Thanks to the popularity of the original Zumba Fitness workout, several spin-off classes have been developed. Here’s the scoop on each style—straight from Zumba experts. Remember you can locate classes of all types in your area at Zumba.com.
Zumba Gold: A lower-impact version of Zumba Fitness designed for older adults or anyone who wants to try a less-intense version of the original workout. “There was a need to reach the population like me,” says 71-year-old creator Joy Prouty. “No matter what age they are, people still want to feel like they can move. We want them to come in to Zumba and feel they can do it.”
Zumba Toning: A variation of Zumba Fitness that incorporates 1 or 2.5-pound weights. “Some participants wanted more toning and lifting in their class,” says instructor Kass Martin. “The weights are light enough that you can still dance—and they sound like maracas!”
Aqua Zumba: Simply put, Zumba in the pool. But Aqua Zumba is also another way to integrate more strength training and joint conditioning into your dance-based workout. It can be a great option for those with limited mobility due to age or injury. “It might look slower, but the intensity in the water is amazing,” Prouty says. “In real life, gravity pulls us down, but in water it pulls us up.”
Zumbatomic: A kid-friendly Zumba class designed for ages 4-7 and 8-12. “Since kids have a short attention span, it’s not continuous cardio—we break down the choreography and play games,” says program co-creator Gina Grant. “Plus the music is hand-picked for kids and the moves are modified to make them appropriate.”
Zumba Sentao: The latest incarnation of Zumba centers around a chair—but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s for the silver sneakers senior set. Sentao is another way to amp up the toning element of aerobics, incorporating tricep dips, squats, barre-inspired work and more. “With the chair, you’re able to use your own body’s resistance,” says Martin. “You can really isolate those muscles, and it’s so effective—without adding heavy, bulky weights.” But make no mistake: Sentao incorporates plenty of cardio. You’ll be on your feet quite a bit, and it’s an intense workout. If you’re looking for a lighter class, try Zumba Gold or Aqua Zumba.