Belly dancing is mesmerizing to watch. From the outfits to the music, it seems so mysterious! However, it’s so much more than a pretty show. Belly dancing is an amazing workout for your abs and the rest of your body. It might be just what you need to spice up your fitness routine.
The repeated movements can strengthen your muscles and bones. It can even double as cardio, once you get the hang of it. You’ll be able to burn calories which will contribute to healthy (and fun) weight loss. This is ideal if you’re not a fan of running or breaking a sweat.
Check out these five belly dancing workouts.
1. Hip Circles
A hip circle is exactly what it sounds like. This move will tone your abs, loosen up your back, and improve your posture.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Rotate your hips to the right, moving in a circular motion. Repeat towards the left, and continue alternating. Keep your hands lifted while doing this.
If you have a hard time creating a circular motion, pretend you are hula hooping.
2. Torso Circles
This workout is similar to hip circles. Instead, it involves your torso, and your hips shouldn’t move while you do it. Doing it will stretch out your spine and help relieve back pain or tension.
Shift your ribcage to the right. Move it to the back, the left and then forward. At that last position, make sure your chest is pushed out and your back forms an arch. Again, your hips should stay still the entire time. Repeat in the opposite direction.
3. Figure 8s
As a standard belly dance move, the figure 8 will tone your stomach, waist, and hips. It’ll even strengthen your thighs as you move back and forth.
To begin one side of figure 8, diagonally slide your hips forward and to the right. Keep your weight on the right foot. Push it backward in a rounding motion and move through the center.
Diagonally shift your hips to the left and forward. Now, shift your weight to your left foot. Round your hips backward and return to the starting point.
During the move, imagine an infinity sign. Pretend you are tracing it in one swooping motion. Keep the figure 8 strong and tight for the best ab workout.
4. Shoulder Roll
Shoulder rolls or shoulder circlesItscan release a lot of tension. And if you have a tight neck, this belly dancing workout will give you major relief.
Move the shoulders in alternating circles. Slide the right shoulder forward, while the left moves back. Rotate the right in a circle then alternate.
Keep your chest and neck up high. It shouldn’t look like you’re shrugging so keep your shoulders away from your ears. You can also repeat this move in backward circles.
Doing the camel is another way to loosen up the spine. Your chest and abs will also get a great workout.
Move your chest forward and arch your back. Reverse by bringing in the stomach, and shifting your shoulders forward. When done repeatedly, these moves will look like an “S” shape.
Belly Dancing During Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, don’t let belly dancing put you off. Its low-impact nature is perfect for expecting mothers.
Your back and stomach will get stronger, providing extra support for your little one. Many believe that it can promote a healthy labor, too. You’ll also be able to have a good time and relieve any anxiety you’ve been having.
Some studios even offer belly dancing classes just for pregnant mothers. Always let your instructor know how many weeks you’ve been pregnant.
At first, belly dancing might seem intimidating. But anyone can do it, no matter your size or shape. You don’t even need to be a good dancer! A belly dancing workout will boost your overall fitness in small yet powerful ways.
Ready to dance? Attend a class or find videos on YouTube.