PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is PiYo and how does it work?

If you are a fitness freak, you would have tried many fitness workouts for flexibility, muscle strength, weight loss, etc.  Let us introduce you to a completely different type of fitness regimen called PiYo, which is inspired by two different types of fitness programs.  Here, we are speaking about Pilates and Yoga.  Chalene Johnson, a well-known name in the fitness industry, who is also the founder of Turbo Kick system, is the brain behind this unique fitness regimen.

This regimen concentrates on both mind and body.  It helps you to strengthen your muscles, burn calories, and reduces the stress levels.  PiYo is designed in such a way that you end up burning those extra calories and tone up your body by strengthening the core muscles.  Apart from this, you also get a stress free mind which makes you feel fresh and energetic.  According to Chalene Johnson, this regimen is driven by music and is considered a low impact regimen that can work on every muscle.

How is it different?

According to Chalene Johnson, this fitness regimen not only combines Yoga and Pilates but also has a bit of martial arts and dance involved in it.  The traditional yoga regimen generally has some slow music to calm your mind, but here it is quite different.  The fitness regimen is driven by upbeat music which makes you get involved in the activity.

This makes the exercise regimen a fast-paced activity where you tend to burn those extra calories quite fast.  Unlike other fitness regimen which may not be suitable for older adults, PiYo can be easily adjusted according to a particular individual irrespective of the age.  Since this exercise regimen contains certain yoga postures, it helps relieve the stress and keeps you energetic and boosts your cognitive strength.

The numerous benefits of PiYo

Muscle strength

A complete whole body exercise involving squats, lunges, and planks makes the PiYo exercise regimen perfect for toning and strengthening your muscles.  Performing these exercise regimens during a PiYo workout strengthens the muscle groups so that it can sustain the various wear and tear of the daily workload.  More importantly, these exercises help you gain resistance.  In order to improvise, PiYo can also be performed with weights which again help strengthen and tone your muscles.

Best for cardio

Unlike other fitness regimens, which would require you to perform some cardio along with the main exercise, PiYo is an aerobic exercise and hence it can increase the heart rate rapidly and not require an additional cardio.  While performing this exercise, there is a regular flow of energy in your body.

This makes your heart rate to increase as well as burn calories at the same time.  The exercise regimen would not look a high impact, but in fact, requires higher energy to perform this routine.  Since the exercise regimen involves yoga, Pilates, and dance all combined in a single routine, it turns out to be fun while performing this fitness routine.

Improves flexibility

As we know that PiYo helps to strengthen and tone the muscles and improve cardiac health, flexibility is another important factor that is achieved while performing this exercise regimen.  The various moves that need to be performed during the exercise regimen make your body flexible and improve the range of motion.  This helps in reducing the stress on the joints and makes your muscles and joints much more flexible.

Burns extra calories

During the PiYo exercise regimen, you are always on the move and hence this makes you burn those extra calories.  Various moves such as lunges, push-ups, squats, and leaps make you burn the fat right from the beginning of the exercise regimen.

Tone the whole body

Since PiYo is a whole body exercise, it helps you to work on each and every muscle group.  The exercise regimen starts with a warm-up, then we work on the lower body, next move to the whole body workout, and then move further to power.  All these exercises do not require any equipment, bands, or weights.  You would just need a mat and a towel and that is it.

Less stress on the joints

The most important aspect of this exercise regimen is the low impact maneuvers.  Due to this reason, there is reduced pressure on the joints such as ankles and knees.  The maneuvers in this fitness regimen can be altered and paced according to the tolerance levels.  This fitness workout can be performed by any age group and by both men and women.

Improves endurance

This is one aspect where every fitness freak would be interested.  Endurance can be increased by accommodating more number of muscles during a fitness routine.  Since PiYo is a whole body exercise, your endurance would increase with every fitness routine and make you better athletes.

Stabilizes posture

In order to improve our body posture, we need to have strong core strength.  This can be achieved by performing whole body exercises.  This is exactly what PiYo does.  It works on each muscle group in the body, which makes the core stronger and this directly impacts the posture.

Who can benefit from PiYo?

The low-intensity workout feature is really amazing and anyone would be interested in trying this wonderful fitness routine.  You could be a professional athlete or someone who is just trying to begin your fitness routine, anybody can try this workout.  People who have already tried Pilates and yoga would hardly have anything to complain as it combines both these routines into one beneficial workout.  Core strength, cardio, high intensity, you name it and this fitness routine have it all.

It is quite difficult to perform fitness routines by elderly adults and generally they miss out on the aspects of fitness.  PiYo being a low impact fitness regimen produces less stress on the joints.  The exercise regimen can be altered accordingly which can suit your needs.  Core strength and range of motion are two important factors that elderly adults miss out due to lack of exercise.  Both these factors of core strength and range of motion can be improved by performing the PiYo fitness routine.  Since this exercise routine generally is performed by a group of people, it becomes much more fun.  You tend to push your limits and try to perform better.

The PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens hard to perform.  Yoga is soothing to the mind and makes you flexible, but can become boring over a period of time.  On the other hand, Pilates is quite tedious and makes you exhausted.  These two aspects are negated in PiYo which makes you burn calories as well as reduce the stress from your mind simultaneously.

How is PiYo performed?

A PiYo routine comprises of seven stages.  All these seven stages do not require any weights, bands, or any equipment.  Following these seven stages can ensure you to burn those extra calories as well as have a toned body at the same time.


Aligning your body to the correct position so as to avoid complications in the form of injuries is the main aspect behind this routine.  This is considered as the fundamentals which are helpful in strengthening your muscles.  It is believed that aligning the body in a correct manner can help in collecting the forces of the body and transfer it accordingly.

Upper body

This phase of exercise regimen involves strengthening the upper body.  This involves performing the upper body exercises for a period of 20 minutes.  Upper body exercise helps in making the core stronger.  Studies have claimed that strengthening the upper body helps with range of motion and flexibility.  It is also believed that a strong upper body is required to support the lower body.

Lower body

The lower body exercise is performed for a period of 20 minutes.  Here the hamstrings, glutes muscles, as well as the calf muscles are strengthened.  Since the upper body is already taken care, working on the lower body gives you the much needed toned body.

Burn calories

This part of the exercise regimen would last around 35 minutes.  This is a high-intensity phase of exercise where you tend to increase the speed of the exercise regimen which would make you sweat and burn calories at a faster rate.


This is the next level of high-intensity training where you will be working for a period of 48 minutes.  This would increase your metabolic function as well as boost your endurance.  The high-intensity workout is performed for a longer time so as to burn higher number of calories.


This phase of the exercise involves toning your body muscles individually so as to achieve the desired results.  During this phase, the exercise is performed at an increased pace which not only shapes your muscles but also provides endurance.

Strength intervals

This is the final phase of the exercise routine that would be performed for a period of 25 minutes.  There will be no weights or equipment involved while performing this exercise routine.


A PiYo workout plan is formulated to accommodate the majority of individuals.  It does not limit to a particular age or particular sex.  PiYo, in fact, helps to improve the range of motion and flexibility and hence is also advised for older adults.  It should always be noted that any workout plan needs to be performed under professional supervision at least until it has been mastered.  Another point to be noted is that the fitness routines should be performed only within your personal limits.

Bottom line

Overall PiYo is a wonderful fitness regimen that can be incorporated into our daily routine.  As discussed earlier, PiYo is a whole body exercise and helps to strengthen the muscle and burn calories.  On the other hand, people who have tried yoga and Pilates earlier can even alternate these two exercise regimens to benefit from it.  People who are trying to lose weight and have not succeeded can surely try this exercise regimen as there is definitely scope here.

It should be noted that weight gain can be achieved with PiYo, but not only with this exercise regimen alone.  You need to combine this with your dietary intake as well.  A fitness program coupled with restrictions on dietary intake would definitely provide you results.  The bottom line is that PiYo is only a pillar in reducing weight and cannot be achieved with PiYo alone.  Having said that it should be understood that PiYo is definitely better than a regular exercise program.



Display this infographic on your website

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.





If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.




Top Stories