Earlier this year, Pilates ProWorks introduced Matbox to their arsenal, providing a challenging, motivating, and ass-kicking hybrid of pilates and boxing—think Mari Winsor meets Ronda Rousey.
First, the science: Matbox has a comprehensive set of benefits such as improved core stability and strength, increased alignment and balance, enhanced cardiovascular health, increased bone density, improved total-body strength and decreased stress. What more could you want?
And don't be mistaken by the cheesy name, Matbox takes the boxing portion of class very seriously. As the gym suggested, we arrived a few minutes early to class to wrap our hands. While I don’t always wrap my hands in boxing-style classes, the additional support was appreciated as we dawned our gloves for the majority of class. Did you know you can do a burpee wearing boxing gloves?
The class started off with warm up exercises including squats and abbreviated jumping rope. It doesn’t take long to get warm in the intimate class. Next, we went into a series of timed combination punches on the bags. Two minutes may not sound like a long time until you are knocking out non-stop jabs and crosses (or 1’s and 2’s for the seasoned boxers). We took a small "break" between each pumching series for additional squats, planks, push-ups, and other mat work. After working the arms, we moved to the legs where the instuctor's Muay Thai training was obvious. With one quick snap she cracked the bag with a force I couldn’t imagine producing. While our kicks were hardly lethal, Stephanie helped adjust our hip and foot rotation to increase power. We finished class with an abs circuit and yoga flow, cooling down gradually while stretching the already sore muscles.
It’s always a sign of a great workout when you need to wipe up your pile of sweat after class!
MatBox classes are available at Pilates ProWorks Bay Are locations including the Marina, Financial District, Mill Valley, Oakland, and Sonoma.
- Gloves and wraps are available to borrow at the studio.
- Wear longer workout pants to cover your shins during kicking.
- Socks required.