Ever watch K-pop choreo that looks so exhausting that you find yourself sweating by the end of the video? Does your pulse increase? Do you attempt an eight-count of steps, give up, and console your bruised ego with ice cream? Perhaps you’re one of the majorly talented fans who can actually cover these fast-paced routines without turning into a puddle of tears. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear these dances show just how much stamina these idols have.
Sometimes, I think K-pop choreography should be offered as an exercise option in gyms. You get to hear great songs while dancing to your favorite routines. I’m sure there are places in the world where this happens already, but if you’re looking for a shortlist of dances for a home workout, here are some I think could get your engine going.
1. Twice – “Cheer Up”
This one could probably work for warming up. It’s not too strenuous, but there’s just enough movement to get the muscles prepared for what’s coming next. The steps aren’t overly complicated, which is great for those of us who struggle in the dance department. It also doesn’t hurt for the choreo to follow the mid-tempo beat pretty evenly throughout the song. This routine shouldn’t wear you out too badly if you’re in decent shape.
2. Crayon Pop – “Bar Bar Bar”
Again, it’s very simple choreo, but the key here is to merely get your heart pumping. Your trainer may not approve of multiple sets of jumping like a pogo stick, but this routine is definitely more fun than doing burpees. You probably already do these kinds of moves in exercise already, so it won’t be a stretch putting those same moves to music. If you want a creative way to get kids into being more active, inspire them by doing a cover of this choreography. Yes,
you they are allowed to wear helmets to match the members.
3. Wonder Girls – “Like This”
Have you broken a sweat yet? Are you still breathing? Good, let’s continue to an old favorite from the Wonder Girls. Another song for funsies, I love how casual and upbeat the dance is. The constant leg wobbles mean you won’t be in one place for long. Plus, how do you not have this song already in your workout playlist? Whether it’s the song or the dance, it’s hard not to break a sweat to this one. Try doing a couple of the moves while cleaning; it’ll make things go by quicker.
4. Boa – “Only One”
Don’t let the lyrical tune throw you off. The steps for this routine move faster than the light piano melody. What truly intrigued me was how well the dance matched the song when it could’ve easily been choreographed with something closer to ballet or contemporary. You may have to watch the video several times to catch every intricate nuance, but if you nail this dance, you’ll be rewarded with an awesome calorie burner. If Boa made exercise videos, she’d probably conquer that arena the same way she has with music.
5. Seventeen – “Mansae”
Got a large group of friends who want to increase their heart rate? See if they’re up for this energetic number, but make sure you do it in a wide open space. Coming up with dances for large groups is a challenge in itself, but Seventeen is up for it. This group has garnered a lot of attention for their highly energetic routines, so putting this on the list was a no brainer. Seventeen exudes youthful exuberance in spades with their quick steps and swift transitions.
6. Infinite – “Paradise”
This could work for cooling down; however, it’s Infinite. Their routines aren’t exactly in the chill aisle, so if you were hoping to relax, then you came to the wrong place. Honestly, just about anything from Infinite could work because they are known for their intense choreography. Filled with sharp, hard-hitting moves, “Paradise” barely pauses for a break. It’s fascinating to watch how effortlessly they pull off this routine, but you know it has to be exhausting. I can’t think of a better candidate for cardio.
7. Teen Top – “Rocking”
Three words of my best advice for anyone on this routine: Don’t hurt yourself. Even the members themselves experienced injuries from this dance, so take the proper precautions and do some stretching exercises before attempting a single step. The frenetic footwork is key here as Teen Top moves at lightning speed. You’re going to need a ton of stamina to keep up. That means you can’t quit halfway for a reward smoothie, but if you manage to conquer this beast, then a congratulatory sundae might be acceptable.
8. Shinee – “Lucifer”
It is possible to execute this routine without passing out. Well, I mean, it’s possible if you’re Shinee. This one should increase the heart rate even if you don’t perform the dance. Something about watching Shinee dance is both mesmerizing and tiring because they do so much. It really speaks volumes about a group’s dedication to dance when they can perform older routines at concerts with the same amount of energy they had from their rookie days. If they can do it, then you can — continue watching them do it. Unless you really want to try this, then go ahead but please stay hydrated.
9. Xia Junsu – “Incredible”
Do you see this? Definitely, not for the faint of heart. Junsu is an incredible performer, and I’m not saying that to be cute with the title of this song. Look at the energy the backup dancers put into this. Now look at Junsu. He’s not taking any breaks; therefore, it’s only fair that those performing this routine do the same. Another routine that requires consistency in movement and steady footwork, I can actually picture this playing in a Zumba class or some other dance-related exercise. It might even be easier to do Zumba, but you should give this choreo a try just to say you did it.
10. BTS – “Fire”
And this is where I throw in my towel. If you’ve danced your way up to this point and survived, congratulations! I’m pretty much at my limit when it comes to most BTS routines, but this one left me breathless. The breakdown near the end with the quick stomping movements looks complicated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attempt this dance. There are a lot of dynamics in this choreo, so be sure to hit every move for maximum impact.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m letting you all know that I’m not a professional fitness trainer. My idea of exercise is watching these videos because that alone makes me perspire. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the choreographers of these dances. I also feel humbled by all idols who perform these routines daily for fans on music shows and at concerts. Their dedication is truly admirable, and that’s why fans adore them.
What dances inspire you to work out?