Lose Weight the Fun Way – Wheelchair Zumba


Zumba landed in the United States in 2001, and since then it’s been a hugely popular aerobic exercise.  It also highly adaptable, with many wheelchair-users across the country using it as a way to lose weight.  It’s part dance/part aerobics and it’s one of the most fun ways to burn calories.

And by the way, when we say Zumba is popular with wheelchair-users, it’s really popular, and the videos below explain why.  Dozens of cool adapted Zumba videos exist, and we found a few that really show off this version of adapted dance-Aaerobics to a tee.

In our first video we get to see Corina Gutierrez, a licensed Zumba fitness instructor, teach a class to contestants at the 2013 Ms. Wheelchair America pageant this past July.  The awesome thing about Corina is that she uses a wheelchair.  She has osteogensis imperfecta, which means she can move her legs a little bit, but she knows 100% what it’s like to not able to walk – she is a full-time powerchair-user.

Corina decided to become an instructor after discovering Zumba a few years ago, amazed by what it did for her body – better range of motion, better breathing ability, she even became an inch taller. She’s now a motivational speaker that teaches Zumba fitness, and boy do her classes look like fun.  It’s a big upper-body workout, but you look cool doing it.  Watch her do a class & cool down with MWA contestants

In our second video, you get to watch Naama Baumgarten, a licensed Zumba instructor in Israel, teach a class to wheelchair-users and able-bodied people in a massive gymnasium.  She does a lot of swaying, wheelchair spins, lyrical arm movements, and there’s even a fair number of men in their class.  Gotta love that.  Watch the class do their thing

And if you ever wanted to gather the courage to drop in on a Zumba able-bodied class, then you have to watch this video of Maggie Redden, a paraplegic and current Ms. Wheelchair New Jersey, who does exactly that.  It’s a short and sweet video, only 2:11 minutes long, but it shows her hanging out among a bunch of able-bodied women doing her thing the best she can, modifying the moves as she goes along.

And just so you know – she’s really good at it; using her arms to do the “kicks,” and a few other slick moves that look really cool.  She’s certainly has inspired me and proves that wheelchair-users can look really awesome while doing Zumba. Watch Maggie feel the music

If you’re interested in trying out wheelchair Zumba yourself, check out your local rehab centers and hospitals to see if any adapted classes are being offered. If not, try dropping in on a Zumba class at your local YMCA.  Most teachers here are cool and totally not pretentious, and open to teaching people of all abilities.

Have you tried wheelchair Zumba?  How much weight have you lost?

Watch the videos!

2013 Ms. Wheelchair America contestants doing a group Zumba class

Zumba with Naama (an Israel-based instructor) teaching a wheelchair zumba class

Maggie Redden, a wheelchair-racer and current Ms. Wheelchair NJ, doing wheelchair Zumba with an AB class

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