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P90X2 Review: X2 Recovery And Mobility

If I had a top three “most anticipated” workout list for P90X2, X2 Recovery + Mobility would have easily fallen in the number one or two slot. It’s not jumping, it’s not lifting or body weight resistance to exhaustion– it’s the stuff that makes all that hard work feel better. Typically, all the “recovery stuff” is easy to skip (I’m looking at you P90X: X Stretch dodgers- wink, wink) as it doesn’t feel like work… but all work no rest makes for a very grumpy kinetic chain. And grumpy chains, tight muscles and trigger points make for injury and downgraded performance.

So here’s the question: Was my anticipation over hyped? Let’s dig in and find out:

X2 Recovery And Mobility Review


The older, wiser brother to P90X Classic’s X Stretch, X2 Recovery and Mobility keeps the stretch but adds the “rehab/training secret” of the foam roller.  There’s a few foam roller types out there on the market in varying lengths and colors (if color makes a difference to you). There’s the smooth foam rollers I’d been using the last few years and the new-fangled, “Is this a Castle Crashing war club or something worse?” Rumble Roller that’s fully studded for maximum displeasure.

I have a big juicy write-up on why foam rolling (aka- Myofascial Release) is the new hotness (check it out here– it’s a must-read) and I’ll touch on a few of those points in this review but first and foremost, this workout is a key component of P90X2 and you’ll see it twice a week EVERY week through the whole program and a mind-boggling, body-loving FOUR TIMES a week on your Recovery Weeks. Yes, it’s that important and yes, it can be that effective.

X2 Recovery + Mobility workout placed midweek and end of week puts the “P90X overtrains” detractors to rest– and rightly so. It even incorporates Yoga stretches (there’s no running from Yoga in P90X2) as a “warm-up” and final stretch.


X2 Recovery + Mobility runs a grand total of 57 muscle loosening, “breathe-and-enjoy-it” minutes. The Recovery workout is broken into five timed segments including an 8 minute sun salutation “warm-up”, a 7 minute-ish foray into “ballistic” stretches like leg swings and single leg touchdowns. Foam rolling is given 25 minutes (which even at this length felt not quite long enough) and is followed by a ballistic stretch repeat to emphasize the fact you really did just limber up and caps it off with a final 15 minutes of static stretching including Frog and hamstring stretches with some more Yoga-ish action thrown in for good measure.


As with X2 Yoga, X2 Recovery + Mobility is one big, long warm-up and cooldown. Each segment builds on the last which means by the time you get to the final static stretches, you should be seeing some genuine flexibility improvement.

The Workout

In all, the workout breaks down like this: Stretch, Roller, Stretch. While stretching is fantastic, there’s not much by way of new if you’re familiar with the gamut of stretching. I really wanted to dig into the rolling component of the workout. Besides its shorter foam rolling segment (still not bad– it’s close to half of the workout and Tony Horton often suggests pausing to make it a little longer) you’ll immediately begin to understand why foam rolling is being touted by those who do it. Make note– it doesn’t feel good. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes painful in the same way a good sports massage can be– and that’s what makes it gloooorious. So when you see some dude squinting and yelping in this segment, you know he’s not fakin’ it.

In the rolling segment there’s not a body part that goes untouched. You’ll work everything– each leg upper and lower and inner, each side of upper body including arms and upper back. You’ll get in some compromising-looking positions as you try to get the best angle for each part. While most of the work is done on the floor in the P90X2 studio, you can also stand and use a wall, which is definitely easier when working through the shoulders.

Don’t have a foam roller? There’s options here using a towel or bar, but you’ll be missing out.

Move Highlights:

Rolling. Rolling. Rolling.

  • Get a Roller. If you don’t have a foam roller, get one. Smooth rollers are available for about $20 and The Rumble Roller is available here ($69.90) and in the  P90X2 Ultimate Kits. As a difference, smooth rollers work the surface and the Rumble Roller works a little deeper as the knobs can push past muscle fascia and get a little deeper. I use the analogy of “general” accuracy to “pinpoint” in differentiating the two. The roller gets in there and at the kinks. The smooth is more surface-level but still very effective. Having used both, I tend to prefer the Rumble.
  • Watch It. This DVD/Bluray is worth reviewing before you begin your first workout as Recovery + Mobility really lays out the foundation on how to foam roll– something that’s given time in every P90X2 warm-up.
  • Stretch yourself (no pun intended there). Holding and extending a stretch for it’s full time duration (typically 30 seconds or more) is what lengthens the muscle and adds flexibility. Stretch to the point of discomfort– but not strain or pain, there’s a difference– and work that stretch back and forth to get more length.
  • 1-2-3 Stop. This isn’t rolling your body out like four-limbed bread dough. The roll portion is “feeling out” your trigger points and sore spots– and believe me, you’ll know them when you find them. Rather than rolling those trigger points, allow the roller to simply rest on that spot with your body weight adding the pressure. It’s not comfortable and is actually wincingly painful but you’ll find that goes away a bit. Roll the portion and work it a bit and then repeat.
  • Maximize Your Time. Rolling can really take as long as you’d like it to. I use the epic disclaimer screens and Team Beachbody commercials to throw in an extra couple minutes of foam rolling before the workout begins– and just for fun, foam roll in front of the TV when I get around to watching it.
The Verdict

X2 Recovery + Mobility isn’t “pulse-pounding” hard and it’s not meant to be. It’s mean to break up the pattern defects of a rigorous training schedule and the addition of the roller is awesome.Were my expectations met? Yes and no. To be honest, I’d love to see a full rolling segment. Of course, that would sell stretching short so you can’t have it both ways. I’ll just take a little extra time in the rolling segment. In all? Mobility + Recovery = The Ever-Lovin’ GOODS.

I know there’s some hardcores out there who will want to do some kind of cardio to get their mind right… and that’s OK. Make it a short one on this day– go for a run, do a half hour worth of jumping jacks, jump rope, a revisit to Kenpo (I know… read this to learn how to juice it up) or a round of lower impact Insanity… but follow it up with this workout.

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

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