Fitness is Fun: Women taking up boxing as new exercise method - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Fitness is Fun: Women taking up boxing as new exercise method

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Ever wanted to punch someone? Well, don't, but punching something is a good idea, especially since it's another way to be fit by being active. 

I found a place where throwing a few hooks and jabs made for a knockout workout -- Hookz & Jabz on the northeast side of Columbia.

It's there that Quentin Akins trains, molds, and shapes his clients.

"Heavy bag exercises are an awesome cardiovascular exercise because not only are you going to work your core, but you are going to work your upper back, your arms and your biceps," said Akins.

To try this alternative workout, my student shadow and I first had our hands and wrists wrapped. It's a way, obviously, to protect feeble, feminine hands. However, I found the wraps do not guarantee preventing a broken fingernail.

The proper positioning goes from head to toe.

"It's almost like a 1 o'clock position if one foot is here, one foot is there," said Akins.

Lower body placed, we learn a left jab.

"You want your body to move from the legs, then to the arms. Then it comes back to the chin," said Akins.

After we absorb a few of the basics for the right form, we strap on the gloves.

Akins then teaches us a right cross.

"Tap them with the weak. Knock them out with the strong," said Akins.

To put more power in the hit, we're taught to pivot our back foot to the bag.

Akins makes boxing look nearly effortless.

We're not to just tap the bag, which is 100 pounds of cloth and foam. Akins teaches us to punch through, and doing so gets the heart rate up quickly.

"You would think you run miles and miles and you sprint and you do biking and you swim, you would think your heart rate would get up as quickly. But anything that your body has to be challenged in a different way, that's what you need," said Akins.

At least 75 percent of Akins' boxing students are women.

"It's really exciting to see women who step out of their normal comfort zone, who come in here and they really start to enjoy it. Like I said, it is very therapeutic," said Akins.

Our "therapy" if you will, ends with watching Akins throwing punches at my photographer.

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