Video Fitness

Zumbando with Special K, Lower Body Workout, Volume 2

Jenny de Guzman

This workout, also labeled Zumbando con Special K, De la cintura para abajo, Volumen 2, is a promotional DVD from Kellogg’s.

I’m reviewing this workout after previewing and doing it once each.

General workout breakdown: This Latin dance-flavored workout lasts just over 30 minutes. I would consider this primarily a cardio video, although if you do minimal strength work for your lower body you might consider this more of a circuit-type workout. The routine combines simple steps from Latin and other dance styles (merengue, salsa, cha cha, flamenco, belly / Egyptian dance, hip hop) with plies, squats, lunges, standing crunches, oblique twists, and a few punches. There are 7 segments: Merenge (5:13), Zocalipso (5:38), Reggaeton (4:58), Flamenco (4:55), Salsa (4:58), Hip Hop (5:17), and Cooldown (3:38; basically just stretches). Usually Jenny takes you through a series of moves, then through another series with a slight change in music, and then returns to the first series. The moves aren’t really combined into combinations, though; it’s more like 8 of this move, 8 of that move on the right, 8 of that move on the left, etc. The moves are low impact, with only one half pivot and a couple quarter turns (which you could easily just skip by staying front), although if squats and lunges bother your knees you may want to approach this video with caution.

Level: I’d recommend this to experienced beginners through intermediates. Jenny doesn’t explain how to do a lot of the moves, especially on the English version, and you’ll get more out of this if you don’t mind learning by watching. I consider myself a high intermediate with respect to cardio, and I worked up some sweat. I personally will use this on days when I didn’t feel like an intense cardio session and wanted something fun to get me moving (lighter days, pre or post weights, etc.).

Class: 6 young women join Jenny. All seem to be dancers (more of the dance team-type body: fairly thin, but still with curves). Everyone wears the Special K logo on their (low cut) shirts.

Music: vocal Latin music that’s much better than what usually appears as Latin music on exercise videos. The songs, which may have been made for Zumba rather than being remixes, include Que Te Mueve?, Zocalypso, Mira-La, La Fiesta, Ya Llego, and This is Tha’ Song.

Set: Bright interior set. Pink fabric panels line the back wall, with occasional puffs of smoke or something of that sort behind them. There are giant Special K cereal boxes in one corner and Special K bar boxes in the other.

Production: great picture and sound. If you watch the video very closely, you’ll notice the editing, since both the Spanish and English routines had the parts with cueing filmed separately while using the same shots for other parts. The dancers all match up with the beat at all times, though. (It’s just that once or twice the position one of the woman’s arms might be different from angle to angle.)

Equipment: maybe sneakers.

Space Requirements: enough space to take a big step to each side and to the back as well as a couple of steps to the front.

DVD Notes: From the first menu you select Spanish or Español. You have the choice of playing the program, learning more about Special K products, or going to Zumba / Special K websites from the next menu. The DVD is chaptered by segment.

Conclusion: This isn’t a bad workout. I can’t object to a couple of the details (the static stretch during the warm up, OK cueing) given the price (“free”), and I’d probably be willing to try one of Zumba’s regular videos after this one. The video’s much more fun during the dance segments, but I have to say that lunges are more tolerable with flamenco arms. The music definitely is a major factor in why I’ll probably keep this; if it had what usually passes for “spicy Latin” music on exercise videos, I would probably feel kind of “meh” about this video.

Instructor comments: Jenny clearly loves dancing and has a fun personality. She’s young but able to lead with enough authority. She mirror cues. Her cueing is better and includes more form reminders in Spanish, while she offers more encouragement in English (“Come on, ladies! Don’t give up on me now!” is said a lot) instead of form tips. She tends to cue right on or right before the move change without going into a lot of detail (“Now we’re going to go to the left.”). There are a few appearance related comments, but Jenny doesn’t include a lot of chatter. She matches the moves with the music very well. I like it when she lets loose and shows lots of spunk; I bet a live class with her would be incredibly fun.

KathAL79

March 26, 2006



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