What Is PiYo? An Overview of the Fun Fitness Trend

By Laurie Fanelli in Healthy Feeling

Fitness fanatics are always looking for new workouts to motivate them at the gym while maximizing results. While TRX and Zumba are still in demand, PiYo has emerged as a favorite class for those who enjoy the core-building of yoga, the strength-training of Pilates, and the non-stop action of cardio. Read on to find out what PiYo is, how classes work, and how you can incorporate its fundamentals into your at-home routine.

What Is PiYo?

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PiYo combines the strength training—and body lengthening—aspects of Pilates with the core training and stretching elements of yoga to create an entirely new workout experience, according to Trying Fitness. It's low impact and adaptable to all ages and fitness levels. Unlike traditional Pilates and yoga sessions, PiYo is set up like a cardio class, designed to burn calories and make you sweat.

Choreographed sequences that are sped up to maximize results provide PiYo participants with a fun routine to master while listening to upbeat, motivating music. Besides a yoga mat (and maybe a towel to wipe your brow), there is no additional equipment used during a PiYo class. Participants actually incorporate their own body weight into a series of dynamic moves.

What to Expect at a PiYo Class

All you need is your yoga mat and body weight to participate in PiYo

PiYo classes have a lighter feel than traditional yoga classes, which can sometimes be serious and spiritual. The vibe is a bit reminiscent of aerobics, with pop music blasting from the speakers and an energetic instructor pushing you to your limits.

You don't need a background in yoga and Pilates to try PiYo, but some of the same simple poses like Downward Dog and Warrior are used. Like most cardio classes, the routine moves fast, so newcomers will want to do whatever moves they can without stressing about missing a switch or two. The group dynamic of PiYo also adds additional motivation to this multifaceted workout.

If you are a beginner or someone who is recovering from an injury, let your instructor know before the class begins so they can incorporate modifications into the routine.

How To Incorporate PiYo into a Home Workout

The group workout elements of PiYo sessions at the gym can be recreated at home with DVDs and YouTube videos. If you are a self-starter with limited free time, this at-home cardio combo can cover strength training, core building, and stress reduction in one workout.

What is PiYo at home like? Just like at the gym, all you need is a yoga mat and your own body weight. However, without the watchful eye of an instructor, you will want to take extra care to perform each move correctly to prevent injury. You can also learn PiYo from books and magazine articles, but I find that videos best demonstrate each move while injecting energy into the routine.

So, is PiYo a good workout? Like most exercises, you get what you give, but in many ways PiYo is a powerful and condensed workout. It combines the most effective fitness techniques of Pilates, yoga, and cardio training in a low-impact, high-results package. Whether you prefer exercising at the gym or in the privacy of your own home, PiYo can take your physical fitness to the next level.

What are your favorite moves that bring Pilates and yoga together in PiYo? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!

Image sources: Pixabay | Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

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Why It’s Good

PiYo combines the core-building elements of yoga, the strength-training of Pilates, and the calorie-burning power of cardio into one well-rounded fitness routine. If you are low on time, but still want a great workout, PiYo may be just what you need.