Colgadas Beat Lunges Any Day

When it comes to exercise, I need something really active like biking or running to keep me engaged. Lifting weights feels like one of the punishments in hell. It’s not the exercise, it’s the tedium:  up, down, up, down. Other types of resistance training to don’t have much appeal for me either–lunges, squats and push-ups feel like exercise with all the fun wrung out. Just the effort is left.

At long last, I think I’ve found a way to fit lunges back into my exercise routine–it’s called colgadas.

Any exercise done while dancing automatically becomes more bearable. Witness the proliferation of dance-aerobics DVDs like Paula Abdul Cardio Dance (one of Mom’s favorites) and Dancing with the Stars on the Wii . I’ve despaired of ever mustering the motivation to do my lunges, as I know I should.  Now, along comes Argentine Tango colgadas, and my problems are solved.

Cogadas, also called shared-axis turns, are a type of Argentine Tango step that’s become really popular in the Nuevo style.  Takeabreak blog defines colgadas as:

A Tango move, where the feet of the follower are leader are in the same space and their bodies lean apart from each other in a perfect counterweight.

That description works for me, or at least describes the most basic element of what we were learning in my class. You start out by finding that counterbalanced position. From there, you can do all sorts of stuff.

This is the best photo I've been able to find of the Colgada variation we learned last night. Photo from

In looking around online, it looks as though there are many different types of colgadas. For the one we did last night, we started with a sort of lunge. Then, holding  it, we did lots of rotating . It’s hard work keeping up that lunge/squat while moving around. You have to keep yourself nice and upright while taking your hips back, and stay up on the ball of your foot while leaving that back leg out nice and straight. I feel it in my calves and thighs today!

I hope we get lots of opportunities to practice this, not just because my colgadas need work–my arse needs the lunges.

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