Get a total-body workout and feel the adrenaline rush with every punch you make and every breath you take at an aqua boxing class.
Fitness lovers today are getting wrapped up in a new workout trend – aqua boxing. This stress- relieving exercise involves an electrifying music playlist in a room illuminated by neon lights. Spin lovers will feel right at home with this familiar setting, but in place of stationary bikes, tear-shaped boxing bags hang from the ceiling, with a set of weights by the side. But why do people love aqua boxing so much?
“Over the last few of years, martial arts in general (including MMA and boxing) have become so widely televised, especially with the growing popularity of UFC worldwide, and ONE FC based in Singapore. Understandably, ﬁghting and sparring can be incredibly intimidating – lots of people who are interested in trying it out don’t want to get hit or injured, and a large number of them don’t actually have the desire to ﬁght one day. As a result, non-combat boxing classes are naturally becoming popular,” says Victoria Martin, co-founder of Boom Singapore.
BOXING WITHOUT BRUISING
Unlike traditional boxing, aqua boxing is a non-combat workout that lets you feel badass driving moves like jabs, hooks and uppercuts into boxing bags ﬁlled with water, not sand. These aqua bags absorb any impact so you don’t have to worry about injuring your wrist or knuckles.
“By removing the risk of bruising and fear of a combat sport, more people are thus gravitating towards the sweet science, making this intense form of exercise more accessible,” says Elizabeth Seow, co-founder of boutique studio Uppercut Boxing.
THE HIIT IS ON
And it goes beyond cardio. The other side of aqua boxing? Alternating rounds of fat- burning HIIT that loops in diff erent types of strength training moves.
Within 45 minutes you would have done anything from squat jumps and planks, to Arnold presses and renegade rows, working all your major muscle groups for a full-body workout. The combinations are endless, never boring, and time whizzes by without you even knowing it. If it‘s your ﬁrst time trying an aqua boxing class, we promise you’ll be aching from head to toe over the next few days.
WHY WOMEN LOVE IT
Besides burning tons of calories and training your endurance, aqua boxing also helps to build self-conﬁdence as much as your physical strength, making it especially empowering for women.
“The sport has also gained plenty of buzz thanks to the likes of supermodels Adriana Lima and Gigi Hadid, who swear by it when it comes to their workout routine,” says Elizabeth.
“Having these models and celebrities recognise the beneﬁts of boxing has deﬁnitely raised its proﬁle and removed the fear factor, as it sends a message across to women that boxing doesn’t have to be a contact nor male-dominated sport. Women learn how strong they can be, and there is beauty in this newfound strength and toughness that goes beyond the cosmetic aspect of it,” she adds.
#B1-00, TPI Building, 62 Cecil Street; from $38 for a single class
Don’t be fooled by the adorable wall decals like Maru the Pig and Selby the Unicorn around the spacious studio. Once you step into the immersive Boom Room, you’re in for 45 minutes of non-stop HIIT. Founders Bryan and Victoria Tay believe in the importance and beneﬁts of building strength. Hence, each signature Boom Box session is divided into 10 rounds of jabs, hooks and uppercuts combined with intervals of weights training – all at your fully equipped personal station complete with a step board.
#B1-04-06, Tower 2, OUE Downtown, 6 Shenton Way; tel: 6800-5355; from $35 for a single class
This was the ﬁrst aqua bag boxing studio to open in Singapore, and it is perfect for anyone with a speciﬁc goal. Want to build stamina? Go for the cardio- heavy Endurance classes, while the abs-focused exercises mixed with boxing in Core will help you burn belly fat and get the six-pack you’ve always dreamt of. If not, the signature Strength & Conditioning class promises a full-body workout through seven sweaty, fun but intense circuits using heavier weights. While all three 50-minute classes are equally challenging, they are scalable to your ﬁtness levels, making them suitable for beginners.
BOX OFFICE FITNESS
#03-01, 35 North Canal Road; tel: 8600-8481; from $38 for a single class
The format here is a little different and classes are pretty big at 33 pax max. Split into “bags” and “ﬂoor”, you’ll spend the ﬁrst half of the session either working on your punches and defence moves with the aqua training bag, or sweating it out doing burpees, mountain climbers, alternating lunges and bicep curls before switching over. Every Knockout class is made up of 10 three-minute rounds. The workout combination varies each time so you’ll deﬁnitely not get bored – even after 10 boxing sessions. Look out for their occasional themed classes.
Level 2, 155A/157A Telok Ayer Street; tel: 6224-1157; from $40 for a single class
If you have never worn boxing wraps or gloves in your life, this is a good place for your ﬁrst foray into this fun workout. At the end of the 50-minute fundamentals class, Undercard, you would have mastered the six basic boxing moves, defence techniques and footwork. There are also bodyweight exercises like jumping jacks and burpees to get your heart rate up.
Once you’re ready to take things to the next level, put your strength and stamina to the test with an Overthrow class. Expect 12 rounds of shadowboxing, rapid knockout combinations on boxing bags and total body endurance-strength exercises during the 50-minute burnout session.
Level 3, 38 Carpenter Street; from $45 for a single class
This futuristic-looking boutique gym offers 50-minute classes for both indoor cycling and boxing lovers. Ground Zero’s high-intensity boxing sessions, known as Rumble, focus on music and rhythm. You’ll learn to box to the beat of the music – with speed and precision, of course. On top of bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges and push-ups, the strength-training segment will ﬁre up your muscles using exercise equipment such as weight plates, medicine balls and our favourite – TRX. Classes are kept cosy at 15 people.
PHOTOS BOOM, BOX OFFICE FITNESS, GROUND ZERO, STILL BOXING, UPPERCUT BOXING