We already know that twerking can get you a lot of attention at an awards show (looking at you, Miley), but can it give you a workout, too? That’s the theory behind the new fitness craze called The Vixen Workout, a 60-minute, high-intensity cardio class that feels more like a dance club outing than a gym session.
Started by former Miami Heat dancer Janet Jones in Miami, the class is now offered in 12 locations in Florida and New York, with plans to expand. And aside from being a serious sweat session, Jones says this female-only “twerk out” is meant to be an exciting, confidence-building event.
“The whole experience is supposed to be like you’re part of a performance,” says Jones. That includes everything from live-in-concert hip-hop tracks to stage lighting. She even encourages the women to dress up in something that makes them feel sexy—like wedge sneakers and lipstick. (Bonus: The wedge sneakers make your legs work even harder during squats, says Jones.)
So does it actually burn calories? Absolutely. “We have a ‘booty music’ section that’s around five minutes, which is what most people call ‘twerking’ now,” say Jones. “It’s five minutes of being in a squat, pumping your pelvis rapidly and incorporating rapid arm movements. It truly is an amazing workout for quads, glutes, and abs—and the fast-paced intensity makes it killer cardio.”
Though Jones isn’t a certified personal trainer, she’s used fitness trackers in the class to see how many calories are being burned. The result: Around 400-500 calories for women who are less experienced, and up to 1,000 calories for women who can complete all of the moves.
Maybe Miley’s on to something after all? If you’re in Florida or New York City, you can purchase tickets to upcoming classes here. If not, check out these other ways to dance off the calories:
*This story was originally published on WomensHealth.com.