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Thread: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?




  1. #1
    I could get used to this! Kaleena's Avatar
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    Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I run every morning and I used to lift weights, do yoga, plyo and martial arts. These days I'm so heavily training in BD that I don't have the time or energy for anything else but the run and dancing.

    Are my muscles going to completely deteriorate? I don't want to lose muscle mass, decrease my metabolism etc but I really like dancing a lot! I'm not worried about my legs (BD has actually made them bigger and more more muscular) but I don't want my upper body to lose its tone and definition.

    Thoughts?


  2. #2
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleena View Post
    I run every morning and I used to lift weights, do yoga, plyo and martial arts. These days I'm so heavily training in BD that I don't have the time or energy for anything else but the run and dancing.

    Are my muscles going to completely deteriorate? I don't want to lose muscle mass, decrease my metabolism etc but I really like dancing a lot! I'm not worried about my legs (BD has actually made them bigger and more more muscular) but I don't want my upper body to lose its tone and definition.

    Thoughts?
    Each type of exercise builds muscles in its own unique way. That's why people cross-train, to get different benefits from different exercise formats.

    It also depends on what kind of belly dancing you do. For example, if you do extensive floor work of the kind where you use your arms to lift your body up off the floor and then hold that pose while doing undulations, you'll keep up strength in your upper body. But if you don't do floor work, or if your floor work is solely the kneeling kind, then you could lose your upper body tone.


  3. #3
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I agree with Shira that it depends VERY much on what kind of bellydance you're doing. Drilling beginner moves with my classes or even participating in most group choreos doesn't tax me much, physically. But rehearsing solo work with lots of traveling and an energetic approach wipes me out!

    (ETA: Oops, I see now that you're still running, so this part isn't relevant. I'll leave it here in case others are wondering about cardio though) I'd say if the dancing that you're doing regularly gets your heart rate into the target range (i.e. to the point where you could talk if you had to but wouldn't want to carry on a conversation or sing a song) and keeps you there for 20+ minutes, at least, continously, then your cardio is covered. If not, you may need to supplement in order to maintain your heart health and energy levels.

    I find that dance gives me strong legs, calves & glutes and strengthens SOME of the muscles that support my arm carriage, but I generally feel like I need to crosstrain my upper body, either with weight machines or with a strength-building yoga workout. I imagine the same is true with running.

    I LOVE the New York City Ballet Workout. In addition to being a terrific strengthbuilding workout that needs no equipment, I feel like I'm absorbing some awareness of body lines & extension & general grace from it.


  4. #4
    I could get used to this! Kaleena's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    Each type of exercise builds muscles in its own unique way. That's why people cross-train, to get different benefits from different exercise formats.

    It also depends on what kind of belly dancing you do. For example, if you do extensive floor work of the kind where you use your arms to lift your body up off the floor and then hold that pose while doing undulations, you'll keep up strength in your upper body. But if you don't do floor work, or if your floor work is solely the kneeling kind, then you could lose your upper body tone.
    No floor work for me. Okay, I'll have to make time for the yoga and weights! But I'd rather be dancing : P


  5. #5
    I could get used to this! Kaleena's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    Ooh the New York City Ballet Workout looks really good. Thanks for the recommendation!
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  6. #6
    Mega BHUZzer anyadance's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I highly recommend kettle bells or compound training. I started them a couple months ago and even when I'm lazy, with a good whole food/clean eating diet I've been able to maintain and build muscles. I "workout" for less than 5 minutes a day doing the two handed russian swing and a couple presses with a 20 pound kettle bell. If you can, find a class or a trainer and learn how to use them properly to prevent injury - it will honestly change your body for the better and you'll be a better stronger dancer.

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  7. #7
    Mega BHUZzer anyadance's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    The proof is in the pudding
    Attached Images


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    Established BHUZzer taji-dancer's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I LOVE the New York City Ballet Workout. In addition to being a terrific strengthbuilding workout that needs no equipment, I feel like I'm absorbing some awareness of body lines & extension & general grace from it.[/QUOTE]

    Lauren---which video of theirs do you like? ( i see there is a few) and i guess you can add some of that to your class---just taking out the "turnout" legs and feet. I've been doing yoga and bar class--need a video that i will actually do instead of having it sit there.
    Taji-dancer
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  9. #9
    Just Starting! milagros's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I think it may also depend on your age. For me, I don't think Belly Dance and cardio is enough. I do a minimum of 45 minutes of strength training, stretching, and cardio each per week. Belly Dance is the extra fun part, which adds a little extra of each.


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    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. jesennia's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    an island friend once said to me..have you ever seen a fat fish? :) swimming is fabulous exercise..
    as part of my nurse job I help with weight managment and always encourage those who are able to get
    in the water
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  11. #11
    I could get used to this! Kaleena's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by anyadance View Post
    The proof is in the pudding
    Okay, I'm inspired to try these things!
    anyadance likes this.


  12. #12
    Official BHUZzer Afrit09's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by jesennia View Post
    an island friend once said to me..have you ever seen a fat fish? :) swimming is fabulous exercise..
    as part of my nurse job I help with weight managment and always encourage those who are able to get
    in the water
    Interesting. I was under the impression that while swimming gets you fit - it doesn't do that much for losing weight (and I've never seen a fat butterfly either and they spend all their time sipping sugary drinks)
    kashmir likes this.


  13. #13
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I've seen a lot of fat endurance swimmers.

    And whales.
    kashmir and Lara L like this.
    Driving Bhuzzers away with her awfulness since 2001!


  14. #14
    Advanced BHUZzer eden_eyes's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I think what's missing here is we cannot compare plyometrics to swimming. I am a mermaid...I love to swim...I will not knock it, however these are two very different activities. The OP is saying she doesn't have time for plyo and weight lifting and martial arts anymore because of all the dancing. Not only that, but let's not confuse "muscular endurance and strength maintenance" with "losing weight".

    Unless you are doing lots of crazy stuff while dancing, you will lose that shock strength in your legs that plyo offered--assuming you did it enough for it to become a regular activity for your body.

    That being said, I think that's ok. You are building a flexible and balance-oriented strength in your lower half now and it's better for your joints and bones. I think doing ballistic exercises for your arms would be fine if that's what you prefer. I agree with the above on the kettle ball exercises and short bursts of high intensity training. Might want to look into TRX equipment (homemade! much cheaper!) as well. I WOULD suggest swimming, but considering you don't have time for your other, more beloved activities, there is no point in making time for that.

    Either way, continue to cross train. It's important to surprise your muscles. I could swim or dance for hours, but put me on a bike and it's like I'm a beginner all over again.

    The human body is a breath-taking (ha) and incredible machine. Have fun with it and take care of it
    yameyameyame likes this.


  15. #15
    I could get used to this! Kaleena's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    If anyone is interested I've been dancing 1-4 hours a day since this post. I've been doing a lot of research on this topic and have concluded that dancing is very similar to anaerobic training. I have never had such a toned core (feels like a tree trunk), toned legs and a tight butt! My arms are not turning into flabby wings either, so all is well.

    The only problem is that all of this dancing is making me super hungry. I know I have gained some fat, in addition to the newly acquired muscle. That however, is my diet choices. All I seem to want to eat is almond butter and apple sandwiches. I'm sure I'll get bored of it soon soon but if I pass out before then, someone please stuff some green beans down my throat. :P


  16. #16
    Mega BHUZzer kashmir's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    So, are you exercising for the sake of exercise? In which case you will never have enough (I believe exercise addiction is now a recognized problem).

    If not, there is no point in having muscles in excess of what your body needs. (And if you need it you'll get it by using your muscles - I never "trained" back when I did physical work but I was strong and could hiff around 40kg sacks of cement or whatever.)

    More is not better. Longer, and more excessive exercise does not make you "fitter" - unless it is fitter for high end sport which in the long term destroys - not improves - your body. If you want a long life with a body that works well and without pain (and less hasssle in menopause) the answer is moderate exercise - maybe 30-90 minutes a day and good nutrition. Dance is ideal as it gives your body a workout while giving you pleasure in creating and expressing beauty.


  17. #17
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I wish I could remember where it was that I read that the only person who needs a six-pack is a person who is being repeatedly punched in the stomach. Today we do train for looks and not for need.

    I come from a long line of manual labourers and none of them "train" either. The men in my family are generally very strong, genetically, and the ones who do heavier work are better at picking up heavier things, such as several hundred full-fleece ewes a day, bogged down cars and half-full concrete mixers. I do accept that gym work is a way to replace manual labour, but there's also a reason many people who do that kind of work hope for their kids to get the kinds of educations that mean they don't have to plan for back problems after 15 years' heavy lifting.

    My dad's back is pretty good considering but the uncle who was famous for picking up half-full concrete mixers had horrible back problems before he died.
    kashmir likes this.
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  18. #18
    Mega BHUZzer Basha's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    I am in the boat of.. I love training- and I like how I feel/look when I train but it just was TO much for me when I really wanted to just get out there and dance.

    So I found a solution- that doesn't cut out weight training (FIRMLY BELIEVE THIS IS HUGELY VASTLY IMPORTANT TO WEIGHT LOST AND OVER ALL FITNESS)... and I get time to dance as well.

    I do not run any more- or do cardio.

    (edit: swimming IS great- and its great for low impact- but it doesn't involve weight training- so it's great but you can be damn sure those ripped Olympic swimmers do more than "just" swim.. if you are a dork like me you can swim- get out and do push ups- swim- get out and do abs- swim get out and do push ups etc- so you can cram more into your workout but just swimming probably won't get you the results you want)

    I mostly do HIIT training and you can find a great number of sites that provide short workouts that will allow you to continue to weight train and maintain a fit body that's good for actually doing stuff.

    bodyrock.tv (fairly heavy in to "celebrating" sexuality- so NSFW)
    lovingfit.com
    Zuzka Light on youtube (former Bodyrock Babe)
    AngryTrainerFitness.com
    nerdfitness.com


    it was pretty much the perfect compromise for me- short workouts- still weight training (Some body weight only) and got the results I needed without the hours wasted and I can still dance.
    Last edited by Basha; 11-15-2012 at 03:51 PM.


  19. #19
    I could get used to this! Kaleena's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basha View Post
    I am in the boat of.. I love training- and I like how I feel/look when I train but it just was TO much for me when I really wanted to just get out there and dance.

    So I found a solution- that doesn't cut out weight training (FIRMLY BELIEVE THIS IS HUGELY VASTLY IMPORTANT TO WEIGHT LOST AND OVER ALL FITNESS)... and I get time to dance as well.

    I do not run any more- or do cardio.

    (edit: swimming IS great- and its great for low impact- but it doesn't involve weight training- so it's great but you can be damn sure those ripped Olympic swimmers do more than "just" swim.. if you are a dork like me you can swim- get out and do push ups- swim- get out and do abs- swim get out and do push ups etc- so you can cram more into your workout but just swimming probably won't get you the results you want)

    I mostly do HIIT training and you can find a great number of sites that provide short workouts that will allow you to continue to weight train and maintain a fit body that's good for actually doing stuff.

    bodyrock.tv (fairly heavy in to "celebrating" sexuality- so NSFW)
    lovingfit.com
    Zuzka Light on youtube (former Bodyrock Babe)
    AngryTrainerFitness.com
    nerdfitness.com


    it was pretty much the perfect compromise for me- short workouts- still weight training (Some body weight only) and got the results I needed without the hours wasted and I can still dance.
    Aren't you just like, the most resourceful dancer ever. I'll probably be looking through these all night, thanks! : )


  20. #20
    Mega BHUZzer Basha's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dancing Enough of a Workout?

    :D

    hopefully they help.

    there is tons of information out there- but you do sometimes have to sift through the crap.

    post back if you have more specific questions! :) I <3 working out and general fitness/wellness- a lot. it's a little excessive at times ;)


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