Fitness trends come and go, with just a few sticking around after a year or two. There has been a lot of recent buzz about PiYo, a combination of Pilates and yoga, and many are wondering exactly what it is and if it works. Created by fitness guru Charlene Johnson, it is designed for those that enjoy the mind and body connection of yoga and Pilates, but are looking for a bit more oomph in their workouts. Blending those two exercise practices with more cardio and a sprinkling of martial arts, PiYo is growing in popularity across the US.
The first difference you will notice is the modern, upbeat music in place of chanting and other Zen rhythms. PiYo is a lot more mainstream and accessible than Pilates and yoga and classes are likely offered at a local gym rather than a specialized studio. You will recognize a lot of the poses if you are a yoga enthusiast, as Sun Salutations, plank, side plank, Warrior Pose and others are all key components to PiYo. The main difference is the low-impact, high energy feel of moving through the poses. There is a lot more cardio and you will likely sweat more than at your traditional yoga class or Pilates session.
Increasing muscle strength and flexibility are two of the main benefits from this exercise practice and you will build a lot of strength by using your own body weight and resistance. Some instructors will also use hand weights, but even without them, you will gain increased strength. Don’t worry about bulking up, these movements are designed to sculpt and tone the muscles without enlarging them. Lunges and squats are among the exercises used to engage both the small and large muscle groups and through these movements you will experience whole-body muscle strengthening.
The biggest fitness difference is the amount of cardio that PiYo has, you will definitely burn a lot of calories and absolutely build up a sweat. Dance moves, martial arts kicks are used within a routine that has you constantly in motion. Al of these factors combine in a fun way to give you the ultimate work out. Your overall cardiac health will be much improved and your core stronger than ever. Avid fans of PiYo cite stress relief, improved balance, and increased energy as the main reasons they keep coming back for more. All this and perfectly toned and sculpted arms make PiYo one exercise fad that will probably last.
If you are interested in checking out PiYo there are a few options. YouTube has a number of classes available that will help you learn the poses and movements before taking your work out public. Gym rats have likely noticed the number of classes and levels available at their work out facility, as this exercise form continues to grow in popularity. Local rec centers and YMCAs also have classes, and if you are a fitness novice, check your community bulletin for offerings in a more neutral location, such as a local school or church. PiYo is a great way to get fit that is low impact and kind to your joints.