Gigi and Bella are fans. Laura Henshaw and Steph Smith swear by it. Heck, Alicia Vikander used it to help her get into Lara Croft mode for Tomb Raider. Yep, boxing workouts are a fitness staple for many of us these days – which is why I found myself, red-faced and hair akimbo, sweating it out through Sydney’s new class du jour, Smash Boxing at Flow Athletic.
A 45-minute combination of boxing, HIIT cardio and functional strength moves, the class sees you take on circuits of body-weight moves, cardio-equipment time (hey, rower) as well as sessions on punching bags. But, these aren’t any old bags – these are aqua bags, full of water.
“Aqua bags offer less joint pain on impact and more positive resistance, allowing you to hit the bag for longer,” says Ben Lucas, trainer and owner of Flow Athletic, who explains that the aqua boxing trend was first spotted on the NYC fitness scene. “Traditional heavy boxing bags can cause wear and tear on your joints and are more prone to cause injury.
“Aqua bags have been tested by boxing professionals and MMA experts around the world. They support good form, power, speed and are much easier on your knuckles, wrist and joints.”
So, should you come across one of these H20 babies at your gym, what’s the best way to start getting your punch on? Lucas has you covered with this beginner workout to “target your arms, legs, glutes and core. Start with a low number of repetitions and increase when you feel more confident increase.”
10x straight punches
10x left-arm straight jabs
10x right-arm straight jabs
10x squat double-arm straight punch
5x squat left-arm hook
5x squat right-arm hook
10x upper cuts
5x above-head punches
Do this sequence twice. Then, optional challenge: for one minute straight, punch the bag as fast and hard as you can. This will really work up up a sweat!