If your fitness goals include washboard abs and a tighter midsection, you may think that countless crunches are the only way to get you there. While not a total solution, swiveling your hips with belly dancing can help you on your quest for a flatter stomach by engaging your upper and lower abs, along with your obliques for a tighter core. This can help you develop stronger ab muscles. Along with a regular cardiovascular workout routine, belly dancing can be help you achieve your fitness goals.
Belly dancing can be a break from the regular gym experience, so it can be more motivating than simply heading to a pump class or working out on your own. The American Council on Exercise lists the benefits of belly dancing as increased core balance, toned abs, flexibility and better posture. Each facet of the benefits of belly dancing can contribute to a flatter belly, particularly a stronger core and better posture.
Belly dancing may not be for everyone. It is a fairly low-impact type of exercise. While belly dancing can burn up to 275 calories per hour for a 245-lbs. individual, your caloric mileage may vary based upon the routine, your instructor and the time you spend belly dancing. You may avoid belly dancing because you feel foolish about the motions or embarrassed by your level of fitness and coordination. Luckily, belly dancing is an ideal form of exercise for nearly every fitness level.
Great abs are not built upon toning and strength alone. The flattest belly is attained through a combination of ab toning exercises that target the belly and daily aerobic activity. While strength training tones the abs, it's cardiovascular activity that will burn away excess fat to get the flattest belly. Belly dancing is low impact and may not raise your heart rate to its target for optimum fat burning. You may still need to add aerobic activity to your fitness routine to see the best results.
It should be noted that in fitness, there is no such thing as spot reduction. While your belly may be your trouble area, working on your belly alone doesn't mean you'll lose weight only in your stomach area. Instead, a focused effort on losing weight from the entire body through strength training, aerobic activity and a healthy diet will leave you feeling svelte and satisfied. Belly dancing is a full body workout, which means you can also tone your glutes, thighs, hips and arms as you dance.