Thursday, January 12, 2012

the fitness class experiment: Hip Hop HUSTLE

Today, the fitness class experiment starts with a bang. A big, hip hop bang. Remember: the goal of this experiment is to step outside of my comfort zone and try new group fitness classes. And then report back and attempt to encourage you, my readers, to do the same. First up: Hip Hop HUSTLE.

If you read my background and introduction post to this experiment, you may remember that this particular group fitness class sends shivers of fear down my spine. I am an athlete. I am not a dancer. Just ask my boyfriend. Rhythm? I don't think so. So, trying a group fitness class called Hip Hop HUSTLE was just down right scary (even this picture makes me a little uncomfortable).

One of my group fitness buddies and I promised each other we would 'man' up and give it a try together. Before class I sat outside the studio waiting for my friend to arrive and the class to begin. I literally had butterflies in my stomach for fear my friend wouldn't show and I would have to face the class alone. Meanwhile, the teacher was warming up decked out in a hip-hoppy outfit and shaking her hips like I have never seen hips shake before. 

After much anticipation my friend showed up and we faced the music, together.

Results. Hip Hop HUSTLE is a per-choreographed class that blends hip hop and dance moves for a moderately intense cardio workout. Each class focuses on one popular hip hop song and the instructor slowly teaches you a choreographed dance routine. Because moves are built slowly one on top of the next, even the most uncoordinated of us (read: me) can follow.

There was shimmying and wiggling and booty shaking and hip rocking and floor slapping and partner grinding and chest shimmying. My face turned red and I probably looked ridiculous, but I laughed while having fun and breaking a sweat. Click here for a video of actual moves from the Hip Hop HUSTLE folks (yes, I actually did these moves).

This class requires a good deal of rhythm and coordination to follow the dance choreography. But, the moves were introduced slowly and for the most part pretty straightforward. My instructor was amazingly supportive and encouraging leading to an overall feeling of enjoyment and welcome-ness. I had fun, but wasn't 100% into all the moves (= enjoyment score of 3.5). By the end of the class I did break a sweat and would rate this workout as moderately intense.

No special equipment, clothing, or other gear was required. No prior experience is really necessary, although if you've been out dancing in the club on a Friday night you are more or less ready to go.

Overall, I liked this class and am happy to have conquered a fear, but I am unlikely to re-attend in the future. I prefer more of an athletic-based and less dance-inspired experience. But, for those of you who like to dance - this is the perfect class.

(images 1, 2, 3)


  1. This sounds like so much fun!
    I've taken a few hip-hop classes at my gym and I've actually really enjoyed all of them. It's such a great way to let loose and shed your inhibitions. I much prefer athletic-based classes as well, but changing it up is always a good thing. (:

  2. i saw the video! it looks really fun. I danced through high school and miss it terribly. glad you conquered your fear :)

  3. I know I said this on Twitter but wanted to just announce a huge CONGRATS! I know how hard it is stepping out of your comfort zone and dance classes especially are intimidating if you can't pick up the choreo fast - but it's all about attitude and laughing at yourself! Good for you!

  4. I would never be brave enough to step foot into this class, so a huge props to you!

  5. I'm glad you liked the class, I'm undecided on group classes some are great and others are too easy for me but this one looks like lots of fun! Its always great to have fun while working out! Have a great weekend :)

  6. I am a turbo kick kind of girl, which is loud and fun like Hip Hop Hustle but is more boxing type moves! So a bit more athletic. I still suck at the dance part and probably look insane! Awesome that you went out and did it.

  7. I've never tried Hip Hop Hustle before but it looks like fun! :) I dont think I'd be able to master ANY of the moves though :P

  8. Oh and I have a question! How did you get the "Reply" button in the comments section?? Thanks! :)

  9. You're sure doing a great work! And I would say that Hip Hop is one of the most fun dance type to do. Just as said, dancing is an activity for everybody, and of course, it can be easily learned especially if it is taught with proper and professional guidance.