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What are the Different Types of Zumba® Exercises?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many different exercises performed in Zumba® classes, but all of these exercises are integrated into dance moves. As such, Zumba® exercises can be thought of as moves themselves. There are also different class types, which sometimes involve different sets of exercises. Generally, the Zumba® exercises relate directly to different types of music and dancing, including merengue, cumbia, and salsa.

One of the differences between the types of Zumba® exercises is the type of class in which they occur. There are Zumba® classes for people of different fitness levels that involve similar exercises at different intensities, and there are also classes aimed at different ages that may use different teaching styles as well as different exercises. Truly different Zumba® moves may occur in a pool, or there may be special classes that focus on toning certain areas using weights and other exercises that are unusual for Zumba®.

Within a single class, the different Zumba® exercises can be thought of as different dance moves. Most moves incorporate both upper and lower body movement. Certain types of dancing, such as salsa and reggaeton, focus on getting a cardiovascular workout, while others may focus more on strengthening certain parts of the body, like the hips or arms. The precise impact of each particular exercise is often difficult to determine.

Zumba® moves also differ in how they are performed. Some involve walking in place, while others involve moving side to side. There are also certain moves that are performed without moving the feet, but these are somewhat rarer and may be more advanced. Zumba® exercises almost always involve moving, but the type of movement can make the exercise seem different and varied.

One aspect of Zumba® that some people do not think about is that a different combination of moves will result in a different overall workout. As such, it is also possible to define Zumba® exercises by the way in which the individual moves combine. A workout at a lower intensity for a longer period of time has a different effect on the body than a high-intensity workout for a shorter period of time.

Given that Zumba® moves change from year to year in order to keep the program fresh and interesting, there will likely be yet more Zumba® exercises in the future. When new Zumba® music is used, new steps may be learned as well. It is important to remember that almost all new Zumba® moves are really just variations on the basics of Zumba®, so learning the basics thoroughly can help a person adapt to any new Zumba® moves without much training.

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