If you’re seeking a new, fun, and creative form of exercise, belly dancing may be an ideal option! As belly dancing requires an array of physical movements and muscular demands, individuals engaging in belly dancing exercises are able to enjoy an array of weight loss and physical benefits.

What is Belly Dancing?

While belly dancing often carries the incorrect connotation of sexually removing one’s clothes, the art of belly dancing is actually far less erotic. Raks Sharki, which is the formal name for belly dance, involves specific movements that are to be performed with elegance and grace:

  • The hip drops, rolls, and pivots. Specifically, after the hip is dropped, the hip is rotated in circles of figure eights, and gradually lead into a shimmy
  • Muscle groups in the body’s core (such as the abdomen and buttocks) become controlled and engaged
  • Various muscles are engaged (with an instructor’s guidance) to allow for movements that are completely natural to a woman’s body
  • The belly is rolled in a controlled manner, boosting the body’s core strength and posture

With its many different steps and required efforts, many medical experts even suggest belly dancing as a form of physical therapy for patients recovering from specific injuries! In fact, doctors and studies have even found that belly dancing can provide an array of additional services and perks.

Most popularly, belly dancing is used to boost weight loss results, as the various exercise movements help to increase the body’s blood flow and muscular response. With exercises that use the body’s legs, hips, abdominals, and arms, engaging in belly dancing techniques can provide women with full body improvements.

The Benefits of Belly Dancing

  • Weight loss / increased metabolism (with consistent practice)
  • Improves abdominal strength and digestion health / functioning (as the movements help move food through the digestive tract with greater ease)
  • Improved posture / back health
  • Improved full body muscle tone, as the various movements stimulate responses in muscle groups, cartilage, and ligaments
  • With the dropping, rolling, and shimmy motions of the hips, the body’s pelvis is tipped forward, which helps prevent and alleviate lower back pain / problems
  • The movements can help alleviate unnatural curves of the spine
  • Enhanced muscle tone, flexibility, and balance
  • Arms and shoulders are toned and engaged with various movements (including circles, lifts, and other gestures)
  • With its calming effects, belly dancing can help reduce symptoms / problems associated with stress
  • With the belly dancing maneuvers practiced on one’s feet, the belly dancing activities are classified as weight bearing exercises. These forms of exercise can help prevent osteoporosis, as bearing weight helps to strengthen bones
  • Belly dancing can improve an individual’s confidence and esteem
  • Specific Raks Sharki movements (which are specifically designed to accommodate for a woman’s natural movements), has been known to provide women with helpful prenatal exercises. In fact, the pelvic / hip movements used during belly dancing activities can help foster an easier and more natural childbirth
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