Zumba is one of our most popular classes and we want all of our members to get the most out of their workout. Whether you’ve been at the Zumba party for months or you’ve just joined, here are 5 tips to make the most of your Zumba workout!
1.Remember, This Is Not “So You Think You Can Dance”
Some of the choreography in Zumba is hard, as in by the time you’ve figured it out, your instructor is on to the next set of steps. But you have to remember you’re here to burn calories, not win a dance contest. We are not trying to be the girl pictured above! (Isn’t she hot? Who works out in a short sleeved jacket with 17 bracelets and zippers in their hair?) As long as you have the basic steps down, feel free to modify it to a level you can handle and GET INTO IT! Sometimes if my instructor is doing a move with way too many steps for me, I strip it down to the bare bones and focus on hitting the step with more power. Anything burns more calories than standing around trying to figure out a step for 90 seconds. Just make sure you keep up if the class is moving (right/left/front/back) to avoid injuries.
Whether you’re taking back-to-back classes or coming straight from work, take time to stretch before and after your class. You’re using your whole body during a Zumba class and not only will you burn more calories if you’re muscles are loosened up, you’ll also decrease the risk of injury in case you decide to that set of moves that belong in a Beyonce video.
3. Drink Water
You would not believe how many people take Zumba classes and do not drink a sip of water once during the 45-minutes. You are sweating and breathing hard so you need to put water back into your body. Without adequate water you’ll get dizzy, lethargic, your muscles won’t work as well, you won’t feel as sharp mentally, and you’ll get cramps sooner. Drinking water also gives you more energy and helps you kick it up a notch and burn more calories.
4. Wear The Right Shoes
A few weeks ago we wrote an entire article about the importance of the right shoes when you workout. Zumba has a lot of lateral movements (side-to-side) and you need to wear shoes that support that. Dance shoes and cross trainers are great, running and walking shoes are not. If you’re mostly a runner and buying a new pair of sneakers just for Zumba isn’t feasible, check out The Dancesock! in addition to your sneakers. If your class is on carpet, ditch the shoes all together!
5. Maximize your movements.
There is a lot of going on during Zumba and you probably don’t want more things to think about, but there are a few extra things you can do to maximize your movements. Moving your arms, putting a hop in your step, pressing into your heels before you lift your legs and keeping your abs tight are great ways to tone more muscles and burn more calories!