Zumba is a group exercise program that originated in the 1990s and has higher than 10 million participants across the world. It takes inspiration from Latin songs and dance moves and combines it with aerobics. This combination makes Zumba fun, exhilarating and effective. However, Zumba (or any form of exercise) can be painful for someone with bad knees. It may still be practiced upon the opinion of your doctor and some care on your part.
Different Types of “Bad Knees”
Some types of knee pain are so severe that Zumba or any type of exercise isn’t advised as they call for intensive care, either through surgery or relaxation.
However, there are many people, who have knee pain to some extent or the other; who may still be able to participate in Zumba. MayoClinic.com claims that knee pains are more often than not, the result of;
- Torn Meniscus
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
- Changing your gait to compensate for hip or leg pain
If you are facing pain because of a previous injury, you can ice your knee prior to a Zumba class to ease the pain and inflammation.
Either way, consulting your doctor is a must.
Give yourself at least five minutes to warm up by performing some slow paced movement or the other. You can walk, hop, jump or use the treadmill—the point is to give your muscles a head start and stimulate blood flow.
Wear a Knee Brace
A knee brace will give your knee the support it needs during a Zumba Class and may also help ease the pain.
Invest In a Good Pair of Shoes
… For more information, check out our article “ Right Shoes for Zumba”. Here is a few pointers to look out for when buying shoes for Zumba
- Make sure they are made for dancing
- Shouldn’t be running shoes
- The grip is suitable to the flooring
- Should have soft cushions inside
Select a Class That Best Suits YOU
There are 7 different types of Zumba exercises. You need to make sure you choose the class that you enjoy and able to do.
Zumba Gold is probably the best option if you have bad knees. It is ideal as it takes the original Zumba dance moves and modifies them to make it easier to perform for anyone. Actually, Zumba Gold can even be practiced on a wheelchair. There is one workout in Zumba Gold in which a wheelchair is featured to increase the amount of people who can work out. Therefore, if you have really weak knees, then you can always try this workout out!
You can even try out Aqua Zumba which is based in the water and is relatively lightweight. In fact, a 57 year old woman named Mary Clarkson Turek practiced Zumba while she had arthritis and has gone on to become an Aqua Zumba instructor!
One of the best things about Zumba is that it can be adjusted to suit your capacity. If your knees are prone to pain you can make adjustments and modifications to Zumba to reduce the pressure and exertion level on your knee.
Losing weight will help you and your knees in a number of ways. By losing weight you will reduce the weight that is being placed on your knees. And it so happens that practicing Zumba allows one to lose tons of weight; an approximate of 800 to 1000 calories can be shed in an hour long session.
Moreover, MayoClinic.com also alleges that Osteoarthritis is leading cause of knee pain. By practicing Zumba Gold and Zumba Toning, one can strengthen the muscles, hence reducing the pain from this condition.