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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Understanding Swing Dance for Fitness

Dec 11, 2014

The swing dance style evolved alongside jazz music in the 1920s. Swing dancing provides an effective aerobic workout that raises the heart rate and burns calories. It also strengthens bones and builds muscles.

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Swing Dance is a Cardio Workout

Swing dancing is a vigorous aerobic workout that raises your heart rate and can leave you breathless. You can burn a lot of calories swing dancing, though the number you burn depends on your size and how you dance. The average person burns nearly 300 calories per hour swing dancing. The activity offers a full-body workout. It can be done slowly or quickly, depending on the music you choose to play.

Swing Dancing Builds Bones and Muscles

Like many other styles of dance, swing dancing is a weight-bearing exercise, which strengthens your bones. Dipping and twirling also help build muscle density and upper-body strength.

Muscle Groups Worked by Dancing

Swing dancing may provide a workout for muscles that you don't often use. It works the hamstrings and quads, but it also works the calves and the muscles of the inner thigh.

Different Moves Work Different Muscles

Most swing dances are performed on a four-step rhythm, but some styles go even faster, like East Coast Swing. That style is performed on a six-step rhythm. The fast pace of most swing dances provides a good cardio workout, and learning the steps helps improve balance, focus and concentration.

Swing dancers must use their upper bodies, especially the forearms, to counterbalance the other partner's weight. This increases upper body strength by engaging the muscles of the forearms, as well as the muscles of the upper arm and shoulders. Moves like aerials, which call for the lead partner to lift the other partner onto his back, allowing her to flip over his head and land in front of him, increase core strength and upper body strength in both partners. It also works the calves, quads, hamstrings and hip flexor muscles.

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