Written by Charlotte Campbell
In recent years the popularity of Zumba has skyrocketed. The aerobic workout is a dance based class, heavily influenced by Latin American dance styles. Classes centre on routines that exercise different muscle groups.
The mixture of a thorough workout with the summer sounds makes Zumba a perfect class for the summer. It’s the kind of workout were you start to crave a pina colada instead of water to refresh you.
Developed by choreographer Alberto Perez in Colombia, only certified instructors can hold Zumba classes. Playlists, base routines and moves are part of the program so different gyms can offer a level of consistency in what they offer. However, many instructors can offer their own “spin” on classes depending on their other areas of expertise. Some might incorporate modern styles of dance in with the Latin style. Others include light weights to routines.
Why Is Zumba So Popular?
Zumba combines a thorough aerobic workout with the fun of dance. No previous dance experience is required and routines can be picked up “on the go” as with a regular gym class.
As with most commercially successful workout plans, fans often claim that they forget that they are exercising at all – making it a particular favourite among those who can lack motivation. So you could shimmy your way to a beach body stress-free!
The intensity of Zumba classes can vary. But, as it is always a cardio based workout, fat and calorie burning levels can be high. This makes it an excellent addition to a summer fat loss program.
Many of the movements help to loosen hips and stretch the body, so it is very appealing to anyone who’s been sedentary all day. Plus, it helps you work on your moves for your next holiday or night out.
Is Zumba Just For Women?
While some gyms do hold various women only classes, Zumba, as a rule, is not female only. It’s dance style often makes it popular among women, but as anyone who has ever been a fan of Ricky Martin knows, Latin dance suits men too!
Can’t Find A Zumba Class Near You?
You can incorporate elements of Zumba into your everyday workouts. Shake up your playlist with Latin influences to add some spice to your normal routine. Samba, cha cha and rhumba beats will soon get your mood for movement going. You may find exercising to a new beat makes your usual reps fly by.
Add in some Latin moves to your normal workout routine. Intersperse your lunges with a quick cha cha cha. Make sure you engage your hips for maximum benefit (and aesthetic style!).
Swap sumo squats for moving your hips side to side as you lower into a plie. Lift your arms as you do so to further engage and use your core.
What Nutrition Do You Need For Zumba?
As with any cardio, aim to give your body slow burning energy around 30 minutes before the class. You’ll want to be as energetic with the last song as with the first, so fueling your body is essential. A banana, apple slices with peanut butter or a pre-workout shake will see you have enough for your workout.
Make sure you give your body the protein it needs, too. A protein shake, lean meat or a portion of nuts immediately after you stop throwing shapes is essential. This will help your body recover, as well as giving your body the tools to build lean muscle.