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New intense workout combines pilates, boxing

August 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Pilates is known for stretch, flexibility and working minor muscles, but boxing is a hard-hitting workout, and it's a huge calorie burner. Put the two together, and you've got a killer combination.The workout delivering that one-two punch is Piloxing, created by Pilates instructor Viveca Jensen.

"It's a seamless blend of the interval training, from boxing blocks or segments, and then you go into some standing Pilates blocks or segments," Jensen said. "And then I put some dancing just to have a little fun and get a little sexy move in, so we can shake the bum bum a little bit."

The hour-long workout covers stretch, strength, flexibility, cardio - all key fitness components - along with something else many want in a workout: fun!

"This is a great way to listen to good music and spend time with the girls and dance it out," said student Laura Harman of Pasadena.

The recipe offers fat-burning benefits in a team-like setting. There are high-energy students with plenty of success stories, like former dancer Kristen Hurtado, who had three back surgeries, gained weight and lost self esteem.

But easing into Piloxing at her own pace got her back out on the floor.

"You feel empowered, and I could go at any pace that I needed to go. I could step touch in the back for a while, and I ended up losing over 50 pounds," Hurtado said.

Students wear half-pound weight gloves for a bit more strength and calorie burning. Shoes, sticky socks or bare feet are all options.

Class begins with a warm-up, followed by intervals of boxing, Pilates and dance, finishing out with ab and bun work.

Drop-in rate is $15, while an unlimited monthly brings the cost down to about $10. There's a DVD for $19.95 if you're nowhere near Toluca Lake, but Jensen is currently certifying instructors in Piloxing to make it more readily available.

"It's a good way to feel strong but you stay feminine at the same time, so it's lots of girl power," Harman said.

But guys are more than welcome to join.


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