Dance cardio has become seemingly more and more popular, especially dating back to the pandemic as we all scattered to find workouts we could do with little to no equipment. Luckily for us, googling “dance workout classes near me” is populating dozens of different results nowadays and those results pages are only going to get bigger.
So what is it, how does it work, is it good or bad and do I have to be a professional dancer to enjoy it are all topics we’re going to dive into.
WHAT IS A DANCE CARDIO Workout?
Simply put, dance cardio is a hybrid of dance choreography and cardio exercises set to music, creating a heart-pumping workout to keep your body in constant motion according to Gympass.
Our own definition is even more simple, using dance or rhythm based movements and exercises to spike up your heart rate that will lead to increased functionality and a high calorie burn workout.
At AKT, we incorporate 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 move dance combinations throughout our workout and pair them with light weight, high rep exercises that are designed to build lean muscle mass.
5 Benefits of Dance CARDIO Workouts
Dance Cardio is Functional
This means you are moving in all planes of motion. Many other types of cardio (running, walking, cycling) only move on the Sagittal Plane (forward and back). While these types of cardio are effective at getting the heart rate up, they can overwork muscles in the front and back of the body while neglecting muscles that are responsible for lateral movement and rotation. Because you are moving on all three planes of motion while doing dance cardio (sagittal, frontal and transverse), it’s more efficient and helps prepare the body for activities in daily life which can help reduce the risks of injury when performing daily tasks.
It Tests Your Brain!
Several studies have shown dance to significantly improve cognitive function. Dance is one of the most effective activities for reducing the risk of dementia and Parkinson’s. Dance helps to create new neural pathways in the brain, improving memory and cognitive ability.
Feels Like Moving Meditation
Most dance cardio workouts require some level of memory recall to learn choreography. Keeping the mind engaged not only offers those cognitive benefits but can also help you feel less anxious or depressed. Dance cardio requires you to be in the present moment more than more repetitive cardio exercises where your mind can continue to wander or focus on what you need to get done after your workout.
Dance cardio can be easier on your joints than other cardio workouts like running. Even a high impact dance cardio class can easily be modified to be low impact, making it a great cardio option for people at any level.
It’s a Blast!
Dance cardio is fun! The most effective workout is the one you will actually do. Dance cardio is a great option for people who don’t typically enjoy exercise because it can feel more like a party than a workout!
How Often Should You Do Dance Cardio Workouts?
This depends on your fitness level, your goals and which dance cardio workout you are doing. For a comprehensive workout program, it’s important to include cardio, strength and flexibility. To get the most out of your dance cardio workout, I recommend our AKT DANCE class because we utilize dance cardio with strength intervals and dynamic flexibility so it is really everything you need in one 60 minute class. For optimum benefits, I recommend 3-5 times per week.
Tips If You’re New to Dance CARDIO ExerciseS
You do NOT have to have any prior dance experience. You can succeed in dance cardio even if you think you have “two left feet”. If you can walk, you can dance. With consistency, it’s amazing how quickly your coordination and ability to pick up the steps can improve.
It’s less intimidating than you think! NOBODY cares what you look like. Most everyone is so focused on the instructor to know what to do next that there’s no time to look around the room at what others are doing.
Wear proper footwear. The best shoe for dance cardio is a supportive cross training sneaker rather than a running shoe. Cross training shoes will provide stability and support for lateral movements that you need for dance cardio.
Experience the Best Dance Cardio Workout at AKT!
If you’re looking to test out a fun, engaging and effective workout dance, then AKT is the place to be. AKT has four signature classes - DANCE, BANDS, TONE & CIRCUIT - with the first two being dance and rhythm based.
DANCE is a class dedicated solely to dance cardio where we’ll break down multiple combinations that will get your heart rate pumping and mind turning. We crank the music, dim the lights and bust out the disco ball for this one!
BANDS is another rhythm based workout with different combinations and choreograph components. We utilize our unique resistance bands that are suspended from the ceiling and use other equipment such as our AKT Box and lightweight dumbbells that get you to groove to the music and get lost in the excitement of the workout.
FAQs About Dance Cardio Workouts
How does a dance workout improve your cardiovascular health?
Research has shown that regular moderate-intensity dancing can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular death. Dance utilizes the full body which means your heart rate must increase to transport oxygen rich blood to all the muscles that are working. This increase of heart rate helps to strengthen your heart by improving the efficiency of which it can pump blood to the body, leading to better endurance as well as improved heart health.
Can dance improve flexibility?
Possibly! Not all dance workouts are created equal. At AKT we focus on moving through full range of motion and include dynamic stretching intervals throughout our dance class to help improve flexibility, maintain balance in the body and reduce injury. Moving through full range of motion is important for improving flexibility because we are allowing our muscles to work both eccentrically (lengthening) as well as concentrically (shortening) to maintain proper length-tension relationships, meaning that our muscles are both strong and flexible. So whichever dance cardio workout you do, try not to cut your moments short.
Is dance cardio good for weight loss?
Since dance is a cardio based exercise, it will improve cardiovascular endurance leading to increased weight loss so long as you’re consistent with your routine.
As we all know, there are multiple factors that play into losing weight with diet and nutrition habits being the number one driver, but as long as you have that on lock, then complementing a healthy diet with cardio dance is a fantastic way to lose weight.
Are dance cardio workouts effective?
If your definition of effective is sweating a ton, burning calories, improving mental health and having an absolute blast while doing so, then YES, dance cardio workouts are effective.
Like all things, effectiveness can be a subjective term, but if done properly and consistently, a workout dance can lead to increased weight loss, improved cognitive ability and reduced levels of anxiety and depression.
Does dance cardio burn belly fat?
It absolutely does! Cardio is short for cardiovascular and in the fitness world, this is any exercise or activity that increases your heart rate and respiration and raises oxygen and blood flow throughout the body.
Common types of cardio exercises are jogging, running, cycling and swimming as these all raise your heart rate.
Dancing is no different - your heart rate is raised so that blood is flowing more vigorously through your body which will lead to an increased metabolism and weight loss when done properly and consistently.
Couple a few cardio dance workouts a week with a healthy diet and that belly fat is sure to fall right off!