Get Your Michelle Obama Arms with This Workout

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Shadowbox is a group fitness boxing class that includes “heavy bag work, paired with high-energy music, elements of interval training and body weight exercises.” As part of the ASICS Remix Your Workout Challenge, I signed up for Julian’s Shadowbox After Dark: 60 minute class. Here’s what happens in a Shadowbox class.

Shadowbox review

Each class begins with an informational demo where the instructors that walk you through the different moves and proper form. So if you’re unfamiliar with boxing, don’t worry. You will be equipped with the right tools and walk out of the class knowing the difference between a jab, cross, uppercut, etc. Every exercise is a different combination of these moves. Julian coached us through variations of punching, jabbing, upper cuts, and calisthenics at high speeds to get our heart-rate up and stay up. I was dripping in sweat within the first 15 minutes.

This is not your typical cardio-kickboxing class. Kicking is not allowed, in fact. So how do you get a full body workout? When you turn to throw a proper punch, your entire body follows through and your feet turn. You’re practically in a squat the entire time. If that’s not enough for you, each round of sparring is interspersed with burpees, lunges, mountain climbers, planks and push ups.

Shadow boxing means sparring with an imaginary opponent.

That’s exactly what a class at Shadowbox is. The instructor coaches you through a fight with your opponent, the bag. In order to out maneuver your opponent, you must switch up your punches, keep ’em guessing, and constantly move so it becomes less likely s/he will hit you.

While I was inclined to imagine that the punching bag was someone I’d actually like to punch in the face, Julian asked us to picture someone who inspires us. He reminded us that we should be fighting to be our better selves, and that fighting someone who is “better” pushes us to be stronger.

I left the class sore, with bruised knuckles, and stinky hands (seriously, the gloves make your hands smell like feet), but the most valuable takeaway was to:

Focus on the positive, and not the negative. Focus on who you’d like to be, and not what you’d like to escape.

One my goals in the coming months is to build upper body strength and get MY version of those Michelle Obama arms and shoulders. Upper body and core strength is something I lack, and for far too long I’ve neglected these areas. If building upper body strength is one of your goals, Shadowbox is the perfect workout. It will not only help you tone your arms and shoulders, but your entire body without having to lift a single dumbbell. I’ll be returning to Shadowbox and hope to see some of you there.

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Cost:
$34 for the class + $4-5 for wraps that you can keep + $1 glove rental (all prices include tax)

Amenities:
The studio provides lockers, bathrooms, and your standard hygiene products. The Flatiron location also has a cafe where they serve coffee and cold-pressed juices.

What To Wear: Wear clothes that are close to the body and training shoes

What To Bring:
If you have wraps or gloves, bring them. Also, hand sanitizer would’ve come in handy.

What Not To Bring:
Don’t wear rings. I took my wedding ring off and left them in my locker.

Other Notes:
The Flatiron location did not have a water fountain. They provided a canteen, which was empty when I was there. So I grabbed water from the faucet in the bathroom.

More more info, visit Shadowbox.

Shadowbox review

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