For most people, hip hop is all about high-energy dancing. What you might not be aware of is that hip hop also offers one of the best alternatives to a typical fitness class that most people are accustomed to. Like most dances, this type of dance has both aerobic and anaerobic fitness benefits.
Hip hop enhances fitness by improving cardiovascular capacity, cardiovascular stamina, and the heart rate. You can easily improve your muscular endurance and stamina by taking some hip-hop dance classes especially if you have trouble keeping up when running.
It also happens to be one of the best cardio workouts there is today. To learn more about hip hop and whether it has any effect on your fitness, read more.
What Physical Fitness Components Can You Improve by Dancing Hip Hop?
Hip hop incorporates both fitness and nutrition to produce aerobic and anaerobic health benefits. The moves that you perform while dancing hip hop are a great form of cardiovascular exercise. This is what increases the heart rate when you are performing those fast-paced workouts.
Apart from working the heart, hip hop also contributes greatly towards strengthening the other muscles especially those along the abdominal core, thighs and calves. Muscle strength has long-term health benefits to your body and through regular dance, you will be setting up your body for future health success.
How Does Hip Hop Dancing Improve Physical Fitness?
Hip hop dancing involves combining a number of different styles that offer the perfect body workout alternative through fun and rhythmic exercise. Some of the key fitness benefits of hip hop dancing include:
Building stamina and endurance: if you often find yourself struggling to maintain the pace during your running exercise, then hip hop dancing offers the perfect cross-training option for building your stamina and muscular resistance.
Burn calories: considering that hip hop dancing involves a wide range of body movements, this can help you burn unwanted calories. Losing weight is not all about spending your day trundling on the treadmill. Try hip hop as an unexpected but fun workout to burn off calories.
Strengthens the heart: if you are looking for a great cardio workout, then a hip hop dance routine will offer you just that. It not only helps in strengthening the heart muscles but also helps boost your energy levels. In the long-term, intense cardio exercise helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
How Does Hip Hop Dance Improve Flexibility?
Hip hop dancing improves flexibility in the sense that it increases the amount of movement around specific joints or body parts. When dancing, you are constantly performing movements that test your body’s range of motion. Repeating these moves as well as trying out more difficult ones ultimately increases your range of motion.
When using hip hop to improve flexibility, always apply the old adage that ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Start slow by not pushing your range of motion too far at the beginning. You can then make progress gradually as you move to more difficult hip hop moves that will eventually expand your range of motion and improve your flexibility.
Why is Hip Hop Dancing Good for Fitness?
There is a thin line between when hip hop dancing improves your fitness and when you are overworking your body. Great hip hop dancing fitness is whereby the end results improve your heart health. When performing a hip hop dance, all the pumping and locking will no doubt get your heart pumping.
If you are an athlete, it offers beginner athletes an unprecedented path to stamina. Not only do you improve your cardiovascular endurance but you also build muscle strength during dance.
If you have been trying to lose those extra pounds but nothing seems to work, don’t give up just yet. A great hip hop dance workout burns tons of calories and helps your body turn fat into muscles.
How Does Social Hip Hop Dancing Enhance Your Fitness and Wellness?
Hip hop is not only beneficial to your body but to your mental health too. When you are exercising, your brain releases endorphins (“feel good” chemicals) that empower a positive mood and thinking.
Now think about when you add the beneficial effects of music to the matrix. You will soon be hip hop dancing your way to brain-boosting benefits in no time. Hip hop also has a way of setting you in the mood of bursting a move.
If you are always the kind of person who always has their back pressed against the wall at a party and hoping that no one will ask you to go onto the dance floor, then hip hop dancing can guarantee life at any party.
Instead of dreading social occasions that might require you to dance, you will actually be looking forward to attending one and impressing the crowd with your hip hop dancing skills.
Can Hip Hop Dancing Help You Achieve Your Personal Fitness Goals?
Regardless of your personal fitness goals, dancing to hip hop is an exercise that will not only get your heart rate up but add a host of other benefits. Dancing and especially hip hop dancing is a great aerobic exercise since it involves a lot of movement and activity the entire time.
Throughout the dance routine, your body will be taking in more oxygen and helping you burn calories. Here are some additional benefits of aerobic hip-hop dancing:
- Helps in weight loss
- Reduces your stress levels
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Boosts your energy
While most people concentrate on the aerobic benefits of hip hop dance, they tend to forget that there are several anaerobic benefits of hip hop dance that can help you achieve your fitness goals. Hip hop dance is the kind of fitness routine that strengthens and tones your muscles.
It also enhances flexibility especially around the joints. This is especially because during hip-hop dance, your mind is also focused towards doing everything the right way and keeping up with the pace of the rest of the group or being in sync with the music.
4 Hip Hop Dance Moves To Boost Your Fitness
With the affirmation that hip hop does improve fitness; let’s look at some of the top hip hop moves to help you stay in shape.
The Harlem Shake
The Harlem Shake is one of the most popular hip-hop dance moves that has been in existence since the 80s. Also known as the “the drunken dance”, this dance has no formal moves and all you need to do is to creatively convulse the body. Every dancer is therefore at liberty to own their flair and style while doing the Harlem Shake.
The Running Man
The running man remains a legendary hip-hop dance move that has stood the test of time. To perform the running man, start with your arms spread by your side and your feet together.
Lift your left leg up high to form a 90 degree angle while at the same time bending and lifiting your arms as if you are just about to run.
Follow this routine with your right leg while pushing down your hands and relaxing them. Repeat this several times-it might take some time to master but you will soon get there.
This dance move creates the impression that the hip-hop dancer is floating. Floating involves three basic moves that include:
- The Float
- The Glide
The robot is a common hip-hop dance that is easy to master especially for beginners. However, it is not uncommon to see professional dancers adding the robot to their dance routine. The robot dance involves doing some of the things you often do but in a robotic motion.
It involves freezes, turns and dime stops and everything is done by bending your joints as much as possible. The best part is that when performing the robot, you don’t even have to be in sync with the music.
There is no doubt that hip-hop dance routines can greatly improve your fitness in so many ways. Through your moves, you are slowly building on your stamina and endurance. Being able to change your position rapidly is also an important aspect of hip-hop dancing that improves flexibility.
Your aerobic capacity also increases while your muscles also strengthen. All these benefits are essential in your journey towards improving your fitness.