You made a noble decision to sign in for cardio dance classes. The intense cardio exercises will help you burn excess calories, lose weight and keep your heart healthy. There’re many kinds of cardio dances including Zumba, Jazzercise, Hula Hoop and so on. So, you might be wondering which of the four is right for you.
Well, below is a beginner’s guide to cardio dance to help you nail down the skills in a more efficient and satisfying way.
Related: Best Shoes for Cardio Dance
Beginner’s Guide to Cardio Dance
What’s Cardio Dance
Cardio dance refers to any set of dance-like moves or exercises meant to increase your heart rate. The choreographed moves accompanied by musical rhythms gives you a fun way of strengthening your heart and body for a healthier life.
A stronger heart promotes better oxygen delivery to the cells to enable them burn more calories. This is helps in maintaining a healthy body.
Benefits of Cardio Dance
1. Burns Calories
As you strive towards increasing your heart rate to a certain level, you burn a lot of calories. In just 30 minutes you can burn 250 calories.
2. Muscle Toning
Lifting heavy weights may not be the only exercises for muscle toning. Cardio dances are also effective workouts for toning and strengthening body parts including the glutes, leg muscles, obliques and so on.
3. Full-Body Workout
Unlike running, cardio dance utilizes a wide range of muscles which result in full-body workout. Working out the most important muscles helps in keeping your body in the right form.
4. Improves Your Mood
As with any other dance, cardio dance gets you in high spirits which in turn alleviates depression, stress, anxiety and other related conditions. Dancing to the musical rhythm leaves you feeling better and in good mood.
5. Enhances Your Balance and Coordination
As you get used to the cardio moves, your muscles become stronger and stable. Thus you can perform the moves with a lot ease. This helps you achieve better standing and walking mechanics.
6. Boosts Your Brain
Just as the brain learns through neuron activation, it’ll be stimulated by the music you’re listening during the dance.
Types of Cardio Dance
Cardio dance workouts will strengthen your heart, burn calories and improve your stamina. It’s one of the most enjoyable workout since it involves varied types of dance moves to tone your body. Unlike many exercises, it doesn’t involve monotonous activities that make you bored.
Here are the main types of cardio dances you can perform.
1. Zumba Dance
Of all cardio dances, zumba dance is the most popular. Zumba is a blend of hip hop and Latin where the dancer is involved in alternating slow and fast dance moves. Like typical aerobics, these moves help in maintaining a healthy body, enhancing your mental health and boosting your mood.
The main advantage with zumba dance is that it is more fun and does not entail a lot of monotonous activities.
No prior expert dancing skills are required to get involved in zumba. You just take on the moves and dance to the music. People of all ages can take on zumba including kids.
These are strengthening and resistance exercises initially spearheaded by Jazzercise. Just like in zumba, Jazzercise dancers dance to the music rhythm to work-out their body. However, Jazzercise dance workouts are more intensive than zumba dance hence more beneficial.
3. Salsa Dance
Salsa dance is basically a social dance often held in social places such restaurants, night clubs, ballrooms or even social events. The aim of the dance is to shift the body weight by making rhythmic steps combined with arm and shoulder movements. The rhythm is controlled by the music.
Such moves helps you burn calories, strengthen muscles and improve your balance.
Related: Best Shoes for Jazzercise
4. Hula Hoop Dance
If you did hula hooping when you were young, then you know the fun that goes with it. But perhaps you never knew the health benefits hula hooping. Hula hooping moves various parts of the body including the abdomen thighs, glutes, neck, arms and so on.
The number of hula hoop tricks you can perform depends your level of experience. Common hula hoop tricks include:
- Waist hooping
- Lasso hooping
- Z- spin
- Barrel roll isolation
- Vortex isolation
- Ghost isolation
There’re more complex tricks which you can learn as you continue mastering the art.
Common Dance Injuries
Dance cardio might seem enjoyable and less engaging. On the contrary, dance cardio actually engages your full body where it tones important body muscles. It provides a good means of strengthening your legs, obliques, glutes among other muscles.
Similar to running, dance cardio is associated with common injuries especially when best practices are not adhered to.
Below, is a guide to some of the most common injuries associated with dance cardio and their remedies.
1. Knee Pain
Although knee pain is common in runners, it can also result from dance cardio because some of its moves involve impacts. This is especially true when there’s insufficient underfoot cushioning in your dancing shoes.
Knee joint pain can also result from excessive strain especially when your lower extremities are not properly aligned. This is very common in high-arched and flatfooted individuals who need heighted arch support to keep their lower body appendages aligned.
2. Ankle Sprain