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Strength at the Core

Calla In Motion

Strength at the Core

Lindsey Calla

Boxing is one of those activities that engages every muscle in the body at once.  When boxers train, they do everything to build a strong core, along with strong form.  The real power comes from the core.  It's an activity  that I've picked up fairly recently and became obsessed with all of the elements of training.  It's a great balance to yoga because it builds strength which further supports the stretching I do in class.  My body and mind love both love to be surprised by switching things up and there's a focus and concentration that comes with boxing that gives me that same clarity as a yoga class.

I talk a lot about core strength and how important its been throughout my whole life from when I was an athlete to now exercising for health benefits.  The one common misconception with building a strong core is that you have to do a million crunches and other exercises that directly target those muscles.  The truth is that building a strong core comes from exercises that work out a few different muscle groups at once, forcing the body to work together to strengthen as a whole.  A basic example of how this works is when people experience back pain, it can in some cases be due to having a weak core.  

 


Everything in the body works together to be strong from head to toe, side to side, root to tip. This goes from skin, to muscle, to hair.  Pantene recently let me in on the scoop of the new upgrade in most of the Pantene conditioners that now has an ingredient called Histidine which penetrates all the way down to the hair's core to protect and repair damage deep within, making it stronger from the inside out.  You guys, it's all science. I thought it would be the perfect tie in here, to truly make strides in enhancing the idea of the core from every angle possible.  When I began using the products and learning more about the technology I was really inspired by rope and just how strong it is as a fiber, like healthy hair can be if properly maintained.  When you look around at a good gym, there's rope everywhere.  Everything works together.  The principles of strength apply to everything that is in us and surrounds us.

 

There's also a belief that I've had for a while about the importance of a low hairstyle during workouts.  Try to jump rope with a high pony and tell me how many times it whips you in the face before you accept defeat.  I used the rope as inspiration here by separating the hair like a braid, twisting the each section hair and then braiding it and adding a touch of gold foil for a little something fun. 


As the tips on boxing go, here are some things I've picked up so far: 

Speed Bag

  •  I was an awesome lacrosse player. I had great hand/eye coordination but man, boxing is a whole different level of skill and concentration.  Half the time I look like a cat pawing at a toy rather than Floyd Mayweather but I'm improving.  The owner of the gym taught me to focus on the speed bag and watch as the bag hits the front, swings back to hit the back then you punch down on the bag to repeat.  It's important to have a strong foundation with your legs, engage the core and focus on the rhythm of it.  

Heavy Ropes

  • These are becoming a staple in lots of gyms or they can be purchased almost everywhere now (even in the hardware store, look for manila rope).  The idea is to make waves motions with your arms quickly to rev up metabolism.  The length of interval really depends on personal strength so just play around with :15, :30, :45 if you're brave.  

Jump Rope

  • Boxers do this to improve coordination, agility and footwork but it's incredible for the core.  I always make a point to send energy to my core when I do this to really engage it.  When the core is engaged all the sudden the legs and arms burn less and you can really feel the energy of the body working together.  It takes focus, a good playlist, and practice to really get good.  Instead of beating myself up for tripping over the rope every so often trying to hit a specific time goal, I just jump, restart when I trip, jump again.

Rope Climb

  •  Such an old-school gym class throwback.  It's as simple as it used to be: climb the rope as high as possible.  Try to do this without engaging your core. Exactly.  

Throwing Punches: Double End Bag

  • The key to throwing a good punch comes from the core.  You turn and pivot to deliver a punch, instead of just throwing the arms out there.
Photos: Marianna Massey
Top & Shorts: Heroine Sport
Gloves: Fab by Fabienne via Fashercise