Core de Force® combines a variety of combat-based fitness moves for a strong core workout

February 23, 2018

Group of beautiful women in a hard boxing class on gym training punch


By: Tracy Dye

Getting a full-body workout doesn’t have to require hours of different exercises or a bunch of equipment. With Core de Force® Live, you only need 55 minutes.

Core De Force is a new and empowering core-focused workout inspired by the highest-octane sport in the world — mixed martial arts. The workout combines authentic boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai moves, explosive power moves and interval training that all engage your core and help you get in shape incredibly fast.

To get a better idea of what this workout entails, I decided to get right to the core of things and try it for myself.

Strengthening a Couch Potato

I’m not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination. Case in point: I have been known to last a grand total of 15 minutes in most fitness classes before awkwardly shuffling out of a studio and heading home to reunite with my couch.

That’s why I was surprised when I made it through the entire Core De Force session without feeling the urge to pull my standard goodbye. Don’t get me wrong — the class kicked my tail — but those 55 minutes flew by. It wasn’t until the next day that my sore muscles signaled just how hard I had worked.

My instructor, Aya Sims, said that the interval training involved in the class is part of what makes it accessible to anyone regardless of their fitness level. Interval training involves a series of low- to high-intensity workouts that are punctuated by periods of rest.

“The class includes a lot of variety, so it’s hard to get bored,” she said. “You don’t even realize that you’re raising your heart rate.”

Core De Force workouts are divided into three-minute rounds, each including a 30-second “spike.” Spikes include vigorous cardio moves, such as jumping jacks, squat jumps, burpees and more.

The short duration make these intense exercises less painful, and participants can look forward to a 30-second rest period following each spike.

One of my fellow class participants, Richard Gates, said he found the class intense but accessible.

“It’s a tough workout, but it’s also something that anyone can do,” he said. “And Aya is really good at explaining each move.”

Getting Right to the Core

Core De Force offers a total-body workout, but the word “core” is in the title for a reason. The workouts are intended to tighten the inner and outer abs (along with the back, hips and inner and outer thighs, which also comprise the core). But don’t expect to do a bunch of crunches and sit-ups during the class.

All the kicking and punching moves in Core De Force are rotational. The constant twisting is what strengthens and defines the core, Sims said.

And those kicks, jabs and one-two punches aren’t just good for improving your body. Mixed martial arts can also improve your confidence.

“It’s really empowering, especially for people who have never done kickboxing or any type of martial arts,” Sims said. “When the class is over, you get this feeling of, ‘I made it!’ You can feel proud of yourself.”

Core De Force is currently offered at Columbia Athletic Club on Wednesdays, 6:30-7:25pm. During the Athletic Club’s upcoming renovations, Core De Force will move to Supreme Sports Club.

For more information, call 410-730-6744 or email Group.Fitness@ For the most current class schedules, visit CA’s online schedules are updated in real-time.

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