Over the past few years belly dancing has grown in popularity with group classes and private lessons becoming more readily available. Like pole dancing, it has become an exercise class that is being introduced into gyms across the country. Belly dancing is a fun form of exercise and a truly sensuous art. There are several muscle groups that are triggered when doing different belly dance movements in repetition. The core (abs, obliques, lower back) is one of the areas which is stimulated by belly dancing which makes it an excellent exercise for targeting these important muscles. You can achieve some very nice vertical lines down your stomach by incorporating this type of exercise into your regular workout program.
You can eliminate exercise boredom by implementing this workout program to shock your system and stimulate more results especially if you are stuck in a rut and not seeing any real changes in your physique. The body tends to respond best when you change things up every so often which forces it to adjust which results in new fat loss, strength and other positive changes in your physique.
The gyrating movements enhance partial squat positions. These include firm, core controlled rotations and extended arm movements which also move in a very controlled manner. In order to accomplish such fluidity and smooth transitions you must engage several muscle groups which include the “helper” muscles and not just those primary muscles which are directly related to the specific movement.
Balance and coordination are also enhanced by belly dancing. The joints and connective tissues benefit greatly and result in becoming much stronger and tolerant. This all helps to slow down the aging process. Common issues such as the onset of arthritis or knee, back and hip pain will be prevented by doing different activities like belly dancing.
Some different types of practice movements include starting with a simple clockwise then counter-clockwise hip revolution. Make sure your knees are slightly bent with your knees stable and not falling inward. Keep your head, shoulders and chest up and use a mirror to work on making it look pretty! Control your timing with music to ensure you do not speed through the movements. Belly dancing skills are performed with utmost control and form which means you practice a lot, so do not expect to get it right away unless you are well-coordinated already and understand that the challenge of each movement may take hours of disciplined practice. All of your hard work will equal additional fat loss and physical conditioning.
Once you’re able to work with your hips more fluently you can then experiment with some arm and hand movements to enhance the workout. This will add additional calories burned to your total workout and really emphasize shaping and toning your arms, shoulders, back and chest.
Make sure to document the time spent on this activity so that you are doing what you can in a safe and controlled manner. Try to add additional time for each session even if it’s just a minute so that you can comfortably perform 45 minutes to an hour of belly dancing in each session. The next progression after that will be to increase the intensity and maybe add a few new movements with kicks or squat motions mixed in.
Cool and fancy movements like body waves can be so much fun to learn, especially for the 80’s babies which can also add some vivid flashbacks to the past! Make sure to have a fun attitude with this type of class because it will tickle your tummy with giggles as you and your other classmates dance around and have a blast!