By now my love of Zumba is no secret, I practically shout it from the rooftops daily. That feeling you get when the music takes over is simply euphoric. I have been warned by many lifters and fellow gym rats that my intense love of Zumba and all cardio is the reason that I don’t see as much muscle growth ( Especially in my legs and gluteus… Yes, I am trying to build a booty). I refuse to see Zumba as a negative aspect of my fitness arsenal and instead I see it as my secret weapon. How?……..
- Pick your Zumba classes on days where you would normally do cardio
- Focus on engaging the muscles being targeted by the song. If the instructor is pointing at abs tighten up that core!
- Don’t be afraid to exaggerate the movements (Safely, Proper form is always recommended even in Zumba). When I first started doing Zumba I was quite timid with my movements. Follow your Instructors lead. It will help you with your range of motion. Please disregard the rest of the room and engage your body.
- Target individual muscle groups. On days where I do upper body weight/resistance training I focus more on hitting each hand movement during a song. ( This will help with the soreness you will experience the next day from lifting). On days where I do lower body I make sure to really engage that muscle group during each song.
- Never skip a warm up and never skip a cool down. Although it seems like its just dancing your instructors have picked out these choreographies to help you stretch and minimize injury.
Never give up on something you love despite the naysayers. If you love something find a way to incorporate it into your life.