The first time Emm Koteka-Wiki was mentioned related to the Fred Astaire dance studio in Norwalk and the Zumba classes she taught there. As of December 2010, Emm opened her own studio on 112 Main Street in Norwalk to reach a wider audience for her popular Zumba classes. With a new 3,600-square-foot studio and 15 other instructors, her strong following of class-goers can use more room to move around during the heart-pumping Zumba classes.
But according to Koteka-Wiki and most other Zumba dancers, it's not all about the cardio benefit:
"The routines feature interval-training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat," she said. "It targets areas such as the glutes, legs, arms, abdominals and, most importantly, the heart. The dance steps are easy to follow and participants can adjust their aerobic level by either increasing or decreasing their pace and amount of movements. It's spicy, it's sexy, it's fun, it's invigorating and it's for every one of all ages and fitness levels." (Studio M - In the News and Connecticut Post, Sunday January 16, 2011 edition)
Here's a move inspired by Zumba dance instructors, just like Emm, that can be done in your own time:
- Start with feet wider than shoulder width apart, knees bent and put on some strong beat music.
- Arch your lower back and push out your behind with your hands at chest level, palms out.
- Along with the beat, pull your hips under and push your hands slightly forward.
- Repeat steps two and three for the chorus or a specific part of the music that is 30 seconds.
Without laying on the ground, you are working your lower abdomen. Since this is a hard spot to tone otherwise, the hip thrust offers a fun way to break the monotony of crunches, and whittles your waist faster. As you dance with this move, you burn calories and any kind of fat layering over your abdomen.
Make sure to check out Emm at Studio M and join the Zumba craze if you haven't already!