Zumba is a fun workout that can bring you tremendous results and help you lose inches all over your body. If you perform the moves the wrong way, however, you might not see the changes that you're expecting. It's important to learn proper Zumba form from the beginning to avoid injury and to make sure that you're maximizing your results, says Alexa Malzone, a fitness expert who teaches Zumba at The Sports Club/LA in Boston. That said, don't put so much pressure on yourself to master every move if you're a beginner. "I tell my students to dance like no one is watching," she says. If you find that you begin to slack on your arm movements or forget to engage your abdominals as you get tired, Malzone suggests focusing only on the steps and not worrying about the arm work until you are ready.
Here are three Zumba moves that are commonly performed incorrectly and how you can make sure that you're doing them right.
Incorrect form (left): When students are tired or not paying attention, they often let their arm movements slack or forget to engage their abdominals, which leads to bad posture and forces them to hunch forward. Another mistake is to turn in your knee during the side kick.
Correct form (right): While doing a side kick, be sure that your posture is tall and strong and that your knee is facing up toward the ceiling. You can make sure that your posture is correct by maintaining a slight engagement through the core muscles.
Incorrect form (left): During Merengue moves, dancers often make the mistake of moving their hips and elbows in opposite directions and maintain poor posture, says Malzone.
Correct form (right): In a simple Merengue dance step, as the right foot steps, the left hip pops and the elbows should face right. Make sure that your posture is tall and strong during the entire movement.
Belly Dance Hip Shimmy
Incorrect form (left): In a Belly Dance Hip Shimmy, dancers often incorrectly move their hips backward, which forces them to bend forward.
Correct form (right) During this particular move, the right hip should pop up towards the right elbow, while standing tall throughout the body.
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