Talk about girl power! Meet Marlen Esparza, the first American female boxer to bring home an Olympic medal (once they opened up the sport to women — chalk one up for equal rights!) and your instructor/coach for the Power Boxing Workout DVD.
Marlen knows a thing or two about the sport. She’s been boxing since she was 11 and at 16 became the youngest woman to hold the National Championship title — and held it for six consecutive years! She is passionate about the benefits achieved through her training — strength, agility, cardio conditioning, mental toughness — and offers a workout like no other.
Boxing 101: The Tutorial
If your gonna get in the ring (so to speak) with a champion you better know the moves, and a quick tutorial is first on the card. Correct stance, alignment of the body, how to correctly execute a variety of punches and basic boxing lingo are covered in the four-minute lesson.
There is a bit of a learning curve and a lot to remember; plan on watching it more than once.
The 10-minute warm-up consists of technique reminders (guard up, core tight) and loads of practice: jab, cross, hook, overhand, body shot; switch stance and repeat before moving on to equally important core and legs.
Get warm, get loose and get ready!
A boxer’s true strength comes from the core and this 13-minute routine will guarantee you’ve got yours in good working condition! Marlen stresses form over speed and often allows viewers to go at their own pace instead of counting off reps. She uses a variety of crunches, supermans, planks, push-ups and more to achieve a firm mid-section.
They say if a boxer has no “legs” she has no fight! Marlen makes certain we are prepared with a variety of squats, turns and lunges that are used specifically in the ring. Sets of 10 are performed at a moderate pace before we go “live,” pick up the pace and combine legs with punches.
The upper body portion of the workout is similar in nature to the previous segment; start with what we know — jab, cross, hook, power punch, body shot — then put it all together, picking up speed halfway through.
Modifications are given with plenty of tips and reminders sprinkled throughout. Intensify the workout by holding a 1- or 2-pound dumbbell. Both the upper- and lower-body portions of the DVD are 10 minutes in duration.
Puts it all together for 10 minutes of real-time boxing.
The Shake Out is the boxer’s cool down (also can be used for a warm-up) and is used to get in tune with the body. It stresses the mind-body connection and is an interesting way to end a workout. It’s much like a mental report card on how you did and what you can improve on next time.
A two-minute bonus section shows you how fast Marlen can really move. Follow along if you dare!
Should You Try the Power Boxing Workout DVD?
If you’re a fan of that “sweet science” you’ll definitely enjoy Power Boxing Workout. For those that are on the ropes, I say give it a try. It’s fun, different and makes you feel like a bad-ass.
The rhythm of the workout is a bit halting (ie. instruction, reminders then work), but when it’s over you do work up a sweat. Once you’ve got the moves down you could easily create your own shadow-boxing routine.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★ ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Fit Bottomed Line: A great full body, alternative to add to your repertoire of workouts.
How often do you repeat the same type of workout? I mix things up a lot to avoid injuries and to keep my motivation high. —Karen