Twerking Workout And Tutorial: Learn How To Keep In Shape With A Twerk Out [VIDEO]

By Danny Choy on August 28, 2013 4:53 PM EDT

Twerking
Miley Cyrus twerks during Robin Thicke's performance at the MTV VMA's (Photo: Reuters)

Twerking is a provocative urban dance style that has been growing in popularity amongst the youth. During the MTV Video Music Awards, former Disney star Miley Cyrus brought the dance to the front page of every national newspaper. Miley Cyrus performed her single "We Can't Stop" and accompanied Robin Thicke in his performance of "Blurred Lines."

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Twerking is a modern version of the African dance mapouka, or "dance of the behind." Twerking is essentially the violent shaking and gyrating of a dancer's bottom. What's more, dancers often face away from the audience and bend forward in order to draw attention to their posterior.

No doubt, the explosion of the twerking trend in pop culture is extremely controversial. However, is it possible that twerking can be healthy? According to health specialists, the answer is yes!

According to Michelle Olson, an Auburn University professor of exercise science, twerking involves the performance of deep squats and pelvic tilts. "You take a wide stance with your legs turned out at 10 and 2 so your hips are externally rotated," Olson explained. "Then you pulse up and down as you thrust the pelvis bone forward and back."

According to Olson, twerking strengthens and conditions the two areas and tones the thighs and buttocks. What's more, the dance also works deep muscles of the hips, the core muscles of the lower back, and even the abdominals. Finally, Olsen also claims that the twerking dance will also tone the muscles and significantly improve the stamina of people that may often use those muscles, such as when bending to lift things off the floor.

Rey Tabora, a personal trainer based in San Francisco, shared the sentiment. All types of dance, including twerking, does the body good.

"They're using their legs and butt, and when you do that, you increase your metabolism because your heart beats harder," Tabora said. "If it gets you moving, all the better."

Certified Personal Trainer and assistant director Caley Bohn of a corporate wellness company in Wisconsin said twerking is a serious exercise that builds key areas of the body. Twerking strengthens a person's core, hamstrings, lower back and, of course, glutes.

Based on the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine, Bohn estimated that twerking, and other types of vigorous dancing, can burn about eight calories a minute. "Dancing burns calories, but you have to do it regularly to see results," she said.

By twerking for an hour a day, a dancer will burn between 300 to 480 calories an hour, about the same as an hour of moderate jogging.

Of course, there are dangers to excessive twerking.

According to Bohn, anyone a bit out of shape should consult with their physician on whether twerking is a smart addition to a physical fitness regimen. Bohn warns the activity will strain the lower back. According to Michelle Olsen, excessive twerking will throw the lower back and injure the knees.

Interested to learn twerking? Watch the video below!

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