While the Cardio Recovery is, as Shaun T says, “a day of the crazy Insanity”, it has its difficulties. I skipped the usual hold on the squat and the low lunge hold and pulse to spare my knees. This time I also had trouble with the quad strengtheners. My knees started to hurt holding myself up, so on each side about halfway through I put my knee down and did them that way. I usually keep my dogs out of the room for their safety but my husband was sleeping and I didn’t want our min pin scratching at the bedroom door, so I kept him with me. He stayed pretty quiet although during some of the poses that need to be held he got on my mat and looked up at me. He looked so cute I had to pause to get a picture.
Day 18 was Thursday which means it was Cardio Recovery, the only workout during Month 1 that falls on the same day each week. This was the first time, however, that it came after Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs, so the rest felt earned. I started off the workout sore, which subsided, but I didn’t feel well throughout so it was nice to know there wasn’t any jumping around coming, and that it would be over in about 30 minutes.
Once again, I did the slow squats but my knees starting to hurt during the hold, so I stopped doing that while Shaun T talked. I also did the slow lunges but skipped the hold and pulses due to my husband’s recommendation to skip them. I feel bad skipping what amounts to about three exercises but I’m trying to get fit, not get hurt so I had to adjust. Overall, I got a good workout despite it being a break from Cardio, and exercise and all the deep breathing helped me feel better by the end.
Once again, Cardio Recovery wasn’t as much of a break as the name implies. My legs started burning after the first few squats, and my knees hurt when I had to hold the squat position. I did not hold it as long as Shaun T gave time for, but I did it as long as I could. While I did the lunges, I skipped the move with the leg lowered in the lunge and pulsing to give my knees a break and because my husband had previously advised against doing it.
Balance was something that was a bit of a challenge during this workout. During the stretch where one leg is out at about 90 degrees and held it was hard for me to stay upright. Shaun T said “It’s all about the core balance.” I guess that’s something I haven’t quite found for that move. I did manage to hold the knee to oblique stretch though.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad day and it was nice to have a bit of recovery from the cardio. Since my birthday falls on Friday the 13th, the same day as Day 12 of Insanity, I considered also doing Cardio Power and Resistance later in the night, but I decided to just stick with the program and do it the next day.
Don’t be falsely lulled by the word “recovery” in Cardio Recovery. Day four was a light day in comparison to the others with a shorter workout and slower movements. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it was easier. In fact, some of the moves were harder to hold due to the fact they were arrived at slowly and held for a long time. Unlike the other days, warm up wasn’t too intense and mostly consisting of stretching. There were only brief rest periods while he explained the next moves without any set water break, so I didn’t write down everything. I’ll just cover some of the highlights.
The workout started with plank work, then some more stretching. After that, we went into slow squats and some squat pulses. These started to be uncomfortable on my knees after a awhile. Then there were some lunge pulses, where you get into a lunge stretch and then bend the knee slowly. After a bit he added pulsing when the knee was lowered. I remember doing a move like this in karate class, but we had to put the knee near the ground and hold it. I was telling my husband about it the other day and how this exercise reminded me of that. He told me not to do that because it is bad for the knees. I did the lunges but held off on the low hold of the position and the pulsing.
After the lunges, it was back to the squats and pulses, but faster. Then we did lunges on the other side. This was followed by a plei stretch which Shaun T says helps stretch the groin to help with all the jumping in Insanity. The first time I did this workout I couldn’t hold the plei and did floor stretching. This time, I was able to hold it.
Then we did quad strengtheners which he said work the quad, glut, ab, and shoulder. This is one area where it’s obvious that recovery is still a workout. Of this exercise, Shaun T said, “It’s not cardio; it’s control”. After the quad strengtheners we did some oblique work.
While there are no set water breaks in the workout, I did drink water. But I needed much less than the other days, maybe 1/8 of the 1.5 liter bottle. I also did not sweat as much as during the first few days. I still felt like I did work, but it was a nice “break”, which I’m sure was needed because the next day would bring Pure Cardio.