We’re all constantly looking for exciting ways to keep ourselves committed and engaged with our fitness routine but let’s face it, we all hit that plateau moment where we lose interest, lack motivation or get bored with our current approach.
One of the easiest ways to stay consistent is to do something we enjoy. Whether it’s cycling, running, jogging, lifting weights or even dancing, there are several different benefits from each of these exercise types.
Dancing in particular is seen as one of the best cardio exercises you can do as it spikes your heart rate and keeps your blood flowing throughout the duration of the workout.
What is a Dance Workout?
A dance workout is first and foremost a cardio-based workout, but it is definitely more than that! It gets your heart pumping in addition to strengthening your muscles head to toe. Dance is very stylized, which requires you to use upper body movement, levels with your legs, power movements for intensity and core control to allow for directional changes.
A dance workout is also nonstop and entertaining because you are constantly moving with minimal breaks. While your body may be fatigued, you’re typically preoccupied by the music, the atmosphere of the class and how much fun you’re having that you continue to push through the workout itself. This is an important difference between a traditional dance class and a dance workout. In a dance class, your goal is to memorize a routine whereas in a dance workout, the goal is to continuously move and keep your heart rate high.
Common Dance Workouts Types
Pole dancing requires an immense amount of strength. In a pole dancing class, it is important to work through the various levels in order to build up strength and learn proper form and technique. Throughout class, you will learn a routine, workshop and practice tricks and work on flexibility.
Benefits include, improved flexibility, balance and coordination, Increased full body strength.
Barre classes work exercises you might find in a traditional dance class while working your muscles from a deeper and more intrinsic level. A barre class is a bit slower paced but full of strength and flexibility training. Exercises in this class are ones you might find in a traditional dance class. The main difference is the burn is constant throughout the entire class with less breaks between exercises and no memorization required.
Benefits include, improved posture, increased full body strength, improved flexibility
Dance cardio is an aerobic dance class and this is all about following along and learning a dance routine. The movement never stops and your heart rate never drops! Typically you keep a routine for several weeks to build your confidence and endurance before changing to a new routine. Movements are a mix of low and high impact and cater to all levels of fitness.
Benefits, improved balance and coordination, improved cardiovascular health
Benefits of Dance Workouts
Dance Workouts provide physical, mental and emotional benefits.
Physical benefits include improved balance coordination, increased flexibility and better overall heart health. Most dance workouts include a mix of low and high impact movements that challenge agility (moving from one foot to another), control (balancing on one foot or catch and release type movements) and moving in different directions (front/back, side to side, turning and twisting).
We move in the sagittal plane of motion (forward and backwards) every day. If we don’t have a job that requires us to move side to side or twist, we begin to lose the coordination to do so! Most cardio based exercises are solely in this sagittal plane of motion, but dance workouts move in all planes of motion (sagittal, frontal and transverse). This ultimately results in healthy movement patterns in your everyday life, allowing you to move with more ease and increase flexibility for basic everyday tasks such as getting up and down off the floor, twisting and reaching for objects and bending over. Because most dance workouts are cardio based, it will increase your heart rate making your heart stronger!
Mental benefits include stimulation through music and the sensory motor circuit in your brain. Because the movements are more stylized and typically more intricate, you must concentrate on the task at hand in order to grasp the material on top of memorization as you add more and more movements to the combination. Due to the amount of focus required in dance, there is no space to think about anything other than what you are doing. Therefore, you must let go of the stresses of your day, being self conscious, beating yourself up, your to do list, etc.
Emotionally dancing helps to build your self esteem and confidence. Over time and repetition of the movements you get more confident in doing them and naturally start adding in your own style, and this is when things really start to get fun! The more fun you are having, the less you are worried about what others might think about you and you start owning what you bring to the table.
Sample Dance Workout
To get yourself warmed up, before you dive into dancing your booty off, start with 2-3 min or 1 song of planks!
Then pick 3 of your favorite songs to dance to!
Song 1: focus on repeating and learning Part A
Song 2: learn part B & C
Song 3: let your hair down and put it all together!
Be sure to stretch in between songs for roughly 30 secs focusing on the lower body.
Pivot Turn 2x
Hill Roll 2x
Party Up 4x
Hit the Floor 1x (R/L)
Don’t forget to give yourself one full song of a cool down at the end to stretch!
Experience the Best Dance Workout at AKT!
Most dance workouts only focus on a couple aspects that a dance workout can offer. For instance, some may focus on proper form and strength training while others focus primarily on cardio and endurance training.
AKT includes all the benefits a dance workout can provide in the DANCE class. It is a full body workout with intervals of both strength and cardio endurance training. You learn a stylized routine throughout class that is easy to follow along, yet challenging enough that it requires you to stay locked in. The style of the routine changes every 3 weeks from more of a Hip Hop style, to sassy and sexy, to broadway and beyond! Strength training intervals include a plank series to get your body warmed up, followed by upper body, lower body and core strength intervals.
In the cardio intervals of class, your heart rate goes up and stays up for extended durations of time (2-3 songs in each interval). There are heart rate monitors in class to ensure you truly are working your hardest to work to your max for the entire interval. Although this section is nonstop and fast-paced, it caters to all levels with modifications of each movement provided by the trainer that is doing the entire workout WITH you!
AKT above all promotes having fun in all of their classes! At the end of the day, if the workout isn’t fun, you aren’t motivated to keep coming back. Motivation and consistency is key to reaping the rewards from a challenging workout.
Try AKT Dance Inspired Fitness today!
FAQs About Dance Workouts
Is just dance a good workout?
To categorize a workout as “good”, ask yourself, “Is this something I want to do again?” or “is this something that challenges me?” Because dance is fun, it makes you want to show up, therefore helping you build a routine. That is the hardest obstacle to overcome when building healthy habits. On the other hand, dance is challenging for the mind and body. You have to stay focused to pick up the movement at the same time getting you to move your body in ways you wouldn’t normally do day to day.
Is dancing a good workout to lose weight?
It can be, but it’s important to make sure you are picking the right dance workout because not all dance classes or dance workouts are the same. Getting your heart rate up and feeling muscle engagement (a deep muscle burn) in your workout is a must when picking a workout to help you reach weight loss goals. In addition, you must have good instruction to ensure you are moving your body with intention and purpose. That way you are maximizing your caloric burn in every move and working efficiently.
Is dancing 30 minutes a day a good workout?
Moving your body 30 minutes a day is an important practice for your overall health. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind.
First, you should be using your max heart rate for more than 50% of the 30 minutes. How do you know if you are using your max heart rate? If you are unable to speak without huffing and puffing, you are in the right spot! It should be difficult to get out anything audible.
Next, you should be feeling active muscle engagement throughout the session. For instance, to know if you are using your glutes and hamstrings effectively, get grounded by stepping wide with the feet and having a soft bend in the knees while incorporating movements that require you to get low. To know if you are using your core effectively, ensure you are moving in a way that rotates your torso side to side and up and down. Feeling the rectus abdominis engage as well as moving up and down in a crunch motion and rotating side to side while engaging the obliques.
Can you lose belly fat from dancing?
It is important to remember that in order to lose fat, one’s workout must be a high calorie burn with muscle building incorporated. The best workout to assist with belly fat reduction is Interval Training. That includes a mix of both cardio and strength training. When you have this, you get the “after burn” effect. This means you will continue burning calories after your workout is complete! Most dance workouts include plyometric movements that get your heart rate up while also building strength. If this is your goal, a dance workout can definitely help you achieve that goal!
Why does AKT have the best dance workout?
AKT’s brand expression reads “Move with Purpose”. The workout at AKT is rooted in this concept. The movement and style are built to promote healthy movement patterns. Each trainer coaches the class to enforce proper form and execution, giving an element of personal training in every class.
We work in multiple planes of motion with full body movements, utilizing power and plyometric movements that will raise your heart rate. In class, members and trainers wear heart rate monitors to ensure they are working to their personal max heart rate throughout class. You see your stats live in the studio to help you push yourself more and more each class!
The workout changes every 3 weeks. This allows you to really lock in the material, get strong in each movement and build your confidence before shaking things up. This keeps our classes exciting so you never get bored but also keeps your body from hitting a plateau. Because the contworkout ent is changed constantly, your body remains in a state of shock, which is what it needs in order to see changes and build strength over time.
AKT ends every single class with a Disco Ball moment that reminds everyone, even when something is HARD it can also be fun at the same time.