I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a student come up to me after a second or third class and say “man was I so sore after the last class I took with you!” I always tell my participants, especially if it’s only their first or second class with me, to take it easy and to go at their own pace.
The great thing about Zumba, and a good instructor, is the fact that the routines are meant to be layered in intensity. Most songs have a specific breakdown in how it is structured and it is how the song is structured that we base the intensity levels in the choreography. Granted, not all instructors stick to this formula and will hit a song hard from the get go – not only is this wrong, but may potentially lead to injuries and loss of participants in your class. Typically a song will be broken down as follows, not all songs are this simple, but this is merely an example:
Intro – ease into easy moves
Verse – simple moves, easy to follow, low impact
Chorus – easy to follow, repeat each chorus
Verse – same as first verse, modified higher intensity
Chorus – same as first chorus
BREAK – usally completely different than verse & choorus
Chorus – same as first and second chorus
Verse – higher modified intensity, fitness variation
End – bring heart rate down again
Part of the reason you may be feeling so sore after a class is because of two reasons – one, you probably haven’t been exercising for a while so moving your body and using your muscles in a way that you haven’t for some time is strenuous, and two, you haven’t listened to your instructor at the beginning of class when they’ve said that songgs are progressive and get harder in intensity as the song goes on.
I always mention a few things before starting a class:
1.) I cue with my hands (motions 2 fingers up in the air and to the side of me). I will tell you how many times we are doing something and in what direction
2.) NEVER EVER dance looking over your shoulder at me – if I see you are doing this, I will mention to turn around and face me. If we are turning, this is my cue to turn (does cue)
3.) Lastly, the choreography to all of the songs on our playlist are structured to be layered in intensity, the first round is easiest, the send a little harder and the 3-4th are hardest. If you feel that the 3-4 are TOO hard, or you’re fatiguing, go back to rounds 1 or 2.
I cannot stress how important it is to share this information with your students! Granted, not everyone gets it (I can’t tell you how many times I have had to correct the turning and dancing looking over your shoulder, but it happens and you roll with the punches).
But, going back to the, “I was so sore after you last class.” if a student says this, tell them, take it easy, go at your own pace and do not push yourself to exceed your personal limit. If you do feel a stiffness or soreness coming on after class, be sure to move around. The worst thing you can do if you are sore after a work out is sit. Stretch, walk around – do anything but sit for too long!