Dance Your Way To Fitness
Oct 9, 2013 - 12:25:30 PM

(  - Using dance as exercise has certainly increased in popularity in recent years.  Shows like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance have top ratings, and dance-inspired classes seem to be offered in every gym. You don't have to think hard to figure out why the phenomenon has grown - one look at the transformations of the celebrities' bodies on Dancing With the Stars will have you signing up in no time.

"Any form of dancing is good for your heart, improves balance and joint stability," says Mike GiliottiNew York based certified personal trainer & fitness nutrition specialist.  "Salsa, hip-hop, ballroom dancing - just about any dance style can rev your heart rate, burn calories and tone muscles."

According to Mike, dance is a great way to change up your workout because you are able to work numerous muscle groups at once.   When you keep exercise dynamic your muscles benefit the most.  Below, Mike fills us in on how beneficial different kinds of dance can be for your body.

Ballet: This classic style of dance does wonders for increasing your strength. But, unlike many forms of strength training, ballet will not bulk up your muscles. Ballet dancers are known for having lean, elongated muscles, which gives the body a long, elegant look.  Sticking to a ballet routine will also give you more flexibility in your everyday life.

Cha-Cha: The side-to-side motions that are a part of this dance can directly help strengthen your bones.  The sashaying movement has been shown to strengthen the tibia, the fibula and the femur.  Picking up the Cha-Cha later in life can be extremely beneficial for women, as the strengthening aspects can ultimately help prevent osteoporosis.

Salsa: Salsa dancing is a great way to get in a good workout with a partner. Not only does it spice up date night, but it's also a more interesting form of cardio than the usual run outside.  Even further, alternating your nightly run with some salsa dancing will work muscles that don't usually get enough attention. The backward steps required in salsa dancing will help sculpt your glutes. What's not to like about that?!

Rumba: Dancing the Rumba involves a lot of hip movements, which done incorrectly can be hard on your back. Instead, engage your abdominal muscles to not only strengthen your core, but ease your back and correct your posture as well.

Hip-Hop: One of the more popular forms of dance, Hip-Hop is extremely energetic and a great way to get your blood pumping.  The quick, forceful moves combined with the fact that you are moving nonstop create the ultimate cardio workout that will lead to fat-loss and increased endurance.  In one hour of Hip-Hop dancing you will work virtually every muscle in your body, leaving you feeling exhausted but much stronger than when you started.

"I am a huge fan of bodyweight exercise, which is what all these dances are," says Mike. "Because you are not adding any additional weight to this type of exercise, your joints are getting a break while your muscles are still targeted effectively."  According to Mike, you can burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories per hour. And, as always, remember to do a good warm-up and stretch before staring any form of exercise.

About Mike Giliotti:

Certified Personal Trainer
Corrective Exercise Specialist
Performance Enhancement Specialist
Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Certified Personal Trainer

Certified Group Fitness Instructor

Fitness has always been an integral part of my life. I was my own first client as a personal trainer. I wanted to achieve the best results possible, so I put all of my efforts into reaching my goals. My energy was focused solely on learning and understanding new skills and techniques that I could apply to every areas of fitness. Through this process I was able to determine what worked for me and I found personal success. I became a fitness model and was featured in Muscle and Fitness magazine. The feeling of reaching a great level of fitness was so amazing that I wanted to share it with others. I want others to realize all they can accomplish for their health and fitness. My passion for fitness and the knowledge I have acquired through my research creates a link in people's lives that will allow them to connect to their best self, leading them to a happier and healthier life.


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