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Cardio Drumming – What’s It All About? (Pro Drummer’s Take)

Cardio drumming is a type of workout that was set to take the fitness world by storm several years ago. While it never became as popular as everyone assumed it would, it’s still a common fitness workout that you’ll find being performed by trainers all over the world. 

In this guide, we’ll explain exactly what cardio drumming is, how to do it, and how beneficial it is for your mind and body. We’ll also briefly look at other forms of fitness and cardio that relate to drumming.

What Is Cardio Drumming?

Cardio drumming is a type of workout where you use drumsticks to hit an exercise ball while you move around and play along to vibrant music. It’s typically done in exercise classes, so a group of people all stand next to each other to follow what an instructor tells them to do. 

It was created by Dr. Michelle Unrau, who got inspired by the way Japanese people played Taiko drums. She saw how beneficial those movements could be for your body, so she based a workout routine around that and made it easily learnable.  

Here’s a quick video to watch that will give you a full perspective of what cardio drumming entails: 

What the Heck Is Cardio Drumming

Benefits of Cardio Drumming

It’s Fun

Workouts and cardio exercises often become very unattractive to people due to how hard they can be. While cardio drumming has degrees of difficulty, the big difference between it and more traditional workouts is that it can be a lot of fun.

When you bring sticks and drumming into the mix, people are typically more likely to enjoy themselves. Cardio drumming brings a lot of joy when you’re having fun playing drums with several people around you. 

You can also hit the ball quite hard to get all your frustrations out at the same time

It Stimulates Your Brain

The whole point of cardio drumming is that you’re getting a workout while also using your brain to match rhythms to the songs you’re playing to. This makes cardio drumming an amazing workout for your mind as well. 

Drumming is already a great stimulator, but now you’re adding even more movement by standing and stomping your feet at different times. 

While the coordination aspect of it can be tricky at first, it gets easier once you get used to it, and improving your coordination skills will also improve your brain function

They say that cardio drumming uses both the left and right sides of your brain, and that’s always a good thing!

It’s For Everyone

There are no prerequisites for joining a cardio drumming class. You don’t need to know how to play drums, you don’t need to be a certain age, and you don’t need to have any of your own equipment unless you want to do the exercises at home. 

It’s a form of exercise that everyone can do, making it incredibly inclusive. Even though you’re playing rhythms and moving, it’s quite easy to pick up after a while, so everyone who joins cardio drumming classes tends to get quite good at them. 

The fitness aspect is the hardest part when the classes get intense.

What Equipment Do You Need?


The use of drumsticks is what makes cardio drumming a drumming activity. However, you can use various types of sticks to do it

Some cardio drumming instructors will give all the members proper drumsticks, while others will get people to use larger plastic sticks. It’s even common for people to use short pool noodles to perform the exercise. 

You just need to have stick-like things to hit the fitness ball with.  

Fitness Ball 

The next piece of equipment you need is a standard-sized fitness ball. It needs to be blown up rigidly so that the sticks rebound off it every time you strike it. 

All the balls need to be the same size when doing cardio drumming in a class setting, as that will keep everyone performing the same motions. 


The last thing you need is a bucket to put the fitness ball on. It needs to be large enough for half of the fitness ball to rest inside it. If it’s too big, the ball will be swallowed. If it’s too small, the ball will rest on the top and fall off after you strike it a few times. 

You need a large bucket that is fairly shallow in height. Again, it’s best if all the buckets are the same size if cardio drumming is done in a class environment.

Workouts to Follow

If you want to do cardio drumming by yourself, you can easily follow a few workouts online. Here are some good ones to check out: 

Drum Cardio FULL CLASS

Cardio Drumming - Uptown Funk


Are There Other Cardio Exercises Like Cardio Drumming?

There are plenty of drumming-related exercises that people do around the world, but the only other formally recognized one is called Pound. 


Pound is very similar to cardio drumming. However, it’s not done with a bucket and fitness ball. It involves using drumsticks to play the ground and click together, and it involves moving your body a lot more than you do in cardio drumming. 

The drumsticks aren’t the main focus in Pound, as they play a much smaller role. 

18-Minute Drumming Inspired Full Body Workout | POUND Rockout. Workout.

Will Drum Kit Players Be Good at Cardio Drumming?

Drum kit players will be excellent at the rhythm aspect of cardio drumming, but they may struggle with the fitness aspect if their fitness levels are low

Cardio drumming involves a lot of arm and leg movement, and there’s no guarantee that any drummer will be able to keep up with that for an hour session.

Is Playing a Drum Kit a Good Form of Cardio?

Playing the drum kit won’t be as beneficial for your cardiovascular health as an official cardio drumming classwill be. You move a lot more in the class, so you’ll burn more calories. 

While many people think that drumming itself is a good workout, it only burns a lot of calories if you move your body a tremendous amount for extended periods, and most drummers don’t do that when playing.

Final Thoughts on Cardio Drumming

Cardio drumming is a great way of getting drummers into the gym, and it’s a great way of getting regular people to form an interest in drumming. It’s a win-win on both sides, and it’s unfortunate that it’s not as popular as it could be. 

If you can find a cardio drumming class in your town, you should try it out. It’s a great change of pace from doing standard exercise routines, and it’s a lot of fun!

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