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A Zumba-Inspired Home Workout

Got Two Left Feet? Let Zumba Help You Find the Beat

We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!

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

  • Sit down like you would sit in a chair, feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Extend arms forward in a reaching motion then look forward (above). Lift arms up and extend out in flying motion.
  • Fly Stretch

  • Keep one foot on the floor, knee slightly bent, and extend the other leg back into the air, squeezing your glutes and abdominal muscles (above). Do two sets of eight on each side.
  • Funky Brasil Drop to Side Left

  • Place both right and left hands on your left knee (above), bend your left knee, and keep your right knee straight. Open legs wide and drop your body down low.
  • Funky Brasil Drop to Side Right

  • Place both right and left hands on your right knee, bend your right knee, and keep your left knee straight (above). Repeat the movements from side to side in sets of eight.
  • Stand and Drop Squat

  • Stand up tall, legs spread wide, feet parallel, ready to squat, arms extended, pressing behind you and extended out (top). Lift chest and engage core muscles. Squat body low, bringing your butt low and parallel to knees. Bring your arms forward, hands together in the prayer pose (bottom). Engage your core muscles as well as your glutes. Repeat in sets of eight and feel the burn.
  • 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

  • Punch your right arm out, left arm extended back with your elbow bent. Hands are in fists, left
    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.
  • More info on Gisella Ferreira

    Related Links:
    One-Minute Moves From Jillian Michaels
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    Eight Creative Moves to Sculpt Your Abs

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    Photo Source: Victoria Tricamo

    Join The Conversation
    deanna024 deanna024 5 years
    In the first photo of her doing a squat, the knees are jutting out over the toes -- a no-no for good form and to protect the knees.
    physedna physedna 5 years
    Zumba yes is fine for beginners. Unfortunately, I see most people that have been doing Zumba for 2 years and their body never changes - they are still overweight!!! Class quality depends on the instructor, and 95% of them I run across are overweight as well. i guess that is to be expected as Zumba is a 2 day certification that has ur "pass form" handed to you on day one to become an instructor!!! Its a commercial enterprise to say the least. Zumba is but one element an overweight person can incorporate into their cardio workout plan, but in general, the intensity level is not sufficient to make any obese person into a fit one, although its a great plact to start for those who are really out of shape. I am a persoal trainer and group X instructor, and my classes change bodies. They are hard and fun. But if ur not sweating to make ur clothes feel heavy in an hour, look for something else if u reallywant to change ur body;
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