The plyometrics routine is one of the biggest challenges in the entire P90X home fitness program. However, this workout involves a lot of jumping, which can be very tough on your joints. In fact, the P90X guide recommends you always use a mat and wear shock-absorbing shoes when doing plyometrics — strategies that your knees and downstairs neighbors will certainly appreciate.
Although you shouldn't skip any P90X workouts, you can modify, delay or replace the plyometrics routine.
Cost of Skipping
The plyometrics routine has the primary purpose of serving as a cardiovascular workout. Researchers with the American Council on Exercise claimed the plyometrics portions ranked higher than any other workout in P90X when it came to cardiovascular exertion. The plyometric combinations of vertical leaps, lateral leaps and other high impact leg exercises also provide a lower-body workout. Skipping the plyometrics leaves a big piece out of the workout series and limits your progress.
Cardio and P90X Lean
The videos and P90X Fitness Guide recommend you replace plyometrics with a DVD known as the Cardio X routine if you have chronic knee problems. This workout is not included in the regular routine for P90X, but a spin-off of P90X, P90X Lean, replaces all plyometrics workouts with Cardio X. Cardio X involves some yoga, a little Kenpo, light plyometrics and core moves.
You can also use the Cardio X routine as a temporary replacement for plyometrics to help boost your fitness level, however, you might still need to modify moves by stepping or standing on your tip-toes instead of jumping.
You can modify almost every exercise in the plyometrics routine to suit your needs. In some exercises, this involves stepping instead of jumping as you transition from side to side. Examples include exercises involving run stance squats, airborne Heismans, leapfrog squats, the twist combo and Mary Katherine lunges. You can modify other moves by replacing a vertical jump with thrusting up to your tip-toes, such as in jump squats, squat reach jumps and jump shots.
If you feel overwhelmed doing a vigorous, 60- to 90-minute workout every day and just need a break, you can just delay the plyometrics routine. In fact, the P90X Fitness Guide states you can take as much as twice the amount of time to complete a phase. You may not complete the series in 90 days, but you'll still get benefits.
You can also take additional or extended breaks within each workout, go at a slower pace or do fewer repetitions of each exercise. As jump knee tucks, gap jumps and rock star hops are difficult to modify, these high-impact moves are great times to rest or slow down.