Boxing has a reputation for being, well, a little bit punchy. When you’re facing off with a bag, those jabs and right hooks are the very definition of “high impact.” But the sport can be equal parts grit and grace. Just ask BoxUnion instructor Beth Gold, who leads a 20-minute prenatal boxing class on this week’s installment of Trainer of the Month Club.
“I have a 20-minute, prenatal shadowboxing class for you guys today. Now, you don’t have to be pregnant in order to take this class. This class is good for anybody. It’s low-impact, so feel free to take this on an easier day,” says Gold before she kicks off the workout. “Remember that if you are prenatal, please make sure that you get permission from your doctor to work out.” Once you’ve gotten the okay from your doc, you’re ready to jump in. You don’t need anything but your body to get started.
Beth Gold’s 20-minute prenatal boxing class doubles as a low-impact workout
1. 360 breathing: Come to a kneeling position and wrap your hands around your lower ribs so that your elbows stick out like wings. Breathe through your nose to fill up your lungs, then exhale through your teeth. (This should make a sound like steam rising out of a pan.) “Make sure you’re not scrunching up your upper body. It’s all in your lungs and you’re even expanding your back. That’s why it’s called 360 breathing. When you exhale, you should feel your ribs coming in and your shoulders should stay tall,” says Gold.
2. Cat-cow: Walk your hands forward and come into a tabletop position with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Arch your spine and look up to the sky, then do the opposite: Tuck your tailbone underneath you to come into an angry cat pose. Alternate between arching and curling your back until you’re feeling warmer.
3. Modified monkey stretch: From your tabletop, straighten your left leg out to the left and point your toes up to the sky. (Your heel is resting on the floor.) Slowly send your hips back towards your right heel, moving backward and forward in a way that feels good and safe for your hamstring. Switch sides.
4. Thread the needle pose: Come back to tabletop position and stretch your left arm straight up toward the sky. Gently weave it under your right arm and bring your left cheek to the ground (or a block, if that makes you feel more comfortable). Stretch your right fingertips straight forward. Relax into the pose and, when you’re ready, switch sides.
You’re all warmed up now! To work through the full workout, punches and all, watch the video above.
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