P90X+ (P90X Plus) – Kenpo Cardio Plus

Length
41:29

Equipment
Heart Rate Monitor (optional)

Focus
Cardio Intervals

Review
This workout is the exact same length as Interval X Plus, but it is not quite as hard. I know a lot of people complain that Kenpo X is too easy, in P90X. But I honestly believe that is by design. Your body cannot handle being pounded every single day, and I think Kenpo X serves as a workout that burns calories, while being lower impact. Plus all the kicking an punching really helps loosen me up in a ballistic way. In the same way Kenpo Cardio Plus is the easiest workout in P90X+. That being said it is a large improvement on Kenpo X. Like Tony Horton says, we are not just standing around doing blocks, in this one. You are constantly moving for the entire 40 minutes, and there are no real water breaks. There are Cardio Breaks, but I use those to push hard and bring my heart rate up. The main workout is divided into 3 rounds of 5 or 6 exercises. We do each round, then a one minute cardio break, then repeat the round and do another cardio break, before going to the next round. There are a lot more combination moves here than Kenpo X and we move around a lot more, so it is much easier to keep your heart rate up in this zone, in this one. Like all cardio workouts, you get what you put into it, if you just stand around and half ass it with the moves you won’t get anywhere, but if you try and use your power to strike and cover a lot of ground, it’s a great routine. Some of my favorite moves are the Back Fist, Hammer, Knee Front Kick and the Double Sword, Knee Back, Kick. O and how could I forget The Gladiator, which is just so much fun. If you still feel you have no use for this workout and want to sub in Plyo X or an Insanity workout, go ahead there is nothing wrong with that, but for those who want to have a martial arts style, lower impact cardio routine, this is a great choice.

The Exercises
Warm-Up
The warm-up is a little over 6 minutes long to get you loosened up and your juices flowing. The first minute or so features ballistic bounces, twists, jumping jacks and jump rope (miming). After that we do a few moves from Yoga, including Sun Saltuations, Downward Dog, Upward Dog, Runner’s Pose, Warrior 1, Warrior 2, and Reverse Warrior. Kenpo X also uses Yoga in the warm-up, but I like that this warm-up moves quicker, and we are not just holding Frog and Pigeon for long periods of time. The warm-up finishes, with a standing hamstring stretch.

Round 1:
Exercise #1 – Jab, Cross, Shuffle
Start with your left leg forward in a fighting stance. Throw a jab and then a cross, 3 times (6 punches total). Now shuffle your feet back and forth 3 times, before hopping 180 degrees so that now your right leg is forward in a fighting stance. Now repeat on this side. The exercise lasts 30 seconds.

Exercise #2 – Hook, Uppercut, Shuffle
This is the exact same exercise, except we sub out the jab and the cross, for a hook and an uppercut. This also lasts 30 seconds.

Exercise #3 – Jab, Step, Cross
Turn your hands and head so that you are facing to the left. You feet should still be facing straight ahead. Now step to your left and jab at the same time. We do 3 stepping jabs like this, then throw a cross. We then turn around and go back to the right. This exercise lasts 30 seconds.

Exercise #4 – Double Hammer, Lunge, Sword
Keep your hands and head facing to the side, with your feet forward. Make both your hands into hammers, so that your knuckles are facing up. Take a step and turn your torso as you throw both hammers, so that your arms are straight and the knuckles of your thumbs are facing up. Do another stepping double hammer like that. Then open the back fist up into a sword position (like a karate chop), and slice that arm across your body. Now turn around and go back the other way. This exercise lasts for 30 seconds.

Exercise #5 – Low Block, Hammer, Front Kick
Start with your body and feet facing the left, but your head is turned forward. Your hands should be up near your face defending yourself. Block down with your left hand. Then twist your body forward as you punch with your right hand, the arm should be tight against your body. Now that you are facing front, throw a front kick with the right leg. After that turn back to the left and repeat. We do 30 seconds left and then 30 seconds right.

Exercise #6 – Side Speed Kicks
Start by facing to the left, with your feet facing forward. This is the same position as we used in the Jab, Step, Cross. Now step your right foot in and kick the left foot out for a side kick. After every 4th side kick, turn around and kick with the other leg. This exercise lasts a minute.

Cardio Break
The Cardio Breaks last for a minute. This is not a water break, but a cardio break so make sure your heart rate is in the zone. The break starts with some ballistic bounces. Then we mime jumping ropes. After that we do jumping jacks. The “break” finishes with pivoting back fists, make sure you engage the core on this one. The Cardio Breaks last for a minute.

Round 1 – Repeat

Cardio Break
Same Cardio Break we did before, but if you want you can turn the jump into double jumps.

Round 2:
Exercise #7 – Jab, Uppercut, Back Kick
Face forward with your left leg in front, in your fighting stance. For each rep throw a jab, then an uppercut, then a back kick with the right leg. This exercise lasts 30 seconds on the left and then 30 on the right.

Exercise #8 – Claw, Hammer, Lunge
Start by facing to the left, with your feet facing forward. This is the same position as we used in the Jab, Step, Cross. Step your feet left and claw with your left hand. Act like you are grabbing someone’s head and pulling them towards you. Then hammer with the right hand, like you are punching that person in the face. Then turn and go the other way. Try and cover some ground going left and right, to really get the heart rate up. This exercise lasts 30 seconds.

Exercise #9 – Claw, Hammer, Kick
Same exact move, except we add a front kick with the back leg right after the hammer. This also lasts for 30 seconds.

Exercise #10 – Back Fist, Hammer, Knee Kick, Front Kick
Face forward with your left leg in front, in your fighting stance. This is a little complicated, but once you get into a rhythm its not too bad. For each rep drop your left fist down to your right hip and back fist it up. Then twist forward and throw a hammer punch with the right arm close to your body. Throw a knee with the right leg, while bringing your fists down to it, like you are grabbing someone’s head and pulling them to your knee. Finally throw a front kick with your right leg. We do 30 seconds per side on this exercise.

Exercise #11 – Elbow, Sword, Back Kick
Again start by facing to the left, with your feet facing forward. This time throw and elbow with the left arm, then a sword with the right arm. Finish the move by doing a back kick with the right foot. We do 3 full reps on this side before switching to the other side. This exercise lasts a minute.

Cardio Break

Round 2 – Repeat

Cardio Break

Round 3:
Exercise #12 – The Gladiator
I love this exercise, it is by far my favorite in this workout. Start by facing forward in a fighting stance, with your left leg in front. Jump up and throw a knee with the right leg, then kick with the left leg. Right after you land punch down to ground, with your right hand and bend into a lunge. Basically, imagine jump kicking someone in the face and then punching them, while they are trying to get off the ground. We do 30 seconds on the left, then 30 on the right.

Exercise #13 – Spinning Sword
Turn around and face the back of your room. Throw a sword with your right arm, while twisting your body right so that you are looking front. Make sure your feet don’t turn. Then throw a sword with your left hand. This exercise lasts 30 seconds.

Exercise #14 – Spinning Sword, Back Hammer
This is the same exact move, except at the end of the sword turn the hand into a hammer and hammer down, even further behind your back. This also lasts 30 seconds.

Exercise #15 – Double Sword, Knee Kick, Back Kick
Start by facing forward in a fighting stance, with your left leg in front. Open both hands up wide by the head then sword them down, like you are chopping someone’s neck. Then grab their head with both hand and pull it down, while throwing a knee with your right leg. Then throw a back kick with the right leg. We do 30 seconds on this side, then switch for 30 seconds.

Exercise #16 – High Block, Knee Kick Burn Out
Start in your fighting stance again. Now throw 8 alternating high blocks with your arms, followed by 4 alternating knees. Really engage the core as your twist for the blocks. This exercise lasts a minute.

Cardio Break

Round 3 – Repeat

Cool Down
At then end of the main workout there is a 2:37 cooldown. We do a lot of different ballistic stretches to shake everything back out. There are a few static stretches thrown in as well.

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