Before Dancing with the Stars helped Wayne Newton drop 20 lbs., Shanna Moakler lose her baby weight, and Lisa Rinna "whip my body into shape," nobody would have likened cha-cha practice to sprints on the treadmill. But it may be just as effective—and more fun, says Dancing's Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who, along with Seasons 2 and 3 champion Cheryl Burke, showed BodyWatch his moves. "Working out on machines is so boring," Maksim says. "This way, you can change the atmosphere, the mood—and you're also learning how to dance."
1. Stand with feet together, bend at the knees and bounce to the samba beat while contracting abdominals.
2. Step to the side and back to the center. This benefits your thighs, calves and abdominals, says Maksim. To increase intensity, bounce up on your toes as you move.
1. Swing your partner from one side to the other (as a matador swings his cape, which Cheryl represents).
2. Move your hips forward, twist your body and make a circle with your arms to stretch and tone abs and obliques.
3. Finish by swiveling your hips and allowing your partner to open her arms. ¡Olé!
The Rumba & Cha-Cha
1. For the rumba, lunge on one leg—great for thighs and glutes. Your partner leans in, working her inner thigh.
2. Now, the cha-cha. Spin your partner. To maintain her center, she keeps her abs tight throughout.
3. "Twist the body, extend the arm but don't relax your abs or you'll fall off balance!" Maksim warns.