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P90X2 Review: X2 Balance And Power

When Beachbody made note that P90X2’s Phase I would be all about mastering the stability and strength that comes from a strong, evenly powered core, they weren’t kidding. P90X2 Phase I is a full 100-yard tour of Core Land and X2 Balance + Power is all about continuing that march and taking it into the end zone for a victory dance. Very similar in technique and emphasis to X2 Total Body, X2 balance +Power is another “All-parts-report for duty” workout with Core as wingman.  In other words, you’ll be doing a lot of moves that will be close to impossible UNLESS you bring your core into the fight. Form is always important but it’s absolutely critical in X2 Balance + Power.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

X2 Balance And Power Review


P90X2: X2 Balance + Power is the sixth workout in P90X2′s Phase I and follows Yoga X2 on the training schedule. That means you should be stretched out, feeling good and ready to put your all into refining that core. The “Power” title may be a bit misleading if you’re expecting major lifting. The power here refers more to “inner power”– the calm in the storm that comes from maintaining form in a tough stance. There are some strength training elements in this workout but they’re more for resistance than power gains– again, the emphasis on balance will send dumbbells crashing into your face and feet if you go too heavy here.  Just like Total Body, you may find you’re stumbling all over the place on this one. Totally guilty on that one.

Just as a warning, this workout will take some work to perfect and your first run-through will be more trial run than domination. Still, if you bring the intensity and determination, this workout could easily push you into the 600 calorie burn range. Hard to believe when you’re so focused on balance and having fun while doing it.

X2 B+P Bonus: We meet Tony Horton’s sister, Kit. Lots of family jokes.


X2 Balance + Power is in the 62 minute range. The actual “workout” section is roughly 38 minutes which leaves 20+ minutes for prep and cooldown. 15 minutes is warm-up in stretch, foam rolling and a couple transition moves that include a squat and core warmup. As usual, 9 minutes is devoted to cool-down stretches. The workout is split into 4 rounds including a a three-move bonus round.

Like X2 Total Body, you may want to give yourself some extra time through–or at least preview– this workout to familiarize yourself with the moves.


If you’ve been following the previous reviews, you’ll know the drill by now. Stability Ball warm-ups, Foam Rolling and a few elasticity stretches totaling 15 minutes. Sadly, the most cathartic and helpful portion– foam rolling (read up on why it rules here)– is only 3 minutes. That’s not long enough and Tony Horton tells you so. Don’t cut the other warm-ups short, but if you have time, definitely indulge the pause button here or make a plan to roll in front of the TV later in the day.

The Workout

X2 balance and Power is three rounds of six moves each with a three move bonus round thrown in for good measure. At the outset, many of these moves will leave you wondering about how intense they’ll be but let me assure you, I was feeling their effectiveness next day. You’re going to be worked from head to toe.

Hopefully at this point, you’re beginning to realize P90X2 is a new game and is prepping you for the power and explosive phases to come. These moves are challenging, but not in a grimacing, I feel like an animal kind of way. They’re deliberate, focused and designed to get your body working in total coordination. This will pay off in spades down the road. Trust this!

Move Highlights (there’s a few– Balance+Power is challenging):

Sphinx to Plank Plyo Bounce : I’d mastered the “Sphinx” from p90X but when done on a stability ball, the game absolutely changes. With elbows on stability ball and core engaged, use the triceps to push through to hands on ball while maintaining the plank position without stepping. (Fifth move in the video above)

Renegade Row 1/2 Lolasana : This move was featured on Tony Horton’s “weekl moves contest” for a reason– it’s one that will take some practice on the landing. Starting in the extended plank/pushup postion with dumbells or push up stands, do a one-armed row with right arm, then left. From there, leap into a half handstand, hold for a second and then drop out to a fully extended plank position again. Repeat ’til you can’t repeat no more. (It’s the third move in the video above).

Crawly Crab Press: Goofy name, serious move. Using two dumbbells, lay shoulders across the stability ball int he press position. Shift weight from shoulder to left elbow balance while extending every other part of your body off the ball and right arm in an extended press above your head. Roll back down and shift to the other side. Hard to explain but luckily, it’s the fourth Move in the video above and the move featured on the DVD cover.

Glute Bridge Roll Out – Place heels of both feet on stability ball with straight legs, back and  hips off ground, shoulders resting on the ground. Use heels to roll the ball in toward you until knees bent, then roll back out. At first I was doubting this move– about 20 seconds in it was burntown. I felt this from butt to ankles the next day.

Plank Ball Crunch – Arms rest on stability ball in a plank move. Knees are then brought up to forehead using core.  It’s the full extension to the forehead that makes this one a “feeler”.

Over/Under Boat: If you’re familiar with boat, there’s a twist. Instead of holding the V position while balanced on your butt with legs extended and arms pointing toward your toes, you hold a towel or resistance band and move the band over your feet, then under, hold, then back over to starting position and hold. If you thought you were good at boat, this should add a new wrinkle to your skill level.

Russian Twist: It’s like a Mason Twist, but meaner. Place a medicine ball between your knees while holding a dumbbell in both hands. Twist with dumbbell while moving the med ball in the opposite direction. Slow, deliberate, mean-spirited.


Reps and move counts will be important here. Over the course of the 3-6 weeks of Phase I, more will be better. Make sure you track your reps to ensure your improvement week over week is solid and steady.

Go light on the weights your first couple times through. There are some serious balance moves in here that, if improperly performed, could lead to awkward injury. Once you feel confident, start upping the pressure.

Like Total Body, take some time to find that sweet spot on the chair/stability ball where you can find your balance and execute the move with good form.

The Verdict

While similar in tone to X2 Total Body, X2 Balance And Power is a very core-focused animal in its own right and will take some practice, no doubt. If Total Body had some resistance, the resistance here is token. X2 B+P is all about form to maintain stability. In doing so, the core is engaged almost non-stop. If there’s a reason X2 Ab Ripper is in short circulation through Phase I, X2 B+P shows you why.

Like the rest of Phase I work, this is varied, fun, challenging and misleading. You might think this isn’t “work” as you’ve come to know it in P90X2, but that’s where it’s got you fooled. Watch this base play out like crazy in Phase II.

In the mean time, check out the details on P90X2 here and feel free to spread the love via Facebook, Digg, Twitter or link if this was worth your time. Or hey, click the subtle link below if you want to give P90X2 a shot. Thanks for the support!

Beginning your P90X2 journey? Questions? Feel free to email me here or at Better yet, let’s get you the support you need to line up your nutrition goals right now. Make me your (free) Beachbody Coach right here and we’ll get crackin’! 

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