When I first stepped foot in Sydney Pole for my very first twerk class about six months ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d seen Miley Cyrus perform her rendition of the risque dance move and assumed I was just in for some light booty shaking to hip hop beats. Oh, how naive I was. It turns out what I had actually signed up for was an extremely challenging workout that made my lower body shake more than leg day at the gym!
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the studio was how overdressed I was. I had turned up in my usual gym attire – a singlet and 3/4 leggings. I practically looked like a nun in comparison to my classmates, who were rocking crop tops, tiny booty shorts or leotards. ‘Maybe they just want to check out their bods in the mirror while they dance!’ I thought. Wrong again. It turns out the reason for the bare midriffs was because you sweat a LOT during the one hour class. As for the itty bitty shorts? It’s a practicality thing – you’re going to want to have a full view of your backside when you’re asked to activate muscles you didn’t know existed!
What is twerking, exactly?
But before we get into the benefits of swapping your usual workout for a twerk-out, let’s get back to the basics. For those of you who don’t know what twerk is, it basically involves squatting down low and popping your booty back and forward in a strangely hypnotic motion. The term ‘twerk’ can be traced back to New Orleans in the 90s, when it became the go-to dance move for an energetic style of hip-hop called Bounce. The move remained relatively underground until it went viral in 2013, thanks to Miley’s raunchy performance at the VMAs.
But over the last few years, twerk has evolved from a viral internet sensation (much like ‘dabbing’ or the ‘nae nae’) to a legitimate style of danceworkout! Now, twerk classes can be found all over the world. Here in Australia, there’s a company called Aussie Twerk that runs classes and workshops all over the country.
Twerking strengthens muscles in just about every part of your body! Not only do you sculpt, tone and grow your badonkadonk, your thighs become super strong, your hip flexibility increases and more than anything, boosts your confidence ! You can burn up to 500 calories in 60 minutes of twerk. Basically, you’ll sculpt and and tone while having fun!
-ReRe Selling, Aussie Twerk Instructor
During a twerk class, you’re pretty much holding a squat for the better part of an hour. Hello, rock solid thighs! Not only that, the booty pops and shakes work your glutes in ways they’ve probably never been worked before. Luckily, you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t even notice the burn until the next day.
In twerk, you really need to brace your abs in order to properly engage your lower body muscles. So, much like pole dancing, it’s an amazing core workout. No wonder everyone rocks crop tops at my twerk class!
Who needs to bench press when you can wall twerk instead? It’s surprisingly easy to get upside down on the wall, but I guarantee you’ll feel it in your arms the next day! Not overly psyched about going vertical? No worries! There’s a move called the ‘sexy push-up’ you can do instead and it’s just like a normal push-up, only way more fun.
You’ve got to a love a style of dancing where having a little more junk in the trunk is actually an asset. But even if you don’t (and you soon will after all those squats!), you’ll still feel like Beyonce as you pop your booty to the beat. Not only is twerk fantastic for your body confidence, it’s also great for unleashing your inner goddess (which will no doubt work wonders in the bedroom).
Let’s be honest: twerking is a pretty funny movement and it’s impossible to take yourself too seriously while you’re doing it. Twerk classes are an extremely fun, supportive and sometimes silly environment and a great way to meet awesome new people. Basically, imagine busting a move on the dance floor with your mates, but being able to claim it as a workout!