Updated: 20/07/2012 11:25

Zumba toning class reviewed

If you're after plenty of whooping action while you hone and tone your body, then join the Zumba party and get with their latest programme - Zumba Toning. I headed to the Urdang Academy to trial a class. Here are my thoughts about this total-body workout.

Whether you're after a kick-start in the morning or simply a good giggle, Zumba's latest fitness program, Zumba Toning, will have you shaking your booty and feeling the burn as you move to the hottest salsa sounds (just look at how fit it keeps TV presenter and Zumba Toning ambassador Zoe Hardman, pictured below). Here's a rundown of my Zumba Toning experience.

Zoe Hardman at the Zumba Toning launch at the Urdang Dance Academy (© Image © Matt Crossick)

My previous experience of Zumba
Admittedly, I have only tried Zumba once or twice before but I was definitely game to try out the latest addition to the Zumba family. I wanted to see why the combination of fast and slow rhythms with a plethora of different dance styles, otherwise known as Zumba, appeals to so many people of different ages - including my 60-year-old mum.

So what was I letting myself in for?
The new Zumba programme, Zumba toning, is a natural progression from the original fitness party with maraca-like weighted toning sticks thrown in. Essentially, this hi-tempo exercise routine allows you to burn the calories while firming and building muscle definition.

As with any dance-based fitness programme, it certainly helps if you don't have two left feet. But the real beauty of Zumba and Zumba toning is that it is accessible to everyone (hence its popularity). You don't have to be a pro to get down and dirty with any of the moves, and specifics such as lunges and squats are demonstrated before the class so you know you're working out all the right muscles.

What can you expect?
Well, from my experience of the class led by Zumba Toning expert Natasha Masucci, you can expect a lot of hip-swinging, salsa moves and butt-firming squats and lunges alongside more articulated arm curls to work those biceps and triceps. I certainly felt it firing-up my glutes. Oh, and expect to make some noise as you whoop along with the instructor. As with any exercise, you only get results from what you put in, so rev it up for maximum impact and to make you sweat, big time.

Do you need any equipment?
Besides the usual keep-fit gear and a decent pair of trainers, you'll need a pair of Zumba toning sticks, which are available in different weights.

Where can you find a class?
There are classes up and down the country run by licensed Zumba instructors (visit zumba.com/toning for more info). Alternatively, you can find Zumba Toning in Exhilarate, Zumba's new seven-disc-at-home DVD collection.

My verdict
As I'm a runner, Zumba Toning was a welcome change from simply pounding the pavements on my lonesome. It was fast-paced, packed full of pulse-raising exercises as well as slower moves to tone and condition my muscles. And once I got into the swing of things, I was whooping like the instructor. In fact, Zumba Toning was a fantastic start to the day that left me buzzing all the way to the office.

Find out more about Zumba Toning

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