Fitness Faceoff: Zumba or Core Rhythms?

Fitness Faceoff: Zumba or Core Rhythms?
by Natalie Walter | October 24, 2011

In the world of fitness, Latin inspired dances have gained much popularity as means to improve health and fitness. It is not uncommon to see elements of Latin dance routines like merengue, salsa and cha cha incorporated in ordinary exercises. However, there are two clear top Latin dance inspired regimes originated that can get you on the fitness track; Zumba and Core Rhythms.

What is Latin dancing?

Latin dance generally refers to a variety of ballroom and folk dances that were originated in Latin America. The Ballroom routines include cha-cha-cha, rumba, samba, mambo, danza, merengue, tumba, bachata, bomba, plena, paso doble and bolero. The Latin form of dancing is known to be extremely upbeat, fun and exciting; often requiring a lot of basic foot movements. That's why it is important to wear comfortable footwear; preferably flat shoes that can support your feet. There are so many different types of Latin dances included in these work out plans that may come across as difficult, however there are trainers who can teach you the movements step by step.

What is Core Rhythms?

Core Rhythms is a Latin-dance-based fitness program originated by award-winning ballroom dancers, Jaana Kunitz and Julia Powers. Core Rhythms offers an enjoyable and encouraging method to work on your body and lose weight via a sequence of DVDs. DVD’s are readily available which let you watch the trainer and follow them. Core Rhythms has even been endorsed by Mary Murphy of So You Think You Can Dance and Len Goodman & Tony Dovolani of Dancing with the Stars.

What is Zumba?

Zumba is a fitness program inspired by Latin dances. It combines aerobics with several Latin dances to allow participants to burn calories and to just be fit, essentially. It was founded by Alberto “Beto” Perez in Columbia. His unique fitness program combines a variety of dances, namely; hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves. Furthermore, Martial arts, as well as squats and lunges are also practiced. Alberto’s fitness program facilitates exercising at both fast and slow places, allowing a resting period for those who engage in intense Zumba after which they can pick up their pace again. This makes long-term participation very easy.

Safety measures

It would be wise to consult your physician before beginning either of these two wonderful fitness plans to make sure you’re in a good condition to start. Remember to gulp down tons of water to avoid dehydration and cramps. If you decide to take lessons at home ensure you have a lot of space to dance. As mentioned before, wear comfortable, flat shoes and you should be good to go!

What do they share in common?

Fans of Latin music and dance are likely to enjoy both Zumba and Core Rhythms as they are both strongly influenced by Latin dances. Both of these fitness programs can be done at home. Also, both work-outs can be done in less than an hour. In general, Latin dances in general are a good form of cardio; increasing the heart rate in addition to burning calories and facilitating weight loss. Not to forget, they both help the functioning of your lungs and heart.

Which one is more effective?

In all honesty, both of these fitness programs are a wonderful means to get healthy and fit. However, most people who have tried both Core Rhythms and Zumba feel that Zumba is a little too fast-paced while Core Rhythms comes across as easier to follow and do. Others claim the opposite. The Better Body Journal website has quite a few members who claim to have experienced positive weight loss effects.

However, Weight Loss HQ asserts that though steps may be simple to learn they are difficult to get a command over. However, like Core Rhythms, some people find Zumba’s choreography difficult to follow. 

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About the Author - Natalie Walter

Dancing has always been a part of Natalie Walter’s life. She started taking lessons at the age of 3 and has been dancing ever since. She danced on shows like soul train, MTV MUSIC AWARDS, SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARD, events and more. Zumba combines her two passions - dance and fitness! She became licensed to teach Zumba in 2009, she was immediately hooked! The music and moves create such a party atmosphere that keeps the classes exciting and motivating!

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