While you may know Peloton for its at-home cycling classes and high-tech indoor bikes, it actually offers a whole lot more: And the newest? Peloton boxing classes.
Launching today, December 7, Peloton Boxing is a beginner-friendly program available via the Peloton App, Bike, Bike+, and Tread. With the initial launch, Peloton members can take eight classes as part of a two-week “Intro to Boxing” program led by instructors Selena Samuela, Kendall Toole, and Rad Lopez. The program consists of five 20-minute classes that cover shadowboxing fundamentals—including combinations (certain patterns for moving your arms), footwork, and defense—as well as three 30-minute shadowboxing classes where participants can practice the skills they just learned.
So what actually is shadowboxing? Well, to back up a bit, traditional boxing is a combat sport where you and your opponent use your fists—usually covered with protective gloves—for attacking and defending. But you can also box against a bag rather than an actual opponent, or you can just practice boxing techniques by yourself sans bag. And that is what’s known as shadowboxing. Shadowboxing primarily counts as cardio, since it typically involves performing large movements at a fast pace, which can elevate your heart rate and make you feel a little breathless. In shadowboxing, you engage muscles throughout your body from your arms and shoulders to your core and legs.
While boxing may seem intimidating, you may just find that it’s actually an empowering form of exercise. “I feel like such a badass after a shadowboxing session,” Samuela tells SELF. “It’s mentally stimulating as well as physically stimulating.”
You don’t need any equipment to do Peloton Boxing classes—all you need is your bodyweight. That said, there are certain things to know beforehand if you want to get the most out of the program (or any beginning boxing program!). We tapped Samuela, a former competitive boxer, for advice on what beginners should know for an awesome class experience. Keep scrolling for her expert tips.
1. Nail down the fundamentals before trying an actual workout.
If you’re an experienced exerciser and are just new to boxing, you may be tempted to skip the 20-minute fundamental classes and jump straight into the longer shadowboxing workouts. But resist that urge, says Samuela. Just like with any skill-based sport or exercise modality, it’s important to have a solid grasp on what you’re doing before you dive in at full intensity.
The fundamental courses for Peloton Boxing cover what you need to know to shadowbox correctly, including the proper boxer’s stance and how to perform various hand movements, including the jab, cross, front hook, back hook, front upper cut, and back upper cut. You’ll also learn several defensive moves and footwork as well as a few simple combinations.
Taking the time to master these basic-yet-important skills will make the actual shadowboxing classes more effective and easier to understand. And if you’ve completed all five fundamental courses, but still don’t feel like you have a solid grasp on things? Repeat the classes as many times as you need to, says Samuela. “Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get it right away,” she says.
2. Be prepared to focus.
Unlike other forms of fitness—say running or an indoor cycling class—boxing isn’t an activity where you can just zone out and let your mind wander. “You definitely are going to need to focus,” says Samuela. That’s because boxing requires a high degree of coordination, technique, and rhythm to do correctly. Boxing, Samuela explains, is akin to choreography and dance. So if you want to have the most effective boxing workout, it’s important to stay mentally engaged throughout class. This holds true even if you feel like you’ve mastered the basic skills—no matter what level you’re at, it’s important to keep your mind on the task at hand.
3. Dress in supportive yet comfortable exercise gear.
You don’t need any fancy shirts or bottoms to shadowbox—whichever clothes you prefer to sweat in are fine—but it is important to get the right sports bra and shoes. On the bra font, opt for something supportive since there will be “plenty of bouncing” in class, says Samuela. For shoes, pick a style that you would wear to strength train, meaning something that is flatter to the ground as opposed to a running shoe with more cushioning and higher soles. This is because in boxing, you’re on your toes and you want a shoe that’s going to help you maintain your balance instead of propel you forward, says Samuela.