Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of Zumba — the dance fitness craze that's been around since the late '90s. Founded by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez, there are now Zumba classes all around the world and, while maybe not as trendy as they once were, they're still a great workout thanks to the calorie-burning power of dance. But if you've yet to try these classes, it could be intimidating to step foot in a Zumba studio. Especially if you're worried about committing on e of the many beginner Zumba mistakes all first-timers make.
In order to find out some of the biggest mistakes that Zumba newbies make, Romper talked to Gina Grant, a Zumba Education Specialist whose passion for the fitness regimen began in 2002, and Lana Herzig, a NASM certified personal trainer and Zumba instructor with more than 23 years of dance training and performance experience.
The main thing you need to know before going to your first Zumba class is that they are, "good for literally everybody," according to Grant, and "a party," according to Herzig. If you're intimidated to try your first class, check out these seven beginner mistakes that everyone makes during their first time in Zumba — and, most importantly, how to avoid them.
1. You Try To Perfect The Choreography
"A lot of people get caught up in trying to perfect the choreography, and it's just not necessary," Grant tells Romper of the biggest mistake newbies make. "As long as you constantly move and you feel the music within you, you're going to have a blast, you're going to sweat a ton, and you're going to get a really amazing workout."
2. You Don't Really Warm Up
According to Greatist, one of the most common workout mistakes is not warming up beforehand. This step can be just as important as your actual workout, since it prevents injury and prepares your body. Although Zumba class will have its own warm-up, take an extra 10 minutes beforehand to stretch and get your heart rate pumping.
3. You Get Discouraged When Starting Out
"I've often seen new students become discouraged when starting out with Zumba, because they couldn't pick up the moves right away," Herzig tells Romper. "No one is able to pick up the moves perfectly the first time around. I always encourage new student to refrain from throwing in their towel until they've taken three to four classes, as the steps will come easier after a few classes."
4. You Keep Your Injuries A Secret
According to Reader's Digest, one of the biggest group fitness class mistakes that people make is not letting instructors know about any injuries you may have. It might feel uncomfortable to speak up in front of class, but your instructor needs to be aware of anything that's causing pain or discomfort. Don't be afraid to pull your instructor aside before, after, or even during class to figure out another exercise option if something is seriously not working for you.
5. You Don't Love Your First Instructor
"Every Zumba instructor has their own individual flavor and style," Grant says. "If you don't fall in love the first time, go to someone new. Don't give up, you will find the perfect fit for you."
6. You Don't Give Yourself Enough Rest Time
You might actually love your first Zumba class so much that you jump into your second and third a class immediately. But this would be a huge post-workout mistake, as most experts agree that you need 48 hours of rest between intense workouts, according to The Daily Mail. Instead, take a break and let your body relax between Zumba classes.
7. You Take Yourself Too Seriously
"Zumba is meant to be a dynamic, exciting, and fun way for clients of all ages and levels to not only improve their fitness and self-esteem but also relieve stress," says Herzig. "When entering a Zumba class, check your worries at the door and have a blast."