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If you're anything like me, Zumba has always held a certain allure, but the very idea of dancing in front of a roomful of people sounds about as appealing as doing my taxes or making a spur-of-the-moment appointment at the DMV. I'm not just painfully shy about busting a move but hopelessly uncoordinated in the booty-shaking department.
So after years of avoiding Zumba for fear of embarrassing myself, I decided it was time to stop being a wallflower and start working up a sweat. "I used to be a very shy person but I have learned that everything in life is about attitude," says Gisella Ferreira, a Zumba instructor at the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center in Los Angeles. "Having a positive attitude makes all the difference, so go with an open mind and let yourself enjoy the party!"
As for doing the actual dance steps, Ferreira is quick to point out that literally anybody can follow along with a little practice. "I see new Zumba students every day that have never danced in their lives and are able to dance through the whole class," she says. "Zumba is a world dance fitness party. It's easy to do, effective, and totally exhilarating." If that's not enough motivation, Ferreira says Zumba burns between 500 and 800 calories per class and targets "glutes, thighs, calves, abdominals, core, pectorals, biceps, and triceps."
Ready to get this party started? Add this five-move sequence to your regular workout routine four days a week and, before you know it, you'll be dancing in the streets. Read on for the workout.
Sit and Reach
Funky Brasil Drop to Side Left
Funky Brasil Drop to Side Right
Stand and Drop Squat
Push and Punch
Push and punch arms out with your right arm extended up and left arm extended out to your left. Look to your left side. Drop your body wide and low in a squat position (above). Next, push and punch arms out with your left arm extended, right arm extended out to the right. Look to your right side. Drop your body wide and low in a squat position. Repeat from side to side in sets of eight.
Punch, Lunge, and Lift
leg forward in a lunge position, and your right leg extended back with feet parallel (top). In a jumping motion, bring your right leg up, knee bent, and switch arms (middle). Your left hand will extend up into the air above your head, right arm swings back with your elbow bent (bottom). Do eight reps, moving side to side on both sides of your body.
Photo Source: Victoria Tricamo