How to Lead a Drums Exercise Class

Posted by Mike Schumacher

If you’re a drummer or a fitness instructor and you’re looking to make some extra cash on the side, you should consider hosting a drums exercise class.

Learn to lead a safe and addicting class for rockstars of any age and every skill, and you might not need to work another day job. Be your own manager, set your own schedule, and turn your enthusiasm into something that never ever feels like work. 

Drumming is healthy for your mind

Drumming has been utilized therapeutically since ancient times. 

It’s a fantastic exercise for your brain too, and really can make you smarter in the sense that learning musical instruments and theory can boost your IQ over time. 

Research has revealed that the transmission of the balanced energy you get to the brain when exercising actually integrates the left and right hemispheres.

This transmitted energy produces feelings of insight and certainty. For these reasons, drumming might be a powerful tool in assisting retrain the brains of people who have some level of damage or problems, such as with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), after a stroke, or where there is a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s.

To be clear, we are NOT suggesting you start intense cardio drumming instead of seeking official medical advice. We’re merely suggesting that some intense drum sessions can help you feel your best. 

Drumming is also legitimate workout

Drumming is not simply an enjoyable pastime. It can actually be a moderate to extreme workout. 

An individual who weighs 185 pounds (about 84kg) will burn about 250 calories per hour of intense drumming. It can also raise your heart-rate to high levels with adequate strength. 

Getting yourself into terrific shape can really assist your ability to play drums for extended periods of time. This means if you begin playing for a few hours at a time, you could be getting some pretty good exercise. 

I totally get it – you may think that it sounds a bit silly, drumming as a form of exercise (especially in a group of people!). But there are some guidelines that can really help you make the most out of your cardio drumming sessions in a way that doesn’t have to feel goofy or forced. 

To get the full benefit of a workout on drumset, you will probably want to swap the traditional throne for a stability ball – this will force you to engage your core when you play. 

As if you need further convincing, you don’t need to invest a fortune to get geared up for some cardio drumming. You can do it on your own, with your homies after a Sunday barbecue event, or you could try posting signs around the neighborhood to see if anyone wants to join your exercise drum class.

Music and exercise are both fun in isolation. Together, they’re even better!

Getting started

When it comes to drumming as exercise, you can begin doing it alone. 

However, given that it’s a mixture of physical and musical activities, drumming in a group setting could very well be a bit more exciting. Plus, since you’d have other individuals around you, you may be motivated to be at least as active as they are.

Remember that it’s not all in the arms

In spite of what a lot of people may think, drumming isn’t only about using your arms. 

If you view a truly professional drummer at work, you’ll see that his whole body is working to produce the beat. Even their feet pump to work the foot pedals. 

This kind of high-energy, full-body activity necessitates a high level of effort. 

To produce the continuous vigorous movement of drumming for exercise (and maintaining musical accuracy!) you may need to focus on improving the parts of your playing that do NOT involve your arms!

Keep that heart rate up

A little while back a buddy of mine told me about some research performed by the University of Gloucestershire in England. It actually concluded that drumming, as a workout, is comparable to playing in a Premier League football match. 

Yeah, I know that sounds crazy. But the evidence is there to back it up. 

If you’re playing intensely and keep that intensity up, and if your heart rate is within the ranges required to elicit the type of response a footballer might have, you’re bound to start benefitting your cardiovascular health.

It totally is exercise – a valid, cardiovascular workout with all the benefits of “real” cardio. 

Thinking about it – drumming utilizes all 4 limbs and your core (for stabilization), unlike running or biking which essentially do not offer any upper body exercise at all.

Marketing your class is key

If you want to make a business out of exercise drumming classes, you’ll need to pay attention to marketing. 

Try taking out an advertisement in your local paper, or targeting young professionals in your area who you think may be interested in a new, organic, and fun way of exercising with like-minded music aficionados. 

People can’t attend a class they never hear about. So don’t be afraid to get out there and tell the world what you’re doing!


If you’re playing vigorously and frequently, you’re getting a decent cardio workout. Period. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

You don’t need the world’s fanciest drumkit in order to exercise with drums. All you need is a couple of sticks, a stability ball, and something to hit. You could hit buckets, fancy Gretsch drums, towels, really anything so long as it produces a sound you like. 

What are you waiting for? Get out there and start making your own exercise class built around the drums!

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