Fitness & Exercise Lifestyle

5 Dances That Replace Your Gym Workout

Dances That Replace Your Gym Workout
Written by Guest Author

Every fitness freak has a strict lifestyle regimen, and a social event like a wedding or a birthday party can disrupt this quite a bit. For instance, a lot of people see alcohol as a social lubricant, and while they may avoid alcoholic beverages, they’ll make an exception during the event. The same goes for party snacks which are often full of empty calories.

The worst of it all is the fact that the majority of people only have the option of working out in the evening (after work), which is when the majority of these events are scheduled.

So, when organizing such an event, you might want to look for a way to give these people a unique experience and a chance to stick to the program. To do so, you want to revisit your menu and add a couple of healthy options but also make a playlist that will provide ample opportunities for dancing.

Now, not all dances are made equal, which is why you might want to do a bit of homework here. Here are some dances that can give you a workout-like (or a workout-lite) experience. Seeing as how dancing is optional, you won’t encumber those who are more sedentary to begin with. With that in mind and without further ado, here are some dances that can replace your gym workout. But first, we need to address why dancing is such an efficient gym workout substitute

Reason Why Dancing Can Replace Your Gym Workouts

Great Aerobic

You see, dancing is a form of aerobics. If you’ve ever been to an aerobics class, you might have noticed the similarity.

If anything, in the majority of aerobic classes, it’s impossible to imagine an absence of music of some kind. When it comes to weightlifting, there’s usually music in the background, but a lot of people tend to ignore it while lifting. This is because rhythm, while still important, is not crucial to your performance.

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Next, dancing activates your entire body and usually consists of movement in all directions. Changing directions helps boost your flexibility and mobility. It’s all this acceleration and slowing down, changing directions, and performing odd (non-related) moves in continuity that makes you burn a substantial number of calories.

Dancing for one hour, you’ll burn 300-800 calories. The main reason why there’s such a discrepancy is that different dances don’t burn the same amount. For instance, break dancing burns almost twice the number of calories as traditional ballroom dancing. In an aerobics dance class, you’ll burn 700 calories in a single hour.

The Dance Selection

Now that we’ve established all the components that a dance routine needs to have to burn a lot of calories and keep you nimble (as well as mention the target calorie burn) let’s proceed with the selection.

One of the toughest challenges that usually falls under the bridesmaid’s responsibilities is lifting everyone’s spirits and keeping the party alive. This is why it’s so important to consult your bridesmaids while making the playlist. Imagine yourself as a general making a battle plan, while your bridesmaids (and groomsmen, of course) are your field officers, responsible for making your plan into action. Not to mention being in charge of keeping the morale high amongst the (guests) rank and file.

Generally speaking, while each dance is supposed to help activate your body, each of them has its own specialty. Now, here are some dances that can replace your gym workout

1. Hip-hop dancing

Hip-hop dancing is great for your lower body. Sure, ballet would probably be even better, but incorporating it into a wedding party would be near impossible. A similar thing goes for tap dancing (which is also a great lower-body workout). All in all, hip-hop dancing is great for your core and your glutes. Moreover, when done right, there’s a lot of squatting and semi-squatting, which would do wonders in this scenario.

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2. Cuban dance

When talking about Cuban dancing, the first thing that’s worth mentioning is just how great it is for your upper body. It’s amazing for your shoulders, as well as some of your back muscles. Other than this, it’s definitely a dance that will work your core, as well as improve your balance (or, at least, put it to the test).

3. Social dance

For those who want something that will test their endurance, there’s nothing better than a slow social dance. This is also great for calorie burn, seeing as how prolonged activity has the potential to burn far more than a short burst of intensive moves. Other than this, it’s less demanding, and it has moves that are, well… “less radical,” which means that it won’t be that hard to persuade someone to partake. Seeing as how you’re going for endurance, it’s all about how long you can dance, not how active you get. Also, seeing as how it’s a social activity, it gets a lot more interesting.

4. Zumba

One of the most effective types of fitness for conditioning, cardio endurance, and fat burn is definitely an interval workout. This can be a high-intensity interval workout (popularly known as HIIT) or a low-intensity workout. Both of these are achievable through Zumba. Other than being generally helpful with calorie burn, it boosts your coordination and helps with toning your entire body.

5. Salsa

Those who want to make their wedding routine a bit spicier might want to consider salsa as a great calisthenic, full-body workout routine. Other than being quite effective and (with the right intensity) allowing you to burn as much as 600 calories in an hour, it also strengthens your muscles and bones. In the long run, it helps prevent arthritis and improves your flexibility. Not to mention that it’s highly sensual and ideal for boosting your self-esteem.

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Downsides to Dancing as a Gym Replacement

Of course, there are some downsides to dancing as a gym replacement. First of all, there are some muscle groups that you simply cannot target. Unless you’re doing extreme breakdancing, your biceps, triceps, and chest muscles will remain mostly unaffected.

Second, you might be restricted by your apparel. After all, you’re not wearing your gym pants but a dress or formal attire. Even casual apparel is not a substitute for proper gym wear.

Third, it’s usually not as dynamic as a proper workout regimen. Still, you don’t have to see this as a workout replacement. After all, it’s a night on which you would skip the workout either way. Instead, it can be a placeholder (not necessarily something to advance your physique but something to prevent you from getting lazy).

Also, the majority of trainers recommend that each week, you should have one day of active rest and one day of total rest. This can easily pass as a day of active rest.

In other words, there are no real downsides to dancing to stay active and fit. You just need to be realistic about its capability and see this activity for what it really is.


Overall, dancing can greatly supplement your training routine, not just during one-time events like weddings. Some people go clubbing in order to feel alive and show off their moves. Just keep in mind that if you’re a proper gym freak, this is a placeholder rather than a replacement. For someone who wants to transform their physique, dancing is not a staple method but merely a supplement.


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