One of the most popular exercise programs within the Parkinson’s community is Rock Steady Boxing (RSB), and it has been sweeping the nation since its inception in 2006.  This nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis, IN, gives people with Parkinson’s disease hope by improving their quality of life through a non-contact boxing based fitness curriculum. The mission of Rock Steady Boxing is to empower people with Parkinson’s disease to FIGHT BACK!
RSB initially began through the friendship of two men, Scott Newman and Vince Perez. After Scott, a former Marion County (Indiana) Prosecutor, had been diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s at the age of 40, Vince refused to let his friend go down without a fight. Vince turned to his experience as a Golden Gloves boxer to design a program that attacks Parkinson’s at its vulnerable neurological points. His intuition is now proven to have merit through an increasing body of medical research.  Realizing that their experience might be replicated for others, Scott and Vince founded RSB as a nonprofit organization that would eventually train coaches and affiliates to work with people living with Parkinson’s throughout the world. As word of this unique program spread and the demand for the classes increased, RSB created classes to meet the fitness levels at all stages of Parkinson’s – from the newly diagnosed to those who had been living with it for decades.

RSB is the first gym in the U.S. dedicated to the fight against Parkinson’s.  Its 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, Parkinson’s 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.

In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, RSB has created a new series of free videos accessible online to keep boxers active and engaged while quarantining at home.  They’ve called this new program “RSB ROX” – the Rock Steady Boxing “On Your Own” Exercise Series.  Here is the Intro Video on YouTube explaining the RSB ROX program.

The goals of RSB ROX are to keep people motivated, active, and connected while they shelter safely at home.  The program curriculum includes videos that are specific to four stages of a fitness routine: Warmup, Workout, Core, and Cooldown.  To access these RSB ROX and other Rock Steady-related videos online, subscribe to the Rock Steady Boxing, Indy HQ channel on YouTube.

Once you have accessed the Rock Steady Boxing, Indy HQ homepage on YouTube, click on the Playlist called RSB ROX to find the specialized “On Your Own” exercise videos.  Nearly 50 videos have been uploaded to this playlist already that are clearly categorized and easy to navigate.  Here is a link to the RSB ROX Playlist.

For those of you seasoned boxers out there, this free home exercise program is a no-brainer to keep up your boxing skills.  And for those who haven’t given RSB a try yet, now is the perfect chance to test it out from the comfort of your living room!  Have fun, and FIGHT BACK!

Shannon Elliott earned her Master’s in dance from York University and famously trod the boards and regaled audiences of the professional dance world for more than 20 years. Her career was and is storied. Always up for expanding her horizons, Shannon executed a full-on career pivot at the opportune moment and applied her artistry to the field of health and wellness. Someone should write a book about this. A teacher at heart, Shannon earned her personal training and group fitness certifications and began teaching Dance for PD® classes for seniors and those living with Parkinson disease. As the PMD Alliance In Sync Network Manager, she expertly blends elements of dance and movement with the opportunity to help support group leaders expand their roles and deepen their engagement in the movement disorder communities.

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