Zumba is one of the latest fitness crazes to capture the interest of both men and women. It combines several Latin and hip-hop dance styles to create a fun, fat burning activity that will surely tone and sculpt your body. If you are doing Zumba at home, always remember to do some stretching exercises to prevent injury and cramps. Here are some simple stretching exercises for you:
- Stretch your neck. With your feet a shoulder width apart and with both arms on your hips, slowly rotate your head clockwise in eight counts. Repeat the same movement, only this time in a counter clockwise motion. You will feel the muscles of your neck stretch as you do this.
- Stretch your shoulders. Stand with your spine straight. Raise your right arm and place it across your chest, with your fingers pointing to the left. Using your left arm, pull your right elbow and hold this position for eight counts. You will feel the stretch along the upper part of your arms and the shoulder joints. Do the same thing to your left arms.
- Stretch your arms and back. With your legs and your spine straight, raise both of your arms over head. Reach up as high as possible with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Hold this position for at least eight counts.
- Stretch your abdomen. With your feet slightly far apart, raise your right arm and reach above your head. Bend on your left side, all the while using your left hand to push your hips to the right. You will feel the stretch on your right abdominal muscles as well as your arms. Hold this position for eight counts. Repeat the movements on the other side.
- Stretch your hips and groin. Stand with your feet wide apart and your knees straight. Bend your right knee and lean on your right side, placing most of your body weight on your right leg and knee. Hold this pose for eight counts then shift on the left side for the same amount of time.
- Stretch your thighs. Stand upright with your knees close together. Raise your right leg to reach your butt. Reach behind and use both of your arms to pull your right leg. Balance yourself in this position for eight counts. Repeat the same thing on your other leg.
- Stretch your foot and ankle. Sit on the floor with your legs together and your spin straight. Slowly bend your right leg and raise your foot. Only the heel should be down on the floor. Using your left hand, pull your toes and the arch of your foot. Maintain this pose for eight counts then shift on the other side.
These warm up stretches are guaranteed to keep you flexible and prepared for your Zumba dance exercise. Keep in mind to continue breathing as you go through these stretches for this help open up and relax the muscles. Also, remember to wear comfortable clothes for your exercise. Happy Zumba dancing!