Zumba Sentao

Workout Of The Week: Zumba Sentao

Louisville Recreation Center, 900 Via Appia Way, Louisville, 303-666-7400, louisvillerecreation.com[1]

Instructor: Anastasia Benson, of Lafayette. She has been teaching for 12 years.

She started teaching water aerobics after her teacher left and asked her to take over the class. Later, she got certified through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Since then, she has taught almost every kind of class: step, Pi-Yo, cycling, kickboxing. She began teaching Zumba 31/2 years ago and is certified in Zumba, Zumba Gold-Toning and Zumba Sentao.

What is the workout? A style of Zumba that uses a chair to strengthen and

Josie Black, right, participates in the Zumba Sentao class at the Louisville Recreation Center. Using a chair into as a dance partner, the explosive Zumba Sentao program strengthens your core, torches calories and sculpts muscle. ( CLIFF GRASSMICK )

sculpt, using targeted resistance training, as part of an upbeat cardio workout. “Sentao” is a spin off the Spanish word for “to sit” — but don’t let that fool you. This is not your grandmother’s chair exercise class (although your grandmother might love this). Because Sentao has the Zumba influence, it is lively, with simple Latin-style choreography, loud music, faster-paced and has tons of up and downs to get your heart pounding.

“Often when you see a chair, you think frail, elderly, and it’s not that way at all,” Benson says. “It’s a high energy, pretty powerful class that combines cardio and toning using your body weight.”

Benson has been offering this class for less than two months.

Class began with a warm-up and ended up with a long cool-down (more than five minutes). During the warm-up, we walked around the chair and got used to where the chair was in space and how we would be interacting with it. I really appreciated this, and I think it enhanced my ability to use it to its max.

What’s different? According to Zumba.com[2], this is the only Sentao class offered in Boulder County. Benson was part of the first group of teachers trained in Sentao in July.

Unlike other toning classes, this class has no equipment, other than the chair. Unlike regular Zumba, this class includes great strength-training moves.

Cost: $6 for a one-time drop-in resident of Louisville; $4 if you are older than 60. The rec center offers a variety of different passes to bring the prices down, including a slightly higher non-resident fee.

Level: The class is meant to be all levels. Benson says she aims to keep it around a six or seven on a 10-point exertion scale. I found it a solid seven.

I thought this class was equal to or maybe even a littler harder than many of the regular Zumba classes I’ve done, especially the core work — although Benson taught easier modifications for most of the challenging moves. Note: She taught those options and offered safety tips at the beginning of class, but a good number of people came into class late. Don’t do that. Especially in a class like this. It’s simple etiquette — and smart — to get to class a few minutes early.

My class had about 16 participants, mostly women, mostly middle age and up, because of the time of day. But this class would be appropriate for people of all ages, and I think a younger crowd would especially enjoy the music and funky dance moves.

When: 10:45-11:45 a.m. Fridays.

What to prepare: Wear regular exercise clothes and shoes, preferably Zumba or dance shoes that allow you to turn smoothly. Bring water. Although there is a fountain nearby, the Zumba flow is highly efficient with minimal downtime, so have water on hand.

Muscles worked: Full body, with an emphasis on core. I also felt it a lot in my hamstrings and triceps.

What I loved: This is a truly fun way to get in strength training. I especially enjoyed working the abs in a variety of different positions, none of which were lying on our backs doing crunches. We crunched standing, sitting, in plank, with one leg up on the chair — I can’t even list all of the different ways we killed our core.

What I didn’t like: As with any choreographed group exercise class, particularly toning classes, there is never enough emphasis on form to keep everyone’s bodies aligned and keep everyone as safe as possible. Sure, the moves were not too difficult and a basic fitness background would set most people up to succeed in this class, but it makes my knees hurt in empathy when I see students doing improper lunges and squats. I love the idea of choreographed toning to keep it fun, but if you aren’t experienced with strength training or you struggle with coordination or body awareness, I would recommend taking it easy for the first few classes and chatting with the teacher before class to have her keep an eye on your form, so you don’t get hurt.

How I felt after the class: Oh, I felt it. Right in my obliques. My core was exhausted. I also got a better cardio workout than I expected. It’s hard to combine cardio and toning, but this class does it well. I would go back.

— Reported by Aimee Heckel.

Know of any interesting workouts? Tell us about them so we can check them out: heckela@dailycamera.com[3] or 303-473-1359.


  1. ^ louisvillerecreation.com (www.louisvillerecreation.com)
  2. ^ Zumba.com (www.Zumba.com)
  3. ^ heckela@dailycamera.com (www.dailycamera.com)

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  1. Reply

    Is There An Online Site That Gives Free Workout Tips? I’m looking for a site that gives free workout tips and tips on getting abs. I don’t need a so-called “quick trick” that will supposedly get me a six-pack in 2 days. I just want tips on how to work out and what to eat to get in shape.

      • HealthNut
      • December 13, 2012

      If you want to stay in shape, you need to adopt healthy eating habits and make exercise a part of your daily life.

      How to start?

      Choose exercises you enjoy according to your fitness level. Aerobics exercises move the muscles fairly continuously and strengthen the heart and lungs. Examples of such activities are brisk walking, jogging, aerobic dancing, swimming, badminton, cycling and football.

      If you have not exercised for a long time or just started, start slowly and increase gradually over a period of 3 to 6 weeks.

      For those who are above 35 years old, overweight, or have medical problems, you need to check with a medical doctor before you embark on an exercise programme.

      Frequency or How often?

      Exercise for at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week or more

      Intensity and duration?

      Do exercise until you perspire and breathe deeply without getting breathless. You should be able to talk or whistle while exercising.

      Do warm up and stretch for at least 5 minutes before exercise. Also not to forget to cool down and stretch after exercise.

    • XP
    • December 13, 2012

    Can I Have Some Good Workout Tips? Hey could I get some good workout tips. I’m medium built but i want to be lean and fit. I also want to tone and shape my legs a lot. Please tell me if you have any good tips!

      • HealthNut
      • December 13, 2012

      Yes,visit the following sites for fitness.You may not need a full-fledged diet right now, but you can still incorporate some slim-down strategies into your daily life.

      Eat breakfast. Studies show that eating breakfast is associated with keeping weight off once you’ve lost it.

      Fill up on low-cal foods. Start every meal with the items on your plate that are lowest in calories. By the time you get to the other foods, you won’t be so hungry, possibly decreasing your total intake.

      Begin with soup. Starting lunch or dinner with a broth-based, vegetable-filled soup will curb hunger so you’ll be less tempted to eat higher-calorie foods.

      Arrive fashionably late. Without as much time near the buffet table at parties, you’ll eat less.

      Divide your lunch. Afternoon snacker? Cut your lunch in half: have part at mealtime and the other half later in the afternoon.

      Swap mustard for mayo. A tablespoon of mayonnaise has 100 calories, compared with 10 calories for a tablespoon of yellow mustard.

      Duration of Exercise
      You may not be exercising long enough. The rule of thumb is cardio for 30 minutes, three times per week. If you really want to reach your goal, try five 45-minute cardio workouts per week. That sounds like a lot of exercise, but remember this is in order to meet your goal, not necessarily maintain it.

  2. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Workout Tips On Buns? I have a big butt and I don’t know how to lose the waight. Can someone help me out? Can you name some workout tips that might work for me?

      • HealthNut
      • December 13, 2012

      I saw an interview with Fergie not long ago. She said that using the uphill setting on a treadmill is what gave her her glorious booty. My friend has been doing just this for a few months and i’m already seeing results. It works the thighs and hips too!

    • Aslan
    • December 13, 2012

    Any Good Workout Tips For Men? I need workout tips that I can use at home and that works.

      • HealthNut
      • December 13, 2012

      Eat healthy. consume a little more protein (meat) than usual. Work out helps but working out is about your body fat percentage. Eating healthy is the main thing, then work out. Two strengths when combined, result in that figure your looking for. When you work out don’t do the same routine work out everyday. alternate between 3 days and do different things each of the three days. like Monday do crunches, Tuesday sit ups, Wednesday go for a run. then Thursday go back to crunches. You can do more than one thing a day certainly but don’t do the exact same workout everyday. Your body gets use to it. Mix things up. Eat a healthy breakfast. Eggs, bacon, milk, orange juice. that sort of thing. Just combine eating healthy with work out and you should see results in the first few days.

    • Deej
    • December 13, 2012

    What Are Some Good Workout Tips That Will Help Me Get Into Shape Quick? Im 22 5’6″ and weigh 178lbs. im sick of being fat and repulsed when i look in the mirror at my body. i just would like to know some great workout tips to help me get fit and lose about 40 lbs in 2 months

      • HealthNut
      • December 13, 2012

      Well the best way to lose weight is to run everyday morning and night or after for hour and of course you wont be able to run the whole 1 hour as your not in shape yet so try to run for 30 minutes or more if you can and then walk for like 10 minutes and then run until you get to an hour and if your finally able to run the whole 1 hour start running for 2 hours

      also start weight lifting as well as muscle burns fat so just get normal 15 lb or lighter if its to heavy and do curls dumbbell presses etc and most important of all do free weights such as push ups and if your unable to do allot of push ups do like 10 rest 10 seconds 10 rest 10 rest until you get to 100 or 200 if you can also get a bar and try to do pull ups front wards and you probably wont be able to so try really hard and go to the top and go down slowly, and you will have to do ab workouts like crunches and raise your legs

      and do a quick warm up and and stretch before you lift and also with running do a quick warm up run like 10 minutes then stretch and start your 1 hour run

      the other most important key fact to weight loss is a big change in your diet which mean more calories out then in so no to any fast food for the rest of your life unless you want be fat the rest of your life, don’t eat any junk foods high in fat like donuts and stuff like that because if your going to be burning like 1000 calories and then eating 3000 calories you wont be losing fat but instead just gaining fat and the only difference will be you will be gaining 10 lbs everyday instead of 5 lbs

      what you should eat is salad fruit vegetables yogurt eat meat but not one in a kfc bucket a kind that homemade eat eggs also good in protein

      follow these steps and i guarantee you of you being fit

    • Stacy
    • December 13, 2012

    Does Anyone Have Any Good “at Home” Workout Tips To Tone Stomach, Thighs And Butt? I’m not overweight or anything, I would just like to have a body that is more toned and healthy looking. I just need some workout tips that i can do at home in order to get rid of the fat; and tone my belly, thighs and ass. I DO NOT WANT ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH DIETING, JUST EXERCISE. Thank-you 🙂

      • HealthNut
      • December 13, 2012

      I know this sounds vague, but just use youtube. it’s awesome because you don’t have to buy an expensive dvd or anything and because you can specify exactly what you want to tone. You can search like “inner thigh workout” then choose from a bunch. Same with butt and stomach. There are some great variations. But, don’t expect perfect results from just working out. How you look is mainly due to your diet. Exercise just aids in that and tones you.

      Good luck

    • <3
    • December 13, 2012

    What Is A Good Way To Work Your Lower Abs?…. Any Other Workout/diet Tips? I really need to get into shape. If anyone can help me with anything… diet advice, workout tips, how to work my lower abs, my upper legs, ANYTHING really. I have 24 days until we go to the lake and I need to be in a lot better shape. I need to tone my muscles, lose weight, and better my body body… seriously… ANY help would be great! Thank you in advance!
    OH… and I would really like things I could do around the house… not have to go to the gym for… even though I do have a gym membership. :-/

      • HealthNut
      • December 13, 2012

      Keep your diet clean. stay away from junk foods, sweets, soda/pop and other sugary, starchy foods.

      do some push ups, squats, lunges, and sit ups before your cardio activity every other day.

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