Rock Steady Boxing

Rock Steady Boxing

A non-contact, fitness inspired boxing programme specifically designed for people living with Parkinson’s disease. The programme can dramatically improve people’s everyday lives.

Rock Steady Boxing was originally founded in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2006 by former State Prosecutor, Scott C. Newman, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 39. Newman wanted to challenge the disease and began a personal regimen designed by his friend a boxing trainer. He noticed improvements in his health, agility and a reduction in Parkinson’s symptoms. This led to the initial setting up of this programme with the help of Kristy Rose Follmer. The programme began to spread and is now across America and also currently runs in 18 countries around the world.

Researchers at the University of Indianapolis conducted a study over a two-year period to compare 88 people living with Parkinson’s exercising. Half of them were doing RSB to the other half doing regular exercise.  The findings were that the RSB’s participants had a better gait and endurance and could even walk faster at the end of the two years.  It also helped with postural stability.  Also, they found the comradeship and motivation of coaches meant they kept going back to class. People have been doing this class for 13 years.

The Class

The classes are taught by  specially trained Rock Steady Boxing coaches. It is an exercise programme that helps the functions of everyday lives, like getting out of a chair, carrying shopping while also focusing on overall fitness, strength training, coordination, multitasking, and balance. There is also work done to increase voice volume, which can give people their confidence back.  This is a non-contact program and is open to people of all ages to help fight Parkinson’s and help delay progression.  Videos of classes can be seen on YouTube.

Rock Steady Boxing in Ireland

Until the Covid 19 period, we had classes running in New Ross, Naas and Tullamore.  However, because of Covid, we have been operating classes online by Zoom and this has been both popular & successful.