Belly Dance for Exercise

Kharmine

New member
In recent years, I have acquired excess weight around my torso which has proven resistent to most kinds of exercise. Yoga, rowing and belly dance help for my overall fitness, but I kept thinking there had to be something better than endless crunches for my middle.

With this in mind, I bought a twist board -- this one is made by Bally, but there are several versions by other makers. I got mine via Amazon.com, which had a lot of enthustiastic reviews from other customers, and figured that as it cost less than $10, it was worth a shot.

Basically, it's a circular board on a turntable that you stand on and twist at your own speed. It works the waist area specifically in a way that doesn't put stress on my knees.

It's surprisingly fun, and I keep it where I watch TV so I can use while viewing. I can definitely feel the results of this, although it's too soon to see any difference.

The thing to remember is not every form of exercise will do everything for every body.
 

da Sage

New member
In recent years, I have acquired excess weight around my torso which has proven resistent to most kinds of exercise. Yoga, rowing and belly dance help for my overall fitness, but I kept thinking there had to be something better than endless crunches for my middle.

With this in mind, I bought a twist board -- this one is made by Bally, but there are several versions by other makers. I got mine via Amazon.com, which had a lot of enthustiastic reviews from other customers, and figured that as it cost less than $10, it was worth a shot.

Basically, it's a circular board on a turntable that you stand on and twist at your own speed. It works the waist area specifically in a way that doesn't put stress on my knees.

It's surprisingly fun, and I keep it where I watch TV so I can use while viewing. I can definitely feel the results of this, although it's too soon to see any difference.

The thing to remember is not every form of exercise will do everything for every body.
I have this, too. I don't know if it does any good, but it actually is fun, and that's why I use it when I think about it.:D It reminds me of the SitNSpin I wanted when I was a kid (and never got one). It's like a game to me to try to make the turns the same length, but that may just be a challenge for me because my right side is so much stronger than my left.
 
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Aniseteph

New member
:think: being as I was standing watching telly last night absentmindedly doing slow twisty shimmies, maybe I should get one too...
 

gisela

Super Moderator
heee I just got one because of this discussion. It was quite inexpensive so not a lot to think about there. If it can help at all I will be pleased. Will report back how it goes :)
 

Aziyade

New member
Yes, please report if you've managed to "reshape" yourself.

I have some weird muscular imbalance in my torso that makes one side of my waist pinch in more than the other. It's not a big deal but it's always bugged me, and nobody can give me any suggestions for exercises to try and balance it out. Maybe this would work. Hmmm....
 

Kharmine

New member
Yes, please report if you've managed to "reshape" yourself.

I have some weird muscular imbalance in my torso that makes one side of my waist pinch in more than the other. It's not a big deal but it's always bugged me, and nobody can give me any suggestions for exercises to try and balance it out. Maybe this would work. Hmmm....
Have you been checked for spine curvature? I've had mild scoliosis since a teen-ager, and have heard that as many as one in four women have it. It does tend to make one look more canted to one side, or uneven in other ways.
 

Aziyade

New member
Have you been checked for spine curvature? I've had mild scoliosis since a teen-ager, and have heard that as many as one in four women have it. It does tend to make one look more canted to one side, or uneven in other ways.
Yeah, that was an early thought, so I got checked and I'm normal. I had one trainer tell me it was because I had better oblique muscle fitness on one side, but she quit before I could actually get any more info out of her. My left side has a more pinched-in look, and I prefer that. The right side is more straight like a board. I don't want to exercise the wrong way and end up with both sides straight. :)

As it is, for pictures, I always stand with my weight shifted so the curve on my left is more pronounced. :)
 

shiradotnet

New member
I have some weird muscular imbalance in my torso that makes one side of my waist pinch in more than the other. It's not a big deal but it's always bugged me, and nobody can give me any suggestions for exercises to try and balance it out. Maybe this would work. Hmmm....
I concur with Kharmine that this may be a symptom of scoliosis. But if you said you got it checked out and don't have it, well.... I dunno.

It can also be a symptom of one leg being longer than the other, in some people.

If you want to try exercises to try balancing it out, this DVD seeks to do that: YOGA FOR SCOLIOSIS
 

haleynicole

New member
The "greater danger" thread has shifted a bit to the question about whether it's responsible of us to promote belly dance as an exercise form. I'd like to explore the topic in greater detail, so I'm spinning off a new thread.

In that thread, I posted:



Here's my question to all of you:

How do you feel about promoting belly dance as a form of exercise and why?

I offer it as a class, but with the caveats mentioned above.
I think it depends on how you conduct the class. I know that a significant portion of my new students come with excercise and fitness in mind, and strenght and fitness are important to me, so I make that central to most of my intro and beginning classes.
Intermediate/advanced and performance centered classes put more emphasis on presentation, stage presence, choreography, props, etc. But to be dancing at that level, I expect a certain level of fitness and endurance -its neccessary, aesthetically, and in regard to safety, IMHO.

I do stay far away from the generic "flatten your belly and lose weight" claim though, and it annoys me when I see it. I don't want to encourage or participate in body image hysteria, or imply something that is not always true. I've had a few battles over that wording with some city rec departments.
 

jenc

New member
Yes, please report if you've managed to "reshape" yourself.

I have some weird muscular imbalance in my torso that makes one side of my waist pinch in more than the other. It's not a big deal but it's always bugged me, and nobody can give me any suggestions for exercises to try and balance it out. Maybe this would work. Hmmm....
I always thought I had one sticky out hip and one straight. When I was 40 my back went. I saw a physio who said I had one leg longer and put something in my shoe. It got worse. I went to an ostopath who asked me when I had had the injury that twisted my spine. I said never and we concluded it happened when I was born. He realigned my spine and no more back spasms (Well he said no more but I had to go back one time) My hips are now even and my legs are definately the same length.

It could be worth getting checked out as it could bring back problems if your spine isn't straight.
 

Lydia

New member
dunno......but i can tell you this....i have people loozing weight in my class ,,,also stamina is much better then before....muscletone improved...posture got better,they are more focused then before they came to classes....sleep better...that is beside the point that they are ,,dancing around the block,, so yes i see it like a exercise,sport......it depends aswell on the style you practise i always wonder how people say that they dance everyday but when i see them they realy are overweight...then i geuss it is not the way how i dance and how i teach my students ....so it depends what you and how you dance....i also easy looze 1 kilo per show......so ??i have to mention that i do not advocate to be skinny but i know that beiing overweight is not good for you...neither to skinny ,so to find good balance bewteen the 2 ,yes bellydancing is a good ,,dance sport,, o did i go off topic???? sorry hugzzzzzzzz
 

LunaXJJ

New member
Cardio zone? Why not? LOL Depends on how many spins and turns you throw in and how fast a music you dance to!
I agree. I tend to dance to faster music, which has me moving at a fast pace. My heart easily gets going as fast as it would if I went for a jog, or did some kickboxing routines.

BD also tones your muscles, muscle burns more calories than fat. Meaning that if you do it regularly, and build muscle, even when you're not dancing at that moment, your body will be burning more calories then it normally would.

If someone does slower paced dancing, they'll see much better results by adding high intensity cardio, and strength training a few times a week. Alternating is best.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Would I promote it as a weight loss option? Only as a side effect. All dance is a side effect but all dance should be promoted in an artistic manner to fully emphathize the beauty of it. Weight loss is a side effect. If you want to promote bellydance is a weight loss option, it should be couched as a bellycize or bellyrobics where you don't concentrate as much on the artistic side.

Does this make sense?
 

LunaXJJ

New member
Would I promote it as a weight loss option? Only as a side effect. All dance is a side effect but all dance should be promoted in an artistic manner to fully emphathize the beauty of it. Weight loss is a side effect. If you want to promote bellydance is a weight loss option, it should be couched as a bellycize or bellyrobics where you don't concentrate as much on the artistic side.

Does this make sense?
Makes sense.
A lot of people who start for exercise, end up getting into the art of it anyway.
 

Chani

New member
I see 1 hours belly dance class a week as not much good for exercise...but if you are dancing every day for hours and really working your body then I would consider that exercise.

I found once I started belly dancing classes I exercised more in order to help my dancing. Yoga, core stregnth excercises, Zumba etc. So in that way bellydancing has improved my fitness because it's got me moving more outside of classes.
 

Chani

New member
As LunaXJJ says it also depends on the music you are dancing to.

I don't break a sweat doing most Chories I've done but my fitness went right up when I was rehearsing a 6 minute drum solo for a performance - I'd do it three times back to back several times a day.
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
I fell in love with bellydancing so fast and furious that I was doing it everyday as much as I could. I ended up losing weight without feeling like I did any work because, while I do like physical activity, dancing was so much fun I felt like I wasn't working at all. I tell people it's aerobic and toning at the same time but sometimes at first I had to tell myself to stop because later on I would feel the effects of overdoing it. LOL - too much of a good thing.
 

goddessyasaman

New member
Well I for one think that belly dance can be for many different things, I started with Turkish Cabaret style and it did help me cut weight, but thinking about it all of us have different bodies so to say it cant be for exercise is not true, when you are over weight doing an activity that gets the heart rate up and makes you sweat will help in your goal to lose weight, I would hope that just because it may help with weight loss does not mean people will not take it serous, after all doing Martial arts can help with weight loss and it is a art form as well so people should not be so closed minded. So with that said just because a Art form can be for an exercise does not make it less an art form.:naghty:
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Well I for one think that belly dance can be for many different things, I started with Turkish Cabaret style and it did help me cut weight, but thinking about it all of us have different bodies so to say it cant be for exercise is not true, when you are over weight doing an activity that gets the heart rate up and makes you sweat will help in your goal to lose weight, I would hope that just because it may help with weight loss does not mean people will not take it serous, after all doing Martial arts can help with weight loss and it is a art form as well so people should not be so closed minded. So with that said just because a Art form can be for an exercise does not make it less an art form.:naghty:
This is a great explanation!! :clap:
 

tim ema

New member
This is an older thread, but I thought I would throw in my two cents! :)

I started BD for "fitness" because it looked fun and different. As I have gotten into it, my curiosity is leading me to find out more about it culturally. The "fitness" aspect allowed me to "dip my toe in the pool" before spending a lot of money on something I may not have been good at.

I think too, that many dancers are in too good a shape to recognize this as fitness. One poster mentioned that a muscle isn't really strengthened unless it is worked to exhaustion. Well, our teacher ends each class with about 10 minutes of veilwork and MANY of us have to stop before the 10 minutes are over because our arms just turn to pain and jello and can't go on!! By the time we go home, all four of us in our carpool are TIRED.

As to the weekly thing, we are instructed to practice everyday - I usually do about a half an hour. My job is VERY passive and I sit or stand still all day.
For me, BD is exercise!

:)
 
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