Shakira is now a mother, and in brilliant shape. Many people are asking about how she stays in such great shape. The answer is simple really – regular exercise, a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.
E! TV recently spoke with her personal trainer, Anna Kaiser of AKT In Motion, who shared some of Shakira’s fitness secrets. Shakira works out at a gym four to five times each week.
Her workouts involved a combination of cardio, strength training and flexibility. The focus was on fitness for weight loss, i.e. shedding baby fat. Much of her time exercising involved her favorite dance workouts too as these provide a very energetic cardio workout that is fun – and for Shakira also good to practice some dance moves.
Shakira does both bodyweight training (push ups, pull ups, air squats etc.) and resistance exercises using machines and free weights. After giving birth Shakira started to increase her weight training again, lifting slightly heavier weights each week.
Shakira’s fitness instructor encouraged her to eat smaller meals throughout the day and reduce sugar and caffeine. This helps to stabilize blood sugar and therefore aid fat reduction – the body breaks down fat for energy.
For weight loss the real truth is that you need to cut calories. Small meals, low carbs, more protein etc. – this does all help with weight loss, but the bottom line is that you need to reduce calories to create and daily energy deficit. Your body only burns fat as a last resort due to a lack of food.
More about Belly Dancing
There are many fitness crazes coming out at the moment, which seems to be due to the increasing amount of awareness surrounding the importance of exercising to help combat the obesity epidemic. Along with pole dancing, capoeira and simulated horse riding, belly dancing is another fitness activity which was until recently only practised by professional dancers and people from the middle east.
Partly responsible for the interest in belly dancing is Shakira, the Colombian singer-songwriter and dancer. She has been a major figure in the pop music scene of Latin America since the mid-1990s.
Her dance routines on videos and in concerts show both her Lebanese and Columbian roots, as she performs belly dances with a salsa twist. She often performs barefoot. Shakira says she learned this form of dance as a young teen to overcome her shyness.
Below is a fun belly dancing tutorial video from YouTube, which also helps to explain some of the aspects of belly dancing, as well as explaining some of the techniques and movements. This belly dance workout is in 3 parts, so when the first part finishes you should see the video link to part 2 on the left side of the video screen.
Belly dancing helps strengthen the core abdomen muscles, as well as provide a good all round workout.
The origins of belly dancing is actually uncertain, but there are several theories:
Many dancers subscribe to one or another of a number of theories regarding the origins of the form. Some of these theories are that the dance form:
- It descended from indigenous dances of ancient Upper Egypt
- It descended from Greece, spreading with Alexander the Great
- It descended from a religious dance Temple Priestesses once practised
- It had been a part of traditional birthing practices in the region(s) of origin
- It had spread from the migrations of the Romani people (also called “gypsies”) and related groups, descended from the Banjara of Rajasthan in northwestern India.
- It originated in Uzbekistan, traveling to India through the slave trade.
Most of the basic steps and techniques used in belly dance are circular motions isolated in one part of the body; for example, a circle parallel to the floor isolated in the hips or shoulders. Accents using “pop and lock” where a dancer either shimmies or makes a striking motion in her shoulders or hips are common, as are feats of flexibility, rolling one’s belly muscles, balancing various props like baskets, swords or canes, and dancing with chiffon or silk veils.
With its growing popularity in the western world, belly dance classes are thriving throughout the UK and USA, though the belly dance culture has been evidenced since the early 1960s, with many styles being taught including traditional, modern, tribal, Persian, Oriental, Turkish, Greek, Egyptian, American Tribal.
Many festivals and workshops are held over the various regions, with two of the most popular being the Annual Glastonbury Majma and Raqs Britannia.
Celebs get Belly Dancing!
Various celebrities, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Paris Hilton, have been reported to belly dance for pleasure and to stay in shape, however the most famous belly dancing celeb must be the beautiful Shakira, who also taught Beyonce Knowles how to belly dance. The “Bootylicious” singer told PEOPLE magazine:
“Shakira taught me how to belly dance, she taught me the whole routine. I used to watch her videos and I thought she was so cool. When she was teaching me the moves I thought, ‘This is crazy, Shakira is showing me how to belly dance!’ You can see Shakira dancing in her video Whenever, Wherever on YouTube.
“I got the best teacher. We didn’t have a lot of time to come up with the choreography – most of it was done on the spot. I was just watching her and learning from her. It was so much fun, the best energy. She was really easy to work with, so sweet and humble.”
Beyonce also reported recently that she has regained the weight that she lost for her role in Dreamgirls, and is very happy with her current figure. In February we reported on Beyonce’s maple syrup diet, and were a little concerned with such extreme dieting. We are glad to report that Beyonce has her healthy curves back, but is still in excellent shape.
“Fat Burning Exercise”
Belly dancing is a great fun way to shake off that excess fat! If you are looking for a new way to lose weight, and are feeling adventurous, then seek out your local belly dancing club.