How to zumba dance for beginners

Benefits and What to Expect

Written by Jodi Helmer

In this Article

  • How It Works
  • Intensity Level: Medium
  • Areas It Targets
  • Type
  • What Else Should I Know
  • What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:

How It Works

Grooving to the beats of salsa, flamenco, and merengue music feels more like a dance party than a workout, which is exactly what makes Zumba so popular. The Latin-inspired dance workout is one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world.

The high-energy classes are set to upbeat music and feature choreographed dance numbers that you might see in a nightclub. You don’t need to be a great dancer to feel welcome in a Zumba class. With the tag line, “Ditch the Workout, Join the Party,” the classes emphasize moving to the music and having a good time, no rhythm required.

There are several different kinds of Zumba classes, from Aqua Zumba workouts to classes like Zumba Toning that incorporate weights for additional calorie burning and strength training. There are even Zumba classes for kids.

Working up a sweat in the 60-minute classes burns an average of 369 calories -- more than cardio kickboxing or step aerobics. You’ll get a great cardio workout that melts fat, strengthens your core, and improves flexibility.

Intensity Level: Medium

Zumba is an interval workout. The classes move between high- and low-intensity dance moves designed to get your heart rate up and boost cardio endurance.

Areas It Targets

Core: Yes. Many of the dance steps used in the routines emphasize the hips and midsection to help strengthen the core.

Arms: No. Traditional Zumba classes do not target the arms. Specialized classes like Zumba Toning use weights to help strengthen and tone the arms.

Legs: Yes. The jumps and lunges that are parts of the choreographed movements help work the quads and hamstrings.

Glutes: Yes. You’ll feel the burn in your buns while you move to the beat.

Back: No. Though the workout involves your whole body, it's not focused on your back muscles.


Flexibility: Yes. The dance moves were designed to enhance flexibility.

Aerobic: Yes. The high-and low-intensity intervals make Zumba an excellent cardio workout.

Strength: Yes. Traditional Zumba workouts emphasize strengthening the core, while Zumba Toning and Zumba Step workouts incorporate weights to build muscles in the arms, legs, and glutes.

Sport: No. The classes are not considered sports.

Low-Impact: No. The classes are high-energy and involve jumping, bouncing, and other high-impact moves.

What Else Should I Know

Cost: Yes, typically. You’ll need to sign up for classes through a fitness center, download an app, or find classes online to follow the choreographed steps.

Good for beginners: Yes. Zumba emphasizes moving to the music and having fun regardless of your fitness level.

Outdoors: No. The classes are offered in fitness studios.

At home: Yes. You can get an app or join a studio that offers online classes and follow the dance workout at home.

Equipment required: None, except for your sneakers.

What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:

Zumba is one of the most fun and versatile fitness crazes to come along in a long time. Classes can be geared for just about any fitness level. Though most Zumba involves high-impact moves like bouncing and jumping, it can be modified to meet your needs.

If you want an overall strength training program, look for a Zumba class that incorporates some light weights for your upper body.

You can start slowly if needed, or you can dance your heart out if you are in great shape. If you just love to move your body to the music, then Zumba is for you.

Talk to your doctor before joining a class if you have been inactive, have any medical issues, or take any medicines, just to make sure Zumba is right for you. And talk to instructors before class about your fitness level and any health conditions you have so they can suggest modifications.

Is It Good for Me if I Have a Health Condition?

If you have been hooked on the Zumba beat since before you became pregnant, you have no problems with your pregnancy, and it’s OK with your OB-GYN, then you can keep stepping. But there are some changes that you need to make to stay safe.

Zumba has a lot of high-impact moves that can wreak havoc as your hormones loosen up your joints. Talk to your instructor about switching out some of those jumps and bounces -- or any routines that might throw you off balance. And remember to stay cool and hydrated during your workout.

Steer clear of high-impact moves if you have knee or back pain or arthritis. Other ways to get a good workout are gentler on the joints.

If you have a handicap or other physical limitation, consider wheelchair Zumba classes, which are a good, fun, nonweight-bearing workout.

If you have diabetes, Zumba is a great way to lose weight and build muscle. Your blood sugars will go down as your energy level soars. Check with your doctor first to see if you’ll need to change your diabetes treatment plan.

Besides losing weight, Zumba can help lower your risk of heart disease, reduce your blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and boost your good cholesterol. If you have heart disease, your doctor may suggest starting back on the road to fitness in a cardiac rehab program instead of jumping right into a Zumba class.

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Basic Zumba Moves | livestrong

Basic Zumba Moves

Image Credit: macniak/iStock/GettyImages

The dance moves in Zumba are inspired by some of the most expressive and lively dances from South America. Classic dance styles, like salsa, get a modern revamp with a fitness twist in Zumba routines.

Video of the Day

Your first Zumba dance class might be overwhelming in terms of complexity. The music is fast and the moves are even faster. However, if you break the dances down to their basic roots, you can start to master Zumba.

Originally, Latin American dances were the inspiration for Zumba. Over time it has evolved to include dance moves from all over the world. Many of the basic moves are still inspired by Latin dance, so those are the basic moves you should learn first. Once you learn the steps that each style of dance is based off of, you'll have a foundation to build on when you take Zumba.

Read more: How Fast Can Zumba Whip You Into Shape?

Basic Salsa Steps

For salsa, start with the most basic step pattern. There are eight counts total:

  • Take one step to the left with your left foot.
  • Rock your weight back to the right foot.
  • Step back to the center with your left foot.
  • Pause for the fouth count.
  • Step to the right with your right foot.
  • Shift your weight onto the left foot.
  • Bring your right foot back to center.
  • Pause for the eighth count.

Alternatively, you can do these steps in a forward and backward direction.

To step it up a level, you can do travel steps. Instead of taking one step to the side, you take four steps total. The lead leg goes first, then the back foot catches up to the lead. Take one more step with the lead and catch up with the hind foot one more time. Then, repeat that sequence in the opposite direction.

Basic Merengue Steps

Zumba uses the simplicity of the merengue steps to create a fast-paced series of steps. Start slow to master the basic steps before you pick things up.

Stand tall with your feet close together. Shift your hips to the right and pick up your left foot, then stomp it on the ground. Then, shift your hips to the left and pick up your right foot, then stomp it. Find a rhythm with that step pattern, then try to move faster once you're comfortable. You can add arm movements like a reach out to the side or overhead as you step.

Basic Reggaeton Steps

For this upbeat and modern style of dance, start with the leg movements first. Step out wide with your left foot. Bring your right foot in and tap it right next to your left foot. As you tap your right foot, lean to the right so that you would fall if you didn't catch yourself.

Step wide to the right with your right foot to catch your fall, then step your left foot close to the right as you lean to the left. Keep alternating to the beat as you get comfortable with the big steps. When you're comfortable, it's time to add the arm movements. When you step both feet to the left, raise your right arm up high. Put it down, then step to the right and reach your left arm up.

Zumba can seem overwhelming at first, until you learn the basics.

Image Credit: LuckyBusiness/iStock/GettyImages

Basic Cumbia Steps

This classic Latin dance style involves some fancy footwork. With your right foot planted, step your left foot forward. Keep your body tall and don't lean forward with your leg. Keep the front knee straight, then pick up the lead leg and bring it behind your right leg.

This time, plant your left foot behind your body. Plant your toes, keeping the rest of the foot off of the ground. Twist your hips and bring your left foot to the front again. Keep stepping with your left foot only until you're comfortable with the motion, then try it with your left foot planted as you move your right foot.

Read more: The Best Zumba Exercise Videos

Basic Samba Steps

Similar to merengue, this Brazilian dance has simple steps but becomes complicated quickly as it moves fast. Start standing tall with your feet close together. Lean your weight into your right foot, keeping the knee straight and leaning your hips to the right.

As you sit into your right leg, lift your left heel off of the ground so that only your toes are touching, and bend your left knee. Then, put your left heel down onto the ground and lean into your left leg, raising your right heel and bending the right knee.

The key to this dance step is in the hips. Move your hips in an exaggerated motion to the side that has the heel planted.

Zumba fitness: 10 lessons for weight loss (video)

Dance, rejoice and lose weight - this is the essence of "zumba fitness" in a nutshell. This dance fitness program combines elements of Latin American dances and hip-hop, and anyone can master it.

SovetskySport understood how to lose weight and pump up the press with the help of Zumba

What is Zumba fitness for weight loss

The founder of Zumba is a choreographer from Colombia, Alberto Perez. Zumba is an intense fitness program based on simple dance moves from rumba, salsa, bachata, merengue, hip hop and other dances. Zumba weight loss classes are held to music. The session lasts an average of 40-60 minutes. Advanced Zumba dancers use light weights to make it harder.

What is the effect of Zumba fitness for weight loss

An hour of intense Zumba movements effectively burns fat, trains the muscles of the legs and back. The dance also gives a load to the pectoral muscles, shoulder muscles and arms. Zumba fitness trains the cardiovascular system and increases your endurance.

You can learn and perform Zumba movements for weight loss at home using video tutorials for beginners.

Video Lesson 1: Zumba Fitness for Weight Loss – Learn Zumba Movements

Affordable zumba weight loss video tutorial that explains the basics and teaches you the basic initial movements - steps and twists.

Video Lesson 2: Zumba Fitness for Weight Loss - Making Basic Movements Harder

Easy to understand Zumba weight loss video tutorial. Here you will be taught how to link zumba movements to one another, keep the right rhythm during training and control yourself for mistakes.

Video Lesson 3: Zumba Fitness for Weight Loss - Abs and Legs Specialization

The load in Zumba fitness can be varied by increasing the pace or highlighting individual muscle groups and making “specialization days” for them. This beginner zumba fitness video tutorial is all about how to work your abs and hips while dancing.


Read on "Soviet Sport" - Squat at home. A guide to the most important exercise in training0017

Have you mastered the basic zumba movements and how to vary them? It's time to go through the full 50 minute lesson. Repeat the movements after the trainer, try not to stop or pause.

Video Lesson 5: Zumba Fitness for Weight Loss - Hip Hop Zumba Movements

Intensive 25-minute Zumba video lesson for beginners with a focus on hip hop movements. In addition, the trainer will add a lot of squats to hip-hop - this way you will work out the hips, buttocks and remove fat from the sides even more effectively. Don't be surprised if sitting down and getting up is difficult for the next couple of days.

Video Lesson 6: Zumba Fitness for Weight Loss - Zumba with Dumbbells

The Zumba toning program involves increasing the load of the standard zumba. Here, all exercises are performed with dumbbells weighing 1-2.5 kg. How to use vzumba dumbbells correctly is in this video tutorial for beginners.

Video Lesson 7: Zumba Fitness for Weight Loss - Zumba for Seniors

Zumba is suitable for people of all ages. From here, what pace to maintain if you are engaged in Zumba, and you are well over 40, this video tutorial will tell you how to choose movements and music.

Read on "Soviet Sport" - Five forgotten but effective exercises

Video lesson 8: zumba fitness for weight loss - zumba for children

You can involve your children in Zumba. If it's cold outside, Zumbafitness can replace them with a walk on the sports ground.

The movements in this video lesson are adapted for children 3-5 years old. They are simple and look like morning exercises. For a child, Zumba training will be an interesting game while you continue to burn your calories and lose weight

Video Lesson 9: Zumba Fitness for Weight Loss - Warm Up Before Zumba

This video lesson will teach you how to properly warm up before your Zumba class. There are many steps, swings of arms and legs - everything that will protect you from injuries and sprains. You can also perform this video lesson for beginners with music

Video lesson 10: zumba fitness for weight loss - hitch and stretching after training

stretching right - in this zumba video tutorial for beginners.


- Zumba is an intense form of training. To find out which load is right for you, consult your doctor. Check your cardiovascular system;

- you need to train according to the "Zumba-fitness for weight loss" method on average 3 times a week. Let your body rest for at least one day between workouts;

- do not neglect the warm-up and cool-down. Warm-up - will help prepare the body for stress, and the hitch - "calm" and relax the muscles after training.

source: "Soviet Sport"

video lessons (top 20), description of the program, feedback from those involved

Video zumba lessons for beginners are not just a way to join this incendiary direction of fitness.

Beto Perez's forgetfulness and resourcefulness behind Zumba

Alberto Perez

Fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez in the 1990s. There is a legend that Beto once forgot to take a disk to class, under which he usually conducted fitness training. Nothing to do, I had to train to Latin American music. Disappointment was instantly replaced by enthusiasm and inspiration - the training turned out to be unusually fun and incendiary. And so a new direction was born - "Zumba", which soon conquered the entire globe.

Zumba is now a brand and lifestyle. Youth and bright clothes are sewn with Zumba logos. Under the Zumba brand, festivals, open-air, marathons and competitions for professionals and amateurs are held. The concepts of many hotels and fitness clubs include the direction of Zumba.

The creation of Zumba is an example of a joyful and easy attitude to life and training.

What Zumba dance is like

Zumba dance is somewhat reminiscent of dance aerobics - various chords are also learned during the class. Only instead of classic aerobic movements (and sometimes in place with them), the workout includes merengue steps, rumba, mambo, salsa and even hip-hop elements.

Choosing Zumba for a good figure and good mood

Many of us lead a fairly monotonous and monotonous life: home, work, rare meetings with friends. Over time, we feel that everything ceases to please. Psychologists recommend in this case to do something new, positive and energizing. Zumba is a great way to relieve tension, stress and even fatigue! They will tone the whole body, preparing it for more serious physical exertion.

Zumba for beginners video lessons

Zumba is a great way to relieve tension, stress and even fatigue!

If you haven't played sports for a long time and are used to spending most of the day sitting on a chair, armchair or sofa, then Zumba lessons for beginners are exactly what you need! Before you start working out your muscles and creating a beautiful figure, you just need to cheer up and recharge your batteries. Captivating Latin American zumba rhythms are the best help in this.

Zumba will help you cheer up and recharge your batteries

Zumba at home or in a fitness club

The advantage of video lessons is that they provide an excellent opportunity to prepare for training in the fitness room, to gain a certain self-confidence. Often it is the reluctance to appear clumsy or awkward that keeps you from going to the gym. But if you first practice at home, in a familiar environment, then you can safely go even to a fairly well-prepared and close-knit group.

Zumba group

The advantage of video lessons is that they provide an excellent opportunity to prepare for training in the fitness room, to gain a certain self-confidence.

Zumba for beginners - how to master the program? (advice for beginners)

Mastering the movements from the video, you can turn on the repetition as many times as necessary in order to understand the dynamics of each movement. The main thing is not to focus on the movements of the hands until the movement of the legs is perfectly worked out. Only by learning how to move your legs correctly, you can attach the movements of the shoulder girdle.

First we learn how to move the legs correctly

Only after learning how to move the legs correctly, you can join the movements of the shoulder girdle.

For those who have not set themselves the global goal of becoming a real Zumba dancer, entry-level classes will be enough. You can simply repeat the workout every day to keep yourself in good physical shape.

And for those who have seriously decided to take up Zumba fitness, video lessons for beginners will also be useful in that they can be used to master the correct technique for performing each movement and work it out, bringing it to automaticity. This will allow you to move on without focusing on the basic steps, and constantly improving your movements.

Over time, Zumba will feel more like a dance than a workout, but it will be just as rewarding as a grueling workout at the gym!

Zumba - dance and complete training

Over time, Zumba will be more like a dance than a workout!

Zumba for beginners (video lessons in Russian)

Zumba story and training itself.

Watch this video on YouTube

Zumba for beginners video lesson from Natalia Bull:

Basic steps for morning exercises.

Watch this video on YouTube

Zumba fitness (video lesson):

Watch this video on YouTube

A selection of 12 Zumba lessons for beginners:

A fun workout with music (no comments).

Watch this video on YouTube

ZUMBA DANCE - Zumba dance (warm-up video)

Charming girls rock to the rhythm of zumba. A slim figure and a great mood are guaranteed!

Watch this video on YouTube

Zumba gold part 1

Dance fitness in merengue rhythm.

Zumba gold part 2:

Dance fitness in the rhythm of salsa.

Zumba merengue steps:

Merengue is very popular in Latin America, its homeland is the Dominican Republic. Merengue fell in love with thousands of people around the world for its simplicity and incendiary. Merengue allows not only to lose extra pounds, but also to relieve excess tension, relax the body and mind. Two incendiary trainers will show you how to learn simple movements step by step.

Watch this video on YouTube

Merengue is a dance adored by thousands of people in Latin America, simple but extremely energetic. You can feel like a member of a Latin party.

Zumba fitness for weight loss (15 minutes):

Dynamic workout for weight loss + charge of good mood.

Watch this video on YouTube

Zumba fitness for weight loss:

Zumba fitness with a very charismatic fitness instructor. Good mood and working out of the whole body are guaranteed:

Zumba - fitness "Arabica" (Oriental music)

Fans of oriental dances will like this direction.

Learn more