Last Updated on August 6, 2020

What You Need to Know About the Hybrid Workout Trend

Do you ever find yourself running between your yoga studio, group fitness classes and gym? How about trying to fit HIIT, resistance training and a mind-body routine, despite everything else going on in your life? If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to explore hybrid workouts.

What are hybrid workouts?

hybrid workoutsHybrid workouts are training programs that combine two or more types of training into one workout. In many cases, one of these two components is yoga, which when combined with a cardio component can help you burn more calories while improving flexibility and strength.

Hybrid workouts made pretty much every “fitness trends” list in 2017, and these exercise mashups are still sweeping the nation well into 2018. But as with everything in the fitness world, some hybrid workouts are more effective than others. Here are a few of the most popular hybrid workouts, plus the body benefits they provide.

Hybrid cycling and yoga

We already know that cycling can increase your cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength—and decrease stress. But for a growing number of US fitness clubs, cycling is best when paired with the mind-body benefits of yoga. Following a HIIT cycling workout, exercisers transition into a “cooldown” yoga session that focuses on posture, stretching and flexibility. This mini yoga session helps exercisers bring the body back into balance and focus their breathing.

The benefits: Build endurance, bust through fat and boost flexibility.

Boxing and Yoga

You’ve heard the iconic quote, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Perhaps this is the inspiration behind boxing and yoga, a workout mashup that has also been gaining serious popularity in 2018.

Boxing is all about adrenaline, but those punches can require you to hunch your body in ways that are less than ideal for your posture. By ending your mat session with yoga, you open up your body after those tough boxing moves, transition from adrenaline to calmness and stretch your muscles so you’re ready to go at it again the next day.

At the New York City studio Box + Flow, boxers cap off their time on the mat with a 20-minute yoga flow. By combining the intensity of boxing with the mindfulness benefits of yoga, devotees say the hybrid workout helps them reach mind-body equilibrium—even as they’re giving their body a major workout.

The benefits: All the body benefits of HIIT, plus improved flexibility and focus

Pilates and yoga

The award for the best hybrid workout name goes to PiYo, a hybrid of Pilates and yoga that has been gaining popularity over the last few months. Developed by Chalene Johnson (also the creator of TurboKick), PiYo offers a full-body workout with segments targeting the lower body, core and more. You won’t be holding the Warrior pose for any extended period of time, but you will be incorporating yoga positions into a Pilates routine that gives you a great cardio workout without you even noticing.

Says one PiYo instructor, “You’ll go from a pushup, to a plank, to a Downward Dog, then you’re lifting your leg up in the air, then you’re coming into a lunge, so you’re up and down and keeping the momentum going. You’re getting almost a cardio that way, secretly.”

The benefits: Burn major calories while toning muscles and increasing flexibility

Cardio and Barre

Barre can be great for toning your body, but these workouts tend to target only a small muscle or section of the body. By melding Barre with an interval cardio routine, you can achieve a wider range of motion—and burn more calories in the process.

Pure Barre’s hybrid class involves a quick progression of exercises that work the whole body, from legs to arms and abs. The result? A revved-up metabolism and a ton of sweat.

The benefits: Build strength, elevate your heart rate and boost your metabolism

Given the rising popularity of yoga, it’s no surprise that many hybrid workouts take a mind-body approach to delivering holistic health benefits. And although group fitness classes are a top choice for more exercisers than ever, you can also create your own hybrid routines at home.

Start by assessing your current fitness plan, outlining the areas in which it provides maximum benefits. Then, ask yourself the following questions: What muscle groups does my current plan leave out? What benefits would I like to see that I’m not seeing? By pairing your strength training or cardio with yoga or exploring other combinations, you could just find the workout that helps you bust through your plateau.

Cory is a veteran health industry writer and content creator. His work has been featured in major publications such as MyFitnessPal, Healthy Living, and Low Carb Fanatics. His health industry writing career spans over nearly two decades.

In his free time, Cory enjoys snowboarding, fictional writing, and online chess.