Piloxing by Viveca Jensen (JPB, Inc.)
60 minutes; $19.95
The never-ending search for something new and exciting in fitness has led to some interesting exercise combinations and techniques, and Viveca Jensen’s Piloxing—a hybrid of boxing and Pilates—is no exception. Jensen, whose bio describes her as a Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer, has developed a loyal following in Hollywood with her high-energy classes and promises of creating a “Sleek, Sexy, and Powerful” self-image.
The DVD opens with a brief intro and a two-minute demonstration of the boxing techniques used in the workout. Very little instruction is offered and viewers are left on their own to determine exactly how to proceed. Some of the participants wear shoes, while others—including Jensen—are barefoot, and everyone is wearing ½-pound weighted gloves (which can be purchased for $24), but these aren’t mentioned. Instead, the workout begins with a fast-paced five-minute warm-up using basic punching moves and stretches. (Note: The stretches are largely ballistic, which may not be appropriate for everyone.) It quickly becomes apparent that shoes are probably be a good idea, especially if you’re exercising on a surface other than carpet—the moves are fast enough that a mat tends to roll up.
Fortunately, despite the minimal instruction, the moves are easy to follow and options are given to vary the intensity. Jensen moves quickly (at times, abruptly) between exercises, but while cueing may not be her forte, she is not lacking in enthusiasm or motivation. She maintains a steady stream of encouragement throughout the workout, and she does offer some (although not enough) reminders about proper form and technique.
The 40-minute workout incorporates intervals of boxing and Pilates elements, emphasizing high and fast repetitions with little-to-no resistance. The Pilates moves are performed standing or with movement. Her dancing background is most evident during the transitions between high-intensity boxing moves and the concentrated toning exercises like lunges and squats. The flowing ballet- and salsa-inspired moves are a nice juxtaposition to the jabs and crosses of the boxing segments. The workout ends with about 10 minutes of traditional floor-based gluteal, leg and abdominal exercises (including the Pilates hundred and the classic roll up), and a five-minute cool-down stretch.
Despite some lapses in form and cueing, Jensen’s Piloxing is a fun and effective home workout routine. In addition to offering a challenging cardio workout, Piloxing will certainly strengthen the core, enhance balance, and increase muscle endurance. Boxing and Pilates purists may not appreciate this hybridization, but Piloxing will appeal to those who enjoy taking a more varied—and certainly less serious—approach to exercise.