Dancing has the power to move, inspire and provide an outlet for emotional expression and it’s also an amazing way to sculpt your entire body. If you take a moment to reflect on the incredibly toned bodies of professional dancers, then you will have to agree that there is something remarkable about training to be dancer.

Dancing is something that people of all ages and fitness ability levels can enjoy and it can be more effective when done in a group setting. Dancing is also a great way to breakup the monotony of your normal workout routine. There are so many physical and physiological benefits by including dance into your workouts. Some of these are:

Physiological

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*Increased lung capacity

*Increase in bone density (due to the weight-bearing effect of the movement)

*Decrease in blood pressure

*Weight management

Physical

*Increased flexibility

*Strength gains

*Increase in endurance

*Increased agility

Basheerah Ahmad

As both a stage and television professional dancer of over 15 years and celebrity fitness expert, Basheerah Ahmad has spent years experimenting with techniques to bring the disciplined training routine of professional dancers, to the general fitness population. Any fitness programme that is rooted in traditional dance technique, requires dedication and consistency, Basheerah created a curriculum that is enjoyable and gets participants the results they seek.

Basheerah began her dancing career at six. Although her formal dance education began with Classical Ballet, she always had a strong desire to explore other dance forms and quickly moved on to Jazz, Modern, Hip-hop, Tap, Salsa, and African. Over the years and while training in all of these methods, Basheerah recognised that although uniquely different, each dance genre centred around core strength, flexibility, joint mobility and muscular endurance.

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Consequently she chose to use these four principles as the foundation for her newest curriculum, Fi-Danz. The basic premise of Fi-Danz is to challenge the body to move through all three planes of motion, frontal, horizontal and transverse while increasing joint mobility, flexibility, overall muscle tone and endurance.

To increase the overall calorie burning effect of the programme, cardiovascular movement is added in between many of the exercises. Fi-Danz differs from any other fitness programme on the market, in that solid scientific knowledge is combined with several dance techniques to provide the participant with an enjoyable, yet results driven, workout.

The Fi-Danz curriculum consists of several workouts that combine various dance genres with practical fitness application, designed to sculpt the entire body. The first of these is The Basic Workout, which has 10 primary exercises that will challenge the beginner and advanced student, alike. As a bonus workout, the Floor Barre routine is included.

Basic Workout

1. Plies (repeat sequence for a set of 16, or 32 count)

Position 1: place feet in ‘first position’, with arms down to the sides.

Position 2: Bend knees without raising the heels, arms float overhead, then return to position 1

2. Jumps in first position (30sec)

3. Oblique burn (repeat sequence for 4 sets with a 32 count)

Position 1: Place feet in a parallel position about 10cm apart, arms overhead

Position 2: Upper body bends forward, up, side, up, forward, up, other side, up

4. Jumps in second position (30sec)

5. Attitude swings (repeat sequence for a set of 16, or 32 count)

Position 1: Right leg lifts to the side in an ‘attitude’ position, bring right arm overhead

Position 2: Swing leg forward (repeat with left leg and arm)

6. Dancer’s prance (60sec)

7. Butt lift (repeat sequence for a set of 32)

Position 1: Place leg behind you with a pointed foot (use a chair to balance)

Position 2: Lift leg to the back. Then switch legs

8. Rapid Oblique Crunches (30sec each side)

Position 1: Stand on one leg, with other leg extended to the side and the same side arm overhead.

Position 2: Bring your elbow down to meet the knee of the working leg, then return to position 1. (keep abs contracted)

9. Ronde Jambe(repeat sequence for a set 16)

Position: Lift right leg to the front and circle it around to the side and back. Repeat with other leg

10. Jumps in first position (as 4 above)

Floor Barre Burn

1. Leg lifts 2 counts up, 2 counts down (32 reps each leg)

Position 1: Lay on side with arm overhead. Position 2: Lift leg and lower arm.

2. Inner thigh lifts (32 reps each leg)

Position 1: Lean weight back towards glutes with arm overhead. Position 2: Keep leg turned out as it lifts.

3. Saddle bag blast (repeat sequence for 16 reps, switch legs)

Position 1: With hands and knees on floor, lift leg to the side. Position 2: Circle leg around to back, keeping leg straight.

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