Belly dance your way to a flat stomach
There’s a general misconception that doing hundreds of crunches and planks can give you a flat belly. Similarly, there’s also the notion that since there are lots of belly and hip movements involved, belly dancing can give you a flat belly.
Neither are true.
Are you disappointed?
The fact is that a flat belly can be achieved with belly dancing, provided that you also put in the work in the kitchen and the gym. Eat clean, burn fat and then, you will realize the potential of those constant undulations and shimmies.
They will help your core muscles pop out like never before.
However, if you are eating junk and guzzling on alcohol, then the belly dancing moves alone can do little to help you lose that belly fat.
Burning calories with belly dancing
So, the million-dollar question is, can belly dancing be a good cardio routine? Or do you still need to do HIIT, while you are doing belly dancing?
If you do it intensely, there’s no reason why belly dancing cannot become your main cardio routine. It is estimated that a vigorous belly dance session can torch as much as 500 calories in an hour. That’s as good a cardio as you are going to get.
However, that’s also specific to the kind of dance moves you do in that session. Many belly dance studios focus only on the gentle moves like camel and the hip circle in order to make it easy for the students, especially beginners.
If that’s the case, then you won’t be burning too many calories. But in a serious and intense dance session, you can’t beat the kind of workout you will get with belly dancing.
How does it affect your core
It’s called the Belly dance but the dance form will work out your full body. All the large and minor muscle groups of the body, including that of the glutes, the trunk, the pelvis, the spine, the upper arms and of course, the abdomen get engaged when you dance. The best part is that you use your own body weight, which helps strengthen these muscles.
It also involves a lot of contractions which improves the flexibility and balance.
Apart from the obvious toning that your belly gets, it also prepares your body for everyday tasks that you perform at home.
Most fitness experts will agree that a strong core is the key to functioning normally in everyday life. However, our sedentary lifestyles, particularly, the incessant sitting which we do all day can sag our glute muscles.
In addition to this, the rectus abdominis and pelvic floor muscles can get extremely tight causing posture problems and chronic lower back pain in the long run.
By targeting almost all the muscles in your core, belly dancing helps you improve your posture and your balance. Women in particular will benefit from a strong core as it can prevent the early onset of osteoarthritis and menstrual problems.