Boxing with Ashley Guarrasi
Group boxing and shadow boxing classes are so on trend right now. I scroll my IG feed and every other picture is a chick post-class with gloves up and I love it. All things women empowerment are totally my thing, but my easily inflatable arm muscles and pesky shoulder tear had kept me from latching on to this hot workout trend.
I met Ashley Guarrasi at an Adidas’ Wanderlust event in Los Angeles last month. As we ran, yoga-ed, meditated and braided our hair I had no idea she was an absolute powerhouse in the world of boxing. If it weren’t for needing to keep her face in tact for her acting and modeling career, she’d be standing opposite Ronda Rousey for the win.
After creeping on Ashley's Snap and witnessing her take blows from clients, often men 2-3 times her size, I decided if I were to feed my curiosity about boxing, it would have to be from her.
- Warm up: Jumprope. 2 rounds of 3 mins.
- Shadow Boxing: She introduced me to basic punches and proper technique. We combined the punches and performed various combinations without gloves.
- Boxing and Conditioning: Gloves on, baby. Alternating between throwing combinations to her on mitts and performing sets of planks, squats and push ups.
I expected that my upper body would be absolutely destroyed by the end (it was,) but I didn’t think my core and legs would get as much action as they did. My obliques fired up on every cross punch and I especially felt my core clench on uppercuts. Also, because Ashley alternated between boxing and plyometric exercises, every inch of my body had to engage. The entire session was cardio / non-stop interval training which means the hour workout packed a calorie burning punch (pun intended).
Boxing is great for the mind and body. The sweat and body fatigue was undeniable but I also had to keep my head in the game the same way I need to in a dance class. Boxing combinations are essentially choreography you have to remember. Instead of tuning out like I do when I run, I needed to dig in and engage.