[This is the sixth P90X2 review in a planned series. I will write additional reviews of the other routines as I do them.] If you have any questions about this workout, contact me at email@example.com.
Here’s the Good News–you only have to do X2 Ab Ripper once per week in Phase I. Compared to three times a week for the original Ab Ripper X, you have good reason to rejoice. The bad news is not really news because you probably realized this already–the workouts in P90X2 are so core intensive that doing a separate ab/core workout is almost redundant. X2 Ab Ripper is for people who don’t just want a super strong core, but also want the chiseled abs to go with it, too. It will train the abdominal muscles which somehow didn’t get activated in the regular workouts.
If you have become proficient at Ab Ripper X, its sequel will humble you. You would think that the universe of different ab exercises have been exhausted, but this workout will prove you wrong. There are more exercises out there to be done, and they will make your abs miserable. Get ready to feel the burn again.
X2 Ab Ripper is only 16:18 minutes long, but it is done immediately following a regular workout. I dislike this aspect of X2 Ab Ripper the most. After bringing it for over an hour, I have to do a separate mini workout for another sixteen minutes. It takes a bit of discipline to push play for a second time, especially after you’ve cooled down from the main workout. I’d like to ignore X2 Ab Ripper altogether, but I always feel like I’m cheating myself if I don’t do it.
As the name implies, this workout is all about your abs, and a little bit of lower back core work as well. The only gear you might need is a yoga mat. Joining Tony in this workout is “the world-famous” Bobby Stevenson, a familiar face from P90X and Power90, Alfonso, and Colette. Bobby is his usual good natured self, but we know nothing about Alfonso or Colette because they do not receive any formal introductions. I like Colette right away because my first daughter has the same name. All of them use impeccably form during this workout.
The Main Event
Scissor Twist. Lie on your back with your legs straight and extended. Start with one leg six inches off the floor and the other leg perpendicular to your body. Alternate lowering the raising the legs in a scissor-like motion. As you do so, twist your torso and touch the foot of the raised leg with the hand opposite to it (e.g., if your right leg is raised, use your left hand to touch the foot). Each time, hold this position for 1-2 seconds. Don’t try to rush through because that would be cheating. Do twenty reps.
Row Your Boat. Start in boat position, with your legs straightened and extended, and feet about 18-24 inches off the ground. Your torso is straight, and at a slight angle to the floor. Your arms are parallel with your legs. Bend your knees and bring your legs close to your body without letting your feet touch the floor. While you are bending your knees, simultaneously bend your arms as if you were rowing a boat. Return to the starting position. Repeat twenty times.
Superman/Banana X. Lie on your back with your torso and legs raised off the ground. Spread your arms and legs so that they form an “X.” Your body should be bowed into a banana shape. Using just your core muscles, flip your body around so that you are now lying on your stomach with your torso and legs raised off the ground. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds. Repeat and flip over on each side ten times.
Oblique Roll. First, do an oblique crunch. Start off lying on your side with your legs extended and feet together. Your legs should be slightly angled in relation to your torso. Place one arm behind your head and the other on the ground for support. Simultaneously lift your legs and your torso off the ground. Try to touch the elbow of the non-support arm to your thigh. Your obliques should really feel stressed. When you’ve completed one crunch, roll over and do the same on the other side. Alternate doing crunches on either side until you have reached twenty reps. Do not drop your feet to the ground until you’ve completed the entire exercise. If you want the Adonis muscles along your waist, this is the exercise for them.
Roll V Hold. This exercise is the same thing as Roller Boat in X2 Core. You start off lying on your back on a yoga mat with your legs tucked to your chest and wrapped in place with your arms. Roll your body forward and at the end of the roll, extend your legs and arms into the flying boat position (legs 18-24 inches off floor, arms parallel to legs, torso at a slight angle to the floor). Hold for 2-5 seconds, then return to the balled up lying position by rolling backwards. Repeat twenty times.
Abrinome. The bane of ab exercises. I don’t like it at all. That’s probably why it’s good for me. Lie on your back with your legs extended and perpendicular to your body. Your arms are extended to either side of your torso. On Tony’s cue, drop your legs to one side of your body and hold for about 5-10 seconds. Maintain your legs at about a 45-degrees angle to the floor while at the same time keeping your shoulders firmly on the ground. Return to the starting position, and then drop your legs to the other side. As you alternate from side to side, keep your legs on one plane. When you look at your legs, they should be moving like windshield wipers. Keep the wobble to a minimum.
Gate Bridge Lift. A traditional ab exercise for a change. Do this exercise while lying on your back. Place your hands underneath your lower back between the arch. Straighten and extend your legs, keeping the feet together. Flexing your feet makes this exercise harder. Raise your legs until they are perpendicular to your body. When they are at the highest point, lift your butt off the ground to activate the mid abs. Lower your legs to about six inches off the floor, and spread the feet out as far as possible. Return to the starting position and perform twenty reps. Your feet should not touch the floor until you have finished the entire exercise.
Phelan Twist. In a nutshell, this exercise is isometric ab work. It doesn’t look like much, but your abs will be burning. Sit up and lean your torso back as far as possible without letting your feet rise off the ground. Twist your body to the right and hold the position for about five seconds. Center your torso and twist your body to the left. Keep doing this until time is called. There’s an odd contrast between how you don’t seem to be doing anything but sitting still, yet your abs are screaming with agony.
Scissor Clapper. There are no isometric holds, so this is one of the easier exercises in this workout. Start in the sitting position. Raise and lower your legs in a scissor motion. Clap your hands between your legs each time. Do thirty reps. You get to go fast, which is a huge relief.
Tornado. This exercise is almost as tough as the abrinome. Lie on your back and raise your legs so that it is nearly perpendicular to your body. Keeping your feet together, rotate your legs in a wide clockwise motion. As your feet passes the midway point of your body, raise your butt off the ground to increase the intensity level. Do ten rotations, then switch to a counterclockwise motion and do ten more rotations.
Balance Bikes. Sit on your butt and raise your legs off the floor. Lock your hands behind your back. Move your legs in a slow motion as if you were pedaling a bicycle. As you bend one leg, twist your body so that the opposite elbow makes contact with the knee. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds. Alternate sides, and use a slow controlled motion. Do about twenty reps.
To people like me who have mastered Ab Ripper X, X2 Ab Ripper can be a frustrating experience. You almost feel like a beginner again, trying to master these new exercises which will leave your midsection in knots.
No doubt about it, X2 Ab Ripper is a great ab workout. You will be cursing Tony under your breath the entire time. Probably the best compliment I can give is that I hate it, and I dread doing it.
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