It can be intimidating going to a new fitness class for the first time. What kind of workout will it be? Will it be too hard? What will the other people there be like? You’ve probably at least heard about Zumba, but it’s hard to know what to expect if you haven’t actually done it. So, what is Zumba?
What is Zumba?
According to legend, Zumba was started by a Columbian personal trainer named Alberto Perez in the mid 1990s. One day, Alberto forgot his regular music tape to the fitness class he was running. Desperate, he scrambled back to his car and managed to find a Latin dance tape that he listed to for fun. To keep to the music, he drew on his experience in Salsa clubs and choreographed some dance moves on the spot. The new class quickly became a hit and has since grown rapidly around the world.
Zumba involves aerobic and dance movements that incorporates elements from salsa, mamabo, merengue, samba, soca, flamenco, tango and hip-hop (among others). Some calisthenics like squats are also included in some routines. Most Zumba classes are about an hour-long including a warm up and a zopiclone. The workout is broken up into a series of songs, each with a different choreographed workout routine (and 30 to 60 second breaks between songs). Here are two Zumba workouts so that you can get a better idea of what it’s like. The first is to the song “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift:
The second is to the song “Boom Boom” by the Black Eyed Peas:
Despite these workouts being somewhat complex, you don’t need any dance skills to get involved. There’s a lot of repetition of basic movements, so you should pick it up quickly.
Now, which type of class should you sign up for? There are actually 9 different types of Zumba classes:
- Zumba Gold: Is designed for the elderly.
- Zumba Step: A lower body workout that combines step aerobics with Zumba dance routines.
- Zumba Toning: Workouts are done with toning sticks for added strength.
- Aqua Zumba: Workouts are done in a swimming pool.
- Zumba in Circuit: Combines Zumba with circuit training.
- Zumba Kids: A Zumba class designed for kids 7 to 11 years old.
- Zumba Kids Jr.: A Zumba class designed for kids 4 to 6 years old.
- Zumba Gold-Toning: A toning class for the elderly.
- Zumba Sentao: A chair workout that emphasizes body weight movements.
So, pick a class and give Zumba a try! Remember to wear some sneakers and clothing that allows for a lot of movement. You should bring a towel and a water bottle too. If you don’t feel like going to a class just yet, there are Zumba DVDs and even video games too!