Belly dancing highlights the movement of the torso and hips.

By Health.com
March 06, 2019

Looking for a new workout class? How about one that will have you feeling as sultry as Cleopatra? If you just answered, “yes,” belly dancing is for you.  

Belly dancing highlights the movement of the torso and hips. Coming all the way from ancient Egypt, this form of dance has made its way into the mainstream workout scene. The dance is a celebration of womanly curves and femininity. Can you say “body positivity”?!

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Belly dance instructor Janelle Issis is here to show us some of her favorite calorie-busting moves. This workout is sure to bring out your inner goddess. Getting your sweat on has never been so sexy, and thanks to the high-intensity cardio workout, you will burn major calories. Here are the five belly dancing moves Issis shows us in the video.

OMI Internal Hip Circle

Benefits: The internal hip circle is great for strengthening your pelvic floor and spine, and tones the full circumference of your lower waistline. It is also low-impact and a great place to start for beginners.

How to: Pull deep within your core and slowly move your torso in a circle. Hold your core in tight while rotating and plant your feet firmly on the ground. To mix it up, try rotating in both directions and changing up the speed.

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Hip Twist

Benefits: This exercise targets your obliques, core, and strengthens your back and spine.

How to: Hold your shoulders square and steady while you twist your hip forward and back. Try standing tall on a single leg or both legs together with bent knees. To change up the level, just increase your speed for a higher burn. Remember to always hold your naval in towards your spine to activate your core.

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Hip Drop and Hip Lift

Benefits: This move will help enhance your balance, increase body awareness, and target your core.

How to: Dig deep within your left hip and gradually raise it up and down. Try isolating the movement, starting out small and controlled then gradually lifting and dipping deeper one side at a time. To add a challenge, balance on one leg to only use your core.

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Maya or Downward Vertical Figure 8

Benefits: Did someone ask for more core? The vertical figure eight strengthens and stretches the lateral core and hips.

Tips: Meet your hip bone to your rib cage, then slowly press your hip away and down.  Try one side then the other until you can join both movements together.

Choo-Choo Hip Shimmy

Benefits: High-intensity cardio can be found here. This move is great for strengthening your glutes and thighs.

Tips:  Move your hips quickly from side to side. Then change levels, scoot your toes across the floor, squeeze those thighs together, and rock your hips from side to side. Core is engaged!

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