Tammy Hutchings

  215-BFIT

Since Jun 2011

5 Ways to Burn More Fat in Zumba Class Master Zumba instructor Staci Boyer's top tips to maximize your workout.
By Jessica Smith

Love Zumba? You're not alone! The Zumba program has helped melt the pounds and inches off 12 million Zumba-enthusiasts in 125 countries, according to the Zumba Fitness website. The Latin-dance inspired workout features fast and slow rhythms which, when combined, successfully tone and sculpt the body and burn fat.

We caught up with master Zumba instructor Staci Boyer to get her top tips for burning even more calories (and having even more fun) during your favorite Zumba class:

1. Let Loose
Zumba is all about having fun, and joining the party, which is hard to do if you're stiff or self-conscious! The best way to burn more calories in class is to let go, have fun, and try not to think too much. "Letting yourself go will let the calories go!” Boyer says.

2. Maximize Your Arm Movement
During the moves, be sure to fully extend your arms, Boyer says. You’ll boost your calorie burn and engage more muscles by maximizing your arm movements during class. "It's not that tricky and you can do a lot for your body by lengthening, raising, and extending with oomph."

3. Move Up and Down More
“When your instructor takes you though a level change try and do it," Boyer says. All that up and down movement will not only boost your burn, it will also get your glutes, hips, and thigh muscles firing even more. “Sit into your moves, bend your knees, and go up and down and all around as much as you can—level changes burn calories!"

4. Work Your Booty
"There is always a lot of booty shaking in Zumba!" Boyer says. "Just shake it—and shake it good (to best do this, see tip #1)." Boyer recommends pressing through your heels whenever you can to maximize the move’s booty shaping benefits.
 
5. Rock the Moves You Know
So maybe you don’t have every move mastered yet, that's OK! You can still get a great workout as long as you rock the moves you’ve got! "Always accentuate the moves that you are actually comfortable with," Boyer says. “Make the most out of that shimmy you love, or the salsa step you have mastered. Feel confident in adding your own flair to the movement. If you know it, show it!"

All About Zumba Class!Dance Your Way to Fitness

By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor

 Who Should Take Zumba?
Zumba is truly for anyone who can stand up and dance. And "dance" is a very liberal term here, as no dance experience or skills are necessary. People of all ages, shapes and sizes are welcome and encouraged to attend classes. I've taken Zumba classes and had a blast with everyone from a 70-year-old man to an obese woman starting her weight-loss journey, to a high school cheerleader. If you can shake your booty and like fun music, this class is for you.

What to Expect in Zumba Class
Most Zumba classes are an hour long. They begin with a dynamic warm-up and end with a cool down and some static stretching. The workout portion is broken down by song, each with a different dance routine. While many of the dance moves instructors use are pre-choreographed by Zumba, instructors often add their own flair, dance steps or even create an entirely new routine to their favorite songs. Common moves in class are mambas, V-steps with exaggerated hips, cha-cha-chas and side touches.

Unlike other aerobics classes, where you learn a move and then add on more moves to create a routine, Zumba uses different parts of the song, such as the chorus or a particular phrase or sound in the song, as the basis of its choreography. For example, in one class I took, each time the vocalist made a kissing sound, we would shake our hips to the side.

Zumba is also unique in that its instructors don't speak much. Instead they cue you on what to do with hand signals of which direction to move, or a loud hand clap that signifies that it's time to move to a new move. Overall, participants learn as they go through repetition and by example. This can be frustrating for first-timers, but because Zumba uses a lot of the same songs over and over, you will get the hang of it after a few Zumba classes.

What to Wear to Zumba Class
It's important to wear clothing that is moveable, breathable and will wick sweat away. Because of how popular the classes are, the room can heat up fast, so consider dressing in layers that you can remove. Also, sport a pair of supportive fitness shoes that allow you to pivot your feet easily.

What to Bring to Zumba Class
Bring a towel and a water bottle because you'll need them! And unlike some fitness classes, you'll have ample time to use these items. Most instructors give a short 30- to 60-second break between songs. Also consider bringing a heart rate monitor to see exactly how hard you're working.

More Zumba Tips
For your first class,show up 10 minutes early and introduce yourself to the instructor and inform him or her that you are a beginner. Ask what you can expect in the class and where you should stand so that you can see the instructor's full body. Then, enjoy the experience! Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't worry if you are unable to get all of the steps the first time around: no one does. The steps will come easier after a few classes. Also, if you try one instructor and you're just not a fan (or the class is low-energy), try a different instructor. Some instructors will gravitate toward one or two styles of dance or music, so find the one that you like best!

Zumba is one of the highest energy workouts I've tried, and it's the most fun, too. Most of the time it really doesn't feel like you're working out at all—you just get caught up in the fun of the music and the moves. Before you know it, a whole heart-pumping hour has passed! If you like a good sweat, then you'll love Zumba.

ZUMBA Fitness with Tammy                                          BFIT WITH TAMMY             

  • Zumba Basic 2Zumba Basic 2
    License to teach regular Zumba® classes.
  • Zumba ToningZumba Toning
    License to teach body-sculpting techniques using Zumba Toning Sticks to enhance rhythm and build strength.
  • Aqua ZumbaAqua Zumba
    License to teach the 'pool party' workout for all ages using the Zumba® formula and traditional aqua techniques.
  • Zumba GoldZumba Gold
    License to teach specially designed Zumba classes for the active older adult or deconditioned participant.
  • Zumba Gold ToningZumba Gold Toning
    License to teach Zumba® Gold-Toning classes.
  • Zumba Kids & Zumba Kids JrZumba Kids & Zumba Kids Jr
    License to teach the custom-designed kids program that blends dance-fitness routines with fun games and high-energy music.
  • Zumba Kids & Zumba Kids JrZumba Kids & Zumba Kids Jr
    License to teach the custom-designed kids program that blends dance-fitness routines with fun games and high-energy music.
  • Zumba in the CircuitZumba in the Circuit
    Has Zumba in the Circuit class(es)
  • E-Learning NutritionE-Learning Nutrition
    License to teach Plate by Zumba™ classes.