The sound of “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake and rhythmic drumming fill the Neri Event Room as a dozen people shake up their workout routine and explore the newest fitness class at the Lealman Exchange: Cardio Drumming.

Cardio drumming uses drumsticks to pound on a “drum” made of an exercise ball placed on a bucket while listening to upbeat music. This innovative and fun-filled workout is breaking the mold of traditional fitness routines, offering participants a unique opportunity to work up a sweat, relieve stress, and connect with their inner rhythm.

Cardio drumming is not your typical fitness class. It combines elements of drumming with cardiovascular exercise to create a high-energy, full-body workout that is both challenging and enjoyable. As you drum along to the beat of the music, your body gets a fantastic workout.

“Four years ago, I really fell in love with it, and it has turned my life around,” says Marlene Ross, one of the instructors who hosts the class through her Let’s Get Healthy Club. “I was one doctor’s appointment away from becoming a diabetic, and I said nope, that’s not going to happen.”

Since that fateful day, Ross has made it her mission to help herself and others get healthy through movement. One of the reasons she’s passionate about cardio drumming is because it’s a fun, safe workout for all ages and abilities, including those with mobility challenges, and it does not require drumming experience. 

“I’ve had kids join, I have participants in wheelchairs, and an older gentleman who sits in a chair because he has MS,” says Ross. “I have one lady who participates and her doctor said she can get off of her blood pressure medicine because she’s losing weight and gaining strength. Our health is 80% what we put in our body and 20% exercise, and this is just what I’ve found and I love, so I feel like there are more people out there we could reach out to.”

Another big benefit of cardio drumming is that you burn calories while also working your brain. While moving side to side, you play particular drumstick rhythms on the ball, in the air, and even against the bucket and floor. Doing the movements simultaneously gives you a mental workout that not many other workout routines offer.

“We always have new songs, different moves, and new routines,” says Ross. “We keep it fun and interesting so people want to come back.”

Cardio Drumming is held from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Lealman Exchange, 5175 45th St. N. The cost is $30 for the month or $8 per class. Pre-registration is not required, but Ross recommends bringing water and a small towel along. You can learn more about the class at

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