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Difference Between Hip Hop Abs & Zumba

author image Nina K.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by,, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.
Difference Between Hip Hop Abs & Zumba
Difference Between Hip Hop Abs & Zumba Photo Credit: DragonImages/iStock/GettyImages

If you love to dance, Hip Hop Abs and Zumba are for you! Each program offers a cardiovascular workout that feels more like a dance party than exercise. Both mimic the feel of a dance club while also burning calories and toning muscles. Each exercise brand, though, has some distinctive characteristics that sets it apart.

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Zumba is about burning calories and toning your whole body as you dance to the beat. Hip Hop abs also involves dancing, but the exercises are focused on the core.

Read more: Zumba Workout Benefits

A Zumba Time

Zumba is based on dance moves from salsa, merengue, flamenco and other Latin styles. While you can do Zumba workouts online or with a video, you also find Zumba classes taught at gyms and studios across the country. The class atmosphere is festive and social, often with special lighting and a motivating instructor.

Some specific types of Zumba classes concentrate on muscle toning, include Zumba sentao with a focus on the core. This core workout is unique in that you use a chair to do v-sits and supported crunches between songs that have you shake and shimmy in classic Zumba style.

You can also find Zumba step using a raised platform, Zumba aqua in the pool and Zumba gold for older populations. So, unlike Hip Hops Abs, which is really one dance workout, Zumba is entire workout system with a variety of options for total body conditioning.

Hip Hop Abs

As the name implies, Hip Hop Abs is set to a steady beat that mimics hip-hop music, rather than Latin beats. This workout focuses on dance-style moves that strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles, and it may be preferable to Zumba if you have a goal of a more defined stomach. Don't expect to lie down and do a lot of crunches, however. At it's heart, Hip Hop Abs is a dance workout.

Hip Hop Abs is not offered in classes — you must order DVDs to participate — so the program usually will not provide the same social setting as Zumba. The workouts are lead by dynamic instructor Shaun T of Insanity fame, however. People enjoy his energetic personality and fun style, noting that the workout is enjoyable even if you only have small space in which to do it.

Read more: Hip Hop Abs Diet

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