The Workout: Dance Party


By Jen Sinkler, PCC, RKC–II |

The 10-Minute Dance Break

Perform each move for 30 seconds, flowing from one to the next for a total of four rounds. Rest for 30 seconds between rounds.

Don’t worry about nailing each step right away, says Shaun T. “Just throw on your favorite dance tunes and go!” In time, you’ll link the moves into a seamless sequence.

Move 1: CIZE Bounce

• Standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, shift your weight onto your left foot, leaning slightly to the left with your torso and pushing your hips down and back into a quarter-squat position.

• Bend your right arm and swing your right hand out and around in a circular motion until it’s in front of your right shoulder. At the same time, extend your left arm down.

• Stand up, then shift your weight onto your right foot to assume a quarter squat.

• This time extend your right arm down, and swing your left hand out and around until it’s in front of your left shoulder.

• Repeat the motion, bouncing from side to side and moving your hands in a circular motion. (If you’ve ever seen The Karate Kid, you can imagine the “waxing on” movement.)

Look for a quad burn during this move, as well as abdominal activation.

This is a base movement that will help you get into the groove. Return to it at any point if you need a break from the higher-intensity movements that follow, until you’re ready to get after it again.

Move 2: High, Low

• Standing with feet shoulder width apart, pivot on your left foot so your body is facing right and raise both arms overhead.

• Push off your left (back) foot, and shift your weight forward onto your right foot.

• With your body facing right, immediately shift your weight back onto your left foot (essentially, taking a stutter step), and then throw your weight forward onto your right foot once more.

• Swivel forcefully on the balls of both feet so that you’re now facing left, simultaneously pushing your hips backward and bringing both arms down and slightly behind you.

• Maintaining this position, rock forward onto your left foot.

• Quickly shift your weight backward onto your right foot, again taking a small stutter step, and then throw your weight forward onto your left foot.

• Repeat this movement for the entire 30 seconds (it helps to get the rhythm by counting out the steps — “1, 2, 3” — in each direction), and alternate sides as you go high-low with each round.

Abs, arms, calves, quads — this full-body movement provides some kick-butt cardio.

If this movement is too strenuous, you can scale it back by keeping your arms at your sides.

Move 3: Box-Step Throw

• Step forward with your right foot, crossing it over the left. Simultaneously throw both arms overhead.

• Shifting your weight onto your right foot, step your left foot back and to the left about 2 feet. Push your hips back slightly and lower your arms down and back so that your fingers are facing slightly behind you.

• Keeping your arms where they are, shift your weight onto your left foot, lift your right foot, and step it back so that your feet are parallel, approximately 2 feet apart.

• Repeat the movement. Alternate the foot you lead with each round.

This move will set your quads, obliques, and shoulders ablaze.

If you can’t keep your balance during the crossover step, simply step forward with one foot, then the other, and then backward in the same order.

Move 4: Baseball

• Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart. Extend arms so they form a diagonal line (right arm above shoulder height and left arm lowered).

• Shift your weight almost completely onto your left foot, pivot inward on the toes of your right foot, and lower into a partial squat. At the same time, bring your right arm down to meet your left.

• Reverse the movement to return to the start position and repeat. Alternate the direction you pivot, windmilling your arms to rotate each round.

The rotation (to initiate the movement) and antirotation (when you slow and reverse the movement) components of this move work your obliques, upper back, and shoulder-stabilizing muscles.

If your shoulders tucker out, try this move with your arms bent to 90 degrees instead.

Shaun T’s dance philosophy is simple: Your body was made to move, and whether you realize it or not, you’re dancing every day. The right music can put you in the frame of mind to find your own beat and let loose, he says.One of Shaun T’s favorite songs is “Chandelier” by Sia, featured on theworkout DVDs: “It’s not a song you’d ever see on a dance-based fitness track unless it’s been re-recorded as a club mix to increase the beats per minute, but I like having the freedom to live in that slower space.”Another track jumps out at him for more personal reasons. “My girl Missy Elliott’s track ‘Pass That Dutch’ is near and dear to me because Missy lost a lot of weight on one of my programs,” he says.Check out these and other Shaun T favorites:1. “Hands in the Air”Timbaland2. “Treasure”Bruno Mars3. “Lose My Breath”Destiny’s Child4. “Problem”Ariana Grande5. “Pass That Dutch”Missy Elliott6. “Chandelier”Sia

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