Banging the drum for health

Boys & Girls Club implements new cardio drumming exercise program at Burton Elementary in Porterville


VISALIA – Having a steady heartbeat is important to your overall health. So it makes sense that keeping a beat on the drums may have some health benefits too.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias thinks so and have seen the proof in its afterschool program at Burton Elementary School in Porterville. That club recently added cardio drumming to their programming. Cardio drumming is a new fitness craze trending online that is inspired by Zumba. Samantha Ramirez’s third and fourth graders have spent an hour cardio drumming every Wednesday and Thursday after school.

Cardio drumming is distinct from Zumba in the way that it requires drumsticks, a yoga ball, and a storage tub. Though this may seem like a strange combination, these items come together to form a fun cardio exercise that kids love. Every member has their own kit of these three items. The yoga ball is placed inside the storage tub, so that the surface of the ball creates a quiet drum. This exercise is performed by following an intense video choreography consisting of drumming on different parts of the makeshift drum and moving to a heart-pumping dance.

Ramirez learned of this activity from a friend who is a Zumba instructor. She was impressed by the new exercise and decided to create a cardio drumming program for her class to enjoy. Twice a week, Ramirez’s class can be found dancing and drumming in unison to their favorite songs. No Club member is distracted or bored, and in between choreographies they all anxiously wait for the next video to play.

“Cardio drumming can be even more intense than Zumba at times,” explains Ramirez.

Anthony, a fourth-grade member, agrees with Ramirez saying, “Sometimes you will drum for only 5 minutes and you’ll already be sweating!” During this activity, you will find all the kids laughing with their friends as they drum along to their favorite songs, which happen to be “Baby Shark” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.” Members have learned firsthand that practicing healthy exercise habits can be fun and rewarding.

Cardio drumming is an easy, fun, and inexpensive exercise that has engaged Burton Elementary Club members. It can be done outdoors or indoors, making it a perfect exercise for rainy day schedules. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias staff, such as Ramirez, are constantly on the lookout for new, engaging activities that encourage their members to stay active. If you are interested in registering your child for a Boys & Girls Club membership in Porterville or any other locations in Tulare County, please find more information at

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