Shake Away Stress With This 20-Minute Feel-Good Dance Workout

Dancing isn't just a form of self-expression; it can be a heart-pounding workout, too.
Image Credit: JPM/Image Source/GettyImages

Not every cardio workout has to be your usual walking, running or biking. Dancing is a fantastic way to get your body moving, boost your heart rate and let go of some of the day's accumulated stress.

People (women, in particular) tend to hold so much stress and emotions in their hips, but dancing activates this part of the body and stimulates the root chakras, which keep us grounded, Simone Sobers, creator of The Boss Chick Dance Workout, tells LIVESTRONG.com. "It's also just a great way to boost endorphins, build confidence and let loose!"

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Plus, if you turn on your favorite upbeat playlist, the music can also trigger the release of dopamine (a feel-good chemical in your brain), according to a January 2011 study in ​Nature Neuroscience​.

Get your groove on with this 20-minute dance workout created by Sobers to help you shake away the stress.

Check out more of our20-minute workouts here— we’ve got something for everyone.

Full-Body Warm-Up

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Neck

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and rock your hips side to side for a count of 16 (8 to each side).
  2. Tilt your head back, then let it drop to the front for a count of 12 (6 front, 6 back).
  3. Look left, then look right for a count of 12 (6 to each side).
  4. Tilt your head to the left, then to the right as your hips move with your head for a count of 16 (8 to each side).
  5. Roll your head all the way around for 2 complete circles to the left, then do the same for 2 to the right.

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Shoulders and Torso

  1. Roll your shoulders back as you bend your knees and bounce along with the movement. Do 8 circles to the back, then 8 to the front.
  2. Place your hands on your hips, then bring your chest and rib cage forward, then push it back as your hips thrust forward for 16 counts (8 in each direction).
  3. Lean your torso to the left, then to the right for 8 in each direction. Make sure to keep your knees slightly bent.
  4. Circle your torso around with your hips in opposition, so as your torso circles back, your hips are forward. Your knees should still be bent slightly. Do 8 in each direction.

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Hips

  1. Bend your knees and press your hips back as you bring your hands in front of you in a pushing motion. Then, bounce and as you lower back down, bring your hands behind you and out to the sides. Repeat for 8 front and 8 back.
  2. Swing your hips from left to right with your arms held out to the sides for 8 in each direction.
  3. Stand up straight with your arms overhead and hands clasped together at the top as you circle your hips in a clockwise direction. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Full-Body

  1. Stand with your feet wider than your hips and face over your left leg, both knees slightly bent. Bring your hands up to your chest, elbows flared out as you pop your chest out. Bring your hands behind you and out to the sides as your chest pops back then out again. Repeat for 8 on each side.
  2. Facing front, place a hand on each knee, then rotate your left knee inward slightly. Bring it back and repeat with the right knee. Continue for 16.
  3. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your hands up to your chest, elbows flared out. And as you press your hands back down, bring one knee up toward your chest. Switch legs and repeat for 8 on each side.
  4. Facing front, place both hands on one knee, and booty pop twice to one side, both knees bent. Repeat for 2 on the other side. Do 4 sets.
  5. From the same position, booty shake it out on each side.
  6. Bend your knees and press your hips back as you bring your hands in front of you in a pushing motion. Then, bounce and as you lower back down, bring your hands behind you and out to the sides. Each time you rise, take a step with your right leg around in a circle. Do a full circle in each direction.
  7. Lean your torso to the left and then to the right. Make sure to keep your knees slightly bent.

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Dance Series 1

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Do:​ 30 seconds of each of the dance moves, then 10 seconds of active rest. At the end of this series, do the 60-second burnout move.

Dance Move 1

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Bend your arms and raise your fists to your chest and back down to a low V as you perform two booty pops.
  3. Repeat two times.
  4. Then tap your fists against your hips as you do 4 booty bounces and shift your weight from the right to the left foot.

Active rest:​ Step touch side to side for 10 seconds as your arms go up to your chest, then down to a low V.

Dance Move 2

  1. From the same wide-leg stance with your knees bent, roll your arms at chest height, then tap your hips facing the right with a booty bounce.
  2. Repeat on the left side.
  3. With hands at your chest and elbows out, push your elbows out to the side, then repeat with fist punching forward. Then, place your hands on your thighs and perform two booty pops.

Active rest:​ Step touch side to side for 10 seconds as your arms go up to your chest, then down to a low V.

Dance Move 3

  1. Facing the right, in a half-lunge position, perform two booty pops with arms extended overhead and your hands clasped together at the top.
  2. Return your body to center in a wide squat and booty bounce.
  3. Repeat this sequence on the left side.

Active rest:​ Step touch side to side for 10 seconds as your arms go up to your chest, then down to a low V.

Burnout: Sumo Squat Pulse

  1. Stand with your feet significantly wider than hip-distance apart (about three to four feet), turn your toes out 45 degrees and hold your hands by your sides.
  2. Lower yourself down by bending your knees and hips, raising your hands to meet under your chin. Keep your abs tight, back straight and do not let your knees move past your toes when lowering.
  3. Once your thighs parallel to the floor, root through your heels and rise back up a few inches, but not all the way up.
  4. Keep pulsing up and down a few inches for 60 seconds and extend your arms out to the sides and then overhead, taking breaks as needed.

Dance Series 2

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Do:​ 30 seconds of each dance move, followed by 10 seconds of active rest. At the end of this series, do the 60-second burnout move.

Dance Move 1

  1. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width, knees slightly bent.
  2. Face the right, knees pointing to the right, and roll your left arm as you booty bounce, then tap the hip.
  3. Repeat on the left side.
  4. Hold your arms out to the sides, elbows in, as you rotate your knees in one at a time, jumping your feet right and left.

Active rest:​ Do high knees with your hands pressing down as your knee drives up.

Dance Move 2

  1. With your hands overhead and clasped together at the top, booty bounce as you shift your weight to one side, then shift center into a squat.
  2. In a wide squat, place your hands on your knees and turn the knees in and out as you booty bounce.

Active rest:​ Do high knees with your hands pressing down as your knee drives up.

Dance Move 3

  1. Place your hands behind your head, jump your feet in and booty bounce with your heels slightly off the floor.
  2. Next, jump your feet out to a wide squat, place hands on the knees and booty bounce.

Active rest:​ Do high knees with your hands pressing down as your knee drives up.

Dance Move 4

  1. With your feet hip-width apart, shake your hips.
  2. Place your hands on the knees and booty bounce.
  3. Next, tap the floor between your feet with one hand, then the other.

Active rest:​ Do high knees with your hands pressing down as your knee drives up.

Burnout: Split Squat (Right Side)

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step your left foot back so that your feet are a few feet apart front to back but still hip-width apart side to side.
  3. Bend both knees to 90 degrees (or as low as you can go without pain).
  4. Straighten your legs and repeat.

Dance Series 3

Do:​ 30 seconds of each dance move, followed by 10 seconds of active rest. At the end of this series, do the 60-second burnout move.

Dance Move 1

  1. In a sumo squat stance, squat and punch the arms straight up, then bring them down on the right 2 times.
  2. Face center and booty bounce with hands at your chest and elbows out to the side.
  3. Repeat on the left side.

Active rest:​ Bounce from side to side, opposite heel coming in toward the other foot.

Dance Move 2

  1. Take 2 steps with the left leg, turning to the right, hands moving up to your chest and out to a low V.
  2. Then, facing the side, do 2 squats, pressing your arms out in front of you.
  3. Repeat.

Active rest:​ Bounce from side to side, opposite heel coming in toward the other foot.

Dance Move 3

  1. In a wide squat stance, swing the arms one over the other, ending in a crossed low position over the right leg.
  2. Repeat on the left side.
  3. Then, punch up, in the middle and down as you perform consecutive booty pops.

Active rest:​ Bounce from side to side, opposite heel coming in toward the other foot.

Dance Move 4

  1. In a wide squat stance, perform a cross-body low punch with the right arm as you booty pop.
  2. Repeat on the left.
  3. Then booty pop with your arms alternating up and down from shoulder to hip.

Active rest:​ Bounce from side to side, opposite heel coming in toward the other foot.

Dance Move 5

  1. Still in your wide squat stance, lean to the right with both hands on your bent right knee and tap the left foot.
  2. Then perform 2 knee lifts as you swing the arms across and in front of your body.

Active rest:​ Bounce from side to side, opposite heel coming in toward the other foot.

Burnout: Split Squat (Left Side)

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step your right foot back so that your feet are a few feet apart front to back but still hip-width apart side to side.
  3. Bend both knees to 90 degrees (or as low as you can go without pain).
  4. Straighten your legs and repeat.

Dance Series 4

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Do:​ 30 seconds of each dance move, followed by 10 seconds of active rest. At the end of this series, do the 60-second burnout move.

Dance Move 1

  1. Jump and lift your right knee as you swing your left arm across your body with fist to shoulder.
  2. Repeat on the left side.
  3. Extend your arms overhead with your hands clasped together at the top and circle the hips in a wide squat stance.

Active rest:​ With legs wide, pump the right arm to the left side, then the left arm to the right side.

Dance Move 2

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift your right knee and press your arms down on either side.
  3. Repeat on the left side.
  4. Hold center and circle the hips as the arms go forward and down twice.

Active rest:​ With legs wide, pump the right arm to the left side, then the left arm to the right side.

Dance Move 3

  1. Facing the side, circle your arms up, then circle the hip with your hands on your knees.
  2. Then, step your right foot back as you swing the right arm back and around, followed by the left. Repeat once more on each side.

Active rest:​ With legs wide, pump the right arm to the left side, then the left arm to the right side.

Dance Move 4

  1. Circle your hips with your arms at shoulder height, then with the hands on your knees.
  2. Jump your feet back a few feet, hands on the ground, and alternate toe taps as your hips shake, then return to the starting position.

Active rest:​ With legs wide, pump the right arm to the left side, then the left arm to the right side.

Dance Move 5

  1. Lift the right knee and tap it with the left hand 2 times.
  2. Do a quarter turn to the side as your arms circle wide out in front of your chest.
  3. Complete the circle going one direction, then switch directions.

Active rest:​ With legs wide, pump the right arm to the left side, then the left arm to the right side.

Burnout: Lateral Squat Walk

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bending your knees enough to lower yourself a few inches but not all the way into a full squat.
  2. Step to your right side with your right foot, then step the left in toward it, keeping your feet pointed straight ahead.
  3. Step 5 times to the right, then, do the same movement walking to the left.
  4. Repeat for 60 seconds.

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