This post is a review of the stretching sequences of Insanity Asylum Relief video.
Insanity Asylum Relief
Unless you are a professional yoga instructor, there is a very good chance that you don’t stretch enough. Heck, even I don’t stretch enough, although I do do all the stretches in my at-home workouts like Insanity or P90X. But since it is summer time, and summer time means BBQ ribs and cycling, I still don’t stretch enough.
On average, I ride my bike about two hours per day; yesterday I rode about 4 hours. Did I stretch? Nope, not one ounce. By hour three I was pretty much wiped out; my CamelBack bladder was coming up on “E”; and the last thing I was thinking about (outside of Lapsang tea price futures in China) was stretching. Do not suck like me and not stretch.
This workout is supposed to be done whenever you need to relax from a workout or feel the need to stretch; at just 23 minutes long it shouldn’t be too hard to do, even on lazy days. This video is unlike the rest of the videos in that it doesn’t have the usual warm-up per se, nor are the (exercises) stretches named like they are in the other videos. However, I will name the stretch so it will be easier to follow along, just don’t expect to see what I name to also be in the video.
Wide Leg Breathing
The video starts out with you standing, your feet spread at just past shoulder width apart and you are doing some deep breathing exercises. Yep the same ones you will see on any workout video at the beginning or end, where you are spreading your arms wide out to the sides to get the maximum amount of air into your lungs. I have found that most people, even people who teach fitness, don’t know that you can get the maximum amount of air in your body by spreading your legs just past shoulder width and your arms straight out to your sides because this is the point where your lungs are the least restricted. It’s also the reason why doctors tell parents with new born babies to lay them on their backs when they sleep, or at least they should. Repeat this sequence 4X.
Left / Right Side Stretch
Continuing from your breathing sequence, go directly into a left side stretch. This is done by holding your left arm straight out to your side then reaching up and over your head to as far as you can go so that you will feel the stretch from the back of your armpit straight down to your hip flexors. Make sure you keep your legs straight. If you do it right you will feel the stretch. Switch sides.
Like the first stretch, you want to lift your hands over your head with your fingers intertwined together and your palms facing the ceiling and act as if you are pushing the ceiling away from you. Don’t overthink this. The only thing you are doing is stretching, so make sure you feel the stretch.
Drop your hands and intertwine them behind your back, now lift your hands up as far as you can while you are standing straight up, keeping your arms straight. Flexibility is a combination of genetics and use, and USUALLY decreases with age if you don’t work on it, so don’t compare yourself with the people in the video. Usually women are a lot more flexible than men. That said, I don’t know any woman more flexible than I am. The key here is to again feel the stretch. And do not forget to breath; you need to to live.
Iso Plié Squats
Get into a Plié squat (If you do not know what that is, just search this website for “Plié” over in the navbar) then get your elbows to the inside of you quadriceps. Now while only slightly leaning forward, use your elbows to push your quads back then squat your butt down until you feel the stretch. As with any squat make sure your knees are over your ankles…this is good squat form.
Come directly out of that position and put your hands on the ground then put your butt straight up in the air, you will feel your hamstrings stretching. Next lift your toes off the ground and put your weight into your heels. Now drop your head and hold this for 1 minute.
Still holding the previous stretch, grab your elbows and swing your upper body left and right, this is a dynamic hamstring stretch to complement the isometric hamstring stretch you just did.
Still in the same position you have been in, grab your right ankle and pull your chest into your knee. Halfway through walk your hands to the other ankle and again pull your chest into your knee.
Now go back to your other ankle and grab it again then with your opposite leg lunge down while continuing to hold your ankle. Here you will be pulling your ankle while lunging to your side, when doing it correctly you will feel the stretch in your inner thigh up to your groin. Also remember to keep your knee behind your toe. Half way through walk your hands to the other side and do the same thing. When you are finished bring your upper body to the center then roll your body up until you are standing with your feet just past shoulder width again.
Continuing with the same theme as when you started, but this time you want your feet together. Take a few deep breaths while using your arms to assist your breathing. Then point your arms straight up and interlock your fingers, now elongate your body and point straight up as if you were a human arrow.
Next you want to swan dive down and touch your toes, place your right hand on your left toe, then lift your left arm straight up into the air. Now look up towards your fingertips. When you are done, bring both hands to your toes then roll up.
- Arrows – Again you are going to do the arrow stretch
- Swan Dive – Again you are going to swan dive down, but this time you are going to do the opposite side.
*Feet are going back to just past shoulder width again.
- Wide Leg Breathing
Slouched over Hand sits
Just like the prisoner cuffs you are going to lock your hands behind your back; however, instead of going up you are going to drop your hands underneath your butt and sit on your hands, then you are going to stretch out your lower back by slouching over and bringing your chin to your chest and lengthen out your lower back. (Note: some people may not be able to do this because their shoulders and chest are too tight. My partner Julie was unable to this without first unlocking her hands and then relocking them under her butt.)
- Prisoner Handcuffs – Go directly into the prisoner handcuffs while inhaling.
- Slouched over Hand Sits – While exhaling you want to get into your slouched over hand sits and use your breath to get deeper into the stretch.
- Prisoner Handcuffs – Again inhale with this stretch
- Slouched over Hand Sits – Then again go deeper into this stretch
This is a pretty common shoulder / deltoid stretch. Stand straight up with your legs still at just past shoulder width apart, stretch your arms apart like an eagle. Then stretch your right arm across your chest then use your left arm to pull it in closer. Next grab your elbow then drop your shoulder for an even greater stretch. Don’t over think it, just stretch. Halfway through switch to the other side.
*Bring your feet back together
At the shoulder roll your arms 360 degrees both forward and backwards
Standing straight up, then put your chin to your chest then S-L-O-W-L-Y roll your body straight down, so than you can feel each vertebrae in your spine roll down. When your fingers/arms/or whatever is touching the ground (or however far you can go) S-L-O-W-L-Y roll your body straight back up.
- Repeat the Spine Rolls but add a heel sit – The heel sit consist of sitting on your heels (revolutionary huh?) however only go as far as you can so that your heels ALWAYS stay on the ground. Once you feel your heels coming off the ground STOP. Repeat 4X. Do not roll up but continue to the next stretch.
Insanity Asylum Relief
Runners Hip Flexor Stretch
Coming straight out of the previous stretch, put both knees on the ground then one knee up as if you are in a kneeling runners pose. Place both hands on your up knee, then bring your hips straight forward so that you FEEL your hip flexors stretching.
From the previous stretch place both hands on the floor now bring your back knee off the ground (be sure your back heel is on the floor). Then lift your front legs toes off the ground, then bring your chest toward your knee.
- Runners Hip Flexor Stretch w/Arms Up– Get back into this stretch again, this time will raise both hands straight up in the air while you are leaning forward
- Sprinters Stretch – Repeat this stretch again
Runners Hip Flexor Stretch w/ Ankle Grab
This is the same stretch as before; however, this time instead of having both hands on your knee, you are going to use one arm (the same side) and reach back and grab the ankle of the leg that is kneeling. Then you will push into the hip flexor stretch the exact same way, but you will also be stretching your quadriceps at the same time with the ankle grab. Be sure and have your chest straight up. Bring both knees to the ground.
*Switch legs (if you had your right knee kneeling, switch to the left knee)
- Runners Hip Flexor Stretch – Same sequence as before
- Sprinters Stretch – Same sequence as before
- Runners Hip Flexor Stretch w/Arms Up
- Sprinters Stretch
- Runners Hip Flexor Stretch w/Ankle Grab
Another very common stretch. Coming out of the previous stretch place both knees on the ground together, now with both hands on the ground in front of you. Then sit back on your heels while keeping your hands on the floor. This is a very good back stretch. Especially after all of the compressions of jumping around like a mad man/woman during these Insanity Asylum videos.
Another very common stretch. Like a pissed off cat, get straight onto all fours. Then you are going to round and release your back. Get a breathing sequence when you are rounding and releasing this stretch.
A Yoga favorite. Come straight out of your cat pose and put your heels onto the ground and get into a downward dog. I am going to assume that you know what a downward dog is.
- Childs Pose – Repeat
- Downward Dog – Repeat – After you are done take your feet out to just past shoulder width apart again and walk your hands back to your toes.
- Wide leg Spine Roll – Up
Standing Elbow Splits
Position your legs wider than shoulder width (enough so your palms can touch the ground) apart. Then slowly roll your upper body down so that your palms can touch the floor. This is very similar to the first stretch we did only your legs (may be) are further apart. Place your palms on the floor, now walk your feet out wider, so that you can eventually put your elbows on the floor. Remember that if you can’t go all the way down you are still good, just go down as far as you can. After the allotted time period roll back up.
*Place your feet together and stand straight up.
Grab your right knee and bring it to your chest and pull in as far as you can go. After the allotted time period, repeat with the other leg.
Swing Breathing Rows
This is a dynamic breathing exercise. Just check out the video and do what he does :p
Finally this is just like the Wide Leg breathing we did to start the video only this time your feet are not wide leg, you are just standing straight up.
Do these stretching exercises. I am not only talking to you I am talking to myself. If I recall correctly, a minimum 10% of your exercise regimen should consist of stretching (I believe 15% is close to ideal). That means if you work out for 60 minutes then 6 minutes should consist of stretching (With 9 minutes ideal). Since most of these workouts are about 1 hour long, you should be stretching between 6-9 minutes and none of these even come close to that.
While it is a good video, I give this 4 out of 5 Charles Faces because honestly, all of this *should* be incorporated into each workout – but stuff happens and they weren’t, so it is what it be.
This concludes my review of Insanity Asylum Relief.