This is my review on P90X Core Synergistics.

P90X Core Synergistics

Core Synergistics was actually the first workout from the P90X series that I have done. This is actually the DVD that got me interested in the whole system. The theory here is that your core is the synergy that the rest of your body draws from. My first thought was that this was some ancient stuff that the Chinese call “Qi” or the Japanese call “ki.” In a way it is; in another way, it’s just a bunch of guys exercising their abs. We should make a western world equivalent of the word, and call it “Sy.”

This workout has a basic idea of working your core muscles to make your entire body stronger, since everything comes from the center and all your body parts are attached to your core somehow. The muscles that you will be working out are:

  • Abs – both upper and lower
  • Transverse Abs – muscles surrounding your upper and lower abs
  • Obliques – Side Abs

Unlike most of the other P90X workouts, you only do 1 set of each exercise. There are a ton of them.

Stacked Foot/Staggered Hands Push-up

Being that I’m weak at push-ups and my lower body is about 5 or 600% stronger than my upper body, starting out the gate with staggered push-ups is good for me, as I can put a great deal of energy in proper form when doing this exercise. This is a push up where just as the exercise-name states, you have your feet stacked on top of each other, and one hand close to your chest and the other hand “staggered” or out in front of you. The good thing about this exercise is that you do 5 reps for each hand; the part that sucks is you do them until failure, meaning until you can’t do them anymore. If you’re doing your workouts in the morning, this will get the cobwebs out!

Banana Roll

These are the same as the Banana/Superman Roll I explained in my previous post Cardio X . Here, you start off lying on your back with your legs and arms off the ground (You are only using your core muscles). Then complete a series of rolling on your sides, stomach and back again only using your core muscles. This was a very hard exercise for me. Julie loves the banana roll (;P), my excuse is I’m too tall and my legs are too heavy. That is a legitimate excuse.

Leaning Crescent Lunges

I’m back in my element now; here you are doing a lunge at 45 degrees going from one side to the next. For added intensity, throw in your resistance bands or some dumbbells and either keep them at your sides or lift them over your head. This exercise is way better than coffee!

Squat Run

Here, you will need your dumbbells again. You start off in a runners post like you’re about to take off for a marathon with your arms in full position (meaning in a full stride position). Then you just start swinging your arms like you were running. You do a similar exercise in Cardio X that I reviewed a couple of days ago.

Sphinx Push-up / Military crawl

Here you are in a plank position – you are in a push-up position but on your elbows on the ground. All you do is go up to your hands one at a time, then back down to your elbows. This is one of Julie’s favorite exercises. She also tortures her poor students at Capitol Athletic Club here in Sacramento every Monday morning doing this exact exercise.

Bow to Boat

This is the same move that is done in Yoga X that I reviewed earlier, and is also a move in my upcoming review Stretch-X. This is somewhat similar to the Banana/Superman;  not exact, but close.

Low Lateral Skaters

You start off in a very deep side lunge; all you do is shuttle back and forth all the while keeping that very deep side lunge. This is one of those moves better seen than explained.

Lunge and Reach

You will need your dumbbells here again. Using the same deep side lunge you did in the Low Lateral Skaters, you grab your dumbbells then lunge down until your dumbbell hits the floor, then come back up now pressing the dumbbell over your head.

Prison Cell Push-ups

I probably have a few family members doing these right now in one of our fine California Correctional Facilities. This is somewhat of a modified version of the 8-count-bodybuilder that I spoke about last month. You start off in a normal push-up position; however, when you go down you bring your left knee towards your chest while keeping the rest of your body straight, then come back up to the up position. Rinse and repeat with the other leg. It is helpful to imagine yourself in a small enclosed space and use that as your guidelines to keep your body straight while tucking your knee to your chest.

Side Hip Raise

As the title states, everything is done on your sides. For a visual, check out my post Side Planks. This is more or less what you are doing. You can adjust the level of intensity by going up on your arm or down on your forearm.

Squat X-Press

This is one of my favorite exercises of the Core Synergistics DVD. Break out your dumbbells or your resistance bands again. While standing up, put your feet wide apart and squat down deep, so your thighs are parallel with the ground.  When you come back up out of the squat bring the dumbbells up with you and make a big X with your body. This is 1 repetition. This is very simple to do and great exercise not only for your core but your full body. I’m a fan of simplicity.

Plank to Chaturanga

This is when the party starts to kick into overdrive. Like the exercise name states, you start off in a plank position, then bring one knee up to your head…or as high as possible to you’re head as you can. Hold this position for 10 through 15 seconds, then you drop down to the yoga Chaturanga position. Keep doing that until you start to get pissed at the person that made this move up, and think how much of a sick twisted bastard they are. This is very important as the first few reps are OK then you’re thinking “What the &*^$ is this &*#^”? I love you too!

Walking Push-up

The name alone sounds menacing. Start off in the push-up position, and then start to walk one hand and one foot forward like your walking forward on your hands and feet. The caveat, like the Plank to Chaturanga, is to hold that plank position and not sag or droop down. Take 4 steps forward and 4 steps backward, knock this out for 60 seconds and proceed to the next exercise.

Superman / Banana

I described this in my Cardio X workout earlier but didn’t give a detailed explanation. What you are doing is holding a banana position. A banana position is performed by lying on your back and using only your core to lift your legs, arms, and head off the ground.

The Superman position is just like the banana but you are on your stomach, again with legs, arms and head off the ground. The idea here is to roll between your stomach and back while holding your legs, arms and head up. This is a very, very, effective core move, and hurts sooo good.

Lunge Tricep Curl Press

The Lunge Tricep Curl Press is sort of a tricky move to get used too, this is more about getting into a rhythm and sticking to it. While holding your dumbbells or resistance bands, drop into a 45 degree lunge and hold out your arms so they are parallel with the floor. Extend your arms out like you’re doing a tricep extension, then stand up and curl the dumbbells/resistance bands and push them up over your head like your doing a military press. When you put your arms down, bring up your other leg and repeat with the other side. Remember this is about rhythm.

Towel Hoppers

Put a towel down on the floor, then hop side-to-side. Power in simplicity.

Reach High & Under Push-ups

This was one of the most difficult exercises to do properly because you’re so far into the DVD. You start off in a push-up position, then shifting your weight to one side you reach up with the other hand as high as you can and rotate your core outward with the hand that is up in the air. Comeback down and do the other side. This is all about balance and strength. This exercise is easy to do but very hard to master.

P90X Core Synergistics

Steam Engine

I described this move in the Cardio X Review as well. What is going on here is you’re in a deep runner’s squat and all you’re doing is moving your arms back and forth like you’re sprinting. If you’re not absolutely drenched coming out of this exercise, you’re not trying hard enough. This exercise is easy, simple, and effective.

Dreya Roll

I think Dreya is one of the people in one of the P90X DVD’s. This is a cool exercise that is easy to do. All you do is get yourself into a ball on your back, rocking your body up to hour shoulder with the rest of your body pointing straight up, then using that momentum you roll your body up and onto your feet. If you are really a hero you can do a jumping jack, call your mom or make ham sandwich while you’re up. Again easy, fun, simple and effective. Everybody wins here.

Plank to Chaturanga Iso

At this point, if you’ve put your heart into it, you’re pretty tired. Here, what you are doing is going from plank to a Chaturanga position then back to plank. At this point, I was pretty tired. It was very hard for me at this point.


If you have read my P90X Plyometrics review, you will recognize this exercise. You take 4 large monster-tires steps forward, and hop back 6 times. Rinse and repeat. You got 60 seconds here

Table Dip Raise

This is a good polish-off exercise. I highly doubt I did these properly; the halfback practically killed me because I was trying to get my form down. You start off in a table position, then lift one leg off the ground and into the air as high as you can, then drop you butt down (don’t touch the ground) then come back up. That is 1 rep; knockout as many as you can for the 1 minute and you’re done.

5 Charles Faces!!!!


Interested? Go get it in my Beachbody web store. If you want a 25% discount sign-up as  a “Coach” and spread the word!

This is the conclusion of my review on P90X Core Synergistics.

Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd

Self processed fitness missionary and author of most of the ridiculous fitness articles written on Charles Lloyd I am not really a writer, but a workout fiend who happens to have a blog. The single mission of this website is very simple: Get You In Shape. I have been blessed with the gift of good health and want to share it with you. Join Me.

    6 replies to "P90X Core Synergistics – Review"

    • P90x Core Synergistics

      I have tried this P90x Core synergistics and saw some good results. I was first introduced to the program by reading your blog. Now I have put up a small blog of same topic .


    • will

      Charles – great stuff. I really enjoy reading your blog to get an idea of the workouts. By far my second favorite workout, the first being Yoga out of P90x. I never thought I would do Yoga, but what a hell of a work out!

    • Cherish

      This was the hardest DVD for me. The absolute worst move is the Dreya Roll! It’s so hard to me. This post is interesting, makes me think maybe I was doing something wrong.

    • Mike

      Core synergistics and the p90x stretch routine helped me get ready for Tough Mudder👍🏾👍🏾

    • Charles Lloyd

      Good Job Mike!

    • Josh

      Is Supreme 90 as good as p90x?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.