Ever since I went for my certification back in August I’ve seen many puzzled looks and heard the question, “What IS PiYo?”
Easily answered, (but not quite a clear indication of what it is), “It’s my favorite new workout!”
So here’s a better explanation of what it is:
PiYo gives you the muscle-sculpting and core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of Yoga. But don’t for a second think you won’t sweat in this class because it’s all done at an intensity that helps you burn fat with low-impact moves. You’ll burn calories, tone muscles, work on balance and core strength all while getting a great stretch.
I know what you might be thinking, that’s a great marketing-focused explanation but what can I really expect from a PiYo class?
Muscle-Sculpting and Core-Firming
I’ve been doing Pilates for a few years now. Before I started I didn’t really understand the ‘hype’ or how it was really going to help me. I was used to high-intensity, heart-pounding workouts that left me drenched in sweat and a little breathless. How could lying on a mat be a good workout and what benefits could I possibly see from it? I quickly learned that just because the class was performed on a mat didn’t mean it was easy.
Pilates help to raise my body awareness. I learned how to truly engage my muscles, especially my core, by performing the exercises with control. Pilates requires a great deal of concentration and awareness of the flow of movement. I began to notice great changes in my core and before I knew it I was signing up to be certified as an instructor.
Over the years, as both an instructor and personal trainer, I have seen Pilates benefit many clients. A weakened core often leads to a strained areas of the back and as they became more aware of their core and began to build muscles, many experienced relief from chronic back pain.
Strength and Flexibility
I’ve personally struggled over the years to find a Yoga instructor, or type of Yoga for that matter, that I truly enjoyed. As I mentioned before, I was accustomed to very high-energy classes, and I had great difficulty slowing myself down for Yoga. While I felt like Pilates had a lot of movement and flow, I felt Yoga concentrated more on holding poses and building strength and flexibility through those exercises.
Now, just because I wasn’t able to make a connection with Yoga, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the benefits. I admire the complexity of many of the moves and the dedication it takes to build the strength and flexibility necessary to be successful.
Anyone who has regularly worked out has certainly done a version of the plank. And I don’t have to tell you how challenging a plank can be to every muscle group – this is just one example of a Yoga-based exercise designed to increase strength.
A great example for increasing flexibility is the stretch where you cross an ankle over one knee and draw the knee towards your chest. This is also Yoga-based and very commonly used in many exercise classes.
Intense Low-Impact Moves
Our joints take a beating so a workout that takes the pounding and the pressure off of them is not only refreshing but highly recommended. This is especially true for those who suffer from joint problems. I see it time and time again with clients who have difficulty with high-impact exercises and even moves like static lunges or squats.
I’ve created a number of modifications for clients over the years and I can say without a doubt it is possible for low-impact moves to be performed at an intensity that increases the heart rate and offers a challenge. Just because it’s low impact doesn’t mean it’s easy and it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t sweat.
Without a doubt every PiYo class will help you burn calories, tone muscles, work on both balance and core strength all while giving you a great stretch.
Ready to give it a try? I’d love to have you in class and you have two options to join me:
- Wednesdays at 7:00pm
- Fridays at 6:00am
Both classes are offered at CustomFit located at 218 E. St Charles in Lombard. If you’re a member of CustomFit, the class is included in your membership. If you’ve never been to CustomFit and want to give it a try, your first class is FREE so you have nothing to lose!
If you have any questions about the class you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So grab a friend and your Yoga mat and join me for PiYo this week!