Hip-hop aerobics is a form of exercise that combines dance steps with strength exercises. Most of the time, this type of aerobics is made to feel more like dancing than exercising. It is usually associated with fast paced hip-hop music, and contains many of the features common to dance style. The goal is not to learn routines or put on performances, however. People participate in hip-hop aerobics to get a good cardiovascular workout, and to tone the muscles of the arms, legs and abdominal region.
Most of the movements in hip-hop aerobics derive directly from the dance style of the same name. Hip-hop is a decidedly American dance style that draws from elements of African, Latin American and Asian traditional dance. The steps are usually very fast and the whole body is involved in creating the central dance expression. This can involve anything from gyrations to headstands and arm waves.
In aerobics, the main goal is usually to capitalize on the body movement movements of hip-hop and repeat them in order so that the muscles get tired and built up. Instructors essentially convert dance steps into workout routines so that participants feel like they are in a dance class or nightclub rather than at the gym. The addition of hip-hop music usually adds to the mood.
Hip-hop music is very hectic and often incorporates elements of rap recitations. Dance and exercise moves usually try to follow Musica’s pace with clapping hands, pulsating elbows, and jumps. Songs often flow seamlessly into each other, creating a more or less coherent training experience. Most hip-hop aerobics classes are designed to last for about an hour, but much of this is up to the individual instructor.
This style of aerobics is usually taught in class format and is often offered through health clubs or gyms. An educated instructor chooses music and builds a program of core exercises. Participants usually form rows in front of the instructor, much as they would in a dance class. They mimic the instructor’s movements and follow his or her commands.
Not all gyms offer hip-hop aerobics, as classes are usually offered only in terms of local demand. The classes are not the only way to learn the moves or take advantage of the exercise, however. Very many hip-hop aerobics instructions on video or in digital format for downloading online. Dance videos can be watched and followed in living rooms, rec rooms, or any open space. Videos are often good options for beginners, as instructions can be replayed, paused and slowed down as many times as necessary to master the steps.
Participants in hip-hop aerobics usually wear what they want for any aerobic exercise: comfortable, loose-fitting clothing where it’s easy to move. Depending on the venue, participants may be invited to dress in traditional hip-hop outfits, which are usually marked by baggy clothes, branded sports jackets, and baseball caps or head bandannas. Gold jewelry is traditionally popular as well, but is usually discouraged in an athletic setting as it can make fast movements more challenging and can sometimes be dangerous for other participants as well.
- Hip-hop aerobics combine dance steps with strength exercises.