16 September 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Sportsister tests: Zumba

May 18, 2010

The latest craze to sweep the fitness world is Zumba. With over 6 million fans in more than 75 countries, Zumba has finally reached the UK with classes at Virgin Active gyms nationwide. Read on to find out what Sportsister thought of the Zumba party.

ZumaWhat’s it all about?

Zumba is the brainchild of South American celebrity fitness trainer Beto Perez. In 1999 working as an aerobics instructor Beto was forced to improvise when he forgot his usual music for the class he was about to teach. Grabbing a salsa and a merengue tape from his kit bag, he taught to a fusion of Latin sounds and Zumba was born.

Since then the Zumba party has swept the world and there are now more than 6 million Zumba fans across 75 countries. And Beto himself has become something of a cult icon in the fitness world!

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Getting started

Leave your inhibitions at the door because this class is not for wallflowers. As Beto told Sportsister, “It’s a party! People don’t have time for exercise but people do have time for parties so I thought I will move the party to the aerobics room.”

Following a standard ten minute warm up there are 40 minutes of high octane, fast moving Latin and urban dance moves. But the key ingredient to Zumba’s success is the music. The score, created with specific beats and tempo changes, transitions the workout seamlessly from one toning, strengthening or cardio move to another, thus targeting every major muscle group in the body.

Zumba

So what exactly do I do?

Classes borrow moves from dozens of different dance styles including cumbria, salsa, merengue, samba, tango, flamenco and hip-hop.

And to the soundtrack of specially selected tunes, played at top volume, the class moves, shakes and grinds its way through the Zumba party.

Back in Miami, where the Zumba craze is huge and Beto himself takes classes, they have live DJ’s spinning the tunes and classes tend to roll on for as long as people keep dancing.

Here they are a little more structured but the ethos of relaxing and losing your inhibitions are the same.

What are the benefits?

You’ll soon see a difference to your fitness levels as this is a cardio intense workout. Fast and slow rhythms are combined to introduce interval training to the class which is a more effective way to workout, and will help tone your body too.

Who does it suit?

Considering there are 6 million converts across the world, obviously lots of people! It’s an infectious class and converts swear they forget they are even exercising, despite working really hard for the full hour.

Obviously this class is perfect for dance fans, but even if that’s not your usual thing do check Zumba out as its high energy, action packed style is addictive.

Where can I do it?

Zumba is available at all 72 Virgin Active Health Clubs nationwide

www.virginactive.co.uk

Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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