She’s a global megastar with 30 million Twitter followers, and is renowned for her sexy belly dance routines.  The ‘underneath your clothes’ singer is truly Columbia’s finest import. Her training regime is tailored towards perfecting the art of belly dancing.

Technique, coordination, rhythm, maintaining a strong core, and having the impressive boundless energy to dance night after night in front of thousands of fans embody the philosophy of her belly dance workouts.

Belly dancing originated from the Middle East (Turkey, Algeria, Egypt), and entails considerable hip thrusting and intricate abdominal compared to Western dance forms. Here is her demanding training regime which underlies why those hips don’t lie, and why she has the most enviable torso in the music industry.


The Workout

Get-Shakira's-curves-with-this-belly-dance-inspired-workoutExercise Glossary

Sumo deadlift

Using a barbell, assume a wide stance that equates to nearly double shoulder width in proximity. Begin from a dead position (bar touching the floor) with the hands positioned two fist size gaps in diameter apart on the centre of the bar. From this position powerfully push through the heels and drive the bar up, without bending at the elbow. Consciously keep the abdominals engaged. Hold at the top for a brief pause, then gently lower to the ground, whilst pushing the hips back and keeping the shoulder blades back.

Kettlebell swing

Possibly the most famous kettlebell exercises, this move incorporates the glutes, hamstrings, back and shoulders, and requires incredible core activation. Holding a kettlebell with the feet shoulder width apart, initiate the move by pushing hips back and powerfully thrusting the hips in a continuous tempo with the arms extended. Focus on letting the legs do the work, and think of the arms as mere levers.

Shakira belly dance workout with kettlebell

Medicine ball jump squat

This move is essentially a squat, with the addition of a jump when descending to the ground. When descending powerfully jump upwards as high as you can, whilst holding a medicine ball close to your chest at all times. If this move is too challenging, it can be easily modified by removing the added weight.

Walking lunge

Assuming a fully upright position lunge forward with one leg. When that foot touches the ground, bring the opposite foot away from the ground and bring in front of you, as if walking forward using exaggerated steps.  Shakira uses bodyweight alone so that technique is not compromised. Aim to keep the body as upright as possible with the abdominals constantly engaged. If you find you are leaning forward excessively, pin your shoulder blades back, look straight ahead, and brace the abs.


Start the exercise in a press up position, with feet hip width apart, and arms fully extended. Powerfully drive the knees in towards the chest, and bringing the feet away from the ground, jumping the feet forwards. From here, synergistically jump upwards with the arms leaving the floor, and extending overhead. Repeat by rapidly bringing the hands back to the ground and driving the feet back to assume the start position that resembles a press up.

Kettlebell windmill

Assuming a stance with feet in direct alignment,  one and a half times shoulder width apart, have your left leg fully extended, and right knee partially bent with the right toes pointing to your right. Have your left arm fully extended, holding a kettlebell with wrist straight, push the hips back, and pivot forward. When proceeding to hinge through the hips, run your right hand down left leg and right down to toes. The finish position should have you with the hips pointing to one side, and chest and eyes looking skywards towards the kettlebell. Return to fully upright position. When finished desired number of reps, repeat on opposing side. This move targets the side of the abs to banish the love handles.

Medicine ball russian twist

This is a challenging core exercise that primarily focuses on the side abdominals (obliques). Begin by sitting on the ground holding a medicine ball just over the chest. Raise the feet off the ground and bend the knees. Holding the medicine ball, rotate side to side in a controlled manner, maintaining a partial bend in the elbows.

Swiss ball jacknife

Begin by starting on all fours. Place a Swiss ball just behind your feet and gently place each foot on the ball one at  a time. With the arms extended and head positioned looking directly the floor, draw the Swiss ball in towards you and raise the hips so you come onto your tip toes. Hold momentarily, and then repeat. This is a truly challenging core exercise that engages all the muscles of the core, and gives Shakira such toned abdominals.


Shakira’s photo mady by Julio Gómez Braojos.

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