Master the Move: Mambo Combo

By Micaela Young |

Is your cardio routine turning stale? Shake things up with this fun dance segment that will put a smile on your face.

The foundation of any good exercise plan is heart-pumping cardio. Ideally, you’d get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week—or a little over 21 minutes every day—to keep your ticker strong, boost your lung health, and burn calories.

But if you’re having a hard time finding cardio exercise that you enjoy or you get bored doing the same activity over and over, you’re not alone.

Good news: Dancing counts as cardio! On days when you can’t get outside for a regular walk or muster up the motivation to hop on the elliptical, moving to music is the perfect way to get a great workout.

“Here’s a fun cardio routine that’s not only good for your heart, but it’s also sure to put a smile on your face,” says SilverSneakers Master Trainer Andi. Follow along as she shares a mambo-based segment that you may see in a SilverSneakers LIVE class or incorporate into your own workouts.

How to Use the Mambo Combo

You’ll just need yourself and a lot of open floor space. You can simply press play on the video above and follow along or check out pointers for key steps below.

Andi will break down each move individually and then put them together for a short routine. Feel free to keep the movements “as big or as little as you need them to be,” advises Andi. And if it takes you a few tries to master these steps, don’t worry. What matters most is that you are getting a great workout for your body and brain—whether your mambo is perfect or not.

As always, safety is key. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.

Walk in Place

Pump your arms by your sides as you walk in place to the music. This is a great way to warm up. If you lose your place during an aerobic segment or need an alternative to a move, you can also walk in place until you’re ready to jump back in.

Mambo Front and Back

Start by walking in place to the music, arms swinging gently at your sides. Step forward and then back with your right foot. Your left foot will keep stepping in place with the music. Let your hips loosen up as you move. Practice a few times, and repeat with your left foot.

3 Steps Out and Big Step Back

Start by walking in place to the music, arms swinging gently at your sides. Step out with your right foot, followed by your left foot, and repeat two more times for a total of three steps. Then take a big step back in to starting position, leading with your left foot, and return to a mambo or walk in place. Practice a few times, and repeat by stepping out with your left foot.

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Step Touch Up and Walk Back

Start by walking in place to the music, arms swinging gently at your sides. Step up with your right foot, tapping your left foot up to meet it, and then step up with your left foot, tapping your right foot up to meet it. Repeat for a total of four steps up, scooping your arms as you step. Walk backward to starting position for eight counts. Practice a few times, and repeat by leading with your left foot.

Knee Lift and Connected Jog

Start by walking in place to the music, arms swinging gently at your sides. Lift your right knee up and then your left. Repeat for a total of four knee lifts. Bring both feet back to the floor.

To do the connected jog, keep your toes on the floor as you alternate lifting one heel and then the other for a total of eight heel lifts. Practice a few times, and repeat the sequence by leading with your left knee.

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