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  • Writer's pictureBethany

INSANITY: Core Cardio & Balance

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

It is Day 29 of INSANITY - oh dayum(!) I am almost a month through the program - and I have reached the ‘Recovery Week’! This is 6 days of Core Cardio & Balance and your regular 'OFF’ day on the 7th (Sundays for me).

Basically, this week is a mid-marker and separates 'Month 1’ from 'Month 2’. Also know as - the '40 minute workouts’ from the '60 minute MAX workouts’. The baby from the BEAST…you get it.

  • Length: 37 minutes

  • Equipment: none needed (just yo’ body!)

This workout is anything but a 'recovery’ (you will still sweat, or, I did) but is still easier than the circuit workouts in Month 1.

For the record: I put in the wrong DVD and started Cardio Recovery before I realized… that was not right. Fail.

Warm Up:

This is 4:36 minutes, consists of six moves that last a minute each and (hallelujah!) does not repeat three times (like the first month warm ups). The moves are:

  • Switch Heel Kicks - My first thought: 'Okay, these are slow, maybe this will not be so bad’.

  • Mummy Kicks - Next thought: 'These are hard’. The note on my iPhone notepad says 'wtf’. Since they are so slow it is hard to keep correct form and balance. Well done, Shaun T, well done. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

  • Football Shuffle - These should be pretty familiar but, rather than staying in once place, you travel to one side for four seconds and clap and then to the other. I pound my fists together because my daughter is asleep and clapping is loud (I’m a genius, I know. Fist pump.)

  • Over-The-Log - These should also be familiar but are slower. Who jumps logs slowly? Shaun T does, ya’ll. I would probably eat tree bark.

Then, after a few seconds of break, you do the following moves:

  • 8 High Knees into 8 Power Jacks - The tricky thing here is to go straight into the next move without falling over/taking a step/doing something weird. MASTERED IT!

  • 8 Fast Feet into 8 Alternating Hooks - I like these because I like to punch the air. I feel cool and it works my upper body.


This lasts about 3:45 minutes and is not as intense as the stretches in the first month of workouts. Basically, he goes deeper into the stretch and tries to get you to focus on the hamstrings and hip flexors.

I like that he has you extend your arm while in hip flexor stretch (see below).

Shaun T quotes (you have to have these):

  • You shouldn’t feel super exhausted at the end. If you do you’re doing it too hard’. Crap. I guess I’ll take it down a notch. I thought this was INSANITY! :)

  • 'I want these stretches to really last awhile because you’ve been pounding your body for about 4 weeks now’. No kidding.

Then, you get a water break (gulp) and he says:

  • 'We are going to build this exercise up and up and up to raise your heart rate’. Well that sounds exciting… and high (that was a lot of 'ups’).


This slow-mo beast consists of 10 moves lasting 1 minute each and is around 13 minutes or so (explaining time included) total. It reminds me of a slower-paced Pure Cardio. The moves include:

  • Moving Ski Hops - The key here is to keep your knees together and use proper form…. and pretend you are in Colorado skiing.

  • Hit The Floor - My note reads: ’sucks’. I hate these to start with, but NOW, we have to do them slowly and for a minute.

  • Level 1 Drills - These are 4 push-ups into 8 floor sprints and I am happy to say that I did not use my knees during this minute!

  • Heismans - These are harder than you are used to because it is slower and you do it for a minute. The guy behind Shaun T (Akil) in the orange shorts had a problem doing these. I laughed at him. HAHA! He’s so sweaty his shirt is a completely darker gray than it started. Shaun T is killin’ Akil!

  • 8 Switch Kicks into 8 Hop Squats - By this time I was out of breath and, again, the key thing here is to move straight into the next one without a stutter step. BE AN ATHLETE! Yes!

  • High Jumps - Self-explanatory. Jump as high as you can, feet together, for a minute. Wheeee! (The hubby came down around this time to take some photos).

  • Moving Plank Walk - These are just like moving push-ups without the push-ups. It looks like a toddler crawling, strangely. I like it.

  • 8 Elbows into 4 Suicide Drills - I feel cool doing these elbow punch things and luckily there are only FOUR suicide drills each time.

  • 4&4 Hops - You hop on the left four times and then to the right. Repeat for a minute. Like a bunny. 'Okay, my legs are awake’.

  • 8 Jabs into Jump Squats - The jabs are faster than I would have anticipated and the key is to stay low into the squat. Punches - yesssss! And.. some kind of fancy twirl move. Alriiiiight!

Hip Flexor Burners:

This is 3:30 minutes of working the hip flexors and core, or as I like to call it - setting your legs and hips on FIAH! You lift your knee, keep your elbows in towards your core, then you tap the floor with your foot and repeat for 30 seconds.

Then, without dropping your leg, you hold your knee up and pulse up and down for 30 seconds. Fire… in..leg…

THEN, without dropping your leg, you stretch your leg out and then bend it back in for 30 seconds. FIRE!

THEN YOU SWITCH LEGS and do it all over again. Charred (get it?).


This is a minute of bringing your knee to your elbow and lowering it back down while moving your arm up. It is slow and focused. Reeeeeeeeeeecovery, right?

The idea is to get your knee to your elbow and progress in the upcoming days if you are unable to do so.

Shoulder Burners in Plie:

Shaun T throws in his two cents:

  • ’…last segment here but takes the most power’.

This is basically a squat with your feet turned out (plie) and your arms straight out. Then, you pulse them up and down for about 45 seconds like you are a bird. Flap flap flap..

Then, when you start to feel the burn, you switch your arms to coming together in front of you and back out and 'contract the core’ as Shaun says. He also says:

  • 'I’m smiling because I love it’. I know you are Shaun. Even though my arms are in extreme pain, I’ll smile too. :-/

THEN, you bring your arms above your head (fingertips touch) and down. Hot potatoes.

THEN, just for shizngiggles, you do arm circles (backwards first and then forwards). You see that guy’s face in the bottom right photo? That explains it well.

I am pleased to report that I did not drop my arms once during this segment. WACHOW!

Stretch/Cool Down:

This is quick - only about two and a half minutes - and you stretch out your shoulders, legs, and back. There is a lot of inhaling and exhaling (as usual) and Shaun says:

  • 'You KNOW we have to stretch that hip flexor’. OH I KNOW SHAUN. I can feel it. Thanks for that.

While this was a 'recovery’ workout, I still sweat and I burnt 364 calories. Shaun T stops between moves to show you proper form (which gives you more breaks/recovery than the circuit workouts in the first month) but I cannot decide which is worse: The fast circuit workouts in Month 1 or this Core, Cardio & Balance. Slow moves are hard (great for the muscles) and make me sweat my caboose off.

He says,

  • 'This is your recovery week so I don’t want you to over-pound your body. I want you to focus, keep your core strong, keep your energy up and next week we will start it back up’. Cringe. Max circuits…. scare me slightly. :)

Final Thoughts:

  • It was a good workout - my muscles loved it I am sure.

  • It has been awhile since I have done this workout (a few years) but it all started to come back to me.

  • I am happy with how I did and look forward to 'perfecting’ my form in the next 5 days.

  • I am going to try to supplement this week with running/lifting - wish me luck!

Since I started early in the morning, we were able to go to the grocery store around 9:30am. This was one of the major things/errands I wanted to get done today (you mothers know how this is).

I did this sans-shower since the sweat had pretty much dried to me and I looked half-presentable (yum). When we got home, I went for a quick run and the hubby played with L outside and, there was basically a block party when I returned.

My Zombies! Run app died sometime during my run (epic fail) so I am not sure how far or fast I ran. I am sure that I ran for 15 minutes and burnt 211 calories. Since I ran a familiar route, I am guessing it was 1.4 miles. It was a quick, short, and a warmer-than-usual run! I WAS WEARING SHORTS! Obviously, this excites me.

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