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Review of Insanity – Core Cardio and Balance

Posted Nov 02 2009 10:00pm

In this on-going review of Insanity blog series, the truth behind the Insanity 60-day weight loss program is revealed with a play-by-play description of what the program is really like – and more importantly – if Insanity really works!

The Core Cardio and Balance workout is done during the “recovery” week of the Insanity 60-day program, which is actually Week 5 of the series. This DVD is meant to give you a decent workout during the recovery week so you don’t lose any ground after the first month of Insanity. There is a clear difference between the Month 1 Insanity workouts and the Month 2 workouts, and the Core Cardio and Balance series is used to help you recover from Month 1, while preparing for Month 2.

Insanity Core Cardio and Balance
Insanity Core Cardio and Balance
The Core Cardio and Balance routine is only 37 minutes long, so at face value it seems like it is going to be an easy workout, especially compared to the more intense Month 1 workouts that I have reviewed in this Review of Insanity series.


As with all Insanity workouts, this DVD starts out with exercises to get your heart rate and your core body temperature up in preparation for the workout. The warm-up during the Core Cardio and Balance routine is about 7 minutes long and includes some fun exercises that aren’t normally seen in the Insanity warm ups.

The length of each exercise during the warm up is a full minute, so your heart rate does indeed get elevated within just the first few exercises. Some of the unique movements include football shuffles and over the log hops, as well as some 2-exercise combination movements such as high knees/power jacks and fast feet/alternating hook punches.

Stretch Routine

The warm up is followed by a short stretching routine before jumping into the rest of the workout. The stretching routine is about 5 minutes long and includes mostly standard stretching and balance movements that were seen during Month 1 of Insanity.

Primary Workout

The main portion of the Core Cardio and Balance routine is about 16 minutes long, and flows quickly from one exercise to the next. Some of the exercises are more challenging than others, and as is always the case with Insanity exercises, you can modify the way that you do any given exercise in order to make it more or less difficult based on your present abilities.

Keep in mind, however, that by this point in the 60-day Insanity workout program, your cardiovascular and your muscular endurance should both be significantly higher than they were at the beginning. If you are not yet noticing both the weight loss and the physical fitness benefits of the program, then you are doing something wrong. Get with a Beachbody Coach from some free advice on how to get things on track.

During the primary workout portion of the Core Cardio and Balance routine, you are encouraged to take it somewhat easy since you are supposed to be in a recovery mode. However, at the same time you should listen to your body and recognize the difference between an acceptable recovery intensity level vs. simply slacking off.

Hip Flexor Burners and Oblique Movements

During the next 6 minutes of the workout things get a bit more challenging for a few minutes before cooling down with some fairly easy abdominal movements.

The “hip flexor burners” are a series of 3 exercises all done while standing on one leg while exercising the opposite leg. Each movement is  30 seconds long, and once you start the 2nd movement, you can’t put the working leg back on the floor until the 3-exercise series is done. It’s a challenge, but it feels great afterward.

The oblique exercise portion of this segment is a simple knee-t0-elbow movement that is a good exercise, although not terribly difficult. Your body gets a break during that portion so your heart rate can drop in preparation for the next segment.

Shoulder Burners

This segment of the Core Cardio and Balance routine will be the hardest part for most people. It is a series of five consecutive shoulder exercises, all done back to back while in the plie squat position.

It seems easy as you start out, but this segment really focuses on muscular endurance, and each movement targets the same muscles over and over, just from a different angle. At 30 seconds each movement, your arms are at or above shoulder level for almost 3 full minutes by the time you finally get to shake it out. It burns, but that’s where the results come from!

Cool Down and Stretch

The final 3 minutes or so are spent stretching out all of the muscles that were worked during the exercise routine, and letting your heart rate return to normal.

By the end of the workout, you feel accomplished, because it wasn’t a simple workout, but at the same time you don’t feel like you are about to pass out, as is often the case with the other Insanity DVD’s!

Related Posts
Review of Insanity – The Fit Test
Review of Insanity – Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Review of Insanity – Cardio Power and Resistance
Review of Insanity – The Fit Test Week 2
Review of Insanity – Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs
Review of Insanity – The Fit Test Week 4
Review of Insanity – Cardio Recovery

© Aaron Potts - visit Fitness Destinations for more great information about weight loss, health, and overall fitness!
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