This article was written by Benjamin Allen, a fitness choreographer in Los Angeles, CA.
Cardio workouts are fantastic for your heart and overall health. But why do we think of exercise as something that only happens in the gym? Dancing is always fun and you can take it anywhere. Get comfortable with these four moves at home, and then try them out on the dance floor. You’ll be too busy smiling to even notice all the calories you’re burning!
Move #1: “Break A Sweat”
The first part of this move is easy, a simple wipe of the forehead and a flick of the wrist. (Careful when trying this one if you’re really sweaty—the people around you may not appreciate it.) And find the groove of your body as you move side side. The second part involves a body roll, which can be more complicated. Take your time practicing, and go slow. Use the roll of the arms to guide your body, starting from the head working down to the chest, midsection, and hips. (Note the booty pop at the end.) Once you’ve mastered the two parts, put them together to music—and rock out! Suggested tune: “Break A Sweat” by Becky G.
Move #2: “Swoop, There It Is”
This move has a little more of an aggressive feel, and it can definitely work your core if you focus on your midsection during the execution. Your feet are doing an easy step touch, front and back. As you keep the rhythm with those guys, your arms are going to swoop down and connect at the top (when you step forward) and then reverse back and drop to your sides (when you step back). Every time your arms go down, up, back, down (1,2,3,4), contract your core, like you’re doing a mini crunch. This will give more power to the move, and help you on your way to getting a 6-pack! Suggested tune: “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J.
Move #3: “Drop It Like It’s Squat”
This one is great for your glutes and quads—and it’s a sweet move on the dance floor. The main component is the rocking back (or sitting motion) of the hips. Sit back just as you would with a standard squat, and then as you pop out of it, transfer the weight of your body to one side and pick up the opposite knee. (You’ll wanna stick your boot-ay out at this point as well.) The arms are all you—keep them in the center and then open them out to the sides if you’re feeling the groove. Go ahead and put some flavor into this move, and, most of all, feel free! Suggested tune: “Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg.
Move #4: “Smooth Operator”
This one may take a little practice, but if you pull the components of this move together and bring it out at the next party, people will be calling you MJ! Focus on your feet first, then add the arms. Step forward with your right foot, making sure your weight is supported by your left leg, pushing more of the weight forward into your toes a bit. (You’ll def feel this in your calf!) The idea here is to very lightly glide your right foot back, smooth as can be. When it gets all the way back, switch your weight into it. Then repeat on the other side. Once you’ve mastered this move, the moonwalk is next. Suggested tune: “Somebody” by Natalie La Rose, featuring Jeremih.
Who’s ready to bust a move? Join the conversation and share your favorite cardio tunes.
Benjamin Allen is an entertainment industry insider, who frequently spins up choreographed routines for Acacia TV. Based in Los Angeles, CA, he is the founder and CEO of GROOV3. The mission of GROOV3 is to inspire change and build communities through the power of dance. That movement has caught the attention of several media outlets, including ELLEN, Extra, PopSugar, ABC News, American Fitness, and Fit Perez. Ben’s stage credits include performances with Jennifer Lopez, Jack Black, and Queen Latifah. As a choreographer he has developed routines for Delta Goodrem, Vh-1, Oxygen, and several NBC projects. More of Ben’s fun dance workouts can be found on Groove With Ben.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.