The Easy-to-Follow Workout Routine That'll Have You Dancing All Summer

Life gets more fun in the summer — it's just a fact. The sun sets later, beach days and rooftop hangs make a comeback, and you get to bring out all those flowery 'fits that have been collecting dust in the back of your closet. It's the time to let loose and be joyful, and shouldn't your exercise routine reflect that? With the happiest season of the year now upon us, it's time to drop those boring treadmill workouts for something a little more fun.

That's where Zumba comes in. You've almost definitely heard of the dance-filled workouts before, thanks to its popular classes across the country. But Zumba is more than just an excuse to get out your dancing shoes — it's a simple, fun, and effective cardio workout that mixes low-intensity and high-intensity moves to help burn calories, boost your energy, and increase balance and flexibility. It's the perfect workout to add to your summer routine because you'll be having too much fun dancing to even realize you're getting good exercise in. (Think of it like a workout without the "work" part.)

If you're not a dancer, the idea of learning choreography might seem daunting, but Zumba's workouts are easy to follow and geared toward beginners. The instructor will demonstrate the moves multiple times, and it's more about having fun and letting loose than getting the moves exactly right, anyways. To help you master some of that choreography, Zumba shared a tutorial on its YouTube channel walking through all of the basic steps you'll need to complete a typical Zumba Latin dance workout. In just 12 minutes, the video goes over moves like the cumbia, salsa, and merengue. The instructor is there to break it all down, and helpful graphics on the screen will help you understand where to step and when.

click to play video

Once you've got those basic steps down, try Zumba's free mini workout (also available on its YouTube channel). The 30-minute Latin dance workout is specifically designed for beginners, so the routine is simple enough to follow but effective enough to leave you sweating and smiling at the end. The dance starts with a warmup, then it eases into a salsa and the other moves covered in the basic-steps video — all set to Latin music that'll get you up and dancing.

click to play video

If you've tried the virtual Zumba workout and mastered some of the basic steps, it's time to check out one of its in-person classes! In-person offerings have even more options, with dances specifically for toning, core workouts, and more (and even options for aqua Zumba and Zumba for kids). You can find classes near you here — once you've come down from your exercise high, that is.