Friday, February 18, 2011
P90X2 Core: The Opening Engagement
I’m not necessarily going to post these workouts in sequence but mc2 Core is going to be the first workout on the schedule. This will remind those who’ve done P90X Lean of opening with Core/Syn but this workout is even more applicable to the journey of this particular program.
To talk about what’s right with this workout I need to begin by explaining what’s wrong with us. We are out of balance, which is not just because we watch too much TV and don't exercise enough(I explained yesterday most injuries are due weakness in hip and shoulder stability). Our general lifestyle activities create imbalances because certain muscles in your kinetic chain take over movements that were once done by other, smaller muscles. The longer this goes on the worse it gets, and training can even exacerbate the situation by making the active muscles stronger, thus creating greater imbalances.
To combat this we’re changing the platform that you train on to create instability in order to force these forgotten muscles back into action. When you free these stabilizer muscles to fire it allows the muscles that were doing double duty to work more efficiently and, thus, your performance increases even before you’ve seen tangible muscle strength increase. Furthermore, for those only interested in how you look in the mirror, this forces your body back into the alignment it was born with so that you’re appearance will improve as well.
The keywords you’ll hear in this workout are open and engagement—especially if Steve Holmsen’s cueing rubs off on Tony (and they spend a lot of time together so this only makes sense). In order to keep your body stable you’ll be forced to engage areas that may be foreign to you, which is all designed around getting your body to open up. We tend to get smaller by doing the things that function as life and training the wrong way can exacerbate it more as you force your body to finish exercises without good form. As your muscles contract you get smaller, and our natural tendency is to continually force them at expense of our posture. So a cue you’re going to hear a lot about is staying open during a movement.
To answer a couple of inevitable questions: it’s called a core workout because you are learning to engage your core in every movement that you do. If you learn to properly engage you core, and stay open as you move, your body’s potential for improvement will dramatically increase.
The next inevitable question:is this going to get me pumped and force me to bring it? In a word: yes. While you do spend a lot of time balanced in precarious stances there’s plenty of resistance movement to make you sweat and even have you screaming to finish off sets. At least that’s how it is for me.
vid: boudering legend malcomb smith describes the importance of staying open.