Top Workouts to Expect from a Zumba Class
Zumba has taken the world by storm over the last few years. This fitness dance concept originated in the mind of a Colombian dancer, Alberto “Beto” Perez, in the mid-90s. While teaching at his aerobics class, he forgot the usual music. So, he decided to put on some Latin dance cassettes, and Zumba was born! In 2001, he officially released a series of Zumba dances as infomercials. Today, the Zumba program is available in more than 110 countries and followed by almost 10 million people.
What to Expect from a Zumba Class?
Joining a new fitness class can be intimidating. What if the workout is too challenging for you? What if everyone else is a regular and you cannot keep up? Well, these doubts can go away if you already know what kind of workout to expect in the class.
When it comes to Zumba, it is a choreographed routine, set to flamenco, salsa, and merengue music, according to experts at New York Health and Racquet Club. It feels more like a dance routine, rather than a workout. Even Zumba’s tagline says, “Ditch the workout, join the party.” It might be extremely fun, but it is an intense cardiovascular workout. In fact, you can burn anywhere from 300 to 900 calories in an hour-long Zumba session, according to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.
Zumba classes are generally an hour long. In the beginning, there is a dynamic warm-up, while it ends with some cooling down. The workout is broken into different sections, according to the songs, with a different routine for each. Even the songs are chosen to provide high- and mild-intensity workouts. This helps in keeping the heart rate up throughout the session. The routine might seem a bit difficult in the beginning, but it is builds up your endurance. In fact, Zumba reduces systolic blood pressure and heart rate, indicating increased heart efficiency, according to a study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Fitness.
Areas Zumba Targets
The main focus of a Zumba workout is to build your cardiovascular endurance. But it also strengthens your muscles. The muscles it targets are:
- Core: Many of the dance steps used in Zumba require you to move the midsection and the hips. This helps in building core strength.
- Arms: While traditional Zumba does not focus on the arms, there are certain versions, such as Zumba toning, that use light weights. These build arm strength.
- Legs: Lunges and jumping are common in Zumba routines. These help in building strength in hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles.
- Glutes: The constant jumping, squatting, and bending is sure to invoke a burn in your glutes.
For some seniors, traditional Zumba can be a little too intense and tough on the joints. They can opt for Aqua Zumba or Zumba Gold instead.