Benefits vs risks of Zumba!

All sports activities have some risk invlolves, Zumba is no different! And yes, we do see cases of ankle and knee sprains, ligament tears, muscular strains and even low back and neck injuries. None of these injuries should be taken lightly and the risks of returning to Zumba too early must be evaluated.

However, we all agree that the advantages far outweigh the risks! Here is an article that describes a study showing Zumba has a preventive role in breast cancer! I think Zumba has a little something more than some other physical activities: the group effect, the screaming, the pleasure of dancing, all of these thing must release a cocktail of happy hormones that has a great effect on our health!

So go go go Zumba boys and girls, keep it up! Here are a couple of tricks to eliminate the risks of injury:

– Wear sports shoes that are made for lateral movement and dancing. These shoes usually have little difference in height between the heel and toes and have a slightly slippery sole. Shoes with high support in the heel were created for running, where lateral movements are not being sollicited at all! These shoes put you more at risk for ankle sprains. The same thing can be said about very adhesive soles, which are not ideal for torsional movements in the feet, like in Zumba!

–To strenghten your stabilizing muscles of the knees and ankles, brush your teeth standing on one leg! This small daily exercise will make you more stable and less at risk of sprains!

– The knees are very activated in Zumba, so here an interesting stretch to add post class! In the same position as a quadriceps stretch, turn your foot slightly towards the other buttock to stretch the lateral quad. Then turn your foot slightly towards the outside to stretch the medial quad.

– I know you all like to keep the same SPOT during your Zumba class, but this can be difficult for your neck. Ideally, stand in front of the teacher. If not, do half the class on the teacher’s right side and half on the left side. This will prevent having your neck turned one way all class!

– Listen to your body! Zumba is a great way to exercise at YOUR level. If there is pain during one movement, do not force through that pain, dance in your confort zone, you will still get plenty of benefits from the movement and you will be preventing injury! If a particular movement is painful at every Zumba class, do not hesitate to get in touch with us to have answers to your questions!

Dre Sandra