Sunday 30 July 2017

African Dance/Pilates HIIT - 3 Weeks Later

   I don't mean to pat myself on the back or anything, but as no one else is going to, I have to say that my dance/Pilates HIIT combo worked a charm.
   Starting up Kukuwa's African dance workout, I ran through one 5-minute routine as a warm up, then turned it back to the start and began in earnest. The first two minutes of the dance routine, the lowest-impact part, was replaced by two minutes of Cassey Ho's Pilates. As soon as those two minutes were up I jumped to my feet and leapt straight into the dance at whatever part it was and followed it to the end. As soon as the routine ended and the next seamlessly began, I dropped back to the floor for the next 2-minute round of Pilates. I repeated this six times to total 30 minutes.
   Each routine lasts 5 minutes, give or take 10 seconds, and by replacing the first two minutes with body weight resistance Pilates, I skipped the lower-impact intro, letting my heart rate drop further than it would have had I continued dancing, then rose immediately for 3 minutes of non-stop, high-impact African dance - and with Kukuwa's truly full-bodied movements with hips, legs, arms and head, it didn't take long for my heart rate to jump back up.

   I kept the Pilates simple, consulting Cassey Ho's Hot Body Year Round for some good moves to create three different circuits which were each run through twice.
   The first circuit focused on the glutes, with knee-tap-pushes - 30 seconds on the left leg, 30 seconds on the right - and then fire hydrants - 30 seconds on the left and 30 on the right. Then 3 minutes of dance.
   The second circuit focused on upper body: 40 seconds of preying pulses, 40 seconds of arm circles (20 forward, 20 back), and 40 seconds of tricep dips.
   The third circuit focused on the legs: 30 seconds elevated leg circles on the left, then the right, then 30 seconds elevated hot potato on the left then the right.
   I love to work my lower body, it burns more calories than the rest, and my abs get worked enough in everything else I do and, until I've melted off the fat, there's nothing to be seen anyway. But if you were to try this workout, you could easily replace the leg circuit with abs, such as hip dips, crunches, side plank dips and plank up-downs.

   Kukuwa is the highest impact dance workout I've ever used, and that, joined with its simple (but high-energy) moves and its reliable 5-minute-routine set up, makes it the only viable option for a dance HIIT workout. I don't see how other dance workouts could work in its place. But, that said, it's lower impact than squat jumps, burpees and tuck jumps, and won't provide the same results as a more typical HIIT workout. But, that said, it's a great option if you're looking for something effective but fun and really quite different, or perhaps as an active recovery after a big workout schedule like Piit28, which I used throughout June.
   I go on about Kukuwa a lot, but I think I should mention that I'm not affiliated with Kukuwa in any way, shape or form. I've never been paid, sponsored or endorsed to mention them - in fact, I've had no contact with them beyond the occasional tweet. I just absolutely adore Kukuwa and her workout, and I truly believe that it - like the 30 Day Shred, 10 Minute Body Transformation, 10 Minute Solution's Knockout Body and Jillian Michaels' Kickbox Fast Fix - should be a staple in anyone's fitness DVD collection. It's not a mainstream release so you won't find it in physical stores, only on Kukuwa's webstore and perhaps on Amazon, but the DVD itself is region-free, shipping from the US, and you can also buy it as an immediate digital download. This isn't out of anyone's reach.
   As for Pilates moves, you can find every worthwhile Pilates move under the sun for free on Blogilates as printables or videos.

   This workout is going to be a great fall-back for when I'm feeling unenthusiastic. Fun, yet effective.
   I dare any of you not to shake your boomsey when Twa Mi Beat starts up.


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