Zumba is gaining popularity in fitness circles around the world and even famous Hollywood celebrities are swearing by its amazing benefits. But exactly what is Zumba? It is a dance fitness method based on classic Latin dance forms that was developed by choreographer Alberto Perez during the 1990s. Zumba dance workout is a form of full body workout that improves footwork, loosens up the neck and shoulders, engages the core muscles and stretches the ankles and calves. The Zumba choreography involves a wide range of dance forms right from Hip Hop and Merengue to Salsa and Samba.
Benefits of Zumba Dance Workout
Zumba involves non-complex moves that help in moving each and every part of the body and helps in burning calories and increasing flexibility. And the best thing is it feels more like a party than a boring exercise routine.
- Calorie Burn – One of the basic benefits of Zumba is that it helps in burning a huge amount of calories in a fun and enjoyable way. A one hour Zumba dance session can burn 817 calories on an average.
- Provides Visible Results – The true encouragement in continuing any workout is visible results and Zumba is one such fitness workout that provides quick results, therefore, more and more people are choosing Zumba over gym.
- Perfectly Toned Body – Zumba fitness moves engage each and every muscle of the body by incorporating traditional fines moves such as lunges and squats which help in toning and tightening all the muscles and tissues.
- Suitable for all Ages – The Zumba is a flexible and versatile workout that can be done by people of all ages. The speed and intensity of the moves can be adjusted according to each individual’s level of fitness.
- Stress Buster – Zumba is a great way to relax your mind and body and divert your attention from worries.
- You Will Keep Coming Back – Workouts that are enjoyable and fun filled gets us excited and makes us keep coming back for more and more. Zumba is one such entertaining workout that will never bore you.
Zumba Workout Tips for a Newbie
If you are a newbie to Zumba, then following these tips can help you to follow the cue and get into tune.
- You should go to the Zumba class with an open mind ready to sweat it out and perform groovy hip shakes.
- It can take you up to three classes to get accustomed to the movements and routines.
- You should wear comfortable fitness clothes which do not restrict movement and soak up the sweat.
- Wear supportive shoes that support the fast side to side and front to back movements.
- Being your Zumba workout with two sessions per week and then gradually increase it to five sessions per week.
6 Basic Zumba workout Moves for Fast Weight Loss
Zumba draws a lot of inspiration from traditional Latin dance styles that are not only graceful, but also sexy. Here are the 6 fundamental Zumba steps that engage each and every muscle of the body.
Salsa is the basic move of Zumba dance workout which incorporates Latin steps and rhythms into the workout. It is one of the best aerobics workouts that involve swift and vigorous leg movement. Salsa is the preliminary part of Zumba that involves the leg movements. It is almost like a Latin dance where you step out your right foot and switch your weight on the right foot, then return to the starting position, step out your left foot and shift your weight on the left foot. And all this happens in quick succession.
Stand with your feet closed. Now, step right and bend your right knee, return to the starting position. Step left; bend your left knee and return to the middle. Repeat it 20 to 30 times and slowly pick up the pace and try to repeat the move faster and faster. Rock your body from side to side along with it and loosen up so that you can enjoy the rhythm of the music.
Now that you have mastered the basic salsa move standing at one place, it is time to learn the traveling salsa move which is an important step of Zumba for beginners. This move works the hips, thighs and arms all at the same time. Stand with your feet closed and your arms at your sides.
Now, bend your knees slightly and move four steps towards your left moving your hips and pointing your hands to the left. Now, change the direction and move four steps to the right swinging your hips and pointing your hands to the right. As you get used to the move try to do it at a faster tempo.
The Merengue is another classic Latin dance from that is incorporated into Zumba workout. It is one of the basic Zumba steps that resemble a march accompanied by rhythmic swaying of hips and arms. It is important to note that in a Merengue dance step the left hip pops up as the right foot steps and the right hip pops up as the left foot steps. It is important to maintain all upright and strong posture all through the move.
Stand with both feet closed. Now, bend your right knee and put the right foot in front while moving out your left hip. Return to the starting position and bend your left knee, put the right foot in front while moving your right hip and return to the starting position. Repeat this move in quick succession for a few minutes and gradually increase the tempo as if to march forward and march back.
The Reggaeton is an integral part of Zumba fitness and it is known as the Latin form of Hip Hop dance packed with energy and power. In a basic reggaeton move you need to step right then bring the left foot to touch the right and then repeat the same on the other side. You can also add some arm movement to it in order to bring variation. Stand with your feet closed. Now bend your right knee and simultaneously move your right arm to the side, pointing towards the floor and bend your left arm and bring it in front of your waist.
Return to the starting position and bend your left knee, move your left arm to the side pointing towards the floor and bend your right arm and bring it in front of your waist. Repeat this entire move in quick succession and gradually pick up the pace while moving your shoulders to the rhythm.
The Reggaeton Pump is one of the power-packed Zumba moves which involve a lot of attitude and punk. It is a move that works specifically the abdominal muscles. Stand with your feet placed slightly apart and your arms at your side. Now, bend your arms and bring them in front of your chest and place the diagonally towards the right with your palms turned into fists.
Contract your abdomen and pump your arms twice. Return to the middle and place your arms diagonally towards the left and pump your arms twice. Repeat the move a few times to get used to it and then try at a faster pace by contracting the abs rapidly according to the rhythm of the Zumba dance music.
The Cumbia is yet another graceful Latin dance form that is included in the Zumba exercise. This move helps in working the hip muscles and improving posture and grace to give you an appealing stance. In a basic Cumbia move, you will need to move sideways by tapping your heels and toes. Stand straight with your feet closed. Now try to move sideways to the left by digging your right heel to the floor and then moving the right foot behind the left foot and digging the right toe into the floor.
Continue this move with the right foot and take small steps with the left foot to move to your left. Now, return to the starting point by moving sideways to the right by digging your left heel to the floor and then moving the left foot behind the right foot and digging the left toe into the floor while taking small steps with the left foot. Once you have mastered this move, try to repeat it at a faster pace by moving your shoulders and hips.
5 Ways to Increase Fat Burn with the Zumba Workout
Zumba is all about fun and enjoying the movements and moving the body freely to the rhythm. The combination of fast and slow moves in the dance routine helps in toning and sculpting the body.
Increase Arm Movement – You can boost calorie burn and include more muscle activity into the workout regime by extending the arms fully and maximizing the arm movement. You can maximize arm movement by raising, stretching and lengthening the arms.
Enhance Up and Down Movement – Take the Zumba workout to a whole new level by increasing the up and down movement that will not only boost calorie burn, but also fire up the muscles of the hips, glutes and thighs.
Work Your Hips – Enjoy the hip shaking movements of the Zumba and make the movement more intense by pressing through the heels. This helps in shaping the butt.
Rock the Moves – You don’t need to be a master of Latin dance in order to do the Zumba. Just perfect the moves you know and make the most out of the steps.
Open Up – The best way to maximize the effectiveness of the Zumba workout session is to let loose and move your body to the rhythms of the music. Don’t restrict your body movement by being still and self-conscious.
So, now that you know the basic Zumba moves; bring out your dancing and get moving and shaking to achieve that perfect figure with grace and style.