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It’s been a few months since we’ve had a post on a health or fitness topic, so I thought now would be a good time to share information about my experience with STRONG by Zumba®. You’ve likely heard of and maybe even tried the Zumba program. I started taking Zumba classes somewhere around 2010, long after the craze had hit. We had an awesome instructor and I loved the class, but have since moved on to functional fitness classes. Since then I’ve sampled various Zumba classes and even became certified to teach Zumba in 2017. Zumba classes are a fun, upbeat break from the norm and, even if you usually don’t like aerobics classes, you’ll probably like Zumba.
STRONG® seems to be Zumba’s attempt at fitting in with the functional fitness “bootcamp” style classes that are popular now. The moves include squats, lunges, pushups, planks and burpees (yes, the dreaded burpee!!) to the latin and hip-hop rhythms you’ve become accustomed to in Zumba classes.
The class involves a warm up of approximately 5 minutes before diving into about 20-25 minutes of HIIT routines in which each movement is synced to the beat of the music. This is not a dance aerobics class, though. The movements are functional and plyometric, with a few calisthenics and cardio kickboxing moves thrown in for variety. Follow that with about 10 minutes of arm and core-focused work on the mat, like planks, mountain climbers, and several ab-specific exercises, then a few minutes to cool down and light stretch. Class structure flows in the familiar pattern of most aerobics classes, but with more exciting moves and music to keep you focused. If you enjoy workouts driven by the beat of the music, this may be the class for you.
Here’s the catch: This is a fairly intense workout. While most of the class seemed only moderately intense to me, the arms and core segment became briefly challenging for me in a couple sections. I took this class once a week for six weeks. By the last two classes I was the only student left, out of several who had signed on to try this new class. My instructor was happy to show progressions and regressions for all the movements as needed, but it seems that most people dropped out, perhaps due to the challenging nature of the class. (It does not have to be this way. Your instructor is trained to incorporate movements for all fitness levels into the class, so don’t be intimidated if you are just starting out!)
This class is not only demanding for your cardiorespiratory system, but it incorporates body weight training, which is effective and recommended for general good health. Interested in finding out more? Check out a sample workout on the STRONG by Zumba YouTube channel.
Like most franchised workouts, STRONG by Zumba® has a DVD series available for those that can’t make it to class or prefer at-home workouts. I recommend the live class if you can make it, though, where the instructor can help you with form as needed, which is so important for healthy joints and injury prevention!
Note that I’m no longer certified to teach Zumba (I did not renew my certification) and have no affiliation with the company. I’m just interested in health and fitness, trying new workouts, and helping others find workouts they love!
Have you tried any Zumba classes or DVD workouts? What did you think of them? Let us hear about it in the comments!