Swing dance – Put a swing in your step!

Swing dance

Discover the fun to be had getting fit with an all-new workout inspired by classic swing dancing!

Move over Zumba, there’s a new dance-based fitness craze that’s sweeping the nation: SwingTrain. A dance cardio workout inspired by the joyful, exuberant sounds of swing dance, rhythm and blues and jazz, the class is a fun workout and perfect at this time of year as it suits the party mood.

SwingTrain mixes dance steps with core fitness moves and it’s so much fun!

‘When days are short, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get out and keep fit,’ says Missie Frank, founder of dance fitness and yoga studio Off The Rails where SwingTrain is a popular class. ‘This is where dance-based group classes really help. It’s like a night out with your friends but you’re keeping fit – minus the hangover!’

‘At this time of year we even introduce Christmas-inspired swing and gospel music to some of the SwingTrain workouts,’ says SwingTrain founder Scott Cupit. ‘And, of course, learning some dance moves you can bust out at the office Christmas party is pretty cool as well.’ So what else can SwingTrain give you? Read on to find out…

Swing dance 

A great cardio workout

While a SwingTrain class is suitable for most levels of fitness – there are always simpler modifications available if you’re a beginner – it will certainly make you sweat! There are a lot of kicks, so you’ll effectively feel as if you’re going for a run, and many SwingTrain-ers have been known to clock up more than 5,000 steps in a single workout.

A toned body

While you’re distracted nailing your dance moves, every part of your body will be getting attention. Your calves will tone from all the hops and kicks, your hip flexors from the lunges, and your quads and glutes from such moves as the Squat Charleston. The class also incorporates crunches, high knee and twist moves for your abs and obliques. And your arms also get a workout, too, with press-ups and bicep curls forming part of the routines.

Improved co-ordination

The class is brilliant for co-ordination because you’re learning steps and picking up new routines, often using all your limbs at once! ‘We see week on week our students improve their footwork and pick up the steps,’ says SwingTrain instructor Jeff Tong. ‘A lot of our tracks are pacey and that requires good balance, so you can execute moves at speed. Each week your limbs get more in sync.’

 A great calorie-cruncher

A typical SwingTrain session can see you burn up to 500 calories. The session works on your body in a similar fashion to interval training. You’ll start with a couple of warm-up tracks to get your heart going, then build up to medium and high intensity tracks before the power track, which comes before a halfway break. Even within each song the intensity cranks up and down, so you can really go for it knowing a rest is coming!

A brain workout

While you’re learning new steps and struggling (in a good way!) to do them in time to fast-paced music, it’s hardly a surprise that you’re getting a good workout for your brain too. Dancing has even been shown to be one of the best activities to help lower your risk of dementia, according to a study of 11 pastimes in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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