Core Strength Classic: Abs of Steel

A lot of people ask me if belly dance will get them in shape. The answer is yes, and no. If you practice intensely every day then yes, it probably will. If you come to class once a week and kind of practice a little during the week then no, sorry, it won’t. But even dancers who practice regularly can use a little help on core strength. My favorite cross-training exercise is Tamilee Webb’s Abs of Steel. The original video from years ago. It is the best, in my opinion. Why? It really works. The exercises are safe and comfortable, but challenging. Tamilee talks to you the entire time and explains what you are doing and why, which is a nice distraction so you don’t get bored. And she is encouraging without being a drill sergeant.

My husband and I first started the video back when we were in our mid-twenties and before I even started dancing. It was new on VHS if that gives you a hint. We were so out of shape that we were beat before we even finished with the warm up! But we kept with it, and after several months I could do all three 10-minute workouts in a row. This isn’t about getting skinny, mind you. This is about being strong and healthy. If you have seen me dance you know I don’t have a six pack (that you can see), but I can do belly rolls all day.

In case you are wondering, no, I am not getting any compensation for this endorsement. I just really love this video, and Abs of Steel 2. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Baby steps…

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