By Christy Pina
Working out for some comes naturally. For others, it is a dread. For those who find it dreadful, I do not blame you. The thing that people forget is that there are multiple ways to work out — it is not just the weight room, treadmill, elliptical and stair climber. There are actually ways to get your body moving and while having fun. Dance-based exercise classes can work your upper body, core and lower body, depending on the type of class you take!
Founded in the 1990s, Zumba is a widely popular form of dance-based fitness. Zumba participants dance their hearts out to Latin music like salsa, merengue or reggaeton, that you would most likely hear in a nightclub. The instructor choreographs dances to particular songs and has the participants follow him or her. Zumba targets your core, legs and glutes, burning hundreds of calories per 60-minute class depending on your body composition, according to the official Zumba website. “For people who aren’t accustomed to working out, it’s really good because it doesn’t feel like you’re working out, but at the end of the class it does end up feeling like a workout,” said nine-year Zumba instructor, Virnalis Arvelo.
While Barre originated from ballet, you do not have to be a ballerina to thrive in this dance-based fitness class. For the most part, the classes begin the same, with a center warm-up where participants do planks, push-ups and other arm exercises. Then they move to the bars for lower-body exercises and core-focused moves on the bar or mat. One barre class burns at least 350 calories (possibly more, depending on the intensity and your body composition) and will continue to burn calories after the workout due to the buildup of lactic acid, according to The Bar Method, a barre studio with over 100 locations.
Pole dancing is often frowned upon because of its association with strip clubs, but what a lot of people do not know is pole dancing is an incredible workout. By pushing you to pull yourself up and around the pole, an act that requires a strong core and upper body, pole dancing helps to build up your strength.
Similar to Zumba, hip-hop fitness is a workout led by an instructor who has pre-choreographed dances, but instead of Latin music, the dances are set to hip-hop music. According to online diet journal and calorie tracker FitDay, hip-hop fitness increases stamina and endurance, helps tone your core and aids in weight loss, burning about 500 calories an hour if you incorporate some aerobics.
Belly dancing is an incredibly unique type of dance. It consists of a lot of complex hip movements that take time to master, but even in the beginning, belly dancing can be used as one heck of a workout. Because belly dancing focuses mainly on hip and abdomen movements, this particular form of dance-based fitness really helps to strengthen your core.
Vixen combines commercial choreography, killer music remixes and stage lighting meant to make those working out feel like performers. The company merges dance, fashion, music and fitness to help women burn about anywhere from 400–1,000 calories per session, according to the Vixen Workout website.
So, switch up your boring gym routine and add in a dance class or two. They are fun and they help get you in shape — it is a win-win!