For some, gyms still refer to repetitive physical activities limited to weight training .
It’s more or less like this: those who don’t like bodybuilding, hardly have fun at the gym.
It is not difficult to think of students who come to the site just to lift weight and work their muscles. Likewise, it is not difficult to hear reports about the monotony of training. Right?
In fact, not so much.
For some years now, new modalities have invaded space and diversified the possibilities of those looking to move their bodies.
Although not something new, since aerobic classes or localized gymnastics have been part of the gym packages for some decades, it was more recently that the modalities in fact became popular even among fans of bodybuilding.
If you are the type of person who feels the minutes drag while walking or running on the treadmill, a good option for not abandoning aerobics is to invest in a Zumba class – and what a class!
With lively music – probably some that is on the rise – a few simple steps and plenty of animation, in just 1 hour it is possible to burn an average of 600 calories.
- 1 What is a Zumba class?
- 2 History: where and when did it arise?
- 3 How is a Zumba class?
- 4 Modalities
- 5 What happens in the body when practicing Zumba?
- 6 What are the benefits of Zumba dancing?
- 6.1 Spend calories
- 6.2 Works the musculature
- 6.3 Improves balance and motor coordination
- 6.4 Improves fitness
- 6.5 More quality of life in aging
- 6.6 Promotes social interaction
- 6.7 Improves mental health and relieves stress
- 6.8 Improves cognitive abilities
- 6.9 It is inclusive
- 6.10 It’s a dynamic activity
- 6.11 Aerobic and anaerobic action
- 7 The benefits of dancing
- 8 Does Zumba lose weight?
- 9 Who can do it?
- 10 Zumba for beginners
- 11 Zumba Exercises
- 12 Zumba at home: how to do?
- 13 The importance of music in Zumba
- 14 How often do?
- 15 Where to do it?
- 16 How much?
- 17 Who can not do?
- 18 How to be a Zumba Instructor?
Zumba is an aerobic modality that brings more disposition, shapes the body and improves health and mood in a relaxed and full of rhythm. Even those who do not know how to dance learn to perform simple dance steps mixed with gymnastic movements located in Latin and pop sounds.
Merengue, mambo, reggaeton, funk and samba can be included as well, but it is the songs of the moment that command the playlist.
Basically, Zumba is a lively class to spend energy, work out aerobic movements and dance steps, but without being just a choreography and also without looking like just localized exercises.
For Blanca Cristaldo, zumba teacher at Vidativa 360, and Francis Hellen, creator of the place, classes are a fun way to burn calories, especially for those who want to escape traditional aerobic activities.
The word Zumba, in fact, does not carry a specific meaning. But the amount she earned is quite high. Currently, Zumba is a trademark that can only be used to refer to programs and professionals duly licensed by Beto Perez, creator of the sport.
Zumba arose around the 1990s, created by Beto Perez. The Colombian teacher forgot the class material and, needing to improvise with a single cassette with Latin music, risked some dance steps combined with aerobic movements.
The origin of zumba is, therefore, somewhat accidental, as the simple – but fun – choreography aroused the students’ interest, to the point that Beto Perez saw his initial class of just 5 students rise rapidly to more than 60 in a short time.
With the increasing acceptance of classes, the teacher began to improve the choreography and invest in a market differential.
In the beginning, classes were called rumba , something like “let’s party”. After all, that was the main idea of dance: to encourage exercises in a cheerful and attractive way.
The genre became so popular, that Beto began to be asked to teach more classes. In 2001, the teacher managed to take them to the United States and, with some effort and work, consolidated the modality. During this period the official name was changed and registered as Zumba.
In a short time, the sport gained space in the gyms of several countries and credibility in the fitness centers and organizations, such as the International Association of the World Fitness – which considered Zumba to be a global exercise trend for 2018.
The teacher was also already a dancer, which helped to elaborate some more rhythmic and appropriate steps. But a cassette tape with lively music and a group willing to burn some calories was enough for Zumba to consolidate itself as an aerobic gym modality.
About 3 years ago, Klissia Caroline Adrião had already heard about Zumba. At that time, the sport started to gain more space in Brazilian gyms, but it still needed to compete with the jump and gymnastics classes located.
In search of a more physically active routine, combined with curiosity about the class that mixes dance and high caloric expenditure, Klissia ventured into an experimental class offered by the academy she attended.
It was the beginning of a relationship that has lasted 3 years uninterrupted. The class offered at the academy was more choreographed, with basic steps that could be followed by all students. The idea is to keep the body moving, getting closer to a dance.
With some changes and a change of teacher, the student tried another Zumba rhythm, which involved more gymnastic exercises associated with dance steps.
The result was more intense movements, focused on muscle work, strengthening and weight loss, but without losing the musical beat.
Therefore, each location can also vary the way of composing the classes. In the Vidativa 360 studio, Hellen points out: “we adapt the intensity of the exercises and the complexity of the movements to the different profiles of our classes”. That is, classes are much more focused on each profile.
You can already know that not all Zumba is the same, because when it started, it was basically a gym class with a few dance steps.
Over time, the sport has improved and specialized in different objectives that derive from traditional Zumba.
There are those more collective classes, with simpler steps and focused on caloric expenditure. There are also modalities that involve equipment, such as steps and can be made difficult with shin guards, for example.
The Zumba program has some variations and each academy or teacher can specialize in some or all. Find out more about them:
Zumba or Zumba Fitness
Known as Zumba Fitness or just Zumba, the class is the most traditional and close to the one that originated the entire program.
Dance moves, simple and slightly more elaborate steps are used, along with lively Latin music (usually some that is very popular) and the physical work of specific muscle groups.
Coordination, balance, agility, strength, endurance and cardiovascular conditioning are required throughout the class. The instructors develop choreographies that adapt to all students, so there is no need to know how to dance or be good at the rhythm.
It is just essential to keep the body moving and follow the instructor’s steps. Each student keeps his time and the class acquires time, making the skill develop little by little.
The class involves aerobic step work, focusing on strengthening the glutes, legs and physical conditioning. Students can use steps, shin guards and perform squats in the middle of the dance steps to intensify the caloric expenditure and define the body.
Light weights are used to work different muscle groups. Along with choreographed steps, students make use of shin guards, low-weight dumbbells and free bars, which are called Zumba Toning Sticks (that is, Zumba toning elements).
It is indicated for those who like the localized and circuit style aerobics classes, but with dance steps involved.
You have probably heard of the advantages of exercising in the water, as the physical effort is very high (due to water resistance) and the impact on the joints is much less. Thus, it is possible to work on muscle strengthening with much reduced risk of injury.
Have you thought about joining dance and chair? We’re not talking about chair dancing, but it’s more fun than that. Zumba Sentao involves movements that use the support (or difficulty) of a chair.
Going up, down, sitting, supporting and intensifying the pace are the results of a class that is ideal for strengthening your legs and working on coordination.
There is no age to participate in classes. In general, everyone is able to accompany the teacher, maintaining and respecting their physical conditioning.
More aimed at the elderly and people with physical limitations, Zumba Gold works choreographies with a focus on balance, coordination and range of motion. The stretching is constant and the steps reduce the impacts on the joint.
The official Zumba Gold program in Brazil has bossa nova rhythms and a root sambinha.
Zumba Gold Toning
A slightly less accelerated rhythm, focused on the elderly, but with the use of Toning Sticks from Zumba, that is, weights to strengthen and tonify some muscle groups locally.
The modality helps to reduce the loss of lean mass , which is accentuated with aging. Therefore, the class strengthens the muscle tissue with attention to injuries and the impact of exercise.
Physical activities are essential for children to expend energy and have fun, but it is necessary that the movements are aimed at the needs and limitations of the age group.
As it is a modality that works with dance, zumba can be an option for children. The idea that the class should be fun and inviting is not lost or limited to dance steps, as the teacher can mix games, playful elements and explore cultural aspects.
As the sport has spread around the world, it is necessary that elements belonging to each region and culture are involved and meaningful to children.
For ages 7 to 11, the specialty is Zumba Kids; for minors, between 4 and 6 years old, the teacher must be certified in Zumba Kids Jr.
Fathers and mothers who want to optimize time with young children can practice Zumbini. The modality is aimed at integrating and strengthening family ties for children between 0 and 3 years old.
In these classes, there are 45 minutes a week in which the parents are encouraged to play, interact and involve the children in games, games and activities. The Zumba system provides a Zumbini Bundle kit , which has stories, music and images for adults to take home and continue activities.
Zumba in the circuit (Zumba no circuito)
It is one of the most popular modalities among those who are adept at circuit aerobics, who work with various localized exercises and cardiovascular conditioning.
The rhythms are mixed with local movements, with less weight and more series and repetitions, improving toning.
The modality is more similar to those localized classes, in which a circuit is set up in the room and the students take turns or follow the activities as instructed by the instructor.
Strong by Zumba
At Strong by Zumba, the choreographies are interspersed with intense aerobic movements, composing a HIIT training (high intensity interval training).
Music is essential in all types of Zumba, but in this modality it is the rhythm that guides and conducts aerobic movements. Muscle and cardiorespiratory conditioning are quite required, making the student combine squats, dips and burpees (which are types of exercises) to the musical beats.
As well as other high intensity training modalities, Strong by Zumba is recommended for those who want to intensify caloric expenditure, tone muscles and define the body along with the most intense rhythms, such as EDM and hip-hop.
At the beginning of the exercises, the muscles begin to be mobilized. The advantage is that the student will work them in an integrated way, unlike weight training, for example, in which each muscle group is exercised in isolation. This means that more areas of the body can be worked on in less time.
When the dance rhythm is quite high, the sugar that is stored in the muscles is released to produce the necessary energy during exercise.
The heart is accelerated to supply the muscular needs. The beats can reach 200 per minute, raising the maximum heart rate, causing the blood flow to be up to 5 times faster than when the body is at rest.
In a few minutes of more intense activities, the body temperature starts to rise and the sweat is released to maintain the thermal regulation.
The lungs also work harder, going from about 12 breaths per minute to 20 or more.
In the brain, nerve impulses release serotonin and endorphins, bringing a feeling of well-being and satisfaction.
After the end of the activity, the body is still about 30 minutes at a fast pace, burning more calories than the normal rate.
What are the benefits of Zumba dancing?
The benefits of dancing or Zumba class include improving conditioning, promoting well-being, increasing cardiorespiratory endurance, high caloric expenditure and intense work on the legs, buttocks, calves and waist, promoting muscle strengthening and definition, as well as to be a socializing activity that helps you relax afterwards.
Student Klissia gives a clue as to how Zumba can involve different benefits to the body and mind, and says that “in addition to losing a lot of calories, the person feels good, feels happy to do each class and to overcome each day more ”.
For Professor Blanca, “the main benefit of the Zumba class is the caloric burning in a fun and pleasurable way. In addition to weight loss, we can certainly mention the interaction, gaining flexibility, strengthening legs and glutes and coordination ”.
Learn about some improvements that the class, properly monitored and performed frequently, can provide:
Each Zumba class lasts between 45 and 60 minutes and the average expenditure is 600 calories for moderate workouts. If the pace is heavier or involves step movements, for example, the energy burn can reach 1000 calories.
Those who need to lose weight can find in Zumba classes an ally in reducing measures, because in addition to high calorie expenditure, the class works with specific muscles and movements, involving the whole body.
Metabolism and weight loss research indicates that high-intensity interval training is more effective in reducing lipid weight (ie fat) than constant activity.
Therefore, dancing 5 minutes and decreasing the pace for 2 minutes, returning to perform intense movements is more effective than running for 10 constant minutes, for example.
In addition, exercise speeds up your metabolism and keeps you active for much longer.
Taking a 45-minute Zumba class can make your body burn more calories for 48 hours after the activity ends.
Works the musculature
For those who want to lose weight, the fast heart rate is ideal for weight reduction, but to accentuate the definition and strengthen the muscles, the ideal is to associate resistance exercises. As Zumba works specific muscles, as it involves aerobic movements and localized gymnastics, it is ideal to define as well.
Anyone looking for strengthened, well-worked legs and a tough butt will find good results after a few classes, because the demand for these muscles during classes is great.
And it is not just the lower limbs that benefit, as the movements work around the waist and help to sculpt a well-defined abdomen.
Studies point out the benefits of alternating these two executions, being that muscle strengthening improves stability, favors posture, reduces back pain , reduces physical tiredness and preserves lean mass .
Thus, muscles improve physical and organic health.
Improves balance and motor coordination
Zumba involves more than calorie expenditure and fun. This is because dance requires students to work on motor coordination and balance, improving the ability to move and stabilize the body.
As the class requires the student to move his whole body and rehearse orderly and synchronized steps, both coarse motor coordination (of larger muscles, such as thigh and arms) and fine motor coordination (of smaller muscles, such as fingers, hands and feet) are worked on. and improved.
These benefits are reflected in other day-to-day activities, as small tasks, such as writing, touching objects, storing or picking up something, walking and even standing still are facilitated.
Carrying out properly monitored activities – whatever they may be – benefits the body and promotes better health.
But if the goal is to burn more calories, reduce some measures and improve fitness, you need to intensify your workouts. One of the ways to assess the impacts and effects of the rhythm of activity is through the maximum heart rate (HR).
HR is the maximum number of beats that the heart is capable of delivering per minute. For a healthy adult, at rest, this rate is approximately between 60 and 90 beats per minute (BPM).
Basically, the faster the beats, the greater the energy expenditure and the greater the physical demand.
This rate is determined by several factors, such as physical fitness (people who are sedentary or who started Zumba can now have high HR more easily), age, sex and weight.
But, on average, the ideal is that an intensity exercise is able to raise the HR above 60% of the student’s normal frequency.
A study published in the medical journal Revista de Ciência e Medicina Esportiva on the cardiovascular requirement of Zumba students found that, during class, the maximum heart rate reached 79% among practitioners. That is, ideal for those who want more resistance and less calories!
More quality of life in aging
Aging is a natural process that causes a series of changes in the organism that, many times, can directly impact on the person’s quality of life and routine.
Although inevitable, the passing of the years can be more pleasant and without negative impacts on the elderly, as long as healthy habits are adopted.
Practicing physical exercises early helps to maintain muscle mass, which is reduced due to age. As a result, physical, locomotor and functional skills can be severely limited.
In addition, elderly people in general have reduced flexibility, muscle elasticity and bone density, impacting health and favoring disease.
Studies point out that the muscle strengthening promoted by resistance exercises can have positive effects, reducing the risks of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases.
Zumba works with a dynamic of resistance and toning, promoting blood circulation, improving locomotion and expanding movements.
With the preservation and stimulation of muscle tissue, simple day-to-day activities, such as climbing stairs or adding something from the floor, over the years, do not become so difficult.
Maybe you know someone who goes to the gym just for the pleasure of meeting people, talking and making friends. As much as the focus is not on socializing, physical activities play an important role in the social life of many people.
As the classes are in groups, the teacher can encourage students to unite and promote activities that integrate the participants.
With this, the student can have numerous improvements in his personal life, as soon as the emotional and psychological capacities are strengthened through this exchange.
Improves mental health and relieves stress
It is not new that the stress-free ability to practice physical activities is known. In an objective way, you feel more relieved, relaxed and satisfied when you exercise. There are several mechanisms involved in this and the release of serotonin – a well-being hormone – is one of them.
But a recent study conducted by the University of Montreal found that the stress of life (work, personal problems or even traffic) can increase the presence of a substance called kynurenine, which accumulates in the blood and is related to depression .
During activity, the body is able to produce an enzyme that breaks down this substance. That is, in addition to the de-stressing effect, more exercise equals less chance of triggering depression.
Improves cognitive abilities
Both sports and choreographed classes can reflect positively on learning and cognitive processes in general.
This is because activities require quick decision making, choices, use and speed control, mobilization of different muscle groups together or in isolation, in addition to correct breathing and rhythmic maintenance.
All this work performed during the Zumba class can be transferred to other daily activities.
This is because some studies point out the benefits to learning and memorization among participants who studied after practicing physical exercises.
A research published in 2014, in the medical journal of Human Neuroscience, points out that adopting a daily routine of physical exercises helps to preserve the white matter of the brain.
This region is formed by a network of nerves and brain fibers, transmitting and connecting signals that participate in cognitive processes.
The research pointed out that the participants who did regular physical activity showed a fibrous increase in the white region, leaving the mass more compact, resulting in better brain functions, more agility of transmission and better mental performance.
Other studies indicate the benefits, because in the body, increased blood flow promotes better tissue oxygenation, delivery of nutrients and can reduce pain caused by poor circulation.
As there is an increase in blood flow in the brain during physical activities, which can reach 20% higher than normal, another hypothesis is that with more delivery of oxygen and nutrients, cognitive abilities are favored.
It is inclusive
Those who have never practiced dance classes, think they have no rhythm or are still a little sedentary also have no reason to escape the class. That’s because Zumba is very versatile and adaptable.
Teachers will assess the capacity of the class and present classes compatible with the profile of the group. Over time, movements and intensity become more difficult.
But the advantage is that the modality allows you to perform all the steps within your skills and abilities. Thus, you can increase or decrease the rhythm of the movements according to your own perception, limitation and well-being.
It’s a dynamic activity
One of the great complaints of those who leave the gyms is the repetition and monotony of the exercises. It goes something like this: either you like bodybuilding or having to do the 3 sets of 12 repetitions can transform 1 hour into an eternity.
The advantage of Zumba, like the other aerobic classes, is that the sport is dynamic, fun and motivating. As the student is immersed in a collective class, in which the teacher must always stimulate the best performance, it is much easier to keep the pace.
In addition, each class will be different and the chances of participants getting bored are much less. It is the teacher’s role to prepare captivating choreographies and, to facilitate this choice, teachers duly licensed by the Zumba program receive new songs and choreographies on a monthly basis.
Aerobic and anaerobic action
As the Zumba class mixes a little bit of dance and a little bit of strength exercises, the aerobic and anaerobic benefits are developed together.
Despite all the activity, in general, bringing improvements to the body and health, each one has different actions.
Aerobic or aerobic exercises are those in which the energy expenditure is greatest, such as walking, cycling, swimming or dancing.
These activities improve the cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular systems, as they strengthen the heart and stimulate blood circulation, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Anaerobic, or anaerobic, exercises are those that require strength, such as weight training.
Among the main benefits are muscle toning, improves endurance, helps with muscle definition, decreases measurements and helps the body to increase metabolism (muscles expend more calories than fat tissue).
As Zumba works with both exercises, the body benefits in both aspects.
A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Physical Activities, points out that in addition to the already known benefits of physical activities, dance specifically can be even more advantageous for practitioners.
The psychological, social and physical effects are highly developed and reflect on different aspects of life. As dance, in general, integrates the student, the feelings of belonging and acceptance are high.
Studies have assessed the impacts of dance therapies on breast cancer patients and the elderly. The result is that, in both groups, there was a noticeable improvement in self – esteem and well-being, even among the most emotionally fragile participants due to physical limitations.
Adopting regular physical activity brings health benefits and promotes well-being, but one of the biggest motivators for those who go to the gym is to reduce some measures and improve body aesthetics.
The reasons are pointed out in articles published in the Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Esporte and also by a survey of the academies, which see physical fitness as one of the main desires among students who enroll.
At first, yes, Zumba is a class with great energy expenditure, which involves the whole body and works with integrated muscles and movements.
If the main goal is to lose weight, those who combine or maintain a balanced diet with 2 or 3 Zumba classes per week will probably notice that in 15 days the scale already shows up to 1 kilo less.
But it is necessary to remember that each organism has a different process and the weight loss can be faster or slower, according to the eating habits, the intensity of the activity and the student’s metabolism.
So what is the advantage of preferring Zumba to other modalities or running on the treadmill, for example?
The class is a dance modality that, in general, works with different choreographies, steps and music. This makes the student not feel like repeating the activity.
As the exercise is in a group, the motivation (by the teacher and the other students) is greater, making the dropout or flight from the class less.
One of the factors most pointed out by Zumba fans is that, as it is a dance, the class does not appear to be an aerobic practice, but rather a fun and pleasurable activity.
A recent survey conducted by the American medical company, Orlando Health , pointed out that there is an important factor in the weight loss process and that it is often overlooked by people and physical education professionals: the emotional factor.
Remember that losing weight is a multifactorial task? Often it is not enough to adapt the diet and insert physical activities into the routine, since environmental, metabolic and emotional aspects are very involved with weight maintenance.
That is, if you practice a physical activity that is not pleasant – that story of feeling obliged to go to the gym -, probably reducing weight will be much slower and more costly.
However, if the activity is pleasurable, in addition to making it easier to maintain the activity routine, the satisfaction generated during the exercise promotes a series of improvements outside the gym.
In the study carried out by Orlando Health , there is a relationship between emotional comfort, well-being and satisfaction, with a more balanced diet.
It’s more or less like this: even if you spend a lot of calories running on the treadmill, if the activity leaves you frustrated or bored, there is a tendency to look for food in the reward for this emotional state. In the end, you end up eating more and often without even realizing it.
Now think that if the class is enjoyable, engaging and, at the same time, reduces up to a thousand calories an hour, without sounding like an obligation or a sacrifice, students will see the measures reduce in a healthy way – physically and mentally.
How many calories do you lose in 1 hour of zumba?
The caloric expenditure of 1 hour of zumba can be quite high, depending on the intensity that each person can maintain. On average, you can lose 400 calories even at not-so-intense rhythms. Those who have a good conditioning can spend more than 600.
Arriving at the gym or in a Zumba studio and seeing the lively class in the middle of a class is what most students need for interest to spark.
But, although many places even offer free or included trial tuition, some students still feel inhibited or afraid to participate.
In general, it is because of the choreography and paced steps. Many people still think that they have no coordination or talent for dance, which is one of the great reasons that, even if interested, do not practice or try the class.
But the truth is that Zumba is a lighter and looser way to train a few steps of the dance. The idea is, in general, to perform the movements in the best possible way, performing properly to avoid injuries and maintaining a fast pace.
In other words, you don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy the benefits of the class.
For Francis Hellen, creator of the Zumba Vidativa 360 studio, “the first thing we must learn is to have fun and challenge the body to have a good caloric burn. In a short time the student is mastering several steps and rhythms, with very little effort, because dance flows as a result of fun and attendance in classes ”.
The traditional modality, which is practiced in most gyms, does not use any special equipment, sometimes it is just the dance steps and the weight of the body itself. To make it a little more difficult, weights, shin pads, mattresses and dumbbells can be added to the class.
Therefore, in general, the student only needs adequate and comfortable clothing to practice the activity.
It is important to remember that Zumba, as it is traditionally a collective class, may not take into account some personal limitations, being necessary to perform the physical exam and follow the evaluator’s recommendations before practicing any modality.
Even those who do not have much conditioning or are still unable to follow the class, gradually, will get into the rhythm.
Those who are starting Zumba now may be a little afraid of not keeping up with the pace or lacking coordination. But the good news is that the modality offered in gyms and studios is, in general, suitable for those who are starting out or for those who have already entered the rhythm.
The steps are simple to perform and involve movements previously tested. That is, the teacher will indicate what the students need to do and repeat until everyone understands the action.
At this moment, the important thing is to be attentive to the correct execution of the movements, respecting their rhythm and conditioning.
In addition to the appropriate clothes, which allow movement, and good hydration during the class, being attentive to the correct execution of the movements is what new practitioners need in order to gradually enter a more intense dance rhythm.
Remember that the purpose of the class is to do exercises in a pleasant and fun way, so don’t compare yourself to other students or cover yourself if you still can’t keep up. The more comfortable the student is, the better the movements will flow and the better the results – physical and mental.
The class always starts with stretching and warming up, preparing the body for activities.
The instructor will demonstrate the steps and, gradually, the pace will intensify. On average, each song lasts 4 minutes and can be quite intense or more moderate (with calmer steps).
The choreography is generally not very elaborate, especially if the class has a lot of new students or is made for beginners, so those who don’t have a lot of coordination don’t have to worry about decorating or remembering the steps
In addition, the dance is always interval with exercises that, despite having a simple execution, demand a lot of muscle. For example, squats and sit-ups.
Some movements and exercises that the teacher can include in the choreography are:
The squat works with the muscles of the legs and glutes, strengthening, stiffening and defining the regions. Despite being an apparently simple movement, the squat is one of the most complete exercises to work the lower limbs and also the abdomen.
With some care in positioning the feet and knees, keeping the spine aligned, Zumba’s steps are interspersed, usually with simple squats (movement similar to sitting in a chair).
Variations can be placed in the choreography as well, increasing the difficulty of movement, such as the deep squat (in which one foot is positioned in front of the other and the knees are flexed, working mainly on the anterior thigh muscle).
Some Zumba steps are interspersed with leg lifting, which can be simple (with the spine erect, the knee goes up towards the chin and returns to the floor) or crossed (the left knee goes up towards the right shoulder and returns to the floor , repeating the movement with the other leg).
The exercise works mainly on the anterior thigh muscle, but it also strengthens balance and coordination.
Anterior leg elevation
With the body erect, without moving or bending the thigh, the student only raises the heel backwards, towards the glutes.
Exercise requires mainly the hamstring muscles, which are muscles of the back of the legs.
Rhythmic arm elevation
One of the ways to involve the whole body is to work with rhythmic movements. As some dances may require more steps and foot action, Zumba inserts upper limb exercises into the choreography.
In general, the most worked are the circular, rotation and lifting movements. In addition to helping to compose the choreography, the arms serve to give impetus and maintain the rhythm during the steps.
Not everyone is able to go to the gym during the time of the classes offered. But that does not mean that Zumba is outside the physical activity plan.
Although the ideal is the class together, guided by a teacher – because in addition to the steps, motivation and sensitivity regarding rhythm and intensity are worked at all times – it is possible to do the activities at home.
The principle is the same: comfortable clothing, proper footwear and plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. With some official tutorials of the sport, you can rehearse the steps and reproduce the choreographies.
The brand offers DVDs, CDs and even licensed equipment, which can be purchased on the website, so that students can do activities at home, according to their pace and availability.
The material is planned in a didactic way so that each step and movement is properly carried out, in a very similar way to the academy class.
It is important to remember that it is still an intense physical activity and that, therefore, it is essential to take proper care, talking to a doctor and a physical educator before starting the training.
But if you are a fan of video games, the program offers Wii, Xbox and PS3 games, to leave those dance games with more aerobic movements. Games start at R $ 90, while licensed DVD and CD materials can be purchased in bundles or single lessons, starting at R $ 40.
Below you can see some official Zumba videos to learn a little about the pace and variety of classes:
To start the practice, classes with less elaborate steps and choreography are ideal, for example:
For those who like reggaeton and want to intensify the pace a little, you can invest in the following class:
Below, the class has a very danceable and lively rhythm:
Also with a more intense rhythm, there is Zumba with merengue and hip-hop:
Zumba has a special selection of songs to compose the classes with Latin origin and includes salsa, merengue, mambo, reggaeton, funk and samba.
More than standardizing the rhythms around the world, the purpose of the playlist offered by the official Zumba program is to make the right choice, without letting the essence of the sport get lost.
However, it is not only to maintain the identity of the class that the well chosen music acts. An article published in The Independent shows that the right beat can increase endurance during activities and give more breath to those who are starting to get tired.
As the classes are at least 45 minutes long, the teacher’s incentive is not enough for the intensity to be maintained, so the songs are essential at that moment.
In the article, the direct relationship between music and physical exercise is that our brain releases some analgesic substances when we listen to music. If there is any interaction with her (jumping, dancing or singing), this release is even greater.
Also, have you noticed how our bodies tend to adjust the rhythm of the activity according to the music? If the steps or movements do not match the playlist, the intensity of the lesson will probably reduce a lot.
At Zumba, it is Beto Perez himself who selects the program’s songs. The essence of the sport is the Latin rhythm, so it is he who makes up most of the class. But as the modality has spread around the world, some songs need to be adapted to the region.
About 40% of the music distributed by the Zumba program is produced especially for the choreographies. For this reason, the program has some names such as Claudia Leitte, Pittbull, Wicleff, Sean Paul and Victoria Justice, for example, who make exclusive productions for Beto’s material.
The other 60% can be composed at the discretion of the teacher, who generally draws on the successes of the moment – local or worldwide.
Zumba among the famous
The sport is also a favorite among celebrities who adopt regular activities for health and fitness. Former US first lady Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, singer Pitbull and Emma Watson are some of the famous names who have already declared practicing classes.
The singers who produce music for the sport also declared to participate in the classes, with Claudia Leitte receiving the title of ambassador of Zumba in Brazil.
For those who want to lose weight, the ideal is that Zumba is integrated into the routine at least 2 or 3 times a week, associated or not with other activities.
It is important to remember that periods of rest and muscle recovery are necessary, so if there are other physical exercises being performed, the ideal is to balance them with classes.
When starting at the gym or studio, the physical education professional will help each student to set up an adequate weekly workout, avoiding overloading the body or demanding too much of the muscle.
So, for those who are at the beginning, it is important to go slowly, with lighter classes, at a pace of adaptation and paying close attention to the body’s signals.
To lose weight, 3 classes a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for example – are enough to show results in the body and health for most people.
You can find the Zumba class at gyms and training centers. In fact, according to the program’s website, there are more than 200 thousand places duly licensed to teach, spread over 180 countries.
But if you don’t know or have never noticed any nearby gym to start the sport, the site offers a facility for students. Just access the portal and enter your city or address so that all centers near you are listed.
The Zumba class itself is priceless. Therefore, the values will vary according to the location, gym or professional.
On average, the gyms that offer the modality included in the plans, start at R $ 120. In many gyms, in addition to Zumba, the student can do all the modalities available on site, including weight training, but others make separate plans and the modalities are charged individually.
Some may also offer individual packages, in which each modality is purchased separately without including weight training (ideal for those who want to practice only Zumba).
Anyone who wants to practice in functional or specialized studios can pay a little more, around R $ 300 per month or R $ 70 per single lesson.
It is worth remembering that the structure of the place, the specialization of the teacher and the type of class can interfere in the value. Some types of Zumba require equipment, others need only the space of the room, for example.
Before starting any physical activity, it is necessary that the student undergo an evaluation. In general, there is no contraindication to Zumba, as long as it is performed with a qualified professional to teach the class.
People who have chronic illnesses (such as diabetes or hypertension), respiratory changes, heart problems, have undergone surgery or are in physical rehabilitation should consult a doctor or physical therapist before starting an activity routine.
In addition, it is necessary to inform the physical education professional of the gym or studio about pain, injuries, discomfort, medical diagnoses, medications or any condition of the organism.
If there is any impediment or limitation, it will inform or adjust the most suitable exercises for each case.
To be able to teach Zumba classes or insert the modality in your gym, you need to link to the official program and carry out the training.
According to the official website of the program, there is no need for a prerequisite to become an instructor or start training, but if the person has already done or knows the class, the process is easier.
For those who want to specialize, training costs from R $ 450, and prices rise according to the desired modalities and levels.
The interested professional undergoes training and, at the end, wins a title of specialist in Zumba, being able to work in gyms, specialized centers or autonomously.
According to the Federal Council of Physical Education (CONFEF), to teach classes in the gym or physical modality, the teacher needs to have a bachelor’s degree in physical education at an institution recognized by the MEC and duly registered.
The training is divided into 3 levels, where in the 1st (basic level) the professional is introduced to Zumba, the steps, rhythms and variations. To carry out any other training or specialization, the professional must complete the basic level.
The 2nd level is aimed at those who want to specialize in low impact classes for the elderly, which is the Zumba Star Gold. And the 3rd level involves classes aimed at children, with playful integration and activities aimed at children.
The practice of physical activities brings several benefits to health, the organism and the quality of life. Currently, the options to please different audiences are large and gyms, sports centers, functional and professional studios seek to offer more and more alternatives to make the exercise routine more pleasant and functional.
Zumba combines the benefits of moving the body with the variety and fun of dancing, making classes more relaxed and motivating.
The ideal is to find a pleasant activity routine that is appropriate to your goals and that promotes well-being. Thus, any benefits – be it health or aesthetics – are much easier to achieve.
At Zumba you know dance steps, aerobic movements and trendy rhythms.
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