The intensity and power of drumming are not to be messed with, whether you’ve never held drum sticks in your life, just bought your first drum set, or are a professional. With each strike, there’s precision, and with precision there’s music.
Cardio Drumming is a growing trend, as it both combines creativity and fitness—and can be done by young and old alike at any location!
The idea of “Cardio Drumming” is similar in concept to the first known organization that pairs dance and music called “Drums Alive,” where there’s an increase in one’s heart rate while burning calories.
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Cardio Drumming is gaining popularity at many fitness centers across the U.S. One would be ready to rock with a “drum stand” that would be a sturdy base, the “drum” that’s an exercise ball, and the drummer syncopating with drumsticks.
Cardio drummers rock out to upbeat tunes like “Uptown Funk” and “We Will Rock You” while also getting an aerobic workout and losing up to 900 calories at a time.
Coach Teri D., who has been an independent wellness coach for fourteen years, had this testimonial to share:
“When (my friend) showed it to me, honestly I thought it was the silliest thing, I thought, ‘That is not exercise, you are not going to burn calories, you are not going to work up a sweat.’ But when I finally tried it, and I was able to do the drumming to my own music, I fell in love with it.”
Getting in rhythm with everyone singing and dancing is effortless to do with cardio drumming.
Instead of sitting, one stands with their exercise ball waist high and is slightly bent but with a straight back, so that the abs are engaged and there’s a full body workout – that can also include squats.
Everyone is engaged in this up to an hour workout, where users can even switch it up by drumming on their neighbor’s ball.
Ensuring a good time, and a healthy workout depends on how into the music one feels as they are drumming along and moving their bodies.
The real workout is in the intensity of the drumming, as it has been found that professional drummers elevate their heartbeats up to 190 beats a minute which is comparable to a top athlete performing at their best.
As with any workout routine, building power, focus, and endurance are critical to good health, and it’s also especially true with cardio drumming—whether or not one would aim to be a professional drummer!
From casual observation, one might say that drumming began with the creation of life, with a central life source that “beats” life into an organism.
For birds, other mammals, and humans it’s undoubtedly the case with our hearts pumping blood in sustaining us.
Drumming on its own unites the world it seems, as with any world music form, there is undoubtedly the presence of a drum-like instrument or two.
From the Percussive Arts Society, playing the drums according to a percussionist is “uplifting, healthy, and downright beneficial.”
Reported from the UK newspaper “The Telegraph,” research has shown that drummers are natural intellects by scoring higher based on their sense of rhythm and their ability to maintain a steady beat.
Quite simply, keeping time and being good problem solvers are translatable skills that drummers bring to other aspects of daily living.
Cardio drumming is backed up by medical research in ensuring physical and emotional wellness and is shown to be effective when losing weight.
Drums Alive, “the official” spokesperson for cardio drumming, began its development in 2001 by Carrie Ekins in Germany, where ever since this effort has been a partnership between the University of Chemnitz in Germany, Southern Connecticut State University, Texas State University, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, and the University of Kentucky.
The “Whole Brain and Whole Body Workout” slogan that makes up Drums Alive sums up this approach beautifully. This project has been a part of a study known as “The Drum Beat” in where social and medical measures were used to compare drumming and movement. For Ekins of “Drums Alive” she appreciates this ability to enjoy the fun of movement as she recovered from a hip injury by drumming on boxes.
A typical workout session of this program consists of warming up at the beginning of the program, a middle portion that is specifically tailored to the population at hand, then a cardiovascular workout, then a group wellness drumming, and finally drummers cool down at the end of each session.
Cardio drumming, like any other exercise routine, must be enjoyable enough for someone to come back to—as further studies show that activity ought to be fun and engaging sufficient for someone to stick to and incorporate into their daily routine.
Cardio drumming can be done at any age, where fitness instructors have been continually trying out new routines while ensuring both entertainment and a cardio workout, from a Zumba class to a martial arts based workout.
Exercising and raising one’s heart rate is also seen with the TaikoFit Program that was developed in 2002 that combines traditional Taiko Drumming and aerobics.
Its founder, Dr. Michelle Unrau, is both a scientist and an educator and has been in the fitness industry since the 1990s.
Through a friend, she was inspired by this Japanese drumming form that is Taiko, and its combination of a drummer’s physical movements, energy, and the beat. Pairing tradition and her own take on fitness, TaikoFit has ever since been ‘’a big hit.”
Improving one’s physical and mental well-being, and a sense of rhythm and creativity is also seen with drumming. Ms. Jennie Graves is a Physical Education teacher of fifteen years in an Elementary School in Louisiana and has been teaching a Cardio Drumming Unit in where she creates routines while also emphasizing the idea and use of rhythm.
Her students have also been involved in this creative process by their energy to perform and have come up with their own routines to songs.
Fostering concentration, endurance, and rhythm in school children would be achieved through Cardio drumming—where who knows whether the beat would go on in also having a future generation of professional drummers!
Focus and Endurance are the takeaways of enrolling in a Cardio Drumming program, where you would be sure to both get a good workout and to have fun—at any location!
The unifying linkage of a drum, whether an exercise ball or a real drum, would make us beat to any tune!
Hey there fellow drummer, thanks for reading the post. I’ve got a private Facebook group called Drum Junkies. It’s made up of people just like you and me who are sharing pictures of their drum kits, talking about industry trends, and sharing tips about drumming. I’d love for you to join! Here’s a link to the group; we’ll see you on the inside.