If she wants to dance and drink all night...
December 10, 2007 3:11 PM   Subscribe

How can I turn DDR: The Hottest Party (for Wii) into the main activity in a get-your-fat-butt-off-the-couch and move around routine?

I'm recieving a Wii for xmas, and went over to play DDR on it at a friend's last night- I'm hooked like crazy. However, I know the calorie burn count is kind of low, and I'm looking for ways to make the workout a bit harder while I dance. I know DDR won't be the sole activity in any excercise routine (at least not an effective one) but it's as good a place to start as any. Please, hive mind- tips or tricks for making a DDR workout a little more effective!
posted by Glitter Ninja to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wrist and ankle weights?
posted by agregoli at 3:17 PM on December 10, 2007


The calorie burn count is kind of low when you're bad at it, but as you get better it gets to be pretty significant.
posted by aubilenon at 3:17 PM on December 10, 2007


Oh, also- what kind of shoes should I be wearing for this? Bare feet kind of stick to dance pads.
posted by Glitter Ninja at 3:20 PM on December 10, 2007


I wear socks.

You could do push-ups or something between songs to keep your heart rate up.
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:22 PM on December 10, 2007


DDR can be pretty active if you really get into it -- you may feel like a bit of a dork at first, but get your arms moving and really showcase how bad your dancing is (that's MY approach -- you may be Fred/Ginger, of course). Go straight from one song into the next with no breaks -- easy, since DDR has a workout mode that does just that.

Also, second the wrist/ankle weights, though start very light so you don't strain anything. That's a LOT of repetitions.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 3:26 PM on December 10, 2007


I lost a bunch of weight last year with DDR: Mario Mix for the GameCube. It's true that you don't get a major workout from DDR, but I found that if I played for 30 minutes a day four days a week my weight loss and general good healthy feelings ramped up over time, no weights required. Mario Mix will count the burned calories for you, but I don't know if Hottest Party does that as well. It's a simple way to keep track of progress though. I had to give it up early this year due to a health problem and I really miss it. I always felt so much better after playing it even if it's not a "conventional" form of exercise.
posted by Servo5678 at 3:32 PM on December 10, 2007


My main advice would be to try to keep moving during the breaks in between songs. That will keep your heart rate up.

Also, don't do anything that makes playing DDR stop being fun. The whole point of choosing this as an exercise to get you started is that its fun and easy. Once you make it a routine to exercise the easy way, you can crank up the difficulty. Use this as your "gateway drug" to the harder forms of exercise.
posted by burnmp3s at 3:33 PM on December 10, 2007


I'm not sure how different versions do it, but when I played DDRMax to work out, I did it in Workout Mode - not because of the calorie count, but because it was continuous with no breaks, and I could jump around for thirty minutes straight. (Also because Workout Mode didn't care if I failed the hard levels.) If the Wii version has a continuous mode, use that.

I use the calorie counter as a guide rather than a hard-and-fast measure - if I'm burning even a small amount more calories on Thursday than Tuesday, it's an improvement.

This is probably obvious but still worth mentioning: take care of any potential distractions before you start working out. Drink a cup of water, use the bathroom, open a window if you think it might get hot while you play, ignore the phone, don't wear anything that will give you a wedgie. All of these have distracted me in the middle of songs!

Finally, alternate with some Wii Boxing every now and then if you like that game too. It's fun and exhausting.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:51 PM on December 10, 2007


Supplement with "Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games" as well, if you're looking to work the arms out. The longer 4x100 swimming events and relay races made my arms sore as hell the next day after we rented it. I was astonished at how much of a workout some of the events were, never got anywhere near that sore from Wii Sports Boxing...
posted by barc0001 at 4:44 PM on December 10, 2007


I'd actually advise against ankle weights. Wrists are fine, but once you get moving up in the difficulty, moving your feet is hard enough on their own. Just keep pushing the difficulty, and you'll be moving fast and breaking a sweat in no time.

I don't play as much as I used to, but I generally plateaued around 6 or 7, and I had difficulty getting my feet to lift and step fast enough on some tracks. Weights seem like they'd run counter to the notion of having fun with the exercise.
posted by explosion at 5:28 PM on December 10, 2007


I own seven mixes of DDR, going all the way back to DDR Max on PS2. When I'm at the top of my game I can clear 7- or 8-footers by sight reading, and 9-footers with considerable practice. A few notes:

1. DDR Hottest Party is the hardest version of DDR I've played. In order to master the independent limb movement necessary with hands and feet I had to kick the difficulty back down to beginner--after a few days I could clear 5- or 6-footers, but it still isn't easy for me. Not because of the intensity of the exercise, but because of the necessary coordination.

2. I strongly advise against both wrist and ankle weights if you're going to develop any meaningful skill in the game. Ankle weights will make an already hard game even harder; wrist weights will ruin your timing with the Wiimote and nunchuk, and timing is crucial once you get to Difficult mode (which used to be called Standard mode on earlier mixes of DDR). When I was beginning with DDR and I graduated from Light to Standard mode (from 2- and 3-footers to 5- and 6-footers), I immediately developed shin splints.

3. If you work up to Difficult or Heavy mode and play steadily (no breaks between sets; play for 30-45 minutes), I think you'll find you get a sufficient cardiovascular workout. When I was learning the game I dropped twenty pounds in two months due mostly to playing daily (with some slight changes in diet).

4. Because I'm emphasizing how hard it is doesn't mean that you won't be able to master it. It just takes a while, longer than it does to master most other video games. burnmp3s is correct to say that you shouldn't play it when it isn't fun--in general, you'll know it's time to stop playing for the day when your timing starts to suffer and your scores drop. With daily play I was able to get A's on Standard mode in a couple of months. The move from Standard to Heavy is exponentially harder, though.

5. Finally, if this game catches your interest, consider buying a used PS2 if you don't have one and getting either DDR Max or DDR Max 2--those had the most robust training modes (and I don't think Hottest Party has a training mode at all--it's a great game, but it shows signs of being rushed out the door). In the training modes of Max and Max 2 you can slow the songs down and work carefully through the steps--it's great for moving from Standard into Heavy mode.

6. Actually, one more thing. Even though it just came out, DDR Hottest Party is already rare, and goes for $90-$100 on the secondary market right now--not as bad of a markup as the one on the console itself, but still not great. You should not pay more than the MSRP of $70 for the game + dance pad.
posted by Prospero at 8:01 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I played 7, 8, 9 footers all summer last year and lost quite a significant amount of weight. Wore socks, athletic shorts and a sports bra--played Stepmania via a USB pad, so what you have in terms of mix options might be somewhat more limited, but yeah, it's definitely viable exercise. I'd love to get back into it.
posted by rhoticity at 1:43 AM on December 11, 2007


When it comes out, you could pick up Wii Fit with the balance board and make it part of your routine too.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:48 AM on December 11, 2007


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