How To Dance Yourself Fit
Let’s face it, dance fitness isn’t something that we normally associate with total body transformations or becoming super lean and strong. Instead, we’re more likely to view an hour of shaking our thang as a fun workout that might help us enjoy a guilt-free glass of Sauvignon Blanc a bit later on.
The truth is that you CAN use dance fitness to get in amazing shape but you might want to think about your goals first and then make sure that you’re tailoring your workout regime to reach those goals. Keep reading to find out how to infuse a little movement into your life and see progress.
Know your goals
Think about what you’re trying to gain from your workouts. If you’re simply looking for an endorphin boost then a dance cardio class will be a great way to get them flowing. However, if you’re trying to bust belly fat, then a full body HIIT workout that’s intense but shorter will work well because you won’t be flooding your body with more cortisol, a hormone that causes belly fat and is released when we do lots of long cardio.
If you’re trying to get toned then you’ll want to maximise fat loss by ramping up your heart rate and if you’re trying to boost your metabolism then holding onto as much lean muscle as possible to the key to keeping it high.
Ideally, your workout plan will incorporate a range of different workouts that work together to give you great results. (A personal trainer or personalised dance fitness training program will help you adapt your workout regime to suit your body type and your goals, so if you don’t know where you begin then try getting some professional help to figure it out.)
For clients who are committed to seeing results then we recommend up to 4 workouts a week. We love two weekly Shapes classes for fat loss and metabolism boosting HIIT movements (we swap burpees for full body dance cardio moves instead, that’s how we roll…) and we encourage our clients to compliment them with two Moves classes or a Moves and Barre class which will both amp up the cardio but still incorporate resistance training in each session.
If you have bigger body goals, then adding a pure dance cardio workout into your routine will help push you into the results zone faster and of course, fat loss is always best done by looking at the food on your plate, which is why all our members get access to our nutrition plans and guides
Mix Your Cardio and Resistance
A pure dance cardio class is mostly cardio, which means that while you’re burning calories, when you stop, so does your workout. (Think Zumba….) You will lose body fat at first but you’ll also lose a little bit of muscle too and without resistance training, eventually, your results might stop coming. (Some people even find that cardio makes them hungry and they end up compensating with the post-workout snacks.)
The good news is that it’s easy to hold onto your hard-won muscle reserves by adding resistance to your dance class.
Cardio is simply a workout that gets your heart rate up, so doing a resistance training workout in a circuit format, or using more challenging moves can make it a fat furnace in no time, (the Shapes).
The Moves targets the entire body with sculpting exercises then dances off the calories with low impact and simple dance routines.
If you’re working out online, then try to do a resistance routine alongside your dance cardio to keep your metabolism fired up, don’t choose ‘RESISTANCE OR CARDIO’ do both together, save time and get double the results.
Barre classes are great for improving your endurance (how long can you hold a plie?) but they usually don’t offer much cardio so you’ll need to amp up the challenge to get your heart rate moving if you find you’re not seeing results at the barre alone. Even professional dancers incorporate this kind of cross-training to help them get fit enough for performances.
Try choosing a cardio barre class once or twice a week and ensure you’re a hot sweaty mess by the end of the class.
Make a plan and stick to it.
OK, so this one’s obvious, but much like going to the gym one time and getting disheartened when your abs don’t instantly appear, dance fitness programs will get results as long as you’re consistent and are constantly challenging your body.
Here at Corio we call this “Challenge to Change”; if you can already do something then you need to push a little harder each time you do the workout to encourage your body to change. Without this extra challenge, you’ll eventually plateau and stop seeing results.
As a guide, it’s going to take 4 weeks to see initial results, although you’ll feel fitter and stronger in your core after just 2 weeks of workouts, and another 8-12 weeks for other to notice significant results if you’ve got further to go. For many people, it’s worth breaking down a long-term goal that might take 12 months to achieve into little blocks of 4 weeks, each of those having their own mini goals.
Studies tell us that most people give up just 3 weeks into something new, which means they’re just 1 week short of that magic 4 week moment when you see your hard work pay off.
To help you stay motivated, it’s a great idea to commit to a workout program, a pre-designed program or to buy a package that encourages you to show up and shape up!
Those drop in classes might be a great deal, but if you’re stretching them out and using up one a week for a year, or spending cash on a personal trainer but only working out once a week then you’re not going to be seeing results either. If you can’t afford classes often then an online workout program or online dance fitness workouts can be a really cost-effective way to get consistency and results.
For those people who have been following us for a while, you’ll know that Corio creator Elle Kealy isn’t just a dance lover, she’s also a certified personal trainer and science geek. Corio was born when she couldn’t find a workout that she loved doing and that promised to get results at the same time, so she decided to create one that fused functional fitness with simple and sassy dance cardio.
She says that even though she loves to dance it’s not the only workout she does to stay in shape. Instead, she uses a combination of strength training, endurance training, dance cardio and dance-inspired HIIT to get results.
To keep things interesting all of her Corio workouts have a dance-twist that helps improve memory, coordination and motor fitness too.
And what if you don’t have a goal? Elle says, “Relax, have fun, use the time to let your mind switch off and connect with yourself. We all need a little downtime and dancing is one of the best ways to put a smile on your face and forget about how many calories you’re burning!”
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