If you’ve ever watched shows like “Dancing with the Stars” or “So You Think You Can Dance,” you’ve probably been blown away by the incredible bodies of the dancers on those shows. The lean midsections with visible abs, chiseled legs, and strong, lean arms on the dancers are pretty enviable, so it’s obvious that dancing is full-body workout that helps you to get fit. The best dance workout videos are designed for cardio to get you moving and keep your heart rate up, helping you burn calories and fat. Depending on your fitness level and what type of dancing you’re doing, you could burn anywhere from 200 to 500 calories an hour, especially while doing high-energy dancing like BodyFX, Zumba, hip-hop dance, or salsa. No matter what your fitness level and how much dance experience you have, finding the best dance workout videos for you doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re ready to find the perfect dance workout videos, here’s what you need to know about your new favorite workout videos and how to find it.
Finding the Best Dance Workout Videos
It can be tempting to head to YouTube and just press play on the first cardio dance workout video that you find, but putting some thought into choosing your dance cardio workout videos will make you more likely to enjoy the workout and stick with your new routine for the long term. The first thing to consider when choosing a dance video is what your goals are. If you’re trying to lose weight, a fast-paced workout like BodyFX, hip-hop, or samba is likely the best place to start, as these faster dances will help you work up a sweat quickly and burn more calories. If you’re trying to tone a specific area of the body, like your tummy, videos like BodyFX or belly dancing are going to incorporate tons of core movements that can shape and tone your trouble spots. There’s no wrong answer – it’s all about choosing the right program for you. With that said, you should also take your current level of fitness into consideration, because taking on too much too soon can make you more likely to quit if you get overwhelmed or exhausted. If you don’t have much dance experience or you haven’t worked out in a long time and are a bit out of shape, look for videos that are specifically marketed to beginners. These dance fitness videos will guide you slowly through the dance moves one by one prior to combining them into one dance, which will make you more likely to keep up with the choreography. As you feel more confident and get more fit, you can progress to more advanced videos that get your heart rate up quickly. Next, take into account what type of music you like! There are dance workout videos set to pretty much every type of music you can think of, so whether you love hip-hop, belly dancing, country music, Latin dance, or reggaeton, there’s a workout out there that you will enjoy, and plenty of workout videos, like those from Figure8, incorporate a bunch of different styles of music. Finally, it’s time to consider physical limitations you have, like injuries or restrictions. Just because you have a hard time, say, raising your arms overhead doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to perform the choreography – just look for videos that offer modifications for upper or lower body movements. You’ll be able to follow along with the choreography, and as your fitness improves and your injuries heal, you may eventually be able to do the original choreography.
What the Best Dance Workout Videos Can Offer
Personal trainers are nice, but they’re also expensive and have their own schedules that may not match up with yours. Who needs that hassle when you can find a great home workout program, that you can do in your living room, that can help you get fit, like Body FX? Dance is a total body exercise, and there isn’t a much better choice you can make for your body. Here’s what the best dance workout videos have to offer.
Traditional forms of cardiovascular exercise, like running and cycling, use repetitive motions that ultimately shorten and tighten up the muscles, especially those in your legs, limiting your flexibility and range of motion. Dancing, by contrast, helps improve flexibility and range of motion because your body will move through a huge range of movement across every plane as you twist, turn, stretch, and shake, helping to lengthen and stretch the muscles as you go.
Dancing is one of the best core strength training exercises out there, and you won’t even have to do any crunches! Every layer of the abdominals (rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, and transverse abdominis), your lower back, and your glutes all benefit from the twisting and turning movements that are incorporated into dance. These movements mimic the natural motion of the body, helping to prevent injury, and as you strengthen your core, you’ll also be less likely to suffer from back pain. Who knows, you might even end up with a six-pack!
Dancing isn’t just good for your body – it’s also good for your spirit! Dancing has been shown to improve mood and benefit mental health in people suffering from depression and anxiety thanks to all those exercise-induced endorphins. Plus, people who suffer from social anxiety have been found to experience increased confidence when they start dancing.
You know dancing’s good for your body and your spirit, but did you know it also helps keep your brain healthy? A 2017 study showed that white brain matter, which impacts our brain’s ability to process and retain memories, increased in adults who danced regularly. That means that dancing can potentially help stave off brain diseases associated with aging, like dementia.
Reduced Chance of Injury
Exercises like weight training are helpful for weight loss and are great for toning and targeting large muscle groups in the body, but this type of training fails to strengthen the tiny stabilizing muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet, legs, and core. Dancing helps strengthen muscles that other types of exercise struggle to reach, which can help you improve your balance and reduce your chance of injury. Plus, because dancing is not a repetitive motion like running or cycling, you’re less likely to experience overuse injuries associated with the workout.
It’s easy to dread working out and have a hard time sticking with it if you’re doing a type of exercise that you hate, but the fact is that dancing is actually fun. There’s a reason why we love to dance even as little kids – it just makes us feel good. Because you’re more likely to have fun while you’re dancing (even though you’re still getting a great workout), you have a better chance of committing to your new workout dance routine and sticking with it as your motivation waxes and wanes. No two dances are the same, and the change in music means you’ll never get bored.
Total Body Workout
Forget hitting the gym to target different muscle groups each day of the week; dance targets every major muscle group in the body in one powerful workout. Traditional forms of cardiovascular exercise might only hit one or two major muscle groups, while weight training normally focuses on one muscle group per day. Why not train your entire body at once?
How to Get Started
Not only are dance workout videos great for your body, mind, and spirit, they’re also highly accessible, and you don’t need much to get started with your new favorite workout routine.
- A workout DVD or exercise video player or smart TV: Of course, you’ll need a way to watch your dance workout video, so break out your laptop, smart TV, or tablet and get ready to groove. Online fitness communities like Body FX offer hundreds of videos right at your fingertips, making it easy and cost-effective to get started dancing. Most videos are available in a DVD format or an online streaming service, so make sure you’ve got either a DVD player or a way to access the internet.
- Comfortable clothes: Don’t have leg warmers and leotards at home? No problem. All you need is comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely in order to start dancing at home. You’ll be working up a sweat, so it’s best to try and find some moisture-wicking clothing designed for exercise to help keep you cool and comfortable, but it’s not a necessity.
- Comfortable non-slip shoes: Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you order special tap or ballet shoes! You don’t need to wear anything special when you’re working out at home. However, whatever shoes you choose should be comfortable, not cause blisters, and not slip on a hard surface while you’re dancing.
- Space to move: Spread out your stuff so that you’ve got plenty of space to move and groove. Don’t be afraid to move your furniture around a bit if you need to!
- A water bottle: You need to stay hydrated, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water while you shake it. Dancing might be fun, but it’s hard work!