Thursday, July 3, 2014

PiYo: Define: Upper Body Review

Day three of PiYo is in the books with Define: Upper Body. This 20 minute workout (incorrectly listed as 35 minutes on the DVD packaging) is the companion to Define: Lower Body. Define: Upper Body is a good mix of yoga and pilates moves. Though it's advertised as an upper body workout that focuses on the arms, I would say around half of the workout targets the core.

More than Define: Lower Body, I think that this workout could actually bring about some change in the upper body. You do find yourself holding plank and side plank (otherwise known as t-stand) positions for a bit of time. Chalene transitions between moves fairly quickly, like in the other workouts. This means that you're only ever doing around four reps. I found that we were moving on at just the moment when things started to feel challenging. Keep in mind though that if you are just getting started with upper body and core exercises, you might find this perfect for you.

Here is the moves list for Define: Upper Body. The workout is comprised of three sections and mixes yoga and pilates moves working the upper body and abs with equal measure.

-Round back to lifted tailbone
-Child's Pose
-Slow Tricep push-ups (Note: Chalene advises you to do these on your knees this first time so that you can warm-up.)
-Child's Pose
-Walk Hands back, slow roll up
-PiYo Push-up Series (Note: This is a move that we reviewed in Align: The Fundamentals. From standing, roll down, walk out into plank moving your hands right, left, right. Do three tricep push-ups and walk back. Roll up to standing.)
-Elbow Plank
-Pike > Plank
-Walk in, lower to knees, sit on mat, lean back
-Criss-Cross (Otherwise known as Bicycle -- this move works your abs and obliques)
-Lie down, press lower back into hands
-PiYo roll-up (With arms overhead roll up into a seated position, stretch forward towards your toes and then roll down)
-PiYo Pedal / Balance (This is done in a v-sit position. pedal your feet back and forth. Chalene had the cast doing this while supporing your legs with your hand. This certainly makes things easier and also takes the tension out of the hipflexors.)

-Side Plank (Otherwise known as a t-stand)
-PiYo Pike (From the Side Plank position, you tuck your raised arm under your body, twisting and bringing your abs and hips up.)
-Child's Pose
-Repeat from Plank on the opposite side
-Swing around to sitting
-Roll back and forth (In V-sit, holding your legs with your hands at 90-degrees, roll back onto your spine and up to sitting. For a more advanced version, try straightening your legs.)
-Beast (In table top, lift you knees off the floor and support yourself evenly with your legs and arms.)
-Kick Out (From Beast, turn to the side kicking one leg through and raising the opposite arm.)
-Plank / Child's Pose
-Child's Pose

-Tricep push-ups
-Plank, hope into crouching position
-Crouching Push-ups
-Child's Pose
-Tricep push-ups
-Child's Pose



All in all, I would say that this workout provides slightly more of a challenge than Definite: Lower Body. For both, I am still not seeing the cardio element yet.


With Define: Lower Body, I could see myself doing that workout again as a good stretch. I'm not sure if I would integrate Define: Upper Body in my workout schedule in the same way. It certainly doesn't provide a stretch if you're tight from doing other upper body work, but it doesn't seem quite challenging enough to serve as a stand-alone workout if you really want to work your arms and core.


I am looking forward to checking out the Sweat workout tomorrow. The workout promises to be a "traditional PiYo" workout and is 40 minutes in length. I'm looking foward to seeing with PiYo is really about and getting my cardio fix with a bit of a stretch!

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