I have to give credit to Zumba for helping me lose unwanted inches from my thighs, (thanks Beto Perez!) and to resistance training for helping me to tone my muscles. Is it possible to merge the two worlds of spicy Latin dance moves, and strengthening those muscles? After taking my first Zumba Tone class this week, I can confirm that the answer is yes. Zumba Tone combines traditional Zumba moves, with light hand weights (resistance sticks) for basic strength exercises. The first thing I loved about Zumba Tone was the resistance sticks. They are approximately one to two pounds, but the neat feature is that they make musica! Take a listen:
I was having way too much fun with these. I appropriately named them “skinny maracas” and at times I felt as though I was a back-up dancer in a salsa band (minus the big hair and tight dress with a side split). Don’t let the lightness of the resistance sticks fool you. Initially, I scoffed at the lack of weight but after doing high repetitions of side merengue or salsa steps, while executing a military press or tricep extension, I began to feel fatigued. A full body circuit type of workout, the first portion included a warm up with traditional Zumba moves. Next, was a high intensity cardio portion, with the ultra fast and pulsating beat of the Merengue, upbeat tempo Salsa, and slow and controlled Reggeaton.
Our ball of energy instructor, Mylene, takes us through some serious sweating with traditional Zumba dance moves:
The second portion of the class focused on the strength training. The resistance sticks did more than offer resistance alone, but helps with coordination with steps by keeping the rhythm, agility and balance. It was a challenge to do a standing leg extension to the sounds of the Tejano beat, all while doing an overhead military press or tricep extension. We also did some lunge and squat combinations, ballet squats, and waist twists with the sticks to add some work to the core and legs.
Look at those smiles!
Zumba Tone is not a class to build muscle mass because the resistance sticks are not heavy enough, but if you’re looking to tone your muscles, burn serious calories, lose weight and have a lot of fun, then this is the class for you. I realized just how much I missed Zumba, and the great atmosphere, where I felt as though I was in a Latin club in Mexico with friends minus the Margaritas. The pulsating music makes you just want to dance and you don’t even realize that you are in the midst of a challenging workout. The most effective benefit of health and wellness from this class, which was unanimous amongst all the class participants was this, “it makes you feel happy!”
I really can’t argue there, as I mambo stepped my way home feeling energized and good.
To inquire more about membership rates, classes and personal training, be sure to visit http://www.womensfitnessclubs.com