With the rush back to the gym in January, the cardio-dance fitness trend Zumba is more popular than ever. More than 12 million people participate in classes every week and this has led to an increase in Zumba sports injuries. Orthopedic surgeons and hospital emergency rooms see Zumba related injuries on a weekly basis. New Zumba participants should be aware of the risk of injury in the sport as well as how to protect themselves.

Zumba Sports Injuries Skyrocket

There are several reasons for the increase in Zumba sports injuries:

  1. With over 12 million people participating in Zumba classes every week, you are bound to see injuries. The severity of the injuries can vary widely.
  2. The side-to-side motions associated with Zumba require hips, knees, feet, and ankles to move together in unison, which can be tricky and cause strained muscles.
  3. Zumba fitness classes are fun. It is common for participants to get caught up in the activity and not realize that they’re overexerting themselves until it’s too late.
  4. Zumba often attracts women who have never worked out before and who are overweight. Many of these women do not know basic fitness form such as how to squat and lunge properly. When executed poorly, the motions in Zumba can cause muscle strains and injuries, particularly to the knees and hips.

Common Zumba Injuries

Common Zumba Sports Injuries are fractures and sprains to the lower extremities and back. Knee surgeries due to Zumba sports happen regularly.

  • Breakdown of common Zumba sports injuries:
  • ACL Tears and Meniscal Tears to the knees
  • Labrum Tears and Bursitis to the hips
  • Lumbar Strains to the back
  • Sprains and Fractures to the ankles
  • Shin Splints and Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis to the legs
  • Heel Spurs or Plantar Fasciitis in the feet

Zumba Safety Tips

  • Before taking a class do some research to ensure that the Zumba instructor is a certified fitness professional and has experience teaching Zumba. An experienced instructor can help to prevent injuries by correcting poor technique and recognizing when an individual needs a break.
  • If you are unsure of whether you are doing the moves correctly, ask the instructor.
  • To lessen impact injuries, the workout should take place on a hardwood floor that has some give, rather than a concrete or hard tile floor.
  • Wear Zumba shoes; they are designed to support your feet and body while doing the required side-to-side movements. Regular running or athletic shoes have too much grip and will limit your movements.
  • Always do a gentle warm-up with stretching to prepare your muscles.
  • Listen to your body: if your muscles feel overly strained or a move is painful, stop.
  • Stay hydrated and take breaks as you need them.

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