Merengue – a simple routine for beginner Zumba enthusiasts

It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

The first zumba training does not have to be under the supervision of an instructor. You can also start dancing to the merengue rhythm at home!

Zumba at home has its charm too!

Zumba group classes may not be for everyone. The first encounter with high-energy music, dance routines and new people may be too intense for some. Although zumba is a sport for everyone, it’s a good idea to try out some instructional videos on your own to see if the energy of the dance suits your individual preferences before starting paid workouts.

Contrary to appearances, zumba does not require high physical fitness, condition or breathing capacity, because the dance tempo can be adjusted to the practitioner’s level of advancement. Examples of several-minute zumba trainings to the rhythm of merengue music can be found on the profiles of various dance schools or specific instructors on YouTube.

Zumba – practice some simple moves at home

The patterns to merengue music are so simple that they are based on a few basic steps. Their repetition in a simple choreography will enable you to do the whole workout. Experts distinguish four basic movements that will help you enter the world of zumba. You can freely mix and match the steps to the rhythm of the music. Regular exercise will help you control not only the movement of your legs, but also the coordination of your head, hands and hips at the same time.

Marching in place
Seemingly like a soldier’s walk, this movement is a very popular element of Zumba, which helps to feel the rhythm of the music and to feel the tempo of the background music. The rhythmic walking to the beat of the music should be accompanied by the movements of the arms placed at chest height. The hands should bend naturally at the elbow, alternating with dynamic movements that emphasize the merengue tempo.

Putting your feet up
In the next step, the movement of the legs and hips, which refers to the salsa dance steps, should be added to the march in place. The legs should be put down alternately so that the weight of the body is always on the offending leg. The movements can be done sideways as well as forward or backward. Circular movements of the hips should also be incorporated into the movement, which, like the whole body, will work to the rhythm of merengue music.

Dynamic movements performed from leg to leg should be done in several repetitions turning 90 degrees every series. Jumps are performed until you return to the starting position. In a more advanced version of the exercise, you can also jump forward and backward, while performing a basic variant of the step. You can also add to the dance movements with your hands every two bars by lifting them up and then using them to perform movements at thigh height. This way more muscle parts are engaged to work.

Squat position
The last of the basic steps performed in merengue is the squat position. It consists of doing squats to the rhythm of music. While performing the exercise it is important for the player to bend legs in knees slightly, spread them on hip width and keep maximally straight position of spine. While performing squats, it is also important to remember to tighten abdominal muscles and buttocks.

How to overcome initial difficulties in zumba training

The first zumba workouts can be challenging for athletes with poorer physical fitness. Not being able to keep up with the pace of the instructor or the music should not be much of a problem. With regularity and commitment, an appropriate pace should become achievable over time.

A more important issue is the correct execution of the individual steps, so when starting to practice zumba on your own, you should pay more attention to the correctness of the exercises. Initial difficulties should not discourage, and in fact add more motivation to practice zumba, which positively affects the mood and increases the amount of vital energy.

Featured photo: Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

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