Get the most out for your exercise bucks with a high-intensity, low-impact routine that combines Pilates, yoga, strength training, and cardio
When you're overwhelmed, it's hard to fine time to squeeze in a workout session into your already overpacked scheduled—even though you know any amount of physical activity can help you deal with both of those things (just check out these 7 Stress-Relieving Workouts. And nothing beats yoga when it comes to squashing down anxiety or stress, and an intense cardio or strength training routines to torch fat and rev your metabolism, so how do you fit it all in? This genius PiYo routine, created by trainer Chalene Johnson combines all of those elements, and gets the job done fast. The moves are inspired by both yoga and Pilates, and you use your own body for resistance, so you’ll build lean, fat-fighting muscle while getting a deep stretch. Plus, the short rest periods and quick pace mean there’s also a cardio component—so while you lengthen and tone your entire body and calm your mind, you’ll rev your heart rate to burn fat and calories. So if you’re looking to maximize what little time you have to get sweaty, this workout is for you.
How it works: Starting with the first exercise, complete 10 reps, then immediately move on to the second move without resting in between. Continue this pattern until you've finished all 6 exercises. Rest for one minute. Then, repeat the entire circuit two more times for a total of three rounds
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. PIYO Pushup
Begin standing with feet hip-width apart, then bend at the waist and walk the hands out to a plank position.
Keeping the elbows tight to the torso, perform a tricep pushup by bending both elbows and bringing the chest towards the floor.
After 3 pushups, walk the hands back towards the feet, curl the spine all the way up to standing, and, keeping the feet together, perform a squat with hands clasped in front of the chest.
2. Lunge Back Tap
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step the left foot back into a straight leg lunge, as the right knee bends to 90 degrees.
Leaning forward at the waist, but keeping the abs engaged and chest lifted, tap the left fingers to the inside of the right foot. Return to standing and repeat. After 10 reps, repeat on the other side to finish the set.
3. PiYo Pike
Start in a plank position. Shift the left arm towards the center of the mat, open up the right arm towards the ceiling, and turn on to the sides of the feet to they are staggered with the top foot in front.
Next, reach the right arm down and across the torso as the hips drive up towards the ceiling creating an upside down V. Lower the hips, reach the right arm and chest towards the sky and repeat. After 10 reps, repeat on the other side to finish the set.
4. Criss-Cross Core
Start by lying on a mat, back to the floor, knees pulled into the chest. With hands behind the head and elbows wide, extend the left leg out, holding it just above the floor, as the left elbow twists towards the right knee. Keep the lower back pressed into the ground and the abdominals in a scooped position.
Switch legs and twist the torso in the opposite direction. Continue to alternate and repeat.
5. Sumo Burpee
Start standing, arms extended overhead and feet wider than hip-width apart and externally rotated.
Bend both knees, lower the hands to the floor between the feet, and step or jump back into a plank. Make sure the hands are directly under the shoulders, the head is in line with the spine, and the feet are together.
Next, jump or step the feet to the hands, wider than hip-width apart, then bring the torso up into a squat, and extend both knees, reaching the arms overhead. Repeat.
6. PiYo Hip Lifts
Start lying face up on a mat, knees bent towards the ceiling and arms extended long towards the heels. Lift the right leg and cross it over the left, with the ankle resting just above the knee. Next, lift the left toes, drive the right heel into the ground, and bridge the hips up towards the ceiling while engaging the abs.
Squeeze the glutes at the top of the bridge, lower the hips, and repeat.