For women, boxing workouts pull no punches

Mon Apr 9, 2012 10:07am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jennifer Vaughn needed to get in shape after law school. Emily McCart wanted a break from running.

Punching, jabbing and kicking a heavy boxing bag turned out to be just the workout they were looking for.

For women who crave an intense fitness routine, boxing-based workouts can be efficient and empowering, even if their feet never touch the inside of a ring.

"I became addicted to it," said Vaughn, a Chicago-based attorney. "It has given me an amazing sense of confidence and poise; a feeling that there is nothing that can't be accomplished."

Such was her devotion that Vaughn eventually opened a franchise location of LA Boxing, a national chain that specializes in boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, in her town.

"It developed from a love of the sport," she said. "I wanted to train like a fighter, but in a place where you didn't' have to get in the ring if you didn't want to. "

Her club boasts a regulation-sized ring and some 35 150-pound (68-kilogram) punching bags. Women, who make up 60 percent of her clientele, gravitate to the group fitness classes.

"We get working class people, professional women, students, some senior citizens too," she said. "We hWOMEave a few pros, but most people are there to work out."   Continued...