Okay, so you guys were a wee bit shy about our first ever Fit and Fabulous from a couple of weeks ago…which I totally understand.

It’s a bit daunting to link up pics of yourself in workout gear if that’s not already your thing.

So, here’s the deal: I’m going to show you my favorite workout outfits and what I do in them, and I will provide a linky for you to join in at any point that you feel up to it. The linky will stay open all week. If it helps you to be held accountable this way or you feel like you can motivate others by linking up, I would love, love, LOVE (subtle, right?) for you to do it.

If you don’t want to post pics but do want to tell us about your exercising adventures in the comments section…also fantastic.

If you just want to read, well, that’s also good. 


Between this week’s outfit and the last one, you’re probably thinking that all I do is wear screamin’ bright colors to get my sweat on. But, actually, the opposite is true. The Les Mills instructors at our gym sort of, kind of have a uniform for the different formats we teach. Body Pump = mostly red + black, Body Combat = more red + black + maybe a pop or two of dark green thrown in for wild craziness.

So, while lime green is usually so far off my radar that I wouldn’t even consider pairing it with my pasty white skin, when I saw this little number at Academy for $5 (originally $50!!), I decided I would buy it and ask my skin for forgiveness later.

Also, these long shorts are what I wear pretty much every time I kick-box (the better to not flash anyone when I whip out a roundhouse), but hot pink doesn’t exactly say, “I’m tough and will kick your tushy into shape,” and I’ve got a reputation to uphold, y’all. At the gym, anyway. Here, though, I’m just that girl who likes to thrift and talk a lot. So…blindingly pink shorts it is.

Today, I thought I’d show you the four punches you would see over and over again if you took my Body Combat class (and do over and over again if you already take my class; hello, lovely gym-girls/guys!). If you’ve read along for a while now, then you know that BC is kind of my happy place exercise. It puts a huge smile on my face every single time.

So, if you want to join in from your living room, here are the basics:

1. The Jab


From Combat stance (what I’m standing in in the first pic with one leg forward and feet apart), punch straight forward with your front arm, twisting your fist so that your thumb is down and your knuckles face up.


Fully extend your arm without locking out your elbow, then pull the fist back to your chin, which is your “guard.”  If you try this in the mirror, you should be aiming for your own mouth, nose, chin. Keep your chin tucked and your elbows in close to your body.

You can also do a jab from Front stance, which is just what it sounds like—a front-facing stance with the legs apart where neither leg is farther forward than the other.

2. The Cross


The cross is essentially the same as the jab, except that it is only performed in Combat stance because it must come across (hence the name) the body. As a result, it always comes from the back arm.  Rotate the body, pulling the back shoulder to the front, and extend the arm straight forward, again cork-screwing your fist so that the thumb is down. Your aim is still for the nose, mouth, chin.


Your back heel will lift, and you will pivot on your toe to protect your knee. After you punch, return to guard with your fists to your chin.

3.The Hook


The hook is a power shot to the jaw, cheek, or temple. Starting from guard (fists to the chin), make a right angle (corner) with your elbow and push your fist to the side of an imaginary opponent’s head (I like to personify the dirty dishes and imagine knocking their lights out!). Return your fist to guard. You can perform a hook from the back arm (like I’m doing above) or from the front (like below).


4. The Uppercut


The uppercut is the only vertical punch we do. From Combat stance, drop your front shoulder, squeeze your fist, and…


…drive it upward into your (again imaginary) opponent’s chin. Finish the punch somewhere around your nose and then come back to guard.

Avoid “swooping” which means that you drop your hand down and swing it up (if you were in a real fight, this would leave you completely “guardless” and vulnerable to being hit).

You can also do an uppercut from the back arm with all of the same principles.

Make sense? (All of it…not just the part about getting hit).

I hope so because I have yet to encounter anything else (that I enjoy doing) that has toned my arms (shoulders especially) like these four punches. 

So, here’s my challenge for you:

Try 3 sets of 5 reps each of these 4 punches in right Combat stance and then switch and repeat on the left. Do it 3 days this week. That’s a total of 120 punches each day (just as a point of reference, there’s a particular Body Combat release that has 128 jabs in one section of one song, so if 120 sounds like a lot…trust me…you’ll make it).

It’s totally normal if you feel awkward at first (and by awkward, I mean: complete-and-total spaz!). I did!

You can check out Youtube videos (just search for the punch’s name) if you feel like you’re doing something really wrong or just aren’t getting the hang of it.  Also, if this is not something you normally do, you will feel sore. Take a Tylenol and hit it again the day after.

So, there it is. Your fitness challenge for this week. You had no idea I was gonna get all bossy on you, did you?

I would love for you to tell me how it goes.  Oh, and ask questions. Lots of those. Hmm…what else? I think that’ll do it for now.

Do you have a favorite results-producing exercise that does it for you?

Now…time to link up (if you want). Be sure to link up to your specific fitness post and grab my Fit and Fab button from the sidebar so people can join in on the fun.






  1. Well, I’m a pretty pathetic person to be answering this question because, even though I’m a fitness instructor, I tend to go for the cheapest option of a shoe that doesn’t hurt my foot. However, after my bestie kept telling me about how great the Asics Nimbus shoe is, I finally tried it on…and there was a big difference. Super-comfortable. It’s pricey (to me) at about $130 for the newest version, but I just found the next oldest version (Nimbus 12) for $65 on Amazon, and I’ve been really happy with them so far. They’re technically a running shoe, but they’ve got pretty good stabilization, so I’d say they work well as a cross-trainer too. Generally speaking for something like BC, you want a low-profile shoe that lets you have lots of lateral movement. Don’t know what kind you have, but it sounds like it’s not hugging your foot very well through all of that pulsing, etc.

  2. Absolutely, Molly! I would recommend getting a kick-boxing video from Amazon that’s highly rated and trying it out to see if you like it at home. All those punches are great for toning and strength. Also, if you haven’t already, check out my push-up tutorials (just click the Move-it Monday link and scroll). Nothing like a push-up to strengthen and firm up the arms!

  3. Yay! I love Les Mills classes, I did Body Combat today actually! You look fabulous in your workout gear. I think the lime looks great on you. I have about 50 pounds to lose, but I would love to teach Body Combat someday

  4. Abbie, can this help my arms? I lost some weight over the last 3 years and my arms need some toning? I like to walk and am hoping to walk with my neighbor starting soon, but need something to help with the old arms.

  5. Love, love Body Combat! My YMCA is launching new routines this Saturday and I’m all kinds of excited about it!

    Question – what is the best type of shoes to be wearing for these types of classes? I am getting blisters on the balls of my feet in my new (very expensive!) shoes! Any recs?

I love hearing from you guys!