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August 29, 2022 7 min read

Variety can be the key to a successful fitness journey. Incorporating a yoga class a day or two a week in between lifting sessions can help increase flexibility, and something like pilates can help increase core strength for safer and better deadlifts and squats.

If you’re having a difficult time fitting in all different types of training into your workout program, a PiYO workout could be the perfect option.

PiYO combines elements of yoga and pilates into one 60 minute or less workout. 

It’s typically done in a class format, but there are also videos available on YouTube which can guide you through a home workout.

All you will need is a yoga mat and your own bodyweight.

What is PiYO?

PiYO combines yoga and pilates with calorie burning cardio. It was developed for beachbody on demand by trainer Chalene Johnson who also developed TurboFire and ChaleneExtreme. 

The workout is low-impact while still being dynamic and full of energy.

In a PiYO class, you can workout your whole body through yoga poses, body weight strength training, and cardio. There’s no jumping involved, but you can still get your heart rate up through strength intervals and high-intensity aerobic movements.

Typically, these low-impact workouts are led by personal trainers in person or online, so all fitness levels from beginners to more advanced athletes can be motivated and get a good workout.

Benefits of PiYO

Aside from adding some variety into your workout, PiYO can be beneficial for your total body and health.

Stronger Core:Core strength can play a huge role in the gym, but it can also help you move more efficiently, balance better, and prevent injuries. 

PiYO uses exercises from yoga and pilates to help build core strength and stability. 

You can expect to perform different types of crunches, planks, and other types of core exercises to help build a stronger foundation.

Total Body Strength: This full body blast can enhance core strength, but it also targets the lower body through exercises like lunges to help build strong legs and glutes, and it targets the upper body through different types of planks and push-ups. 

Since you’re using your own bodyweight for resistance, PiYO has the ability to strengthen muscles all over your body.

Gain Lean Muscle: Sculpted glutes and toned abs are all the rage of the fitness industry, and to get that desired bod, you must resistance train to build muscle. Lifters like bodybuilders are training for bulk with high-volume isolated exercises and a strict nutrition plan, but the average gym-goer is looking to build lean muscle. 

Different types of strength training and the calisthenics in PiYO help achieve more lean muscle and sculpt your whole body.

Fat-Burning: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is often associated with plyometrics and sprints, but PiYO proves that you can raise your heart rate and burn fat without high-impact movements. 

Constantly moving through a flow of exercises can elevate your heart rate and help you burn calories. 

A high-intensity workout allows the body to use fat instead of carbs as fuel, which can ultimately burn more fat and promote weight loss.

Greater Flexibility: Yoga is notorious for helping increase flexibility, and many lifters incorporate this type of training into their workout calendar to promote better lifts and function. 

Flexibility is important for movement and mobility, and without it, you can increase your risk of an injury and limited range of motion. 

PiYO is a whole body workout that can increase flexibility along with strength by mixing yoga poses in the workout.

Better Balance: Since PiYO is largely focused on building core strength, it can help improve your balance when done consistently. 

If your core is weak, it’s not able to provide the needed support and stability to your upper and lower body. 

This can cause poor movement and balance. By strengthening your core, you may find that simple things like walking become easier.

Improved Posture: Many people suffer from poor posture due to sitting at a desk all day or staring down at their phone, and poor posture can cause adverse effects aside from a less than pleasing aesthetic. It can increase back pain and put more strain on your spine, so performing exercises to help improve it can be beneficial. 

Increasing your core strength and resistance training through PiYO can help increase core and back strength, which can create better posture.

It’s Low-Impact

Any type of exercise can be beneficial for your body and overall health, but some types are high-impact and not feasible for those with joint issues or injuries. 

PiYO is low-impact, meaning that it doesn’t put extra stress on your joints like how explosive lifts or running might. 

It’s a type of workout that is friendly for athletes who may have knee or ankle joint issues.

The PiYO Get Lean Eating Plan

A huge part of getting in shape and lean is the right nutrition. Without it, you can workout all day and not see any results. It’s important to adopt a healthy, balanced diet with any exercise routine, but for some people, it can be difficult to determine what that looks like.

Beachbody on demand provides a PiYO Get Lean Eating Plan for those who may need a little extra guidance and motivation through their nutrition journey.

The goal of this eating plan is to make eating healthy easier. They break down food into five groups: primary vegetables, secondary vegetables/grains, fruit, protein, and healthy fats. You’ll also get a specific number of servings of each food group per day that’s catered to your weight and fitness goals.

The meal plans are 1,800-2,100 calories and are full of exciting and delicious meals and snacks. 

You can find a full grocery list and recipe breakdown on their website.

Developing an exercise habit is just one part of staying fit, but the proper nutrition is huge. Many people also don’t eat enough on a daily basis, so making sure to get enough calories in to gain lean muscle is crucial.

For a healthy snack during the day, check out VEG-PUDDING, our delicious plant-based protein pudding powder mix consisting of organic pea and brown rice protein sources to provide you with a clean, complete amino acid profile.

PiYO Exercises

PiYO can be a great workout, but it’s also convenient for anyone who works out at the gym, at home, or even on their lunch break. These are just some of the popular exercises that may be found during a PiYO class, and learning these can help you understand the fundamentals.

Narrow Squat

 

The narrow squat is similar to a conventional squat except your feet are closer together. You can find this exercise in the PiYO Buns 30-minute workout on beachbody. This type of squat can be a modifier for a regular squat as it’s less intense and doesn’t use the full range of motion, but it can be great for building lower body strength.

How to Do the Narrow Squat:

  • Stand with your feet no wider than hip-width apart.
  • Keeping your chest tall and core tight, start to sit your hips down as if you’re sitting in a chair.
  • Keep the weight in your heels and knees behind your toes as you continue to lower.
  • When your hips reach just about a 90 degree angle, press through your heels to stand back up.

Curtsy Lunge

 

Also referred to as a bowler lunge, the curtsy lunge can be beneficial for building glutes. It resembles a conventional lunge as it’s unilateral and you’re only stepping with one foot, but instead of stepping straight back, you’ll step behind and across your body. You’ll end the position in a similar stance to a bowler rolling the ball down the lane.

How to Do the Curtsy Lunge:

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and core tight.
  • Keep your right foot planted on the ground and lift your left foot to step behind with.
  • Cross your left leg behind your right leg and lunge until both knees make about a 90 degree angle.
  • Step back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Downward Dog

 

Downward dog is a popular yoga pose, and it helps stretch out your hamstrings and calves. These two muscle groups have a tendency to get tight easily, which can affect your movement, pain, and range of motion. It’s a low-impact when to stretch while also challenging your core.

How to Do the Downward Dog:

  • Start in a plank position with your hands stacked under your shoulders and back flat.
  • Raise your hips up towards the ceiling while keeping your hands planted and work to drive your heels into the floor.
  • Hold this position to stretch your lower body.
  • Return to the plank position and begin another rep.

Plank Kick Through

 

Different variations of planks can elicit unique benefits, and the plank kick through helps strengthen the core while also incorporating rotation and unilateral work. Performing rotation exercises can help make rotating in the real world easier and less prone to injury. Also, training both sides of your body equally helps improve imbalances.

How to Do the Plank Kick Through:

  • Start in a plank position with your hands stacked under your shoulders and back flat.
  • Lift your left hand off the ground as you twist to your left, balancing your weight on your right arm.
  • Kick your right leg through and under your body.
  • Reset in the middle and repeat on the other side.

Change Up Your Workout With PiYO

Fitness is different for everyone, and finding something that fits your goals and needs is crucial for success. Although high-intensity workouts are often associated with running and jumping exercises, PiYO workouts prove that you can get your heart rate up without those things.

No matter what type of exercise you’re performing, it’s important to warm up to prime your muscles for movement.

Getting your body moving with PiYO can be a great way to add variety to your workout while also improving your overall health, strength, and movement.