What are Salsa Aerobics?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Salsa aerobics is a fitness program that uses salsa dancing in a high energy workout to get the heart rate up. It can be combined with a number of different exercise routines for fitness, including weight training, running, and other activities. Some gyms and fitness centers offer salsa aerobics classes and it is also possible to use videos for an exercise program at home. People using videos may find it helpful to attend at least one class in person so that an instructor can provide them with tips about proper form.

When seeking a salsa aerobics class, it is strongly recommended to find a certified aerobics instructor.
When seeking a salsa aerobics class, it is strongly recommended to find a certified aerobics instructor.

In aerobics, the goal is to get the heart rate up and keep it up for a sustained period of time. Aerobic exercise is beneficial for cardiovascular and pulmonary health. It can also be used for weight loss and combined with other activities for muscle toning. A number of dance aerobics classes provide people with aerobic exercise and dance training combined to keep the exercise fun and engaging, as a common problem faced by many exercisers is boredom with regular fitness classes.

In aerobics, the goal is to get the heart rate up and keep it up for a sustained period of time.
In aerobics, the goal is to get the heart rate up and keep it up for a sustained period of time.

In a salsa aerobics class or routine, people start by stretching and warming up. Exercising cold is not advised because it can strain the muscles. Once people are warmed up, they can start performing a series of dance moves to elevate their heart rates, both alone and with partners. Salsa is a naturally energetic dance form with a bouncing beat that is easy to follow. In addition to elevating the heart rate, the class can also provide people with dancing skills.

Once the routine is over, people cool down with a series of stretches and gentle exercises to avoid muscle injuries. Some instructors integrate floor work into this section of the class to help people develop their core muscles, increase flexibility, and develop more muscle strength. A salsa aerobics class can take an hour to 90 minutes, depending on the format and the instructor, and students may opt to follow with weight training or other gym activities.

When seeking a salsa aerobics class, it is strongly recommended to find a certified aerobics instructor. Gym instructors usually provide information about where they received their training and whether they hold certifications, and this information can be looked up to find out about the standards at the facilities or organizations the instructor is affiliated with. Many salsa aerobics instructors also have dance experience, including a history in dance competitions for some.

Salsa aerobics may help a person lose weight.
Salsa aerobics may help a person lose weight.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


I have some friends who were raving about how much fun they were having at a salsa class. Somehow they convinced me to join them, and I'm not sure that was a good idea.

I just couldn't get the hang of it and have never really liked aerobic classes that much. Because I have arthritis, I have always done low impact aerobics, but found that even started bothering me after awhile.

The salsa classes were high energy and burned a lot of calories, but it just wasn't my thing. I went back to my water aerobics workouts and feel much more comfortable with them.

The water is good for my joints and I am still able to get my heart rate up.


@cloudel - Congratulations on losing weight and your newly learned salsa moves! I would like to gain a little confidence at home before I join a group.

I also need to get myself in shape first. I feel like if I joined a salsa class right now, I would be worn out after about 20 minutes.

Aerobics is something I have always enjoyed, and learning new aerobics moves can help with the boredom. I also like to change up the music and make sure it is upbeat and fast paced.

I have let myself get lazy lately, and need to get back into a regular routine again. It might take me a little longer to get in shape than I realized. That is one of the biggest reasons I thought about getting a DVD and starting out at home first.


@SarahSon - I would just sign up for the class at the gym and go for it. Salsa aerobics is a lot of fun and you will find it much more enjoyable if you are with a group of people

You will probably be surprised by how many other people feel exactly the same way you do. This way you will have a lot of fun learning together.

The first salsa aerobics class I ever took there was a handful of us who had never done anything like that before. We had a lot of laughs along with our exercise, and I left feeling very energized.

I have some aerobics videos at home that I use if I can't get to the gym, but much prefer being around other people when I exercise. This also keeps me more motivated and disciplined.

If I couldn't exercise with a group of people, it wouldn't happen very often.


@SarahSon – Starting with a salsa aerobics DVD is a great idea. I own one, and I feel confident enough in my ability to do the dance to take an aerobics class.

I got the DVD for a fun way to lose weight. I was tired of using the treadmill, because it was the most boring thing ever. I love to dance, and I figured that if I could combine that enthusiasm with a technique designed to make me shed pounds, I would come out a winner.

I did start losing weight after a few weeks of using the DVD. Not long after I got it, I went out dancing with my friends, and I was able to use some of my salsa moves on the floor. They were impressed, and I felt more confident than ever.


My cousin is a ballroom dance instructor, and he taught me how to do the salsa dance. I decided to create my own workout from what I learned.

I just put on some music and start doing my own salsa aerobics around the house. This workout is ideal for me, because I can do it while folding laundry or cooking dinner.

I really get into it, because I am alone when I do it. I would be too intimidated to dance around other people, so I could never take a salsa aerobics class. At home, I can set my own pace and look as silly dancing as I please!


Do you need any dance experience to learn how to do salsa aerobics?

I have never done salsa, or much other dance, but need to find something to spice up my workouts. I thought about ordering a salsa aerobics DVD to try this at home first.

Maybe if I learned a few moves on my own, I wouldn't feel so self-conscious if I took a class at a gym. They offer a salsa class at the gym I go to, and this is something I have been considering.

If most of the people are used to dance aerobics, I am wondering how long it would take me to catch on to this type of exercise.


@Perdido – Salsa aerobics can be challenging, but to me, the class is so much more fun than a workout DVD. The main benefit of doing the workout in person is getting to dance with other people.

My instructor pairs us up, so we get to share the fun of the workout with each other directly. Dancing with a partner is more challenging than dancing alone, because you have to keep up with another person, who just might be better at it than you are.

It motivates me to dance better and keep up the pace. I think switching to a home workout now would make me very sad.


I can't imagine doing a salsa workout for a full hour! I do good to sustain an aerobics workout for fifteen minutes!

My coworker goes to a salsa aerobics class for an hour each week, and she loves it, though. She is definitely more in shape than I am, because she shows up to work the next day without so much as a sore muscle.

Last week, I went with her to the class. After my usual fifteen minutes of activity, I got very winded. After twenty-five, I crashed and had to watch the rest from the sidelines. I've got a long way to go, but salsa aerobics is a fun way to work on getting in shape.

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