Dance Workouts for Weight Loss: Dancing is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, helping burn calories, strengthen muscles, and tone the body. Besides, dancing gives a positive charge of emotions, cheers up, increases self-esteem, and self-confidence. By dancing, you can easily maintain your training discipline and motivation. It’s not just a routine sport; it’s a pleasure!
Absolutely all types of dances contribute to weight loss and help to lose weight if they are practiced regularly: whether it be Zumba, belly dancing, dance aerobics, modern dance, twerk, or pole dancing. If you love dancing and want to lose weight, then you are in luck. Dancing is the perfect strategy for losing weight and improving your figure.
Dance Training: How to Practice
Before moving on to an overview of the most popular dance styles, let’s first point out the main benefits of regular dance classes. What are the advantages and features of dance training?
Benefits of Dance Workouts
- Dancing is a type of aerobic workout that increases your heart rate and burns calories, thereby losing weight. Depending on the intensity of the lesson, half an hour of dancing can burn from 200 to 400 calories. This daily calorie loss is sufficient for gradual weight loss, especially when combined with a balanced diet.
- Dancing strengthens the entire muscular system of your body. Every time you practice dance steps and movements, you engage a large number of muscle groups at the same time. Repeated repetition of movement in a dance class or training is an excellent factor for muscle development. A healthy muscle body is aesthetically beautiful and useful in fat burning (muscle tissue burns several times more calories than fat tissue).
- Dance training is a fun, creative activity. If you love dancing, then you won’t get bored with your workout routine, as is often the case after repetitive repetitions of repetitive strength or cardio exercises. Through dancing, you can maintain your athletic motivation for a long time.
- Dancing helps fight stress. Firstly, rhythmic movements to pleasant music a priori lift your spirits, so after a dance class, you will come out in a great mood. Secondly, like any physical activity, dancing promotes endorphins’ production – hormones of pleasure and happiness.
- Dancing helps build self-esteem. On the one hand, you will be proud of your success and development in the dance field. On the other hand, reasonable control of your body allows you to find harmony in the soul and feel satisfaction and comfort.
- Dancing improves your posture. It’s no secret that straight position is not only one of the important parameters of a beautiful appearance, but also the health of the spine. Regular dance training will relieve back and lower back pain and minimize the harm from a sedentary lifestyle.
- Dancing develops grace, plasticity, and coordination. Step by step, you will learn new choreography, synchronize movements with the music, work on the softness and smoothness of lines. This is a fantastic way to relax your body and forget about internal barriers.
Of course, the benefits of dancing largely depend on the choice of a particular dance direction. For example, certain types are especially useful for losing weight (Zumba, Latin dances, dance aerobics), for developing muscles and improving posture (ballet training, modern), for strengthening leg muscles (step aerobics, Irish step), etc.
10 Basic Rules of Dance Lessons
Here are some general rules about dance training and how effective it is for weight loss. If you have already chosen a specific type of dance, we recommend that you also read additional information about the features of this direction or consult with your coach (choreographer).
- Be sure to do a short warm-up before your dance workout to get your muscles, joints, and ligaments ready for the session.
- Don’t forget about comfortable practice shoes to suit your dance routine. If dancing involves jumping and shock, then train in athletic shoes.
- Avoid eating at least an hour before class to make it comfortable for you. If you plan a full meal before the dance workout, then at least 1.5 hours should pass before the class for the normal assimilation of food.
- To maintain your muscles 30-40 minutes after training, you need to eat a small portion of protein with carbohydrates (for example, cottage cheese with apple, whey protein in milk, vegetables with chicken breast). Another option, which is considered more preferable for losing weight, is not to eat for two hours after training. But such a long period without food is not always comfortable, so focus on your body.
- Drink a glass of water 20 minutes before your dance workout. Drink in small sips every 10 minutes of the session. After training, drink another glass of water to rehydrate.
- If you want to lose weight, you need to try to adhere to proper nutrition principles throughout the day, following a simple rule of energy balance: consume less calories than the body spends.
- You can do dance training at any time convenient for you, both in the morning and in the evening. The only recommendation, if you practice intense dance loads in the afternoon, it is better to do them at least 3 hours before bedtime, so as not to provoke insomnia.
- Despite the fact that dance training is a rather gentle type of load, it is not shown to everyone. For example, chronic diseases, problems with the spine and joints, diseases of the cardiovascular system, hypertension, pregnancy can become an obstacle to exercising. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have any doubts about contraindications to training.
- You can also do dance training at home. However, if you want to not only lose weight but also really learn to dance, then it is better to contact a professional studio for group or private training.
- If you doubt which dance direction to choose, be sure to take a trial lesson. Sometimes the impressions of watching dance on the screen and directly from participating in it are opposite.
Popular Types of Dance Training
There are many dance workouts for weight loss, so you can choose the direction that suits you. We have selected 10 top dance workouts for weight loss, which are popular in terms of the choice of practitioners and the offers of fitness clubs.
Zumba is one of the most popular dance styles in recent years. Zumba is a mixture of famous Latin American dances: merengue, samba, reggaeton, cumbia, and salsa. In the late 90s, Colombian dancer Alberto Perez developed this sports and dance direction, instantly becoming popular all over the world. Today, Zumba is practiced in almost all countries of the world, and this wild success is effortless to explain.
Firstly, Zumba assumes simple movements that even a beginner can repeat. Secondly, the workouts are accompanied by cheerful South American music, which cheers you up and gives you a positive emotional charge for the whole day. Thirdly, Zumba classes are an effective cardio exercise that helps burn fat and lose weight.
Belly dancing (oriental dancing) combines traditional elements from the Middle East and North Africa, but the popularity of this trend has gone far beyond its origins. Everyone is probably familiar with these soft and smooth movements of the stomach and hips, forming one of the most attractive dances in the world. Oriental dance is a great cardio workout for burning calories and toning your mid-body muscles.
Why is belly dancing so popular with girls? First, such dance training helps to work on the most problematic “female” areas: belly, waist, buttocks, and hips. This is especially true for women after childbirth. Secondly, belly dancing develops attractiveness and grace. Thirdly, this is non-shock training that does not put stress on the joints.
Another super popular trend among dance training is classes based on ballet exercises (body ballet). This workout includes the most popular movements from ballet: demi-plie and grand-plie, batman back and forth, various exercises on the half-fingers, exercises on the floor. Of course, ballet training is not pure ballet, but an adapted set of exercises for shaping a beautiful body.
What are the advantages of body ballet? Firstly, ballet exercises at the barn help improve the body’s quality and tone the muscles of the legs, abdomen, and arms. Secondly, ballet training develops flexibility and grace. Third, you will improve your posture and get rid of slouching. Fourthly, ballet training is easy to do at home because there are no specific dance combinations.
Aerobics is a classic of dance and sports. Aerobics experienced a real boom in the 90s, but even now, there are a lot of dedicated fans of these workouts. What is its essence? Dance aerobics is a set of simple steps that usually count towards and beat the music’s beat. The steps are combined into choreographic links, while their complexity can be completely different depending on the specific lesson and group.
Why has aerobics been and continues to be so successful? Firstly, this is an ideal cardio exercise, since a high heart rate in the fat-burning zone is maintained throughout the entire session due to continuous movements. Secondly, to practice dance aerobics, you do not need to worry about aesthetics and grace of movements – first of all, this is fitness, not dance. Thirdly, you can do aerobics at home, since you do not need any additional equipment or special skills.
Step aerobics is another very popular type of dance and sports variety. Step aerobics is loved all over the world. Its demand does not fall, even despite the regular appearance of new fitness areas (unlike, for example, the same aerobics, which has noticeably lost ground). Step aerobics is a complex of choreographic movements on a unique platform. This is not a dance in its pure form, but the set of ligaments here is quite difficult and requires multiple repetitions to memorize.
Why is step aerobics effective for weight loss? Firstly, due to the platform’s constant steps, you will engage the muscles of the buttocks and legs in work, thereby removing flabbiness and cellulite. Second, the brisk pace and platform climb very well provide the fat-burning speed throughout the session. You can also do step aerobics at home, but you will need to purchase a step platform.
If oriental dances will appeal to those who want to tighten their abdominal muscles, then twerk is a dance direction for creating “round buttocks“. It is also a very sensual and even provocative dance, which is based on fast rotations of the pelvis. The twerk dance is young enough, originated in Puerto Rico in the late 90s, and became famous thanks to the performances of such top stars as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Miley Cyrus.
How are twerking exercises useful for losing weight? Firstly, it is a very fat burning workout, in which the heart rate rises rapidly, and calories are burned quickly. Secondly, movements from twerk help to work out the most problematic female parts of the body in a quality manner: hips, buttocks, waist, and abdomen. Third, this exercise improves circulation to the pelvic area, reducing menstrual cramps and relieving symptoms associated with menopause.
Group Latin dance classes are also very common in various dance clubs and fitness centers. Latin dances include movements and choreographic elements from popular styles such as salsa, merengue, bachata, rumba, chachacha, reggaeton, samba. Unlike Zumba, Latin dance classes are usually more authentic and closer to the original dance styles.
Of the advantages of practicing Latin dance, the following should be noted. First, there is a variety of dance styles, thanks to which you can master the most popular South American dances’ basic movements. Secondly, Latin dances are very fiery and fun, so you are guaranteed a positive workout. Thirdly, it is highly effective in terms of fat burning, since Latin dances are very energy-intensive.
Irish step is an exceptional dance style that has conquered many people around the world. The peculiarity of the Irish dance or river dance consists of the legs’ clear and quick movements while maintaining the immobility of the body (like a tap dance). By the way, for river dance, it is not always necessary to purchase special shoes for the characteristic rhythmic sound of boots since there is a category of Irish dances performed in soft shoes.
What is the use of the Irish step? First, it develops a great sense of rhythm, because you have to move strictly to the beat of the music. Secondly, river dance is beneficial in improving concentration and attention – you will need to memorize specific movements and perform difficult choreography at a very fast pace. Thirdly, you are guaranteed an excellent all-round load on the leg muscles. And fourthly, one cannot but agree that such a dance is very unusual and creative.
If earlier pole dancing was associated only with performances in nightclubs and discos, now this dance trend is increasingly found in fitness halls as a sports class within the framework of group training. The main instrument of pole dancing is a fixed vertical pole. To perform even the simplest exercises with a pole, you need serious muscle strength and coordination, because simultaneously with the choreographic movements, you must maintain your own body weight.
What is the use of pole dancing? Firstly, this is pumping the whole body, since such an acrobatic dance requires you to train all muscle groups seriously. The second is stretching and flexibility work because pole dancing involves splits and backbends. Thirdly, pole dancing is fantastically beautiful and sensual. Such a dance is fascinating and impressive.
Contemporary dance or Art Nouveau is one of the most popular areas of dance art today. Modern dance movements cannot be called structured and precise, but rather a prototype of free, flowing, and abstract choreography. It is sometimes compared to classical ballet. But if the movement is airy and sublime in classical ballet, in modern dance, the choreography seems to land on the floor.
Why choose modern for training? Firstly, modern dance classes perfectly develop plasticity, grace, the softness of movement, which is important for female attractiveness. Secondly, modern dance improves posture, straightens the spine, and develops stretching and flexibility. Thirdly, like any other dance, modern dance is about burning calories and toning the whole body’s muscles.