Latin style dance fitness can be a lot of fun and is a good workout for legs and core muscles. I’ve had a lot of fun with my Crunch Cardio Salsa workout DVD. The fitness instructor on the video is Giselle Roque de Escobar, who exudes a lot of enthusiasm.
The total workout is 40 minutes long and is broken down into five different dance routine segments, in addition to the warm-up and cool-down. These include the salsa , merengue , merengue salsa, samba and Latin funk combinations. You can choose the different chapters from the main menu and can either do the full workout or do two to three of your favorite dance segments along with the warm-up and cool-down. The versatility is nice, because there may be days when you’re a little sore or not up to a full length workout but still want exercise.
Arms probably do not get the same sort of workout as your legs do, but there are arm movements, many of which are graceful and Latin-inspired. There are “flick arms,” (a wrist flick movement,) graceful twirling flamenco arms during the cool-down and even a move where you shake some imaginary maracas. After returning to this DVD from a long break, I felt it in my shoulders and upper back which must be from the arm movements.
The instructor is easy to follow. She’ll demonstrate the footwork, sometimes moves just as simple as stepping out to the side, or alternating feet stepping forward, then add hip and arm movements. There is, of course, a lot of hip movement in Latin dance.
Although some of the moves I described are done in place, you do move around quite a bit for this workout: frontwards and back, side to side and even on a diagonal. I did manage to modify things a bit and make it work for a somewhat small space. As long as you are moving at the right tempo, you can still get good exercise whether you are moving in place or in the space around you.
One favorite move is what she calls a “modified mambo,” where you turn sideways and push up on the ball of your foot for a hip roll, then move splayed hands out to the sides, as Giselle says, “as if you were presenting your hips.”
The most energetic segment is the samba segment. The rhythm for this section is quite fast, and you do what Giselle describes as “little skips.” You aren’t lifting both feet off the floor at once, but the step has a lot of bounce to it. The workout is low impact throughout, but there are a few little hops here and there too.
There is a drummer, introduced as Ravi, drumming the beat in the background behind the dancers. The DVD cover describes it as “live drums,” but a recording of drums isn’t live in the truest sense, is it? What is more accurate to say is that, while the music is canned, the drums were live at the time of the recording and has a live feel to it. The drumming, I think, does help you get a good feeling for the beat easily.
With Amazon Prime, you can get the DVD for $8.22. Click on the image link below, if you are interested.
You can also stream the workout with Amazon Prime with a $6.99 per month subscription to the BeFit channel. A free trial is possible.