Drumming is a hardcore hobby in more ways than one. It is intense and powerful, both for complete beginners and seasoned professionals who have been drumming all their life. Drumming takes concentration, precision, and skill. As if that wasn’t enough, it is a very physical activity.
Of course, the playing of all instruments can be very physical, but drumming is probably the most physically demanding instrument of all. You could even consider the act of drumming to be a workout in itself! Well, turns out, this is not a new concept: enter Cardio Drumming!
What Is Cardio Drumming?
Cardio Drumming is a fitness trend that is growing and gaining many fans. It combines a fun, creative activity and fitness that is accessible to anyone - young, old, experienced drummer, or a total beginner.
The idea of Cardio Drumming is that it is an activity that gets your blood pumping, raising your heart rate, and thus burning calories. It takes inspiration from an activity called Drums ALive which was created by Carrie Ekins.
Ekins took up a drumming action as a way of exercising whilst she was experiencing a debilitating hip injury. The act of drumming on a box gave her the same experience as aerobic exercise did.
Even when she recovered, she still did this activity and decided to turn it into something bigger. Thus, Drums Alive was born. It merges the physical benefits of aerobic exercise with the feeling that rhythmic patterns of drumming can give our minds.
Cardio Drumming can be done at home using one of the many kits that exist, or you can do it in a fitness class dedicated to teaching Cardio Drumming. As you might have expected, as with any popular exercise trend that takes the country by storm, Cardio Drumming is becoming vastly available at fitness centers and gyms across America and is even filtering through the rest of the world.
Typically, the set up includes exercise balls (you know those huge ones that are big enough to sit on) which are placed on something so they are the right height for hitting (sometimes they are placed in a large bucket), and the participant is given drumsticks to use during the exercise class. Like any other fitness class, the instructor is at the front and the participants are spread out behind their ‘drums’ to take part.
Like most other exercise classes, you will start your Cardio Drumming workout by warming up. You will then go into the class itself, usually ‘drumming’ along to several songs and doing actions that are cardiovascular, aerobic, and toning all at once.
They may even be designed to help strength building. At the end of the workout session, there will be a cool down section so you can ensure your muscles have a chance to relax.
You can do these exercise classes a few times a week if you want to, and incorporate them with an existing exercise routine if you wish. Or you could start by having one class a week whilst you build up your comfort levels and skills, and gradually increase the number of classes you take part in each week as time progresses.
Do You Need Music For Cardio Drumming?
You don’t need music, as such, but it can help to keep you motivated. If you go to an exercise class or even load up a Youtube video for Cardio Drumming, then it is likely they will be using music. The class runs along to music, and the playlists can consist of anything and everything.
Of course, it will likely depend on the preferences of your fitness instructor, but you can expect anything from ‘Uptown Funk’ by Bruno Mars, to classic rock hits from Queen such as ‘We Will Rock You’.
Anything that has a rhythm can be drummed along to, and you can easily make it fit in with your favorite genre of music.
Hey, there are even some K-Pop songs that fit well with Cardio Drumming! There truly is something for everyone.
The great thing about Cardio Drumming is that you can choose whatever music you like at any tempo. This means you can start slow and work your way up to faster songs. In turn, this makes it a great exercise choice for anyone no matter their physical abilities.
It is also accessible. You don’t need any fancy equipment. Sure, many of the exercise videos out there have people using exercise balls to hit, but you do not need these things. You can simply do it by holding drumsticks (or any other similar shaped objects) in your hands and mimicking the actions of hitting drums.
What are the benefits of cardio drumming?
In terms of the physical health benefits that can be gained from Cardio Drumming, you can expect to feel the same way as you do after a normal workout routine. Your blood will be pumping, your heart rate will be raised, and you will be sweating.
Sessions can last up to an hour, and whilst they vary in intensity depending on what songs you drum along to, even the less intense routines can be hugely beneficial. You can rely on this form of exercise for a decent calorie burn too, with some participants reporting calories burned up to 900! This does, of course, depend on what your physical fitness is like, and can vary a huge deal depending on the person.
As well as these wonderful physical benefits, participants of Cardio Drumming will also find that they will be benefiting their neurological health. Any activity that gets you to work on your rhythm in this way is fantastic for your brain and your cognitive skills.
The patterns used for the drumming motions develop sensory-motor skills, reflexes, and your overall kinaesthetic awareness. This can, in turn, help to boost your concentration, memory, and overall sense of wellness. The way it does this is by generating alpha waves in your brain which gets your body and mind working together in synchronicity.
Of course, as you might expect, exercise is not only beneficial for these physical and neurological reasons. Something that people are becoming increasingly aware of is the effect exercise can have on your mental wellbeing. Participating in an exercise class whether alone or as a group can have tremendous benefits. You get serotonin pumping through your body and release endorphins, contributing to a happier mood.
If you are participating in Cardio Drumming as part of a group, you are also gaining the benefit of socialization, which as we know, can help to combat loneliness, a major contributor to poor mental health.
Does cardio drumming help you lose weight?
Cardio Drumming certainly can help you lose weight. As with any exercise, it can benefit you by keeping your body toned and supple and helping you to burn calories. Calories being burnt is an essential element of weight loss which is simply calories in versus calories out.
All you need to do to achieve the goal of weight loss is to get into a calorie deficit This is where you are burning more calories than you are eating. You need to do this healthily by sensibly cutting down your calorie intake (you should always consult a health professional before you do this) and taking up an exercise that can help you burn calories.
What we mean by this is that, on average, a person needs around 2000 to 2500 calories per day to be able to go about their normal daily routine. If they eat this amount and then start adding in an extra activity that burns calories, they will lose weight.
Likewise, if they reduce their calorie intake from 2500 to 2000, whilst taking up exercise, they will be in a calorie deficit as they will be using up their everyday calorie allowance, plus extra (from fat and energy stores) to do the exercise.
Since an hour of Cardio Drumming is a healthy way of burning calories, this can certainly be used to help your weight loss journey. Just be sure to do this sensibly and still eat enough to power you through those super intense workouts! A healthy, balanced diet with room for treat foods partnered with some enjoyable exercise is key!
Cardio Drumming is a fantastic exercise for actual drummers and non-musical people alike. Sure, if you have some experience drumming then you will likely be able to pick up the Cardio Drumming routines a little faster, but anyone can learn. You may even find that it helps to improve your actual drumming practice as it can help hand-eye coordination and overall rhythm.
It is an enjoyable and effective exercise routine that can be easily adapted to suit all ages and capabilities. Whether you try it out alone first in the comfort of your own home using a Youtube video, or you find yourself in a group class, you are sure to love it and reap the wonderful health benefits.