Fit­ness is the bot­tom line

Tw­erk­ing isn’t just a provoca­tive dance for the club Laura Baker learns as she works up a sweat wob­bling her way to a firmer be­hind.

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

The ba­sics

Gyrat­ing pop star Mi­ley Cyrus gave rise to the tw­erk­ing craze in 2013. Since then the dance phe­nom­e­non has not only been big on night­club dance floors, but also in fit­ness stu­dios as a form of ex­er­cise.

If you haven’t busted out some tw­erk­ing on the dance floor you should know the ba­sic twerk move in­volves sit­ting in a low stance and quickly thrust­ing your hips and butt back and forth.

Twerk It Out NZ dance fit­ness classes were first in­tro­duced to Auck­land in late 2014 and quickly spread to other cen­tres.

To­day there are Twerk Fit classes in Auck­land, Whangarei, Whi­tianga, Welling­ton, In­ver­cargill, Christchurch and Tau­ranga with pop-up classes hit­ting Hamil­ton, Mount Maun­ganui and Queen­stown. I try out the Christchurch class held at Alti­tude Pole on a Thurs­day evening.

Giv­ing it a bash

Walk­ing into the class wear­ing yoga pants I quickly re­alise I didn’t get the dress code memo. The ma­jor­ity of woman are sport­ing short shorts and knee pads (the pur­pose of which ini­tially has me puz­zled).

My lack of shorts aren’t an is­sue in the invit­ing at­mos­phere, but I’m told my work­out tights will re­strict my butt’s abil­ity to achieve the de­sired shake, not a prob­lem I’ve had be­fore.

With a few new­bies in the oth­er­wise skilled class we start the hour go­ing over the ba­sic ’’pop, drop’’ twerk mo­tion. Hold­ing a low squat I ex­per­i­ment with throw­ing my lower back and be­hind up and down, back and forth.

The goal is to make the move­ment flow seam­lessly while ooz­ing at­ti­tude and con­fi­dence, some­thing I lack.

Warm up done and hip-hop mu­sic on we jump into the first dance rou­tine. It com­bines four sim­ple moves that see us twerk while sidestep­ping, turn­ing and throw­ing our bot­toms from side to side.

By the end of the first set with my thighs al­ready burn­ing I re­alise I’ve un­der-es­ti­mated how phys­i­cally

The goal is to make the move­ment flow seam­lessly while ooz­ing at­ti­tude and con­fi­dence, some­thing I lack.

de­mand­ing tw­erk­ing can be.

Each dance is bro­ken up with cir­cuit train­ing, fo­cus­ing on ex­er­cises that tar­get the legs, bum and core. Two min­utes of jump squats, push ups and lunges and we’re straight into an­other dance, each pro­gress­ing in dif­fi­culty.

Nearing the end of the class I’m in­tro­duced to tw­erk­ing on the floor, and the knee pads come into play. On all fours the class thrusts their but­tocks into the air, fol­lowed by more booty shak­ing while in a down­ward dog po­si­tion.

Why you should try it

Tread­ing the line be­tween sexy dance move and body ton­ing ex­er­cise, tw­erk­ing is a sure­fire way to spice up a bland ex­er­cise rou­tine.

Tw­erk­ing strength­ens and shapes the legs, but­tocks and back and im­proves your over­all fit­ness level.

Risk rat­ing

Throw­ing my back out felt like a real pos­si­bly, but I’m told it is ac­tu­ally great for im­prov­ing lower back flex­i­bil­ity.

Where to get more info

To find out more check out the web­site twerk­itout.co.nz

Kiwi women are get­ting in­volved with the tw­erk­ing craze, with more than seven New Zealand cen­tres now hold­ing classes.

At first puz­zled by the need for knee pads, it be­comes clear when I’m on all fours, shak­ing my way to a tighter be­hind.

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