- Exercise & Fitness
How to Learn Zumba at Home
What is Zumba?
Zumba® Fitness is a Latin-inspired, calorie burning fitness dance program that has been enjoyed by more than 14 million people around the world since its inception in 2001. It was invented by aerobics instructor Alberto "Beto" Perez one day when he had to improvise after he forgot to bring his usual music to an aerobics class he was teaching. He used some salsa and merengue tapes he had in his car and discovered a fun new way to workout.
Perez and two partners developed a series of Zumba DVDs as well as an infomercial to help spread the word about their cardio based dance workout. In 2005, they developed a Zumba instructor training program to teach instructors how to lead Zumba classes around the world. They've since developed a line of Zumba workout clothes and accessories, music CDs, a complete fitness program and a line of video game workouts.
Zumba combines energetic international music and dance steps to give you a fun overall body workout. Zumba's tag line is "Ditch the Workout. Join the Party" because they try to make it so fun that you will forget that you are actually exercising.
Benefits of Zumba
Zumba is a fun workout, and is often billed as "exercise in disguise." I can't honestly say that I can completely forget I'm exercising when my legs are burning and I'm dripping with sweat, but the upbeat, energetic music does make it much easier to enjoy the workout. Because it's so fun, you may find that you are much more motivated to workout with Zumba more often than you are with other fitness programs that are not as enjoyable.
The cardio-based dance moves can help you strengthen your core, burn calories and tone your muscles. A one hour Zumba workout can burn up to 1000 calories and many people have lost a significant amount of weight by incorporating Zumba into their fitness programs.
If you've ever watched Dancing with the Stars, and wished you could do those fancy dance moves, Zumba might be just the thing you need to find your inner dancer. You will definitely learn latin dance moves like the salsa, merengue and rumba and might even be able to impress your friends with them!
Learning Zumba at Home
To gain the full benefits of a Zumba workout, I'd highly recommend that you try out a few Zumba classes. The fun party atmosphere will make you (almost) forget that you're working out, and you will be sure to have a great time.
However, if you can't find a Zumba class in your area that fits your schedule, or if you want to build some confidence by learning some basics before trying a class, there are a number of ways you can learn Zumba at home. The easiest ways to teach yourself Zumba at home is through DVDs, YouTube videos and motion based video games.
Zumba was originally marketed as an in-home workout, and DVDs were the first product developed under the Zumba name in 2001.
Zumba DVDs will teach you the basic dance steps and feature easy-to-follow choreography and routines accompanied by energetic and upbeat international music.
A great Zumba DVD for beginners
Learn basic Zumba steps from YouTube
Another great way to learn Zumba at home is watch YouTube videos.
I suggest starting with a search for basic Zumba moves like the merengue or salsa and practising those until you feel confident that you know what you're doing.
Once you've mastered some of the basic moves and their variations, you can search for whole zumba routines on YouTube. If you have a favourite dance song, you can probably find a zumba routine on YouTube choreographed to it. These videos can be fun to practice to, and allow you to sneak in mini Zumba workouts whenever you need a break in your day.
Watching YouTube videos can be just the thing you need to master some of the basic Zumba steps to make the most out of your home workout, or give you the confidence to go out and try a class.
You can find whole Zumba routines and tutorials on YouTube
Trailer for Zumba Fitness Core
Zumba Video Games
In 2010, Zumba became the first branded fitness program to launch a video game on all three major gaming platforms. You can find Zumba games for Nintento Wii, Playstation 3 and Kinect for XBox 360. All of these video games utilize their system's motion sensor capabilities to provide feedback to help ensure you get a good workout.
Most of the games let you choose specific songs to dance to, or you can choose from a range of different routines at various difficulty levels. There is not much in the way of basic instruction though, and you may find it confusing to follow the computer generated model's movements if you are not familiar with the basic Zumba moves.
With a little practice, these games can be a fun way to workout. They usually allow up to four players, and can be fun to do with a friend or other members of your family.
Which Zumba games are available for my game system?
Video Game title
Zumba Fitness: Join the Party!
November 18, 2010
Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, Kinect for XBox 360
Zumba Fitness 2
November 15, 2011
Zumba Fitness Rush
February 12, 2012
Kinect for XBox 360
Zumba Fitness Core
October 16, 2012
Nintendo Wii, Kinect for XBox 360
Zumba Fitness World Party
November 5, 2013
Nintendo Wii, Wii U, Kinect for XBox 360, XBox One
November 19, 2013
Nintendo Wii, Kinect for XBox 360
Behind the Scenes Making Zumba Fitness Rush for Kinect XBox 360
Ditch the workout and join the party!
Although learning Zumba at home can never quite duplicate the party atmosphere found at many Zumba classes, it is still a great way to get a great workout while having fun. You can burn calories, learn new dance moves and dance your stress away while learning new routines.
If you're looking for a fun new workout, give Zumba a try. Invite a few friends over, and have your own Zumba dance party!