Wednesday, July 2, 2014

PiYo: Define: Lower Body Review

Today I tried the second workout on the PiYo calendar, Define: Lower Body. This workout promised to be a leg-centric 20 minute workout. Define: Lower Body incorporated lots of the yoga moves that were reviewed in Align: The Fundamentals.

One of the things that stuck out for me in this workout was the sense of flow; we were not holding moves for quite as long as you might in a traditional yoga workout. That being said, I definitely wouldn't say this workout had any cardio-flavor. It was yoga, pure and simple.

What made it work for me -- a definite non-yoga person -- was the constant movement which helped keep me focused and left me feeling stretched but not over stretched, as is sometimes the case when I do yoga. I came to this workout with fairly tired legs after doing a run with hill repeats and burpees earlier today. PiYo definitely helped me release my muscles. At just twenty minutes, this workout is a perfect supplement to any strength training or cardio day that leaves you feeling a little tight.

The workout started with a quick warm-up and consisted of four sections. Below I have the move lists for the workout. As you can see they are heavily yoga inspired. The Warrior Series, for example, matches almost exactly the yoga moves practiced in Align: The Fundamentals.

-Bend knees, circle arms
-Reach over side-bend, other arm down
-PiYo Cross: squat, round and open your arms and back
-Fold over
-Roll up into Best Posture


-Fan up, hold, bend over
-Plank, lower knees, raise feet
-Slow tricep push-ups
-Down Dog
-Step in, roll up
-Chaturanga, Tricep push-up, Up Dog
-Down Dog
-High Lunge, lower and lift
-Low Lunge / Runner's Lunge
-Down Dog
-Repeat from High Lunge on opposite side

-Warrior 1, lift and lower
-Warrior 2, lift and lower
-Low Lunge
-Repeat Series, same side
-Down Dog / Child's Pose
-Repeat Warrior Series on opposite side

(Note: I'm not sure why we did one side twice and the other side once for this series. Kind of an odd thing.)


-Pyramid stretch
-Warrior 3
-Half Moon
-Three Point, Crouching Crow (three times)
-Repeat Balance Series on opposite side

(Note: This was definitely the most challenging part of the workout. It reminded me a lot of a sequence in P90X3 X3 Yoga where I often used a wall for balance. Warrior 3 and Half Moon work your standing leg a lot. Chalene mentions the options to take breaks, which I used to sometimes have to do in X3 Yoga. In PiYo, we move quickly enough that this did not end up being as much of an issue. There were also modifications of these moves offered if you wanted the option to ease into them more.)

Down Dog Series

-Fan arms, half bend
-Chaturanga, Up Dog
-Down Dog
-Splits, raise leg
-Open Hip (in Splits)
-Repeat series from Down Dog
-Repeat series from Down Dog on the opposite side, twice
-Down Dog
-Child's Pose

(Note: This was my favorite part of the workout. Pigeon, as always, really helped my tight hips.)

This workout was a nice stretch. I don't really feel that most of the moves required a tremendous amount of strength. The hardest sequence -- the one that did require some focus of the muscles -- was no doubt the balance series. Otherwise, this felt like a quick yoga workout. That's not to say that I didn't like it. I did. I certainly suits my purpose as, at only 20 minutes, it would convince me to do an extra stretch on a day when my legs were feeling tight.

Based on this workout alone, I can't imagine gaining a lot of lean muscle or losing a lot of weight with the program. Like I said, this was more or less yoga, as I know it (though I admit I am no expert) with a bit more flowing speed to the movements. It's a nice supplement for those looking to gently increase their flexibility without wanting to spend time in a yoga class. The modifications make it beginner friendly.

I'll be eager to see what the partner workout, Define: Upper Body, has in store for me tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I did PIYO sweat and I feel like I need to combine it with another workout. Have you thought about a hybrid. I am doing Body beast and T25. I was thinking about doing Body beast and PIYO. Any suggestions?

Nicole Sibley said...

I 100% agree. I've been doing PiYo while training for the Spartan Beast I'm running in September and am glad to be doing both. I haven't done Body Beast but I've heard good things. I love T25 (and have posted reviews of all the workouts). I think you can't go wrong with doing either with PiYo.