comments:
I really like him. He is great. Doesn't take himself too seriously and he is very encouraging. That's my favorite thing about him. He says things like, "don't worry if you can only do one", "you'll be stronger next time...." That's a very important quality for an instructor to have as it helps alleviate the fear of failure a lot of us have, and it also helps us perfectionists go easy on ourselves if we don't "complete every single rep perfectly".

Denise Berger


Tony leads this fun & unique 58 min core focused workout in the P90X gym set. You will need dumbbells, bands, and optional gliding discs. There is a countdown timer for the workout & each exercise duration.

After a warmup & stretch, exercises include: staggered hand pushups variations, banana rolls, lean crescent lunge, static runner, bow to boat, low skater & glute raise, twisting floor touch to overhead reach, burpee-pushup-Mt climber, side plank hip drops, chataranga climber, walking planks, supereman banana, lunge -kickback- clean & press, tire run- hi knee run, 1 leg tri dips, squat X raise, elbow to knee cross pulls, roll back & hop up, and includes a 5 minute c/d & stretch. This is mostly core work but does include some other strength work as well.

I rate this hi intermediate - it will definitely burn out your core muscles!! Really enjoyed this workout- def one of my fav's in the set. Tons of unique & fun exercises that will challenge your body & core in a new way. Tony is chatty but not annoying to me- I like him, he keeps it fun and keeps the workout moving along.