So you thought exercise was boring? Nuh-uh! Use these lessons from the Fitness Marshall to turn your workout into a fierce dance-fitness sweat sesh.
At the end of May we teamed up with Cotton On BODY for their tenth birthday celebration — an early-morning dance party in Nelson Mandela Square with the Fitness Marshall himself, Caleb Marshall. Let’s be honest, it didn’t take much convincing to get us there — we were already huge fans of the Fitness Marshall YouTube videos.
But while we expected a rocking good time, we weren’t totally convinced that the Fitness Marshall brand of cardio dance fitness counted as a legit workout. Until we tried it. And discovered that breaking it down to catchy pop tunes gets your heart rate up enough to ditch your jersey on an icy Jozi winter’s morning. Plus, it’s also surprisingly taxing on your muscles. So if your idea of working out is suffering through endless sets of mindless repetitions, use these lessons from the Fitness Marshall to turn your lounge dance-offs (we know you do them!) into bonafide exercise.
1 Up The Energy
To reap the heart-healthy, fat-burning benefits of cardio, you need to get that heart rate up. Incorporating jumps into your workout (even little ones) makes it more explosive, which ups your heart rate and the burn. Bonus: It’ll sculpt your calves, too.
2 Get Low
Nobody enjoys squats. But they’re brilliant for toning your legs and perking up your butt. Take the pain out of repetitive squats by getting low on the dance floor. And holding it there. Same muscle activation, way more fun.
3 Get Flexi
Flexibility is one of the markers for overall fitness because the more flexible you are, the better you move and the lower your risk for injury. If you sit at a desk all day or do sports that involve repetitive movements (hey there, runners and cyclists!) you’re already at a disadvantage. Sorry. Add a yoga class or two to your workout schedule or take time for dynamic stretching.
4 Move In Different Directions
There’s a reason athletes do agility drills. They create new pathways in your brain that help you respond quicker (say, dodging out the way when someone’s about to bump you on the street) and improve your balance and spatial awareness. Practise moving backwards, sideways and changing direction quickly.
5 Work That Core
Having a strong core is going to help you in everything you do. These are the muscles that support your spine and they’re connected to all the other major muscle groups in your body. Strengthening them also lengthens your body and keeps you upright, making you look slimmer. Score!
6 Use Your Whole Body
There are certainly times for working muscles in isolation (say, if you’re a bodybuilder or doing rehab) but for overall functional fitness and strength, train your body the way it moves in life — as a unit.
Need more inspiration? Check out what went down in Nelson Mandela Square…
Looking for more dance-inspired workouts? Put the fun back into ‘leg day’ with these four POUND moves.