JESS ON THE BENEFITS OF A FITNESS BOXING WORKOUT


Q: What first attracted you either to the sport of boxing or to boxing as a workout?

A: After playing college basketball, i was looking for something challenging and skill-based that would keep me motivated. I also loved that it was just as challenging mentally as it is physically - I tend to be a big overthinker, and that’s not a good thing when it comes to boxing so it has helped me work on being present and more confident.

 

Q: Why do you Shadowbox?

A: I love that Shadowbox is a complete workout - upper body, lower body, core, strength, conditioning and mental toughness.  There are also so many levels to boxing, so it’s incredibly humbling. Once you get the hang of the punches, then you can start working on your speed vs. power. Then there’s defense to think about. Then it’s footwork. Then it’s getting into the mindset of a fighter - it’s never-ending and keeps pushing you!


Q: Can you share a little bit about the first time you experienced the Shadowbox workout? How did you feel after?

A: The first time I was like “WOW! This is legit.” The environment is just so beautiful and made me appreciate the boxing culture - from the photos of Muhammad Ali to the ring, I fell in love. Once I got into the studio, I loved being in a class with other people who were fighting alongside me. Even as strangers, it’s a cool thing to stop and think that there are 39 other people with me in that room. I left the room feeling exhausted, but super empowered and that I can get through whatever is thrown at me.

 

Q: What physical benefits have you experienced since beginning your boxing training and workouts?

A: I’d say the three biggest things that have improved are my conditioning, my arm strength and my core strength. Punching a bag for 7-10 rounds is unlike any other cardio conditioning i’ve ever done, and makes running and sprinting feel easy. My arms of course feel the burn and also have gotten much more toned. Lastly, the core is used to stabilize your whole body while you’re punching and dodging punches, so I’ve seen a big change in both my core abilities and appearance.

 

Q: What about the mental or emotional benefits? How does class make you feel and does it differ from how you feel during or following other workouts?

A: There’s nothing more therapeutic than punching a bag when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, etc. It’s hard to put into words what it does for you, but the best way I can explain it is that it allows me to express myself and gets me so exhausted that my brain doesn’t have the energy to be stressed or worry after a boxing session.

 

Q: Bad days happen. How do you navigate through them?

A: Yes they do! Boxing usually does the trick for me because of the workout but also because I box with other people who I am inspired by and who I look forward to seeing. I may or may not also grab a donut or croissant after just for the added pick-me-up :)

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SBXEDU: HOW TO PACK MORE POWER IN YOUR PUNCHES


1. MASTER YOUR BOXING STANCE

Your boxing stance plays a key role in how much power you're able to generate in your punches...

Setting up your stance correctly sets the strong foundation for you to be able to utilize your entire body for power punches:
Be sure to have a slight stagger in your feet, with your lead toe roughly in line with your back heel. Your weight should be distributed more towards the balls of the feet, with the back heel slightly lifted which allows the feet to pivot and move when necessary. Knees should maintain a soft bend, allowing for a grounded quality in the body and low center of gravity.

2. USE YOUR WHOLE BODY!

Don't just rely on your upperbody for power. Generate the force all the way from your feet to your head, here are some checkpoints you should focus on when punching for power:
  • Feet: It starts with a strong foundation. Make sure you're evenly distributing your weight on the balls of your feet.
  • Knees: Athletic bend in the knees
  • Hips: Rotate your hips into the direction of the punch
  • Core: Strong engaged core as you brace to make impact on the bag
  • Arms: Don't waste energy flexing your arms until you're activating the punch
  • Fists: Make a fist and squeeze tightly as you make contact with the bag

3. CONNECT YOUR BREATH

Time your inhales and exhales to sync up with your punches. By letting the breath out of your body at the same time as you release a power punch, you're generating a full body force.

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HOW CHRISTINA FUELS HER SUMMER WORKOUTS


What does hydrating + pre/post class fuel look like for SBX Instructor, Christina? We chatted about adding BCAAs to her water along with post workout cheeseburgers paired with sangria. Christina shares how she fuels her summer workouts.


Q: Christina, it’s safe to say that your regular day consists of a good amount of sweating. It’s a feat to stay hydrated even when the weather isn’t warm so how do you hydrate in the summer?
A: I always carry a water with me. No matter the time of day I leave the house, I either grab one to go or grab one while I'm out. I feel my best when I drink as much water as possible, I'm a sucker for Sparkling Water. I can drink gallons of the stuff! When I don't feel like drinking a regular bottle or glass of H20, I reach for a Sparkling kind for sure. Adding BCAAs to water is also a must. When I'm sweating, that means I'm losing water, electrolytes, and salt. All play a major roll is staying hydrated. Make sure to grab the right drink when you’re sweating ;-)
 
Q: Are there any foods you enjoy that help replenish and hydrate you after your workouts?
A: Watermelon is my summer favorite! It's cold, tastes amazing, is loaded with vitamins and water, and of course natural sugars which we also lose when we train and sweat!

Q: How soon before a workout will you eat? What does a typical pre-workout meal or snack look like?
A: I'm either A, eating a protein loaded source or B, I wait until after to eat. Recently I've been rear-loading my meals, meaning I eat at the end of the day, and I feel much better throughout the day. No full-stomach cramps, plus my muscles need the fuel for recovery more post-workout.

Q: Similar question for your post-workout! What can you be found eating right after you train?
A: I'm a huge advocate of eating what you want that falls within the healthy eating standards. I've tried all types of diets. I have a tendency to stay away from gluten, and have noticed I have much more energy and sleep much better! High-protein, low-gluten. A typical meal would be a gluten-free bun cheese burger, fries, and salad loaded with veggies.

Q: When it comes to fueling and nutrition what do you struggle with the most?
A: Candy!! I love candy. I wouldn't say I crave sugar specifically, but I love my Twizzlers. I try my best to stay away from candy because sugar is a major cause for so many diseases and disorders.
 
Q: What’s a piece of advice you’d give someone who struggles with the same thing?
A: Don't deprive yourself of anything. Also don't diet, change your lifestyle. We want long-lasting changes and habits. If you can sustain the change, try something that you can. I've had a client start to reduce wine, but starting with one day a week. Not everyday! Start small and soon the impossible will be possible!

Q: Finally, what’s your favorite cold or frozen treat? After all, it’s summer!
A: Sangria or Rose! Yeah I love my wine too ;-)

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HOW TO WIN THE SUMMER...




Instructors share their favorite summer things, personal goals and best advice on how-to make the most of your summer.


JAWS: Drink that water! Work out with a buddy, or roll deep and work out with your squad.  Friends who sweat together stay together.

 

JEREMIAH: Set mini goals throughout the week. Something along the lines of working out 5x a week or 2x a day M-TH and use the weekends to travel or enjoy the weather with your friends and family! WORK HARD PLAY HARD.

 

GABRIELA: Morning sweat-sessions are key! Ride a bike over the GWB. Go to free concerts in the park. Get on your roof and cook something! ( & stay hydrated for all of this ;)

 

JESS: Try to get your workout in first thing in the morning because you’ll be too tired in the afternoon AND you’ll feel good all day long - making plans to workout with a friend helps, too!

 

OLIVIA: hydrate!!! When it gets hot out we often feel sluggish and moving the bod becomes more of a task. Put some cut up fruit in your water to change it up and keep things interesting. Sometimes I leave mine in overnight in the refrigerator - It tastes good too :)

 
ANNAH: Play outside! Join a rec sports league, rent a citibike, go on a hike, WALK EVERYWHERE & Popsicles :)

RAD: Find activities that you love to do, and try your best to stay away from routines. Try new things to do at least once a week to keep it fresh and eventful. Wear good shades and remain cool even when the weather isn't! ;)

 

JULIAN: To make the most of the summer, actively seek events that encourage you to get outside. My goals are to continue training and elevate myself to the next level. Try working out with a friend and exchange workouts together. One of my favorite activities was dog walking for a shelter!!

 

KELLI: Sweat often, see new places, and stop to smell the rosé.

 

MARIA: goals for the summer: stick to an activity that gets me up and out early, so I can enjoy the full day.

 

DOUGIE: Reward good behaviour ! My favourite thing to do is go out for a big breakfast after an early morning workout.

 

CHRISTINA: Take advantage of the beautiful weather to get moving and stay focus on your fit goals! Workout early in the day before it gets too hot, the heat can train us of our energy! 20 minutes of healthy sun time helps too! Vitamin D is proven to raise healthy hormones to help us feel amazing, fight disease, and increase athletic performance! Get to class and you won't be disappointed ;-)

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Shadowboxer of the Month:

Ryan Foley


HOMETOWN
: Glen Ridge, New Jersey


WHY BOXING: Boxing is the ultimate symphony of movement. It is the truest marriage of sport and art that demands attention to detail and comfort in failure. There is no such thing as perfection in boxing; success comes to only those who find passion in both repetition and competition.


FAVORITE PUNCH: Slip right cross.


WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT BOXING: Drawing, painting and indulging in the rich culture of New York City: comedy shows, concerts and of course the best grub in the world!


WHAT'S YOUR MOTTO: Be passionate. Be optimistic. Be grateful.



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LOOKING BACK ON #YEAR2


SBX INSTRUCTORS WITH THEIR BEST #YEAR2 MEMORY


JESS:
That time I “accidentally” punched Julian when he was holding mitts for me :) - I have a video!

KELLI: #SBX SUNDAYS.

GAB: Subbing the 8:30pm After-Dark Classes in Flatiron. WHAT A CREW :)

JEREMIAH: Moving here from CA and instantly being welcomed with open arms from our SBX community and family.

OLIVIA: When Julian, Rad & Ryan doubled my 4:30/5:30pm and brought the energy! OH and Sunday TKO crew. You guys rock!

JAWS: 2 years ago when I taught my first SBX class...time flies when you're having fun.

RAD: One of my favorite memories would be the first time I climbed onto the ring to spar with the rest of the shadowbox instructors and having all of our clients around watching us do our thing.

JULIAN: Every time Juju on that beat came on, Myself, Mary and whomever was down would break into choreography at Flatiron.

MARIA: Surviving 7ams with Jeremiah.

CHRISTINA: I'd have to say the one memory that stands out is our team training session with Heather Hardy! Epic!

ANNAH: It's hard to choose just one! I'd have to say anytime i'm feeling super low energy or dragging before teaching a class... Without fail, I always end up coming out of the class SO amped off of everyone's hardworking, sweat-dripping energy, it's truly the best high. 

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THE BEST ADVICE FROM SBX MOMS



THE BEST ADVICE SBX INSTRUCTORS HAVE RECEIVED FROM MOM:



Olivia’s Mom: “Be yourself. You can’t be everything to everyone!”


Kelli’s Mom: “A hand written thank you note...always.”


Christina’s Mom: “How you respond to life's tough challenges is totally up to you... you can laugh or cry.  I choose to laugh.


Julian’s Mom: “Believe in yourself, own the dream and it will happen.”


Jess’s Mom: "Let it go! And have a glass of wine."


Rad’s Mom: "Don't make me angry."


Gabi’s Mom: “1) work hard, play harder. Stay true to you.

2) don't wear vertical stripes.”


Maria’s Mom: “Take time to enjoy what you're doing"


Jaws’s Mom: “Call me more, and drink more water.”


Annah’s Mom: “Stretch after working out!”


Jeremiah’s Mom: "Save your money and stop buying shoes."



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SBXEDU: Turning over your punches



You've likely heard your SBX Instructor ask you to "TURN OVER YOUR PUNCHES" during class. But why?
Here are the most important reasons to get those fists rotating...

1. Injury prevention: Rotating your fist so that it makes contact with bag while your wrist, elbow and shoulder are all aligned will help protect your joints from injury.

2. Pack more power: As you turn your fist, you're inviting your entire upperbody to get involved in the punch. This equals power!

3. Increased reach: Rotating your fist will actually activate a rotation through your entire arm, up to your shoulder. This elongates your muscles, allowing you a further reach.

4. Secures your defense: Think of your arm as a coil... if you rotate it one way, it's going to retract the opposite way with more velocity. This allows your fist to snap back to it's defensive position in front of the face.





Q&A WITH MARIA


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The really frustrating moments are the opportunities to learn the most.


If you could have a dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
Prince. Even though I’d be very nervous the entire time.


Describe your perfect day.

Well first of all it would be warm and sunny. I’d wake up (late) to have coffee, pancakes, and bacon. Hit up a work out with friends. Walk around the West Village stopping at my favorite places. I like going to the riverside parks and laying out, playing frisbee, or volleyball with friends. And then after I would enjoy a nice little happy hour!


Why boxing?
I was so intrigued with boxing from the very first Jab I threw. I love the rhythm and stamina that it requires. I love the mental concentration it demands. And I love that there is a lesson in every boxing workout. I’ve learned lately that the more I relax and let go, the faster I can go. It’s a beautiful sport and there is something in it for everyone!


What’s a piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Enjoy where you are and take your time!

What is a habit you’re proud of breaking or want to break?
I’m working on being less apologetic and being confident in asking for things I think I need and deserve.


Who is your hero?
My family. That’s a lot of people haha. But I think as a unit I admire how strong, resilient, and open my family is. They taught me to be tough and go after what I want even if it’s not always pretty!


How do you deal with criticism?
I’ve been a dancer my whole life, which means I am used to getting “notes” on everything. I love constructive criticism. I found a balance between knowing what I am good at and feeling confident, but also being open to criticism. This skill has helped me grow as an instructor, a dancer, and a person. Know what you want to take out of the criticism and be a sponge because there is always something to learn. I practiced not taking it personally and being happy and open to learning something.


What is the most memorable Shadowbox class you’ve taken or taught?
The most memorable Shadowbox class that I have taught was at the DUMBO studio, I think it was my second week. It was when the nerves of being new went away and things really started to click. I remember talking to the clients after class about how much they enjoyed it and that truly meant the world to me. I’ve been a paying client before, so it was so rewarding to feel like I gave a class that people loved and had a great time in. Especially on a Saturday!


What’s your favorite pre-workout meal?
Rad.Nutrition has an awesome Pre-Workout supplement. It’s great for the energy and focus required in boxing and for me, dancing, but it doesn’t make me jittery like coffee sometimes does. I really trust this brand and the people that make this product. Plus, it’s delicious. For food, I’ll eat something light like a banana or an apple with peanut butter. My post-workout meal is a bigger deal, I can’t work out on a full stomach. After working out, I’ll have eggs, a sandwich, or anything with a good source of protein. Honestly, I eat things I enjoy and don’t stress or plan over food too much! Sometimes an old fashion peanut butter and jelly or yogurt and granola makes me feel the best!


What’s your vice?
Food-wise? definitely doughnuts. I also have a terrible habit of staying up too late watching television!


Besides boxing, what’s another activity or sport that you enjoy?
I am a professional dancer with Elisa Monte Dance in NYC, so whenever I am not boxing I am usually taking ballet or rehearsing. I also love swimming and think it is one of the best things for the body!


When in need, where do you search for inspiration or motivation?
I find a lot of inspiration and motivation in music. I’m also a big walker. So a great playlist and some time to go for a stroll and reset my brain usually gives me that boost I need to get out of a funk.


What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
I liked when someone told me there was nothing forgettable about me! I think that’s a good thing...



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5 Reason why it's important to Retract Your Punches


What does it mean to 'Retract Your Punch'?
It's the motion of quickly and strongly bringing your fist back to your face after you throw it out for a punch. 
It's a common mistake to think the hard work is done once you make contact with the bag, but that's only the half of it. Here's why bringing your punch back to your face is just as important as throwing it out...


1. The faster you retract your punches, the more speed and power they will carry.

2. When your punch feels more like a 'pushing' motion (rather than a 'snapping' motion), you're wasting energy and exposing yourself to pre-mature muscle fatigue.

3. Quickly retracted punches will set you up for better a defensive position.

4. You improve core strength by retracting your punches, as the motion requires engagement of your deep core muscles and stabilizers.


5. Retracting your punches quickly requires a strong flex in the wrist upon contact with bag, which protects your hands and arms from injury.


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