So what exactly is Cardio Drumming? Well if you're curious about it, you've come to the right place!
In this YMI Ultimate Guide, you will learn:
- What Is Cardio Drumming?
- Is Cardio Drumming Good Exercise?
- Can Anyone Do Cardio Drumming?
- How Do I Get Into Cardio Drumming?
- And Much More!
With the ever-growing number of exercise options out there, it’s often hard to find something that’s not only effective at giving you a good workout, but that’s also fun and engaging.
Classic cardio exercises such as running, cycling, and rowing are often pretty monotonous and can become boring very quickly.
Anyone that has spent any amount of time on a treadmill will know exactly what I mean!
This is where the invention of Cardio Drumming aims to change things.
Touted as a full-body rhythmic cardio workout, that’s not only good at burning calories but also fun, engaging, and accessible for everyone, Cardio drumming could be the workout you always wanted.
In this review I will answer all your burning questions about this relatively new fitness trend, to help you decide whether you want to pick up the sticks and get sweating!
What Is Cardio Drumming?
At its core, Cardio Drumming is a cardiovascular based, full-body workout that requires you to move and play drums along to music.
Except it doesn’t actually involve any drums!
Instead, participants use drumsticks to drum on an inflatable Swiss ball (also called an exercise ball or Yoga ball) that’s placed in a specially designed bucket, which stops the ball from moving whilst keeping the top ‘drumming’ surface roughly at waist height.
During the class of usually between 10-20 people, an instructor will guide the drummers through a series of rhythms and movements, including squats, jumps and various other mobility exercises...all performed whilst drumming along to music.
It’s primarily an aerobic activity but will also incorporate elements of strength training as you maneuver the sticks.
As with most exercise classes the intensity will build throughout the class until your suitably out of breath and dripping with sweat.
Like most well-structured exercise classes, the form of a Cardio Drumming class will look like this:
A Typical Cardio Drumming Class
Warm-up (10-15 min)
This will involve bringing your heart rate up to get the blood pumping around your body.
It will usually involve some simple dynamic movements to mobilize your joints, preparing them for the main cardio portion of the class.
Main Cardio Session (Approx 30. min)
This is where the real work begins. This is the main part of the session, which includes a series of activities aiming to get your heart pumping and the sweat flowing.
It will usually build to a high intensity following on from the warm-up.
Cool Down/Stretches (10-15 min)
This portion of the class seres to safely bring your heart rate down to pre-exercise levels. It will incorporate some light cardio that gradually reduces in intensity.
Followed by some static stretches to return your tense worked muscles back to their original length and to help reduce any DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
Is Cardio Drumming Good Exercise?
The short answer is, YES!
Drumming has been proven to be an incredible calorie-burning activity. If we look at a rock drummer during a concert it will give you a good idea of the power of a drumming workout.
Over the course of 8 years, Clem Burke (drummer of famous band ‘Blondie’), took part in a scientific study that measured the demands on a rock drummer over a 90-minute live set.
The study measured his heart rate, oxygen uptake, and the levels of lactic acid in his blood.
The results were astounding. It turns out that rock drummers are comparable to top athletes, with their heart rate and oxygen uptake being the same as a professional soccer player during a full 90-minute match.
Except touring drummers have to do it night after night!
Also, the number of calories burned was substantial. Drumming in this way burns on average 400-600 calories an hour!
So in relation to Cardio Drumming, you also have the added challenge of not being sitting down like a drummer on a drum kit!
Therefore I think we can safely say that Cardio Drumming is an excellent heart-pounding, calorie-burning aerobic exercise that will definitely aid in overall fitness and weight loss.
Can Anyone Do Cardio Drumming?
Essentially everyone can enjoy the benefits of Cardio Drumming as a fun workout.
The great thing about it is that the intensity levels are very easy to manage. If you simply change the music to a slower tempo song and reduce the amount of dynamic movements, it can be a great exercise tool for older or less mobile people.
Similarly for people that already workout and want an extreme workout, you can throw on some fast drum and bass tunes and go nuts.
Really getting that upper body and leg muscles working, providing a challenging dynamic full-body exercise.
Cardio Drumming is also a great option for kids to get into exercise. Especially as not all children take to sports.
It’s very engaging and as long as you have an instructor that makes it fun with good music choices and silly games, the kids won’t even realize they’re doing exercise!
Before you partake in any form of strenuous exercise make sure you consult your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to do so (especially if you intend to work out at home).
Similarly, make sure the instructor is a qualified fitness professional that has experience monitoring and modifying intensity to adapt to your physicality and level of fitness.
As a qualified gym instructor and personal trainer, I’ve seen some very questionable workout routines that were simply not suitable for the people taking part.
The main thing is that you can exercise in a safe environment, whilst having fun!
How Do I Get Into Cardio Drumming?
There are two ways you can get into Cardio Drumming:
This is probably the easiest and most effective way of getting into Cardio Drumming. Cardio Drumming has seen a surge in popularity over the last few years which means more and more gyms are offering classes.
Call or drop by to your local gym or fitness center and ask if they run classes. If they don’t they may know somewhere that does, or they may even be encouraged to start offering classes if enough people ask!
The benefit of going in-person to a class is that you’ll get a qualified fitness instructor that will run the class safely and make sure you’re exercising with good technique and at the right intensity for your fitness level.
There’s also an added social element which makes Cardio Drumming much more enjoyable.
Standing in a room with 15 other people bashing away to music is incredibly cathartic and fun. (trust me as a drummer in bands for over 15 years I can tell you there’s nothing else like it!)
Companies such as Drums Alive, are a great resource for finding a class as well as signing up for an online exercise program if you don’t have access to a venue that runs Cardio Drumming classes.
The benefit of working out at home is that it’s accessible and can work around your lifestyle. It doesn’t have the same social aspect and self-motivation within the classes may be more of a factor as you won’t have an instructor urging you on.
However, with the future of fitness classes being uncertain due to lockdown regulations, home workouts are becoming more and more popular. So finding one that’s fun and effective is a must!
It also means you can craft your own workout drumming playlist (if you’re sick of jamming to ‘uptown funk’ or ‘I got a feeling’ for the 100th time).
Be aware however that blaring music and bashing on a swiss ball and bucket during your cardio drumming routine might not go down to well with close-by neighbors!
A Word About Technique
As a professional drum instructor and fitness professional, I’m very aware of the demands drumming places on the body...especially the hands, wrists, and elbows.
If you play drums on any surface with poor technique, you’re going to eventually cause problems with tight muscles as well as risking potential repetitive strain injuries.
Cardio Drumming is often run by fitness professionals that have little to no background in drumming or drum technique.
So if I were yo give you one piece of advice before you jump into the world of Cardio Drumming it would be:
LOOSEN THAT GRIP
I see so many drummers (instructors included) holding the stick with a tight ‘death grip’, allowing for no movement or vibration within the hand.
If the stick can absorb the vibrations when you’re hitting something, guess where those vibrations are going to go?.....yup, into your arm. Which, after hours of repetitive drumming, will eventually cause problems.
As a quick guide to holding the stick correctly:
Grip the sticks between your thumb and first joint along from your knuckle on your index finger. Make the ‘OK’ sign with your hand.
Gradually wrap your other fingers around the stick, keeping a gentle but solid contact.
Wiggle the stick in your hand, the main grip should be from your index/thumb, allowing for some movement of the rest of the stick in your hand. Imagine your holding a little bird, you don’t want to crush it, but you also don’t want to let it go!
DO NOT point your index finger along the length of the stick, this is guaranteed to cause issues!
Final Thoughts On Cardio Drumming
So there you have it! My ultimate guide to cardio drumming. If you’re looking for an alternative to your standard Cardio based activities then Cardio Drumming might be the perfect fitness trend to get your heart thumping and the sweat flowing.
And who knows, it might even inspire you to get on a drum set and learn to really play!