Let's face it, America is facing an obesity crisis. Americans have created more exercise programs, and we have more gym memberships per capita than any other country in the world (some people have more than three), but we're still the most obese nation in the world.
Health researchers, fitness professionals, and news commentators have done their best to explain why this might be. Some blame the economy, some blame high food prices, and others blame genetics. While these all contribute to the problem in their own way, there is another cause that isn’t commonly discussed; Americans are easily bored.
The downside of living in a country where we are never more than 6 inches from some form of entertainment means that our attention spans are very low, and it's hard to stay focused on our goals. It also means that we're far less likely to do any form of exercise that we don't consider to be "fun."
The result of this is that fitness trainers are constantly creating new exercise programs that combine both fun and entertainment with high-intensity cardio. Today people are all over martial arts programs, Zumba dancing, gymnastics, mud races, and more.
The latest creation, however, is cardio drumming. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at what exactly this is, and how you can use it to quickly shed the extra pounds in time to unveil your summer beach body.
If you're an actual drummer, you'll probably laugh your pants off when you see what cardio drumming is. It's honestly nothing like traditional drumming and requires very little skill. All that being said, though, its fun. Really fun, and definitely worth trying out at least once in your life.
The beauty of cardio drumming is that it’s very simple and requires very little equipment. All you need to get started is a pair of drumsticks, a rubber exercise/stretching ball, and some type of base to hold the ball in place with.
Essentially, you're just hitting the rubber ball with your drumsticks until you get tired.
Okay, that wasn’t the best description. There is a little bit more to it than that. Once you get done with a 20-minute cardio drumming session, you will be out of breath, your arms will be burning, and your core will feel like you just did 500 sit-ups.
The key to having a successful workout is to pick some rockin’ music. Put on some old school Led Zeppelin or Beastie Boys and crank the speaker all the way up. A song that has a quick, heavy, upbeat rhythm will give you the perfect workout and keep you going hard the whole time.
Go ahead and set up a playlist that will last you 15 - 20 minutes, so you don't have to stop and change the music in the middle of your workout.
Unlike traditional drumming, you’re going to be standing up instead of sitting down. Your fully-inflated exercise ball should be placed directly in front of your and should be waist-high. As you play your “drum,” you should be bending slightly over the ball with a straight back. This will engage your abs and give you a real full-body workout.
Once you’ve got everything set up, crank up the music and get in position. The goal is to drum along to the music on your exercise ball. The harder and faster that you hit the ball, the more intense your workout will be and the more calories you’ll burn.
There aren’t any particular rules to it, just hit the ball the same way that you would if you were finger drumming on your dining room table. The main goal is to have a good time. The more into it that you get, the better of a workout you’ll be able to get from it.
Obviously, cardio drumming requires very little skill. Your grandmother could do it just as easily as your 2-year-old. The point of cardio isn’t to be skilled at it, though. The point of cardio is to move your body, have fun, shred fat, and build endurance. Cardio drumming succeeds at all four of these.
Is it useful for real drummers? The answer is a definitive yes. If you plan on drumming professionally, you’re going to need lots of arm strength and endurance, especially if you plan on playing hour-long shows.
Drumming cardio is a great way to build up these muscles in the form of a quick, high-intensity workout that prepares you for the rigors of long drumming sessions. It’s also fun, and doesn’t make a whole lot of noise, which means that you can do it at almost all hours of the night.
Your first question may be, “does drumming burn calories?”
Any drummer will tell you that drumming itself is an intense workout. If you’re not pouring sweat by the end of your drumming session, then you must be playing nothing but slow jazz. There’s a reason why the drummers are some of the most ripped and athletic members of the band.
According to Livestrong, drumming burns an average of 252 calories per hour. This number is slightly inaccurate, however, as it is just an average.
If you're just doing some laid-back drumming, 175 - 250 calories is a good number to plan on. If you're doing some heavy metal or rock drumming, then plan on burning upwards of 600 calories per hour if you do it nonstop.
So how do you get into cardio drumming? If you live in a big city, the chances are that you can find a local gym that has a few cardio drumming classes. However, it's simple enough that you don't need to go to class (although doing it in a class setting with others is fun and competitive).
All you need is an exercise ball, some drumsticks, and a great playlist to take your performance sky high.