Sunny Leone And Shibani Dandekar - The Girls Who Box

‘My ‘Punjabi Arms’ Gained Definition’
Sunny Leone

When gyms in Los Angeles had downed their shutters during the pandemic, Sunny Leone began to look out for other forms of activity that could help her stay fit. Boxing isn’t an activity that would be her first choice, but with her options being rather limited, the actor decided to give it a go.

“One of the first things that I noticed was that my arms [gained definition]. I have typical ‘Punjabi arms’, which means that they are heavy. Boxing brought about change. I also like the fact that it provides a full-body workout, instead of targeting just one muscle-group in a day,” says Leone, adding that once addicted to it, she began to visit the boxing centre five times in a week.

“I am not a self-motivated person, as far as fitness is concerned, so I needed [the] class. Each hour that I practiced it was enjoyable. It’s a great way to channel aggression. I miss it now,” says Leone, who is yet to find a suitable boxing class following her return to Mumbai.

‘Constantly Room To Improve’
Shibani Dandekar

Shibani Dandekar stumbled upon kickboxing when in search of a fitness routine that could enable her to break the plateau that she had reached, owing to her regular regimen. “Over the last few years, the trainers that I have associated with have helped me do that. One among them is Drew Neal, who also teaches me boxing,” Dandekar tells mid-day, crediting the former kick-boxing champion for acquainting her with the kind of physical strength that she didn’t know she had.

Boxing, she says, is a discipline that requires one to constantly hone their skills in an attempt to perfect techniques. “Noticing your kicks and punches improve is an incredible feeling, because it implies you are growing and becoming better. Eventually, it is a sport, which means that there is a lot to learn when practicing it. For instance, while I could [seamlessly] jab with my right hand, I always struggled with my left arm. That has started to improve only recently, and it feels good.” As aggressive as the routine seems, Dandekar says practicing it can be a stress-buster. “Boxing manages to take you into a different zone. Apart from burning calories, you also get rid of tension.”