Whether it’s a flat tummy or lithe legs you’re after, we’ve found the best dance style workouts for you
THE TOTAL BODY TONER
Try: Salsa The fast tempo of this fun, uplifting dance burns as many calories as swimming and cycling. Do it regularly, and it can be as effective as regular gym cardio classes in reducing your heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
‘Salsa is great for trimming fat,’ says dance trainer Karen Hardy, winner of the fourth series of Strictly Come Dancing. ‘All the turns and fast footwork give you a good all-round leg, bum and arm workout. To get the most out of a class, throw yourself into it and exaggerate your movements so you really work up a sweat.’ Find a class: www.uksalsa.com
THE SEXY SCULPTOR
Try: ZumbaThe varied rhythms of Latin flavour combined with the international zest of hip-hop, belly-dancing and resistance training, will help you burn fat and build lean muscles.
‘An hour of this invigorating dance class can have you burning anything between 300 and 1,000 calories,’ says Karen. From head and shoulder rolls that loosen up the neck and target the upper body to footwork that strengthens calves and ankles, Zumba touches upon nearly every muscle and joints, sculpting your body in the process.
Karen says, 'The class is suitable for all levels of ability so the best thing is, everyone is able to take part.’Find a class www.zumbauk.co.uk
THE LEG SLIMMER
Try: Tango Like a challenge? This sultry Argentinian dance is certainly going to provide that.
‘But the benefits are worth it,’ says Karen. ‘You need precise leg actions, so you’re targeting muscles in different ways which helps to tone you up more quickly. More advanced moves, such as deep lunges, are particularly good for strengthening the front of your thighs, too.’
And all those tricky moves mean your balance and coordination are also given a leg-up, according to research by Canada’s McGill University. Find a class www.tango.org.uk
THE FAT BLASTER
Try: Ceroc This fusion of salsa and jive is great for whittling away any excess flab.
‘Ceroc is an extremely aerobic and dynamic dance style, so it's fab at burning unwanted fat and toning up your legs, thighs, hips and stomach,’ says Ceroc teacher Tim Sant. Best of all, you’ll barely notice all the hard work.
‘It's also an awesome social night out with your mates and the upbeat tempo will leave you on a real high,’ he adds. Find a class www.ceroc.com
THE BUM LIFTER
Try: Swing/jive ‘This a full-body workout without any of the pain – it’s such fun that you have no idea you’ve done so much exercise,’ says swing dance teacher Martin Ellis.
‘It’s particularly good for your glutes and quads as there’s a lot of jumping and kicking involved. Best of all, because it’s an earthy street style and it’s not at all prim and proper, you can throw yourself into it and be as energetic as you want.’ Find a class www.dancesport.uk.com
THE WAIST WHITTLER
Try: Latin/ballroom ‘Maintaining an upright posture in this disciplined style of dance makes you hold in your core, helping to strengthen your stomach and back muscles,’ says Karen.
‘During a class, aim to pull your bellybutton in towards your spine, and imagine you’re being pulled upwards by an invisible rope from the back of your neck. This means you're lengthening your spine and strengthening your core, while ensuring your chin isn't too high – plus it’s also great for general posture and so helps you to look instantly slimmer.’ Find a class www.uk-ballroom.co.uk
Are you a Strictly fan? Try Flavia Cacciatore's flat stomach workout
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