Have you ever heard of Zumba? It has taken over the world! Since 2001, this training form has brought joy and sweat to millions of people – and shaken of thousands and thousands of pounds!
Founded by mistake by Alberto “Beto” Perez, an instructor from Colombia living in Miami (the story goes that he had to improvise a dance workout with whatever CD:s he had in his car after forgetting the right music for the class – and it turned out to be a huge success!!), it has now grown to an industry of training, clothes and even a video game!
It started with 4 different styles: merengue, salsa, cumbia and reggeaton, combining those 4 rhythms into an easy to attend workout that not only gets you into your party mode – it burns fat and improves your shape!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
The secret behind Zumba: you have so much fun that you just want to keep dancing! And the effort level is about 65% of max heart rate, making it a perfect fat burning exercise! An intense 60 minute Zumba class can burn up to 800 calories!
Image by Magdalena Bibik
Over the years, a lot of different variation of Zumba have arrived, such as Zumba Toning (where you hold a 1 pound maraca in each hand), Zumba Sentao (dancing and exercising with an assistance of a chair) and Zumba Step. Let us give you a crash course to a sweaty Zumba workout that will get you going:
Pick out a list of latino songs that you really enjoy. If you know the songs, you’ll probably know how they are built up. Imagine one exercise during verse, and another one during chorus, and then repeat them as the song goes. There you go! It’s actually not harder than that!
The classic Zumba rhythms
– Merengue is a style of dominican music and dance. It’s the easiest of all Zumba Rhythms, because you use every count in music. Right foot on 1, left foot on 2, right foot on 3…… and don’t forget your hips! Listen to “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo.
– Salsa has a different rhythm to merengue. It goes 1-2-3, 5-6-7. Movement is side to side or front and back. There are a lot of different salsa styles, the most common is Salsa Cubana. Just play with it, and don’t forget the arms! The more styling, the better! Listen to “Aguanile” by Marc Anthony.
– Cumbia originated in Colombia’s Caribbean coastal region and from the musical and cultural fusion of slaves brought from Africa. To get the right Cumbia feeling, listen to “Chúntaro Style” by El Gran Silencio. And don’t forget to stand tall and proud – that’s all that Cumbia is about!
– Reggeaton – it’s all about attitude! This is the latin version of hip hop and any song by Pitbull will go! The biggest difference from the other rhythms is that you are more grounded, with bent knees and a lot bigger steps.
Image by Magdalena Bibik
If the four traditional rhythms are not enough – add your own! This is what Zumba is all about – being influenced from all over the world! Do you want to make your workout heavier? Grab some maracas – or if you don’t have any – fill up some small water bottles with water and create your own dumbbells.
Over 3 million Zumba classes are given worldwide every week, so for more inspiration – find a Zumba class near you.
Want to have the best instructors in your own home? Try your own Zumba Fitness Game online.