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Zumba?


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I just started zumba classes- they're so fun and they make me feel really great after! (not so much during- ahh my heart rate goes through the roof!)  My question is- people say that zumba will "tone" the body, but how is that possible?  Don't weights need to be included for any "toning" to be involved?  isn't it really just calorie-burning?  Whenever we do a waist turn or something, the instructor says we're "toning our midsection" but I don't see how that's even possible, medically.  

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After reading these forums for awhile, I think "tone", "toned", and "toning" are almost meaningless words. No one knows what they mean because they mean different things to everyone.

Maybe ask your instructor to describe the claimed effects more specifically. Will it increase the size of a muscle, and if so, which? Will it reduce fat at that particular spot, and if so, how? Would be interesting to hear his or her answers.

What "toning" means in that context is indeed meaningless, and is a BS term perpetuated by fitness marketers.

What your instructor wants to say but doesn't know how to say it or is even aware that there's a more proper concept is that you're improving the underlying strength and endurance of "[your] midsection," with the long-term goal of reducing overall bodyfat, to achieve that "toned" look (which again is just perpetuated by the fitness/modeling industry to make a buck).... SOME DAY.

However, because these marketing jerks have conditioned us to accept "toning" as a valid term that actually means something, it's ingrained in our heads.  This attracts particularly women to health-and-fitness classes and activities because the industry has conditioned women to erroneously believe that muscular strength automatically equates to "bulky" and that it is completely unattractive (to the point where it seems that so many women believe they can gain muscle mass faster and easier than men can).

While also failing to specifically define what "bulky" means, apart from pointing to female competition bodybuilders.

So the take-away to all of this ranting is this.  Enjoy your class.  From what I've heard from friends who participate in Zumba, it seems to be a lot of fun.  If it gets you moving, sweating, and panting, then it's all good.  But don't be too concerned with the cheerleading going on from your instructor.  If what she says makes the students believe it and coming back for more rather than quitting once it gets hard, then in the grand scheme of things, there's no significant harm.

(ultimately, it doesn't "tone" the body any more or less than any other aerobic activity undertaken with equal intensity and focus)

Actually Zumba can tone your body. Zumba incorporates squats, leg lifts, bending, calf lifts and so on. Your body weight is the "weights". Perhaps not as effective as a more strenuous routine but it does have benefits. When you feel your calves or thighs burning you know you are working those muscles. Unless you are wanting to add bulk you don't need to use weights. Zumba may not give you rock hard abs but it can strengthen and tighten your core which is what toning is. Zumba does target more of your lower body because that is what is holding most of your weight, but you could include hand or wrist weights to target your arms and back more. I also like doing additional exercises that target each muscle group a few times a week. I like to focus on each region I am working to make it more effective. It's also important to do each step correctly, for instance, some of the routine is done while on the tops of your feet only, that way your off balance so your core and calves are included, or your knees are slightly bent while pulling in your abs, focusing on the muscles there. So yeah it can tone, and its really fun, can you tell I really enjoy Zumba?
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yes zumba is lots of fun and if losing lbs helps hey better yet by putting a good sweat with zumba I have seen a difference I only wish I could move as fast as they do but once I lose some weight I might be able to move  faster in the meantime I enjoy doing zumba and all my workouts I also did at home a dvd for walking at home and with that I was losing but then it became a little boring so at the gym I keep it different each day some zumba , some bike and some weights anyone oh I am ready to go at it again

The problem with the term "muscle tone" is that it originally meant one thing not exclusively related to fitness that got misinterpreted and misappropriated by the fitness industry, contributing to Pink Dumbbell Theory.

Now, "tone" and "toning" are being used as euphemisms for "strength workouts that aren't too hard or strenuous," often unfortunately paired with avoidance of "getting bulky."  In other words, not just playing up to but promoting the misogynistic stereotype that women shouldn't become inadvertently strong and muscular lest they become unattractive to their menfolk.

(and this is particularly bothersome, because often it's WOMEN who are promoting these very same sexist ideals TO women)

In terms of musculature, "tone" is originally from the term "tonus," a state of contraction of the muscle (ANY muscle, not just the visible ones).  This is why when infants are observed to have "low muscle tone," it's a cause for concern to delve into deeper underlying causes, such as genetic or neurological disorders.

It's not that infants haven't been working out. Wink

As an English word, "tone" refers to the quality of sound and has also been ported over to art, to describe degrees of darkness & lightness or the amount of "greyness" in a color.

In the etymological sense, "tone" is meaningless in exercise.  However, in colloquialism, it exists and there's nothing we can do to correct its usage, except gripe about its misuse with like-minded individuals in forums such as this Laughing

It's especially frustrating when reading a series of advice-seeking that essentially boils down to "I don't want to work out hard, I just wanna tone," which is another way of saying "how do I achieve 100% model-quality magazine results by half-arsing my way through a few vanity-driven series of motions that aren't difficult or make me tired?"

In that vein, I consider Zumba and other similar hard, intense aerobic exercises to be beyond "toning."  Strengthening?  Yes.  Cardiovascular exercise?  Yes.  Gives participants a strong sense of accomplishment and motivation?  Absolutely.

Thus, my criticism of SLMH's instructor using the term "toning" as misleading.

 

Original Post by weirdfish:

The problem with the term "muscle tone" is that it originally meant one thing not exclusively related to fitness that got misinterpreted and misappropriated by the fitness industry, contributing to Pink Dumbbell Theory.

Now, "tone" and "toning" are being used as euphemisms for "strength workouts that aren't too hard or strenuous," often unfortunately paired with avoidance of "getting bulky."  In other words, not just playing up to but promoting the misogynistic stereotype that women shouldn't become inadvertently strong and muscular lest they become unattractive to their menfolk.

(and this is particularly bothersome, because often it's WOMEN who are promoting these very same sexist ideals TO women)

In terms of musculature, "tone" is originally from the term "tonus," a state of contraction of the muscle (ANY muscle, not just the visible ones).  This is why when infants are observed to have "low muscle tone," it's a cause for concern to delve into deeper underlying causes, such as genetic or neurological disorders.

It's not that infants haven't been working out.

As an English word, "tone" refers to the quality of sound and has also been ported over to art, to describe degrees of darkness & lightness or the amount of "greyness" in a color.

In the etymological sense, "tone" is meaningless in exercise.  However, in colloquialism, it exists and there's nothing we can do to correct its usage, except gripe about its misuse with like-minded individuals in forums such as this

It's especially frustrating when reading a series of advice-seeking that essentially boils down to "I don't want to work out hard, I just wanna tone," which is another way of saying "how do I achieve 100% model-quality magazine results by half-arsing my way through a few vanity-driven series of motions that aren't difficult or make me tired?"

In that vein, I consider Zumba and other similar hard, intense aerobic exercises to be beyond "toning."  Strengthening?  Yes.  Cardiovascular exercise?  Yes.  Gives participants a strong sense of accomplishment and motivation?  Absolutely.

Thus, my criticism of SLMH's instructor using the term "toning" as misleading.

 

*stands, applauds*

I never truly understood the aversion to the word "tone". I just figured it was easier to not use it and thus avoid the slings and arrows of the fitness police.

Now I understand.

Thanks Fish.

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