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Workout strikes a new pose
Exercisers discover Piloxing, a routine that draws on Pilates, boxing
It has been 50 minutes of grueling physical activity, and 16 women chant, "Sleek, sexy, powerful!"
During the past hour, the 16 women furiously punched invisible foes, controlled their postures like ballerinas and rocked out to remixes of Gwen Stefani, while sporadically grasping at towels to wipe up sweat puddles forming beneath their feet.
It's 9:30 a.m. on a Friday at Century Dance Studios in Tustin, and the women are energized. Beaming, some start chatting about how good they feel from Piloxing, an exercise routine combining Pilates and boxing.
The leader is Julie White, 44, the only practicing, certified instructor in Orange County, said Cortney Gornall, vice president of education of Piloxing.
Former fitness instructor Vicki Hutto, 48, has been taking Piloxing with White since October and attends classes three to four times a week, she said. Hutto has since lost 10 pounds and noticed her waist, arms and thighs have trimmed down.
Hutto likes Piloxing because, after five months, she still hasn't gotten bored, as she has with other group exercises. Hutto used to work with a personal trainer, but she likes Piloxing because it doesn't make her "bulky."
"It's more of a ballerina, kind of yoga feel," Hutto said of the class. "With yoga, you have a burst of energy afterward, and you have that with this."
A Swedish-born dancer and fitness trainer, Viveca Jensen created the program about three years ago when she wanted to offer a routine that would empower and strengthen women with boxing while also celebrating feminine movement, which is where Pilates and dance moves come in, Gornall said.
Though meshing Pilates and boxing might seem odd, the combination is gaining popularity in Hollywood with young stars such as Hilary Duff.
When White heard about Piloxing on TV, she was already teaching her own workout regimen called Body Boost. However, once she started learning about Piloxing, she got certified and switched her focus to the new routine.
"I had to invest a lot to do it, and I completely changed my business around for Piloxing," White said. "If I didn't believe in it, I wouldn't have done that. Since I'm older, I was looking for something to change my metabolism, and this has completely transformed my body."
The Piloxing classes mainly consist of 30- to 65-year-olds and do not reflect the young demographic of the original Hollywood studio.
Marge Dunn takes Piloxing with White once a week, she said. Dunn would like to make it to the class more often, and she appreciates that White has adapted the workout to fit her abilities, she said.
The 65-year-old will march in place while others jump but says she can do enough of the moves to feel "worked-out" and that the core-strengthening routines help with her back pain.
"I feel just so gosh-darned invigorated when I'm done," Dunn said.