Turn Up the Heat with Hip-Hop Cardio

Hip-Hop Cardio

Happy 50th birthday, hip-hop! To celebrate, let’s get our workout on with the perfect combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Hip-hop cardio is a great addition to any workout program.

What Is Hip-Hop Cardio?

If you like to combine music, dance, and moves, hip-hop cardio is a great way to do so. It combines strengthening moves for your arms, legs, and core with high-energy music that gets your heart rate up throughout the workout. Add to that the blend of traditional dance moves ripped from different cultures all over the world, and you have a perfect workout to turn up the heat.

This type of exercise is usually done in a group class format with the instructor up front and guiding you through the moves. You can also find classes online if you want to practice at home. Hip-hop may be hitting 50 years, but here’s why it’s still popular for a good, sweaty workout. A class can last anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes, and intensity will vary based on fitness levels, ability, and goals.

Why Is Hip-Hop Cardio So Popular?

Not only is hip-hop cardio fun and energizing, but there are many health benefits as well. Some of the benefits include:

    Increased heart rate—If you want to get your heart rate into high gear, this is the workout for you. The dance moves require you to use large muscle groups, which means you’ll get that heart rate pumping.
    Lower blood pressure—The intense aerobic workout you get with these dance moves will help you keep your blood pressure down.
    Burn extra calories—Which could lead to weight loss. And you probably won’t even notice how hard you’re working because you’re having such a great time!
    Reduce stress—Exercise is a wonderful way to let your mind detach from any issues you may be facing and any stressors in your life. This is when your mind and body can unite to focus on your fitness.
    Get toned—Yes, hip-hop cardio will also have you strengthening your muscles as you work your way through the dance moves.
    Get flexible—The hip-hop cardio moves will naturally make you more limber and mobile over time.

The workouts are upbeat and a great time, so much so, you’ll probably find yourself laughing and out of breath before you realize what a great workout you had. Combine those aerobic and anaerobic power moves with the joy and camaraderie of group classes with friends, and you have a winning fitness formula.

Try These Hip-Hop Cardio Moves for Yourself

Are you ready to get back into the old-school hip-hop groove? You can try out some of these moves for yourself. Always start with a good warmup of five to ten minutes to get your circulation moving and to warm up your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Start with some slower beats and easier moves, and work your way up to the harder, more intense stuff.

Popping—Sudden “popping” movements with your body.

Locking—Locking your movement into place and “freezing” it there for a moment before moving again into your next dance move.

Crumping—This involves keeping one body part rigid while wildly moving the others. Alternate which areas you move to the beat and which you freeze.

Breakdancing—These dance moves are a bit more advanced and host an element of gymnastics.

The Humpty Dance—This über popular hip-hop cardio dance move is an old-school favorite. Start with your feet about hip-width apart. Next, jump, and when you land, place your right leg in front of your left. Give it a little bounce and then jump again, bringing your foot positioning back to the start. (Keep your knees loose!). Keep the bouncing and jumping going, and then add in your arms, swinging them back and forth while bent at the elbows. Keep them moving near your hips throughout.

Body Rolls—Show off your balance and flexibility with body rolls. Keep your feet wide, knees soft, and toes pointed outward. Bend at the knees, bringing your hips down slightly, and then rotate your hips forward and out to the right, continuing in a circular motion to the beat. Try doing the same movement in the opposite direction. Add arm movements to complete the move.

The Running Man—This is also a staple in hip-hop cardio dance moves. Start with your arms bent, elbows by your sides. You’ll be straightening and bending your arms in a “pumping” motion as you lift and lower your knees toward your chest. Start by lifting your right knee toward your chest, and then as you place it back on the ground, drag your left foot backward while pumping your arms forward. Repeat on the opposite side and keep going in this alternating manner. After you get the motion down, pick up speed until the movement looks seamless.

The Doogie—Stand with your feet wide, bend your elbows, and keep your arms near your sides. Slide your upper body to the right, keeping your shoulders parallel with the ground as you swing your hips to the right. Lift your left foot off the ground as you do this. Next, move your upper body to the left and lift your right foot. Continue these moves back and forth to the beat. Add a little bounce and sass to make this move your own.

Knee Twerk—Master this move, and you’ll be a hip-hop aficionado! Start with your feet wider than hip-width apart, arms by your sides. Point your toes out as you drop your hips until your thighs are about parallel with the ground. Place your hands on your knees and arch your back. Alternate bringing your hips forward and back while in this position.

You don’t have to get the moves “perfect” or always hit the beat. The bottom line is if you’re having fun, you’ll get a great workout. Hip-hop cardio can bring out the smiles and laughter and put some spunk back into your routine.