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Rock Steady Boxing Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons Patients Fight Back In Rock Steady Boxing Program

Rock Steady Boxing Fights Parkinson’s

Three times a week, Susan Vittone, a 5-foot-4 former kindergarten teacher, makes the 45-mile trek from her home in Mexico, Mo., to Columbia for a workout class. Unlike most women her age, Susans workout includes lacing up a pair of gloves and whacking a heavy bag suspended from the ceiling in MU Health Cares Human Performance Institute .

I never thought I would ever be boxing, she said with a laugh. I am not sure if my mother would approve.

But Vittone knows her mother would be in her corner knowing the critical link between boxing and her good health.

Vittone was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease in December 2015. She described her initial reaction as devastation. A friend suggested that she watch a video about a specialized workout called Rock Steady Boxing. Her neurologist said she should give it a try.

The benefits have been invaluable for Vittone, who credits the program for keeping her symptoms at bay.

The class begins like any other workout for a mature group, with warmups that focus on balance and agility. Then, its time to box. The participants dont hit each other. They pound heavy bags and the smaller speed bags.

1, 2, 3 2, 3, 4.

The trainer yells numbers that correlate to punches a jab, hook or uppercut, thrown with the right or left hand. Then, with loud voices, the group repeats the numbers. Its an effort to keep the brain active while making large movements. The yelling is therapy, too.

About Rock Steady Boxing

Rock Steady Boxing is the first boxing program of its kind, designed specifically to fight Parkinsons disease one punch at a time! Parkinsons disease is caused by the loss of brain cells in a part of the brain that produces the chemical messenger dopamine. As the cells die, less dopamine is produced and transported to the area of the brain that coordinates movement. Symptoms, including tremors, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness or rigidity develop when about 80 percent of dopamine has been lost. Approximately four million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons, yet the reason that Parkinsons disease develops is not known.

What Is Rock Steady Boxing

Rock Steady Boxing is a boxing program designed for people with PD, based on exercises that are adapted from the world of boxing that emphasize agility, speed, endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and strength. The exercises are meant to be vigorous and to push the participants beyond what they perceive they are capable of performing. Various levels of training have been developed to meet the needs of people with PD at different stages of the disease. Started at a gym in Indiana in 2006, Rock Steady Boxing developed a system to train fitness instructors across the country and now operates out of more than 870 affiliate locations worldwide. Those interested undergo a two-part Affiliate Training Camp an online course, followed by an interactive in-person or virtual-based hands-on training. Trained personnel can then set up an affiliate Rock Steady Boxing program.

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The Rock Steady Boxing Solution

Various studies in the 1980s and 1990s supported the notion that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength, and rhythm, could favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and activities of daily living. More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense forced exercise, and have begun to suggest that certain kinds of exercise may be neuro-protective, i.e., actually slowing disease progression. Our clients attest, and academic institutions, such as University of Indianapolis and Butler University, are reporting and documenting the improved quality of life among our boxers. Discovery of a cure may be many years away but in the last seven years, there is evidence that progress is made in all stages of the disease by those participating in the RSB program.

We Love You Phil Bozzo


One of our founding boxers has passed away, but left a powerful message…

…”I’ve found a whole new group of friends at the age of 85. I’ve lost 20 pounds, and gained more than words could ever say.” When Phil passed, he was wearing one of his Rock Steady Boxing shirts. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Battenberg’s Martial Arts & Fitness – where Phil trained, and where his legacy can help other boxers in the future!

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Who Can Box With Us

Men and women of all ages and all stages of Parkinson’s are welcome to participate. Classes are modified to each boxers’ needs and abilities. NO prior boxing experience is needed.

Each boxer must be medically referred from their physician or specialist and participate in an intake assessment with an Exercise Physiologist so we can learn about your strengths and limitations to ensure we meet your needs in our classes. This also allows us to determine your correct class level placement and obtain a baseline of your functional status, which we can then monitor over time.

Who Is Rock Steady Boxing Vc/la

Rock Steady Boxing Headquarterswas established in Indiana in 2006 as the only Parkinsons fitness program in the world solely dedicated to people with Parkinsons Disease. Now boasting over 950 affiliate gyms worldwide, Rock Steady Boxing is the undisputed champion in combatting Parkinsons symptoms.

Rock Steady Boxing VC/LA Ventura County/Los Angeles was established in 2014 and quickly became one of the most successful Rock Steady Boxing affiliates.

Rock Steady Boxing VC/LA is owned and operated by Lisa Oliver and Yvette Israel who have helped over 1,000 people living with Parkinsons Disease FIGHT BACK with their hands-on, results-driven approach to the renowned Rock Steady Boxing Method proven to stop Parkinsons in its tracks!

It may sound surprising, but Rock Steadys non-contact boxing inspired fitness program is scientifically proven to decrease and reverse current Parkinsons symptoms and is actually neuro-protective working to delay further progression of the disease. So, if youre Young Onset Parkinsons, newly diagnosed or have been living with PD for years, NOW is the best time to join Rock Steady Boxing!

Like a Boxer trains to defeat their opponent, well train you like a Boxer to KNOCK-OUT Parkinsons Diseaseand WIN!

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Rock Steady Boxing Celebrating 5 Year Anniversary

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. Rock Steady Boxing, who has been striving to help those fighting Parkinsons disease, is celebrating its five-year anniversary.

The boxing program is designed for people fighting Parkinsons disease and, in this way, theyre fightin it with every punch to the boxing bag.

During the class, students learn skills that help their balance, fine motor skills, and making big movements.

Stephanie Oliver, a Rock Steady boxing coach, said that those taking part in the class have a great time.

They laugh, they smile, and to me thats the important part, Oliver said. Ya know making them laugh, making them at least have a little bit of joy in their day for that hour and a half. Its a big part of why I love what I do.

The class meets for an hour and a half three days a week.

Copyright 2022 WNEM. All rights reserved.

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Q: Are All Rock Steady Boxing Courses The Same Do You Have Advice For People Looking For Classes On How To Find A Good One

Rock Steady Boxing battles back against Parkinson’s disease

Dr. Leder: All programs are not the same. The instructors and the class format can vary quite a bit. Most often, people will simply go to the one that is closest to where they live, but they might want to trial a class before they sign up to make sure they like the instructor and it feels safe for them.

Dr. Ellis: In my experience, there is a lot of variability in the quality of the classes. In order to become an instructor in the program training is required, which is great, but the variability in instructors still remains. Some instructors come from the world of boxing and fitness others, from the medical world.

It is important for anyone who teaches these classes to have some expertise in PD. Understanding elements of PD such as freezing of gait, postural control deficits, fall risk and on/off periods, that are unique to PD can make the class safe and more effective for people with PD. Invariably, a program overseen by movement disorders specialist like Dr. Leder will be enhanced by her PD expertise.

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Boxing And Parkinsons Disease

We know without a doubt that exercise is important for people with Parkinsons disease . Various types of exercise and movement can help people improve their balance, strength, mobility, flexibility, endurance and walking ability. Studies also reveal that exercise can help improve cognition, depression, fatigue, and sleep. We have discussed exercise in previous blogs and go into great detail in our Be Active & Beyond exercise guide. Weve also shared tips for exercising safely while at home during the pandemic. We often get questions about boxing as exercise for people with PD especially about Rock Steady Boxing, a specific type of boxing class for people with PD that is offered around the country. For todays blog well share a bit more info about Rock Steady Boxing and get input from two experts on the topic so you can decide if this type of class is right for you. Note: Not every boxing-style class designed for people with PD is a Rock Steady Boxing class. There are some independently-run classes that are not affiliated with Rock Steady. For the purpose of this blog, we are specifically discussing the Rock Steady Boxing program.

Boxing Is Helpful At Any Stage

The benefits of exercise can be helpful throughout your disease progression. And, whether you begin at the time of diagnosis or start after youve had PD for many years, most people will achieve results. Those include improving motor skills and creating new connection pathways in the brain, improving neuroplasticity.3

This boxing is not fighting its non-contact and thus different than what you see in the ring.4

The exercises combine physical activity and the learning of new skills, requiring the brain to adapt to new challenges and routines. Besides being fun and socially engaging, some of the reported benefits include increased independence and confidence as well as physical improvements.

Remember, it is always best to check with your neurologist before beginning any new program, especially one that involves intense exercise.

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Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s

Rock Steady Boxing, a 501 nonprofit organization, gives people with Parkinsons disease hope by improving their quality of life through a non-contact boxing based fitness curriculum.

In our gym, exercises are largely adapted from boxing drills. Boxers condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents. At RSB, Parkinsons disease is the opponent. Exercises vary in purpose and form but share one common trait: they are rigorous and intended to extend the perceived capabilities of the participant.

We are learning every day that there are ways in which people with Parkinsons disease can enhance their daily quality of life and even build impressive power, strength, flexibility and speed! By exercising with coaches who know the ropes, you can fight your way out of the corner and start to feel and function better. Boxing works by moving your body in all planes of motion while continuously changing the routine as you progress through the workout. These classes have proven that anyone, at any level of Parkinsons, can actually lessen their symptoms and lead a healthier/happier life.

Rsb Trainers Understand Pd

Angela Robb on LinkedIn: Karl &  I sat down to talk w/ Rock Steady ...

RSB instructors are trained exercise professionals with deep knowledge of Parkinsons disease. They work on specific skills to improve footwork, coordination, and strength. They understand the hesitation some participants feel.

They understand the limitations some people may have when they start, but as a coach they reinforce the positivity of commitment. Stretching, building strength, and agility all help with motor control and building new brain connections can help to slow the progression of PD.

An RSB program may already be in a location near you. .3

The RSB logo is the Statue of Liberty embellished with a boxing glove. RSBs founder Steve Newman has said, that the inscription on the Statue of Liberty combined with the hope she symbolizes echoed his dream that Rock Steady Boxing would be a beacon of light and hope for those suffering from Parkinsons disease.3

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Rock Steady Boxing At The Mar

The MAR-JCC, located in North Miami Beach, FL, currently offers the Quality of Life Senior Wellness Program for seniors through a supervised and monitored comprehensive fitness and exercise program. The TQOL offers seniors with Parkinsons with a daily program specifically tailored to them, developed in conjunction with the Parkinsons Foundation.

Rock Steady Boxing at the MAR-JCC launched in August 2016. The program exceeded anticipation, from an estimate of 40 to the now more than 150 boxers. For the past two years, all new participants have been neurologists referrals. Although these physicians have never seen our facility, they see the improvement in their patients boxers in our program.

Based on that improvement and patient testimonials, anyone newly diagnosed with Parkinsons is prescribed PD medication and referral to our program as a recommended part of their PD treatment. From the doctors office straight to Rock Steady Boxing at the MAR-JCC. This unprecedented success continues to reaffirm the profound need for this program as well as the need for its expansion.

This is where the magic started. Rosh began to work with Marc. Week after week, he would work with him. In time, Marc became comfortable with Rosh, who gained Marcs trust. Marc became more present and outgoing and embraced the challenges posed by Rosh. Rosh transitioned Marc from a wheelchair to a walker and in time from a walker to a cane.

Why Choose Rsb Certification

The team at Rock Steady Boxing understands that physical trainers and physical therapists have an endless number of physical therapy programs they could adapt into their practices. However, none of them are to the level of Rock Steady Boxing. We believe our Parkinsons rehabilitation services provide patients with invaluable benefits.

Since day one, our organization has been fully dedicated to helping people with Parkinsons disease live richer lives via regular exercise. Today, RSB offers Parkinsons boxing training via 840 global affiliates. We welcome you to integrate our comprehensive and unique training solutions into your practice today. Its a unique form of Parkinsons care that we believe in fully!

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Your First Two Classes Are Free

At Rock Steady Boxing NC Triangle weve designed a variety of classes for people at all levels. No boxing or exercise experience is necessary. And, since your first two classes are free, there is no risk to give our classes a try. We currently provide in person classes in two locations and offer several remote classes via Zoom.

About Rock Steady Boxing Queens Ny

Rock Steady Boxing for Patients with Parkinson’s

We are learning every day that there are ways in which people with Parkinsons disease can enhance their daily quality of life and even build impressive power, strength, flexibility and speed! By exercising with coaches who know the ropes, you can fight your way out of the corner and start to feel and function better. Boxing works by moving your body in all planes of motion while continuously changing the routine as you progress through the workout. These classes have proven that anyone, at any level of Parkinsons, can actually lessen their symptoms and lead a healthier/happier life.

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The Rock Hard Evidence

Exercise studies may be pointing towards potential and important neuroplastic mechanisms that through restoring some degree of basal ganglia circuitry provide a window of opportunity to improve motor learning and behavioral performance.

Petzinger, Giselle M., et al. “Exercise-enhanced neuroplasticity targeting motor and cognitive circuitry in Parkinson’s disease.” The Lancet Neurology 12.7 : 716-726.

Despite the progressive nature of PD, the patients in this case series showed short-term and long-term improvements in balance, gait, activities of daily living, and quality of life after the boxing training program. A longer duration of training was necessary for patients with moderate to severe PD to show maximal training outcomes. The boxing training program was feasible and safe for these patients with PD.

Combs, Stephanie A., et al. “Boxing training for patients with Parkinson disease: a case series.” Physical therapy 91.1 : 132-142.

This overall body of evidence suggests that vigorous exercise should be accorded a central place in our treatment of PD. It should be encouraged and emphasized as potential strategy for a more favorable disease course.

Ahlskog, J. Eric. “Does vigorous exercise have a neuroprotective effect in Parkinson disease?.” Neurology 77.3 : 288-294.”

Is Rsb Right For My Clients And Me

Weve discussed how Rock Steady Boxing can benefit participants with PD. However, our easy-to-implement up-to-date program holds many benefits for you, the physical therapist, as well, including:

  • Increased exposure for your practice and brand
  • Exciting fresh marketing points to advertise
  • More referrals to grow your business

And perhaps most importantly, joining forces with Rock Steady Boxing plugs a physical therapist into our extensive global network of prospects. RSB operates in approximately 840 separate locations, and there will always be lucrative opportunities for you wherever you go. Its a fantastic community!

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Contact Rock Steady Boxing To Get Started

Rock Steady Boxing offers courses for physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, certified clinicians, fitness coaches, and personal trainers who want to enjoy enhancing peoples lives with Parkinsons disease. Contact us online today to get started. We are here to get you certified so that you can help others with physical therapy even more than you already do!


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