If you want to experience the power and agility of boxing without risking a broken nose, Piloxing may be for you. Piloxing combines Pilates and boxing moves in a high-spirited interval workout. It is a unique new fitness program that's gaining popularity worldwide, spurred on by celebrity practitioners.

The founder of Piloxing, Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer Viveca Jensen, wanted to find a way for women to attain a self-image that's both powerful and sexy. Her solution was to create an exercise that uses weighted gloves and boxing movements to tone the arms, while incorporating the sculpting and flexibility of Pilates exercises. When experienced in a motivating class format, Piloxing delivers a fun yet challenging interval workout that includes playful, sexy dance moves.

Jensen credits Piloxing with a host of health benefits, including:

  • cardiovascular fitness through a core-focused interval workout
  • muscle toning and sculpting without bulking, leading to firmer arms, thighs, and belly
  • fat burning through a fun "fusion" activity

A growing number of gyms have started to offer Piloxing classes by instructors trained specifically in the discipline. Piloxing classes are high-energy and may feature dance and club music combined with moves from hip-hop, salsa, and ballet. Expect pink gloves, whooping, fist bumps, and an interactive class environment as the instructor and students urge each other on.

Although you can look for classes to join at your local gym or fitness center, you can get a sense of the intensity of a Piloxing workout without ever leaving your living room. Many health and fashion magazines have published Piloxing exercises that you can do on your own with just a few modifications from the class setting. For example, while classes generally provide 1/2-pound weighted gloves, you can try the routines at home using standard 1/2-pound wrist weights available at most athletic stores, or go gloveless.

To get the most out of home workouts, try to flow from one exercise to the next without stopping for rest. Piloxing proponents suggest doing home workouts three times a week to see an improvement in your health and fitness. The following workouts provide a good beginning.

Inline skating with punch

This exercise targets your thighs, arms, abdominals, and rear. Repeat the sequence eight times, then switch sides and do the same exercise eight times, punching with your right arm. Try to do four sets of these pairs of punches, flowing gracefully from set to set.

  1. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Shift your weight slightly onto your right leg.
  3. Make fists with both hands and hold them under your chin, close to your chest.
  4. Take a large step back and to the side with your left leg, crossing it behind your right leg as you bend your right knee.
  5. Make a punching motion with your left arm, straightening your elbow.
  6. Return to the starting position.

Piloxing plank

This move targets your abs, back, and arms. Repeat the exercise eight times. Try to complete four sets of eight reps. If you need to rest, take a 30-second break between sets.

  1. Begin in a raised pushup position, stretching your legs out straight behind you, toes on the floor. Instead of holding the pushup position with your hands, lower yourself down onto your forearms so that they're flat on the floor.
  2. Holding your upper body still, bring your knees to the floor and then straighten your legs again.