If someone told you to dance like no one’s watching, then we recommend that you do just that, even at the expense of looking a bit silly or awkward or what-have-you. Dancing, after all, is described by Time Magazine as the best thing you can do for your body. You’re getting a cardio workout, for starters, all while boosting both your mood and your mind. As an added bonus, you can even enhance your flexibility and increase your range of range of motion. If you’re keeping tabs, those are five benefits already!

Dance For Flexibility

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Some dance moves, like the splits and high stepping, will have you stretching in all sorts of ways. After a few days of practice, I found my body contorted into positions I never thought possible… even if I can’t quite manage to do the full splits just yet. But what I did find was that all this stretching actually helps improve your flexibility. Livestrong’s analogy in ‘How Does Dance Class Make One a Better Athlete?’ best explains how dance makes you more flexible: Dancing is the higher impact version of yoga. So, dance often, and your body will adapt — or shall we say bend? — accordingly.   Oh, and don’t forget the pre-dance stretching routine! Yes, dancers go through what is otherwise called a warm up in sports and in gyms everywhere. This pre-dance routine happens to involve lots of — you guessed it! — actual stretching. Barre work, in particular, is great for improving flexibility as you get to warm up and stretch before performing the actual dance. It comes as no surprise then that Barre work is used a lot in ballet training. After all, there is a need to prepare ballerinas for all the stretching and strength conditioning involved in their craft. If you’re not convinced, we suggest you try out our very own Blissful Barre. This total body workout mixes the elements of ballet, Pilates, and yoga and is sure to improve not only your flexibility, but your overall strength as well. Just go ahead and try it now. We know you want to!

Dance For Range Of Motion

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Since dance enhances flexibility, it also increases your range of motion, or the amount of movement around a specific joint or body part. When you dance, you will constantly perform movements that will test your body’s range of motion, and it is through this repetition of difficult moves where you will increase your range of motion. Think of it this way: Do something over and over and over; by the 500th time you do it, it would be easy pickings already. But beware! The adage “Slow and steady wins the race” is very relevant. What I mean is, you should not push your current range of motion too far past its current limits just yet. Don’t perform the full splits on your first try! Instead, you must work to your body’s capabilities first. There’s a reason why practice makes perfect. From there, you can gradually progress until the point where your range of motion expands and gives you the freedom of movement that is so vital for dancers.  

Dancing And Elite Athletes

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Again, dancing offers plenty of benefits, including improved flexibility and range of motion. Unsurprisingly, a handful of elite athletes incorporate dance into their training routines. Most notable perhaps is the martial artist Anderson Silva, who has a yellow belt in capoeira. His expertise in the said martial art shows in his peerless footwork, which has helped him become one of the promotion’s biggest stars, right until a rather forgetful 2013 for the Brazilian. Ladbrokes discussed how the martial artist suffered a career-threatening injury when he broke his leg. The incident is considered one of the worst injuries in the modern sports world, with Silva breaking two bones. We could have shared a video of it, but it’s too gruesome, and we wouldn’t want our dear readers to feel nauseous. However, the man known as The Spider has since recovered, and even brought out some capoeira moves at UFC 208. If you want a close approximation of Silva doing capoeira, we suggest you try out our Brazilian Warrior Workout. Maculelê is a dynamic workout performed with “grimas” or sticks, and will tone your legs, glutes, arms, and shoulders — all while you’re having lots and lots of fun. Plus, there won’t be any bones getting split in half… that’s a guarantee!   But Silva, obviously, isn’t alone, as other athletes like tennis royalty Serena Williams and soccer star Hope Solo dabble in dance from time to time, too. Dancing was also a big part of champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi’s training during her heyday. She shared her affinity for dancing in an interview with Livingly, where she explained how dancing improved her strength and choreography. Just watching one of her star-making performances in the 1992 Olympics (see below) is all sorts of inspiring, as it has an unmistakable dance vibe to it. She was like a ballerina on skates, graceful, flexible, with a natural flair that is enviable, to say the least. Naturally, the US Olympic Hall of Famer showed the world in 2008 her dancing prowess by winning Season 6 of Dancing with the Stars. Clearly, dancing is good for you, and we have all sorts of dance workouts that will have you moving and grooving to your heart’s delight, all while getting the many benefits of dancing. Up for some Kpop-inspired routines? Our Ally Vega has got you covered with her Kpop Dance Party!, a fusion of hip hop grooves, jazz funk, and house set to some infectious Korean pop tunes. Fancy something that will have you all strong and sexy? Our Strong and Sexy dance workout courtesy of Ashley Chatman is perfect for you! We even offer old=school hip hop, Latin dance, belly dance, and so much more! What you need to do is to sign up and discover the wonderful world of dance. Then again, you’ll have to start dancing your heart out, too. In fact, we want you to dance like no one’s watching! It will be worth it for sure!

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Improve Flexibility With Dance Workouts Anytime, Anywhere

We’re your go-to on-demand dance classes. We incorporate fierce cardio dance and toning in our dance studio. PLUS, our workouts are always available 24/7, 365 days! Stay fit on your own schedule with us and try our dance workouts today. Article written for the exclusive use of hipshakefitness.com -Bella Karina