WEEKLY WORKOUT: Busting A Move At Hip Hop Abs

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It's called Hip Hop Abs.  The class is a combination of dance and abdominal work.  The focus is on the core, but the rest of your body - and mind - will get a great workout.

Jen Kees, the owner of Kees Camp in West Des Moines, is the instructor.  She's been dancing and choreographing routines for 25 years.

"I know how to take a beginner in my hands and teach them the basics and then go from there."

That's a relief, because Jen has at least two beginners in her hands.  We start with some stretching and a few basic moves.  Jen tells us to "be the boss" in our stance.

"For 45 minutes we’ll be breaking down choreography for a routine we’re going to kick off and show you tonight."

The warm-up alone is a challenge.  "It's kind of hard," says one of the participants.  To say we're intimidated is an understatement.

"Don't be, don't be," says Jen.  "We're going to break this down really easy."

Jen teaches us the routine, step by step.  "We’re gonna start  with the feet and then add the arms.  We’re not going to do all those complicated things together."

Thank goodness!  We're having a hard enough time just learning how to move our feet.  The rapid twisting and turning engages almost every muscle in our bodies, especially the core, which has an added bonus.

"You tend to burn a lot more calories because your metabolism is raised from that core being contracted," says Jen.

We also burn up the abs with 15 minutes of traditional floor work before returning to the dance routine.

We may never look like professionals.  But with Jen's help, we do manage to bust a few moves, while working on our six packs.