Boxing might be the new yoga, as far as trendy, relaxing workouts go. Fancy boxing studios have garnered a
cult-like following with boutique fitness aficionados, and new studios are popping up all the time in New York City. Maybe the classes are so popular because living in a place like NYC is stressful, and people need an outlet for all that rage, or maybe people are into it because boxing is an excellent workout and surprisingly accessible for all levels.
counts as aerobic exercise, builds upper body strength, and improves your balance and hand-eye coordination. If the thought of being thrown into a ring with a stranger intimidates you, don't freak, because that's not actually what goes down in a group boxing class. In most cases, the trainer tells you exactly how to punch or kick a boxing bag, so you're totally safe and it's almost choreographed. There's also something called "shadow boxing," in which you don't even hit a bag; you just hit the air. In addition to hitting stuff, you'll also probably do some core strength exercises and stretch during the workout. But, like we said, boxing can be intimidating, especially if you're going to a studio for the very first time.
Here's what to expect from the best group boxing classes in NYC — whether you're a first-timer or a regular Ronda Rousey. Go ahead and float like a butterfly on over to these classes, and sting like a bee, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Box + Flow.
Box + Flow The class: As the name suggests, you do a mix of boxing and yoga during these 55-minute sessions. Each instructor is different, and some favor the yoga portion over the boxing combinations, but they flow well into each other during the class, so it doesn't feel disjointed. It's great for beginners because the classes are small, and you get a lot of personal attention. Also, the workout is done barefoot. The studio: It's a pretty small studio, so bathroom and changing rooms are scarce. There's no shower, either, so be prepared to leave sweaty. The price: $33 a class. Gloves are free, but you have to buy hand wraps for $5 (or bring your own). Box + Flow, 55 Bond St, New York, NY; (212) 228-3569
Photo: Courtesy of Aerospace.
Aerospace High Performance Center The class: Most boxing classes tend to focus on bag work and a few strength moves, but at Aerospace they also incorporate different jumprope combinations. Their shadowboxing classes emphasize form, and they are great for beginners. Once you have that down, you might want to try one of their bag-only straight punching classes — they're killer. The studio: You won't hear top 40 tracks blasting during these classes; they play really cool, minimal house music. The founder is a professional boxer who was one of the first people to pioneer boxing as a workout in the '90s (and he works with Adriana Lima). The price: $32-$40 per class. Aerospace High Performance Center, 121 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001; (212) 929-1640
Photographed by Andi Elloway.
UFC Gym SoHo The class: They'll teach you basic boxing skills and techniques during the 50-minute class. In addition to boxing on the bag, you'll do core and cardio body-weight moves (like jumping jacks). The studio: UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship, but you don't have to be a hardcore fighter to come to the studio and take the open classes. The instructors are all really knowledgable and open to helping beginners. It's also a full gym with machines and weights. And if you are into UFC, they offer MMA classes and fighting bootcamps. The price: Your first class is free, then you have to sign up for a month-to-month contract, which costs $109 a month. Gloves are available to rent and you can buy wraps. UFC Gym, 277 Canal St, New York, NY; (212) 858-9880
Courtesy of Church Street Boxing.
Church Street Boxing The class: The "All Levels" 60-minute class is perfect for absolute beginners. You start with a warmup that consists of jumping jacks, burpees, and other plyometric exercises. Then instructors take time to teach you the fundamentals, including punches, combinations, footwork, ducking, and slipping. You'll do a little punching on the bag, then practice with a partner. The studio: There's a great community aspect to the Church Street members, and the environment is welcoming — not intimidating. They have lockers and showers, but are otherwise pretty no-frills. The price: $30 for a day pass, then $110 on a month-to-month basis after that. Gloves and hand wraps are included. Church Street Boxing, 25 Park Place, New York, NY; (212) 571-1333
Photo: Courtesy of Title.
TITLE Boxing Club The class: You'll warm up with cardio drills, stretches, and shadowboxing. Each "round" is three minutes long, and the instructor will tell you what kind of punch and kick to throw during that period of time. Between the rounds, you have a minute to rest or get water. They finish off the class with core exercises. You can choose between a 30-minute, 60-minute, or 75-minute class, but they're all broken down into the same routine — the portions are just longer or shorter depending which class you choose. The studio: They're in the process of renovating their Upper West Side studio, so expect big changes in the next few months. The price: $35 for your first class, which includes hand wraps and your glove rental. They also offer unlimited class memberships from $139 to $169 per month depending on the location. TITLE Boxing Club, 455 W 37th St, New York, NY and 900 3rd Ave, New York, NY; (212) 564-1700
Photographed by Winnie Au.
Gotham G-Box The class: You start with a warmup, then an instructor shows you how to shadowbox. You don't use bags, and instead you'll spar with a partner holding mitts, which might be a strange sensation if you've never done it before (it also helps if you know the other person). Between the sparring sessions, you'll also do some core exercises, and the classes range from 45 minutes to an hour. The classes are small, so you really get a lot of personal attention and it's a great opportunity to work on your form. The studio: They really play up the boxing theme, and the classes take place in an actual boxing ring. There are famous quotes from boxers on the wall, and they even play boxing movies (like Rocky) on a projector during class. Let's also just say that Gigi Hadid has been known to frequent this gym. The price: Your first class is $20, then each subsequent class is $32. Gloves and wraps are included. Gotham Gym, 43 Crosby St, New York, NY; (917) 472-7384
Photo: Courtesy of Overthrow.
Overthrow Boxing The class: You'll do a combination of shadowboxing and bag-punching during the 45-minute Boxing Burnout Class. The studio: The gym looks like a dive bar, with edgy graffiti and neon signage on the walls. There are two floors, including an underground studio where most of the group boxing classes are held. Despite the gritty vibe, they have fancy Malin + Goetz products in the bathrooms and a weekly donation-based class called "What Are You Fighting For," which benefits Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. The price: $34 a class. Gloves are included, and there are hand wraps available to buy. Overthrow Boxing, 9 Bleecker St, New York, NY; (646) 705-0332
Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Shadowbox The class: After you warm up, the instructor will cycle through six to seven rounds of punching combinations. Between combos, you'll do some body weight exercises, like pushups or plyometric exercises. Classes are 45 minutes total. The studio: It's really clean and they say the decor is "whitewashed to amplify natural light" (translation: the space is definitely Instagram-able). They keep the studios dimly-lit during class, because they want you to focus on yourself, not the other people in class. If you're a first-timer, they recommend booking a starred bag, because you'll be able to see the instructor clearly. Some people say the studio can get really hot, so be prepared to sweat. The price: $34 a class. The custom "X" gloves are $1 to rent, and the quick wraps are $4 to buy and highly recommended. Shadowbox, 28 W 20th St, New York, NY; (646) 666-0756
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing.
Rumble Boxing The class: There are six punches that they teach you at the start of class (jab, cross, front and back hooks, and front and back uppercuts). They try to time the combinations with the music, and the instructors are very motivating throughout the class. You're not on the bag the whole class, and you'll also do some strength-training with weights during the 45-minute class. The studio: They use teardrop-shaped, water-filled "aqua bags," which might feel a little different than your traditional boxing bag. You'll find Beekman 1802 products in the locker room, and some of the lockers even have a built-in charger for your phone. The price: $34 a class. Gloves are $3, and they sell quick wraps for $6 at the front desk, but you can also use traditional wraps if you have those. Rumble Boxing, 146 W 23rd St, New York, NY; (212) 804-7918
Photographed by Kava Gorna.
The DogPound The class: Trainers will walk you through the punches and drills, and add in a lot of jump-roping and strength-training moves for the hour-long class. In order to take one of the advanced boxing classes (which they say come "as close to actual fighting as you will get outside a ring"), you have to have taken a minimum of 10 beginner classes first, so make sure you're signing up for the right one. The studio: The trainers are really hands-on and are known for their upbeat, but motivating, attitudes. The price: $42 a class. Gloves and hand wraps are included, but you have to show up ready by the class start time, so get there early. The Dogpound, 1 Renwick St, New York, NY; (646) 620-6533