2. Perform isolations slowly
Before you start jerking your joints all around in time with a serious beat, prepare your body to execute these motions by doing easy motions around key joints like the neck, knees and back. This is known as rhythmic limbering. Then do the isolations that you may do later in the workout, but perform slower versions as part of your warm-up.
3. Shake it in small doses.
Sure, go ahead and shake what you’ve got, just do it sparingly. Admittedly, this is tough in an inspiring Zumba class where you just want to let loose. But if doing so is going to give you momentary pleasure — but lead to chronic aches that lead you to quit class, well, you know the smarter thing to do.
4. Listen to your body.
Some shoulders just aren’t meant to shimmy. And some hips aren’t meant to thrust. Or some are — but slower than the music might dictate. So if your body doesn’t quite move to the groove, then modify, modify, modify. Do the move half-time (more slowly). Or find an equally satisfying move (Foot stomping? Fist pumping?)
5. Focus on joint alignment.
When you twist your torso, hold your ribs high so that you don’t bend your spine as you twist. When you lunge, control where you land and how far forward your knees bend past your toes (I’ve written more about that here). If the music feels too fast, slow down as you perform the moves, or skip them if you can’t control your alignment.
6. Heed aches and pains.
If your lower back hurts after a Zumba class, that’s not because you’re out of shape. That’s because something you did probably overloaded your spine. Be on the alert for twinges and pain after the fact and figure out how to modify the moves accordingly so that you don’t overload your spine the next time.
More from MSN Health:
- Arthritis? Yoga, Pilates and Strength Training Made Easier
- Belly Size and Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure? 5 Things You Should Know About Exercise
- Bing: How to Get Started Exercising
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