Everyone wants a trim a waist, flat abs and a toned body but many people don’t like the idea of working out. To make exercising just a little more interesting for those who do not enjoy it, industry experts have come up with new fun ways of staying fit.
Many dance forms engage your muscles in a way where you burn calories and sculpt your body as a byproduct of doing the dance. Belly dancing is one such form, which lets you burn calories and shape your body without it feeling like a workout.
You sweat and feel the burn but you’re not ‘exercising’ per se, you’re dancing! Belly dancing originated in the Middle East and is considered one of the sexiest and graceful forms of dance. Trained belly dancers may make belly dancing look insanely simple but mastering belly dancing can take years of training.
In order for belly dancers to move their abdominal muscles seamlessly, they have learned how to isolate and manipulate the large and small muscle groups of the abdomen, pelvis, spine, glutes and neck while also moving the arms and hands in a graceful manner.
You may have noticed that belly dancers have beautiful hourglass bodies this is because belly dancing is in fact a full body workout. Belly dancers user their body’s own weight to enhance flexibility, tone muscles, build endurance and improve balance. However, the greatest benefit of belly dancing is the effect it has on your torso because the involved movements extend beyond your abs and include all the muscles between your neck and hips.
Full Body Workout
Your core muscles include the pelvic floor muscles, the transverses abdominis, erector spinae, rectus abdominis and gluteus maximus; basically all parts your body excluding limbs. It’s the strength of your core muscles which allows you to stand upright, provide stability, maintain posture and resist gravity along with your own body weight. Poor posture, lower back pain, tenderness in your limbs and overall body weakness are all signs of a weak core which is why there is such an emphasis on building strength in your muscles.
Strengthening the core is specifically important for women whose bodies undergo drastic changes from pregnancy and childbirth to menopause. By strengthening their core, women reduce their chances of injury and developing osteoarthritis while maintaining a stable menstrual cycle.
In belly dancing, you’ll learn how to isolate your minor muscles which gives you an overall body workout while providing control over all your muscles. The control and movements of your major and minor muscles require a lot of energy which is how an hour of belly dancing can help you drop 300-500 calories. It also elevates your heart rate, making it a good cardiovascular workout and enables you to drop calories even after the workout.
There is such an emphasis on activating your core in belly dancing that you will discover muscles you never knew you had. You will learn to isolate and control small groups of muscles in your core which will help your torso stabilize, leading to an overall stronger core. The stronger core will help you better your posture, realign your spine and prevent joint pain.
Regular belly dancing should help you get a slimmer waist and prevent the buildup of excess fat provided that you are eating a balanced diet. This is because belly dancing requires you to suck in your belly button towards your spine.
Focus on small muscles
Belly dancing engages the smaller muscles on your hips and abs area which are not activated through traditional abs exercises. Working out the smaller muscles in your core adds to the strength of your overall core, which allows for better posture and balance.
The arm movements involved in belly dancing gives you a total workout of the upper body. You’ll be able to workout your entire upper body simultaneously while most traditional exercises require you to focus on certain areas at a time.
You are going to be in constant movement when belly dancing which causes your heart rate to increase and remain fast, meaning you’ll be in a state of ‘cardio burn’. The longer you maintain your high heart rate, the more calories you burn. When you integrate consistent cardio with persistent movement of the muscle, your heart rate takes a while to slow down so you’ll be burning calories even after you have stopped dancing. If traditional workout regimes are not for you, belly dancing is a great alternative.
You’ll get all the benefits of a traditional workout while enjoying yourself thoroughly AND feeling super sexy as you do it!
Carla Adams is an enthusiastic dreamer and a workaholic to achieve that. She is a blogger, writer, basketball player, technology and fashion freak. For all the updates follow her on Facebook.