What do Muhammad Ali and Gigi Hadid have in common? Why, boxing of course. But if you're not fond of the traditional contact sport, here's a slightly different variation you can take on while still reaping all the benefits of boxing. Aqua boxing is exactly what it says on the tin: you punch water-filled teardrop-shaped boxing bag. Every studio does it slightly differently – we checked out four gyms in and around the city to find out more.
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For a non-intimidating light-hearted workout atmosphere
If the idea of getting up-close and personal in physical combat makes you squirm, try Box Office Fitness’ non-combat boxing class. The 45-minute Knockout class is split into 10 rounds of three-minute sets – alternating between the aqua punching bags and floor exercises. There are six important punches to get familiar with: jab, cross, front hook, back hook, front uppercut and back uppercut – you execute these on the bag in the order blasted on the screen – alongside funny memes to keep things lighthearted – while high-intensity floor exercises get your heart rate jacked up in no time.
All these are done to upbeat music in a dark room fitted with glow-in-the-dark lights – neon coloured clothing is best for this purpose – for an extra trippy workout session.
For those looking for a little something extra
Boom Singapore has a catchy hashtag #boompowthisisyournow and it's very appropriate for what they do in the 'boom room'. BoomBox, its signature 45-minute workout, is a 10-round cardio and resistance workout that alternates between aqua bag work and functional weight/bodyweight training – no two sessions are ever exactly the same. Besides boxing, Boom also offers BoomCircuit, a full-body circuit workout held in its small but well-stocked (there are Olympic bars, plates and rowing machines!) personal training area with a maximum of eight people to a class. Personal training sessions are available too, up to a group of four people.
For a good-looking space and workout for the 'gram
At Ground Zero, you’ll get distracted by the futuristic lighting strips on the ceiling that light up to the rhythm and beat of the high energy music thumping throughout the room – but that’s (probably) the point. Rumble puts a spin on the traditional boxing class by mixing it up with high-tempo music while hitting all the major muscle groups in its three different class types: Upper Body, Lower Body and Full Body. Ground Zero seems to be popular with a certain Lululemon-wearing, selfie-taking crowd – so if you're into that, you'll fit in quite well. Ride, Ground Zero’s other equally popular class, is an explosive indoor spinning class that's worth a try.
For those looking to pick up boxing techniques
Given that one of the first things you see when you step into Uppercut is a boxing ring, you know that this gym is serious about its boxing. It's all about technique, technique, technique at Uppercut – no lacklustre punches will be tolerated here (the instructors will gently and kindly correct you). There are two class types: Undercard for the beginners that's heavily focused on technique, shadow boxing, footwork and some partner work, and Overthrow for those with some boxing experience. The latter is a 50-minute class with 12 rounds split between the bags and strength floor work.