Originating in Colombia, Zumba is a blend of Latin American rhythms – salsa, merengue, flamenco, or bachata – and aerobic exercises that have become one of the most popular weight-loss programs. Read more.
Zumba is a mix of Latin American rhythms – salsa, merengue, flamenco, or bachata – and aerobic exercise that has become a popular weight-loss routine in recent years because of the mandatory home isolation in which we live today. It is a fitness discipline developed by Colombian Alberto “Beto”, whose name comes from the word rumba, as Colombians colloquially call parties.
This blend of music and energetic movements was born when its creator was a teacher at a gym in Cali, Colombia, in the late 1990s. One day he forgot the music for class, so he didn’t hesitate for a moment, went to his car, and grabbed some CDs he had with him, mostly of Latin American music.
The class was so successful that he decided to turn it into the sport he practices today, and it quickly became an international success and fame when “Beto” moved to Miami in 2001.
“Beto” describes it as a fusion of different disciplines such as ballet, reggaeton, salsa, or bachata. Those who practice it say that the key to why Zumba is the star of weight-loss exercises lies in the mix of fast and slow rhythms combined with a series of exercises that not only allow us to lose those extra pounds.
They are so difficult to get rid of but also to tone our muscles and overcome the relaxation of the body, especially in areas that are not worked in other activities, such as oblique muscles, twists, or lateral areas of the body. And all this happens without your noticing, camouflaged in a collective celebration full of joy.
Fun, the main goal of Zumba
Whether the participants in his classes lost weight or not, Alberto Perez wanted them to have fun moving, to feel good, and to end up secreting endorphins that cause an immediate feeling of happiness; that participation in the classes was a real party, a rumba.
Zumba has become a profession for many young people of Latino descent living in the United States. And it just so happens that since it has been commercialized in this country, these young people have seen their innate ability to dance and follow the beat as their professional accomplishment as Zumba teachers in the many sports centers where the sport is taught.
Of course, on YouTube, you will find many channels for all tastes, styles, and ages, allowing the whole family to keep fit and entertained, no doubt an ideal option for relieving the tension of days at home.
Types of Zumba
It doesn’t matter if you have never played a sport before, and it doesn’t matter how old you are. To practice Zumba, all you need is a sense of rhythm and a lot of desire to have fun.
There is a class or variation of Zumba for everyone, a basic level, an intermediate level, and a higher level, and you can also decide which body part you want to tone. Whether you participate in regular group classes or start with online classes, you are sure to find your style.
Choose one of the main types of Zumba exercises we will discuss below because it is sure to suit your taste and needs:
This is the first version of this discipline, the simplest and the one taught with basic Latin rhythms. You combine low- and high-intensity movements to burn calories without realizing it. You keep your body active and improve your heart health.
If you want to burn calories, lose weight and tone your muscles, Zumba is for you. Zumba Toning Sticks, light weights or dumbbells that move like maracas, are used to tone the arms.
Zumba Kids and Zumba Kid Junior
In this children’s version, there are two distinctions, Zumba Kids for children ages 7 to 11 and Zumba Kids Junior for the youngest at home, ages 4 to 6. In addition to the basic rhythms, in this version, we find more urban sounds, games, activities, cultural exploration elements, and other cross-cutting concepts added to the traditional steps, such as teamwork, coordination, discipline, and confidence. In other words, in addition to movement, some very important values are conveyed in these age groups.
If your child is even younger, but you want to immerse them in the Zumba party, there is a class called Zumbini for children from 0 to 3 years old. In this case, it is a CD with a storybook that helps children immerse themselves in the world of music and interact with their parents.
To practice this type of Zumba, you must be over 14 years old. The special feature is that the exercises are performed in water, allowing more physical exertion and burning more calories. In addition, joints are spared, and the difficulty level can be increased.
Zumba Gold and Zumba Gold Toning
This variant of Zumba is designed specifically for older people and includes exercises and routines adapted to their mobility and physical strength. The movements improve balance, coordination, and range of motion and strengthen muscles and the cardiovascular system. In the toning variant, the exercises are supplemented with dumbbells, which increases the degree of difficulty.
Everything that constitutes Zumba, but with an extra element: aerobic stepping. Perform the choreography with small steps from top to bottom. This increases the intensity, burns many calories, and tones the legs and abs even more.
In this case, the element that comes into play in the fun choreography is a chair, which becomes your new dance partner. With this high-intensity exercise, you build muscle, burn many calories in each session, and improve cardiovascular health.
Where can people practice Zumba?
Zumba sessions usually last from 45 minutes to about an hour. The cost depends on the monthly rate of the sports center where they are held, as they are usually included in the guided activities of sports centers and are not individual sessions. It is recommended to practice this activity at least three times a week.
And more and more Spanish cities have centers dedicated exclusively to this discipline. If you want to know where you can practice Zumba in your city, you can do so in the list and map you will find on the official website.
You can also practice Zumba at home
When locked in the house because of the coronavirus, it is time to look for a good Zumba channel on YouTube and exercise alone, in pairs, or with small children. There are formats and choreographies for all levels, which will surely allow you to have fun and, at the same time, sweat and get rid of the tension of difficult moments.
If under normal circumstances, you don’t have a lot of free time or don’t want to pay the price of a gym to participate in Zumba classes, this is also not a problem. The solution is to buy one of the many Zumba workout DVDs released, where you will find guided sessions and all the rhythms you need to get in shape without leaving home.
Even if you want to do it from home, as I said, YouTube is full of videos and official channels where you can learn the choreography, and if you have Spotify, you can find some great songs to have fun with Zumba rhythms at the following link: Zumba fitness. Because keeping fit while dancing and having fun is possible.