The Benefits of the Cardio Kickboxing Workout

Combines an Aerobic Workout with a Resistance Training Workout

Doing either an aerobics workout, i.e. running, stairmaster, stationary bike, etc. or an anerobic workout such as lifting weights, Nautilus, calisthenics, etc. will not give you the best or quickest overall fitness results. You need to do both.

If you are a runner, for example, you can choose to do a little bit less running if you add some strength training several times per week. You will also find that you will feel stronger on your runs. Conversely, if you like to focus on lifting, your muscles will be more pronounced and you will get more definition if you add some cardio. Personally, I find these types of workouts too “one-dimensional”. Why not get your cardio and resistance workouts in the same session?

Total-Body Exercise

You must exercise your entire body not just specific body parts. “If spot reduction worked, people who chew gum would have skinny faces”, says Covert Bailey. Men with love handles and some excess fat over the ab muscles attempt to do more crunches to reduce their mid section. This may actually increase the size of the waist if done without a cardio component in an overall exercise program.

Everyone has ab muscles. Some are more developed than others, but in order to achieve the coveted washboard effect, the excess fat covering them up, which varies from individual to individual, must be reduced so that the abs can be seen. Women generally complain the most about their hips and thighs. The conventional wisdom is for them to do squats and lunges. That will certainly tone up the muscles in that area. However, the fat still covers the now developed muscle underneath and low and behold the legs and buttocks also get bigger! You must work the entire body and do both a cardio and resistance workout.

Efficient Use of Time

There are 168 available hours in a week All you need is three hours for this workout which is approximately 1.8% of your time. Counting travel time to a health club or martial arts school will bump that number up to maybe 4% with 96% of your time to pay attention to everything else in your life.

This “inconvenience” of incorporating fitness into your lifestyle will have immediate as well as long lasting benefits. You will feel better now with a long term objective of increasing your longevity. The quality of your longevity is also important.

This program contains the five components of physical fitness: cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition and flexibility.
You don’t have to workout at the same pace and intensity level as a fighter, but this routine provides the very same valuable fitness benefits.

Provides Valuable Self-Defense Skills

Since you will be working out anyway, learning valuable self-defense skills at the same time is an added benefit. You will, however, not learn the practical application of the techniques that you practice in the air until you apply them to a target or bag. Learning to gauge distance and effectively landing your punch or kick flush on a target takes practice on a target.

You just can’t pretend to punch and kick, you need feedback. Most aerobic kickboxing formats set up the participants with a false sense of confidence. They are in for a rude awakening if they think they can actually use these techniques for self-defense unless they are ingrained and there is a total understanding of their application.

Even then, there are no guarantees, especially against a weapon.

Boosts Confidence and Self-Esteem

Exercise, in general, helps make you feel better physically. Learning kickboxing helps make you feel better mentally. When you really sense you have genuinely become proficient, it transfers over into your social life and even to your profession.

You carry yourself differently and confidence in your overall abilities is enhanced. Most people, for example, are scared to death to give a speech. The more they know about a topic, however, the more confident and comfortable they will become in front of any variety or size audience.

They may even be able to deliver an interesting ad lib lengthy talk even without notes. You have to know your stuff especially when the questions are asked when giving that lecture. You also better know your stuff, if someone is really intent on doing you physical harm.

Relieves Stress

Picturing the person’s face on the bag who was a source of your aggravation for the day on the heavy bag while you pound it with a kick or punch, is better than going postal. Options to relieving stress could be drugs or alcohol, overeating, or distractions like going to a movie, etc. All have their price both literally and figuratively. Relieving stress in a negative manner simply leads to more stress.

Exercise, obviously would be the better approach.
Exercise increases the amount of hormonal-like chemicals known as endorphines which are released into the body by the brain to relieve pain and even depression.

Stress, however, produces enzymes that reduce your supply of endorphines. If you don’t exercise to stimulate that supply of endorphines, you will consequently not feel as well as you could. Kickboxing, for whatever reason, as an exercise, works even better for me.

I have known countless fighters who are naturally aggressive people, some more so than others who may be stressed by their economic condition and tend to lean toward criminal activities. However, serious professional fighters are also some of the most mellow people I know. Their training helps chill them out. If it works for them, it will work for you.

Increases Energy Levels

Exercise boosts your energy levels, but if you workout too much, it will have quite the opposite effect. Rest is an important factor when you are involved in any exercise program. Since you only need to workout three days a week, you allow your body time to recover rather than overtaxing it by working out to excess.

I also believe that too much exercise can become an obsession which may be masking other psychological or emotional problems. Many couch potatoes who decide to get back into shape do so too quickly. In other words, they do too much too fast and then become discouraged. It’s wiser to gradually increase the frequency, level of intensity and duration of your workouts.

The circuit training format of this program is designed to allow you to work out at your own pace and skill level as well. Improves Productivity With increased energy levels, you are more alert and able to get things done more efficiently.

You become more valuable to your employer and have more quality time to spend with your family. Sticking with any fitness program, especially as the intensity level increases, requires at least some self-discipline. This trait is needed in every profession and is a natural carryover from the gym to the workplace. Self-employed people especially will not usually be successful if they are not disciplined enough to focus on the task at hand, particularly if it is a rudimentary or menial task.

Procrastination is the kiss of death in any business or in life. The ability do get done what needs to be done through self-discipline often means the difference between success and failure.

It’s Fun!

Unlike a traditional martial arts class, the music adds to your stimulation and motivation.

Unlike an aerobics class, there are numerous techniques you can learn beyond the basics to maintain your interest level. Classes go by fast because there is so much going on that you sometimes don’t even realize you are working out.

I have witnessed first-hand over the past eight years the expressions on people’s faces when they’re kickboxing.
The most demure feminine women turn into very scrappy fighting machines with controlled aggression.

I encourage them to try to catch their their own facial expressions in the mirrors particularly when they are at the punch mitt station. Their faces alone would discourage an attacker! They also don’t drift off and participate in a rote manner during the workout because there is so much happening that demands their full attention.

The workout is like no other on the planet! Although primarily designed for adults, the program provides benefits to adolescents as well.

Student athletes can train in the off season with this workout to condition their bodies for their particular sport. At the high school level, sports are very competitive and training in the off season is a must to prepare for tryouts and the rigours of the sport once the student makes the team. The boost in self-confidence also gives them a mental edge when it comes to getting more playing time and performing well during actual game conditions.

For those students who do not like to compete in a conventional programs for athletes, they can derive the health and fitness benefits afforded to them with participation in this program as well.

Exercise is important for everyone at all ages. But, since there is the added self-defense benefit that comes as a by-product of the program, it also improves their self-esteem, channels aggressiveness, and enhances their assertiveness.

Kick Your Way to Fitness

Are you bored with your current fitness routine?

It may be time to kick your way to one of the hottest workouts around. Kickboxing, also referred to as boxing aerobics and cardio kickboxing, is a hybrid of boxing, martial arts and aerobics that offers an intense cross-training and total-body workout.

It blends a mixture of high-power exercise routines that strengthen the body and mind, decrease stress and hone reflexes, while also increasing endurance and cardiovascular power. While kickboxing’s roots are in full-contact fighting, it has found a safe and very effective niche in the fitness community.

While some estimates of kickboxing’s calorie-burning potential have reached as high as 500 to 800 calories per hour, ACE-sponsored research suggests that only very large individuals working out at exceptionally high intensities are likely to burn that many calories.

Instead, a 135-pound person is likely to burn 350 to 450 calories during a typical 50-minute class that consists of a warm-up, aerobic period and cool-down. There are, however, other important factors to consider before taking the first kick.

What is your current fitness level?

Keep in mind that many clubs may not offer classes that are based on progression. Even if your current routine features a hearty combination of cross-training workouts, you may want to take it easy at first, and then build as your body adapts.

For this reason, an hour-long session may not be the wisest choice for someone who isn’t used to this level of concentrated activity.

Familiarize Yourself With the Basics

Remember, adequate warm-up and close attention to proper technique are paramount. Classes should begin with basic stretches and a light cardiovascular warm-up such as push-ups and jumping jacks.

A typical aerobic kickboxing routine involves a series of repetitive punches alternating with hand strikes, kicks and then a combination of all three. The repetitions help participants focus on proper technique while engaging several muscle groups and getting a fierce cardiovascular workout.

After the main section of the routine, stretches and floor exercises are commonly performed as a cool-down.
Don’t forget to wear loose clothing that allows freedom of movement during your kickboxing workout and drink plenty of water.

Beginner Beware

When attending your first class, try to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Wearing weights or holding dumbbells when throwing punches, which puts your joints in danger of injury
  • Locking your joints when throwing kicks or punches
  • Overextending kicks (beginners should avoid high kicks until they get used to the routine and become more flexible)
  • Giving in to group peer pressure and exercising beyond fatigue

Of course, you should ask your instructor about his or her training. Cardio kickboxing is a combination of martial arts and aerobics, and employs different techniques than a “pure” martial arts class.

Many teachers may have boxing or martial arts training, but may not have the appropriate class experience or be properly certified by an organization such as the American Council on Exercise. Finally, once you understand the basics of this stress-relieving, total-body workout, you can kick your way to a new level of fitness.

Basic Moves and Equipment

It may seem awkward at first, but the basic moves in a kickboxing class can be mastered with time, patience and practice.

A prepared class will have mirrors, a punching or “heavy” bag and hit pads for participants to use.

To give you an idea of what to expect in a beginner class, here are two basic lower-body kickboxing moves that work the hamstrings, gluteals and quadriceps:

Roundhouse kick—Starting from a basic stance (side of body facing bag, knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-length apart), lift your right knee and point it just to the right of your target. Pivot on your left foot as you extend your right leg. Kick the target with the top of your foot.

Side kick—From the basic stance, pull your right knee up toward your left shoulder. Pivot on your left foot as you snap your right leg into your target. Strike with either the outside edge of your foot or your heel.

Additional Resources

ACE’s Guide to Kickboxing Fitness DVD
American Council on Exercise—Kickboxing Fitness by Tony Ordas & Tim Rochford

Photo: Ryan Kelly / Undefeated

It’s time to give your cardio routine a kick in the you-know-what. Just like other cardio workouts, kickboxing offers all the benefits of a high-intensity routine, including better coordination, mobility and strength. You’ll not only knock your muscles into high gear, but you’ll squash the stress of the day.

RELATED: Undefeated: Kickboxing Workouts to Get You Strong

Anja Garcia, one of the lead instructors for Daily Burn’s new Undefeated kickboxing program (available now), guarantees this is one workout you can’t fake. “The choreography combinations force you to stay connected throughout the entire workout. And let’s be honest, punching and kicking helps get out any aggression, fear or sadness.”

Although these kickboxing moves will knock out major calories, they don’t skimp on strength either. “The punching and kicking helps to strengthen everything from your shoulders and back to your abs and legs,” Garcia says. “As with all your punches, it isn’t just about the upper body. So much of the punch also comes from your legs. You are working your abs and lower body, too.”

TRY IT NOW: Daily Burn’s Undefeated Program

5 Kickboxing Moves to Squash Calories and Build Strength

Before you jump in the ring, take a few minutes to review proper boxer’s stance. “Your foot positioning is super important as the power of the punch actually originates from the glutes,” Garcia explains. The traditional boxer’s stance is with your left foot forward, feet shoulder-distance apart. “Your feet should be in a staggered fighting stance with your back foot slightly out to the side so that you’re able to use your hips through the punch,” Garcia says. Next, bring your fists up to your cheekbones and keep your elbows in by your sides — also known as guard position. Your fists should be close enough to your cheekbones that your thumbs can touch them.

Guess what? You’re ready to rumble. For the kickboxing workout below, perform eight reps of each exercise and repeat for as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes.

GIF: Undefeated

1. Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut

Throughout the Undefeated program, you’ll do different variations of this classic combo. But to help you maintain form, here are a few pro pointers: “In the jab, the punch comes straight out from the shoulder. Imagine the point of contact being someone’s nose,” Garcia says. For the cross, utilize power from your back hip to strengthen your punch, and for the hook, keep your arm at 90 degrees, Garcia adds.

How to: Get into guard position (a). Jab: Extend your left fist straight with your thumb pointed toward the floor. Pop it back to guard position (b). Cross: Turn your right foot inward and bring your right hip and shoulder forward. Keep your elbow in as you punch your right fist straight out with your thumb pointed to the floor. Pop it back up to guard position (c). Hook: Lift your left heel off the ground to shift your weight to your right side. Bring your left elbow up to shoulder height, forming a 90-degree angle, with your thumb facing up. Pop it back up to guard position (d). Uppercut: Turn your right hip and shoulder forward. Punch upward with your thumb facing you. Pop it back up to guard position (e). This is one rep.

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GIF: Undefeated

2. Sweep, Squat, Kick

The sweep squat is a new take on the basic squat, engaging other muscles in your glutes and quads. But adding the kick also fires up your hamstrings, Garcia says. “The great bonus in this move is that the sweep down engages the core a bit more.”

How to: Get into guard position, feet shoulder-distance apart (a). Sit into a deep squat, while keeping your hands by your cheekbones (b). As you come up to stand from the squat, sweep your arms laterally to your left side and kick your right leg straight out (c). Repeat on the left side (d). This is one rep.

GIF: Undefeated

3. Jab, Cross, Slip

This move is all about good offense and defense. Here, Garcia says to step into the punch and then defensively slip back and duck away from someone else’s potential punch.

How to: Get into guard position. Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart facing forward (a). Extend your left fist straight out with your thumb pointed toward the floor. Pop your fist back into guard position (b). Bring your right hip and shoulder forward to punch your right fist straight out with your thumb pointing the floor. Pop it back up to guard position (c). Keeping your hands in guard position, sit into a squat and duck your head, slipping it to your right side (d). Repeat on the left side. This is one rep.

SIGN ME UP: Start the Undefeated Kickboxing Program Today

GIF: Undefeated

4. Front Kick, Back Kick

Control is everything during this combo of kicks that also demands flexibility and mobility in your hips and hamstrings. Garcia recommends starting your kicks low at knee height before gradually going up to hip or chest height.

How to: Stand in guard position with your hands by your cheekbones and your feet in a staggered fighting stance (a). Kick your right leg forward, and then your left leg back, while maintaining upper body form (b). This is one rep.

RELATED: Need a Cardio Fix? Try This 5-Minute Kickboxing Workout

GIF: Undefeated

5. Uppercuts

Uppercuts are deceptively lower body moves. The real power behind them comes from your shoulders, back and legs, too. “Firing up these big burners helps increase your metabolism and makes kickboxing a total-body workout,” Garcia says.

How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart (a). Pivot your right hip and shoulder forward (b). Keeping your elbows in, punch upward with your fists. Be sure your thumbs face you (c). Right then left is one rep.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by Daily Burn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by Daily Burn.

Want more knock-out kickboxing workouts? Sign up now for the Daily Burn Undefeated kickboxing program, now available to all members. Your first 30 days are free!

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Kick Your Way to Fitness Over the Holidays With This High-Intensity Kickboxing Workout

Interested in spicing up your workout this holiday season? Try this quick 30-minute indoor workout that will have you kicking and punching your way to your health and fitness goals. Note: this workout is vigorous, so having previous experience with high-intensity cardiovascular drills is recommended.

Workout Design

This workout alternates high-intensity cardiovascular drills with strength exercises to provide you with a fun total-body workout. It consists of three rounds, each consisting of five exercises that are done consecutively. Perform each round twice before moving onto the next round. Complete each exercise for 50 seconds followed by a 10-second rest to prepare for the next exercise. The only equipment you need is a pair of light- to moderate-sized dumbbells.

Kickboxing Moves Used in This Workout

  • Jab: Start with fists by the chin. Extend the lead hand straight out to the front, aiming with the first two knuckles of the fist. Keep the elbow slightly bent so the joint is not locked. Pull the hand back to starting position.
  • Front kick: Start with fists by the chin and feet positioned hip-distance apart. Lift the right knee toward the chest and extend the knee to kick to the front, aiming with the ball of the foot. Return the leg quickly by bending the knee and placing the foot on the floor. Repeat on the other side.
  • Side kick: Start with fists by the chin and feet hip-distance apart. Lift the right knee toward the chest, keeping the right foot flexed. Extend the right foot out to the side, aiming with the heel (the toes are pointing down toward the floor). The base foot should pivot so that the toes are pointing away from the direction of the kick. Return quickly by pulling the right knee toward the chest and placing the foot on the floor. Repeat on the other side.
  • Round kick: Lift the right knee and turn the base foot (left foot) away from the direction you are kicking. Try to make the right leg parallel to the floor with the heel pulling toward the glute and the knee pointing toward the kicking target. Extend the right knee to perform the kick. Point the right foot so that the top of the foot (instep) would make contact with the target.

High-Intensity Kickboxing Workout Routine

Warm-up (5–10 minutes) – Complete each warm-up exercise for 30-60 seconds.

  • Light jog
  • Alternating high knees
  • Easy side-to-side shuffles (right and left)
  • Jump rope
  • Light jumping jacks
  • Squats
  • Alternating reverse lunges
  • Alternating reverse lunges with a knee
  • Inchworms
  • Inchworms with an added push-up

Round 1 (2x through, 50 seconds per exercise)

  • 4 jumping jacks + 4 jabs: Do 4 jumping jacks followed by 4 jabs with the right hand. Repeat on the other side.
  • Lunge + front kick: Start with the right leg forward. Do one lunge followed by a left front kick and repeat. Stay on one side for the first time through and switch to the other side when the round is repeated.
  • Three shuffles + burpee: Do three shuffles to the right followed by one burpee and repeat moving left.
  • Squat + side kick: Perform one squat followed by a side kick with the right leg, then perform one squat followed by a side kick with the left leg.
  • High knees: Alternate high knees as fast as possible.

Round 2 (2x through, 50 seconds per exercise)

  • Burpee + 8 punches: Do one burpee followed by 8 fast punches (jabs) to the front, alternating hands.
  • Push-up + alternating knees: Do one push-up and then hold plank position as you pull the right knee toward the chest followed by the left knee.
  • Power squats: Jump legs wide into a squat and then jump the legs together.
  • Single-leg deadlift + knee: Balance on the right foot with the left leg lifted throughout the entire exercise. Hinge at the hips to lower the upper body until it is about parallel to the floor while simultaneously lifting the left leg. Return to an upright position and draw the left knee toward the chest. Stay on one side for the first time through the round and switch to other side when the round is repeated.
  • Mountain climbers: Perform mountain climbers as fast as possible while maintaining good form.

Round 3 (2x through, 50 seconds per exercise)

  • Round kicks: Do as many round kicks as possible, being careful not to compromise form for speed. Stay on one side for the first time through the round and switch to other side when the round is repeated.
  • Triceps push-ups: Start on the knees or toes with the wrists under the shoulders. Lower the upper body down to the floor, keeping the elbows tight to the body. Return to the starting position and repeat.
  • Punch-out: Start with legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Alternate right and left punches to the front as fast as possible.
  • Plié squats + biceps curls: Perform one plié squat followed by one biceps curl as you come out of the squat.
  • Jumping jacks/star jacks: Do jumping jacks or star jacks.

20-minute workout: kickboxing

To reap the rewards—increased calorie burn, strength, power, blissful endorphin high—truncated workouts must be insanely intense. So, we asked a team of Equinox trainers and group fitness instructors what they would do if they were given just 20 minutes to have at it. Here is the latest in the series.

The Pro: Taliah Mekki, group fitness manager for Equinox San Mateo, certified group fitness instructor, certified Schwinn cycling instructor, former professional NFL and NBA dancer
The Club: San Mateo, Union Street, Pine Street and Palo Alto (California)
The Workout: Boost your mood, melt away fat and tone your entire body all in one quick, 20-minute session with these calorie-blasting cardio kickboxing combos. “Do the workout regularly, and you’ll feel stronger, more positive and more confident in no time,” says Mekki. For best results, perform one round of this kick-butt, high-intensity routine 3 or 4 times a week.

WARM UP

Jump rope for 2 minutes

WORKOUT

Punch/Knee Combo: Two right jabs, one left cross punch, followed by 2 left knee lifts; continue for 1½ minutes. Switch sides and repeat.

Cardio Combo: 4 push-ups, immediately followed by 2 burpees; continue for 2 minutes.

Punch/Knee/Kick Combo: Right jab, left cross punch, right jab, left cross punch, followed by 2 left knee lifts and one right front kick; continue (moving as fast as possible) for 2 minutes. Switch sides and repeat.

Cardio Combo: Jump squats (1 minute), followed by jump lunges, alternating legs with each jump (1 minute)

Knee/Back Kick/Side Kick Combo: Right knee lift, left back kick, right knee lift, left sidekick; continue for 1 minute. Right cross, right hook, right cross; continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Cardio Combo: Rotating bag punches (elbows bent at shoulder level in front of you, fists pointed toward ceiling, moving hands in a circular motion, rotating torso from left to right) while in right forward lunge; continue for 1 minute. Alternating upper cuts; continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. Then lie face-up on floor with legs together and lifted about six inches, ankles crossed; hold for 45 seconds.

Core Combo: Right side plank, pulsing hips up and down for 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat. Get into plank position, then bring right knee up to right elbow; continue for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Finish with a 1-minute plank hold (on hands or elbows).

Kickboxing and cardio kickboxing classes are a great way to burn calories, build endurance, and challenge the muscles of you core. Though it may seem like a complicated workout, once you get the basic moves down, you’ll find you can easily push your training to another level.

Basic Kickboxing Moves

While skilled kickboxers can make the sport look like a well-choreographed symphony of elaborate moves, kickboxing is in fact comprised of only a few types of moves.

Strikes

Strikes are some of the most basic of those kickboxing moves. The types of strikes allowed in a match depend upon the style of kickboxing. There are several ways for a kickboxer to strike an opponent. A few include:

  • Jab – This is perhaps the most basic of kickboxing moves. It comes from the front hand and strikes the head or body of an opponent.
  • Cross – This typically follows a jab and hits the target from an angle.
  • Uppercut – This move is a rising punch to an opponent’s chin.
  • Hook – This move comes around from the side; the arm is bent at a 90 degree angle and the body rotates with the punch.
  • Hammer punch – This punch relies on the body weight to power it through to your opponent. It combines semi-circular and vertical movements.
  • Elbow – An elbow strike uses the elbow instead of the fist and can be quite powerful.
  • Knee – Knee strikes typically come from below up, but can also come from an angle.

Kicking

An effective way to neutralize an opponent is to utilize kicking moves.

  • Push kick – The push kick is your basic front kick, effective for landing a blow to the face or chest with the heel of the foot.
  • Side kick – This kick pushes out laterally and begins with a knee lift.
  • Back kick – This kick pushes back toward the rear, behind the person kicking.
  • Crescent kick – This kick draws on a chopping motion, striking with the top of the foot or the shin area.
  • Roundhouse kick – This kick comes from behind and involves a swing forward of the hip.

Defensive Moves

Ask almost any competitive athlete, and he or she will tell you that one of the most important components of success is having a great defensive game. These defense moves can help prevent injury and will work in complement with the other basic kickboxing moves.

  • Parrying – This defensive maneuver basically relies on a kickboxer’s hands to deflect blows by meeting the punch halfway and redirecting the movement.
  • Slip – If you learn no other defensive kickboxing move, this is the one to know. When you give your opponent the “slip,” you rotate your body just in time for the punch to “slip” past you.
  • Defensive stance – If you are right-handed, your left foot will be in ahead of you and your right foot slightly behind. Knees are soft and ready for movement, while your core is engaged in anticipation. Hands are in a “ready” stance, up toward your cheeks as you prepare to fight. Note that varying kickboxing styles may dictate a different defensive stance.

Challenging Kickboxing Moves

As you get more comfortable in your kickboxing abilities, you’ll soon be ready to evolve into more difficult moves.

  • Flying knee – This move elevates your knee strike to meet your opponent’s head – and likely knock them out.
  • Spinning back kick – This move involves a back kick accompanied by a 180 degree spin.
  • Snap kick – Though not an advanced move, the snap kick becomes incredibly effective in slowing your opponent down when you learn how to land the kick strategically.
  • Flying kicks – This group of kicks combines a leaping motion with any number of swift kick moves and can be very efficient against an opponent.

Kickboxing Combos

Combos are important in kickboxing because once you learn them, they become second nature, making it easier to use a combo in an actual match. Classic combos may vary depending on the style of kickboxing.

  • Jab-Cross-Hook-Upper cut – Practice this quick hands combo until it can be done with equal parts speed to equal parts power.
  • Jab-Cross-Kick – The kick at the end of this combo can come as a surprise to your opponent, giving you an edge in the match.
  • Jab-Cross-Hook-Kick – Like the combo above, the kick may come as a surprise to your opponent.

Popular Sport

Kickboxing has become a popular sport for fitness and competition alike. Though it’s based on much the same principles of movement as karate, it can provide a unique challenge for those looking for a full-contact competition sport. Recently, kickboxing classes have taken these unique moves and combined them with music to create a high-impact cardio workout that people of nearly any fitness level can enjoy.

So what if the closest you’ve come to kickboxing is a slap fight in the 4th grade. This is a great workout that only takes a few times through to get the motions down and feel right at home. Of course at home with this workout means sweating like a pig and struggling to catch your breath but it is completely worth it considering the massive amount of calories it burns (see below for calorie estimates).
True kickboxing has been around for hundreds of years and is a brutal sport that requires amazing cardiovascular endurance and speed to win. Though this video is not intended to train you for a fight it does take the spirit and physical demands of kickboxing and channel it into a challenging and fun cardiovascular workout that will help you burn calories like a prize winning kickboxer.
When going through this routine there are a few things that will help keep you injury free and keep your calorie burn up. First, be sure to stay on the balls of your feet and continuously shift your weight from leg to leg. Next, never punch or kick to a full extension, always keep joints “soft” by pulling your punches and kicks back just before reaching a full extension. This not only protects your joints from the risk of injury from hyperextension but it also increases the amount of calories you burn as well. Also, keep your core tight and move as quickly as you can both pushing and pulling the motion. The harder you contract your core and the faster you move with the maximum amount of force you can control can close to double the number of calories you burn during this workout routine.
Calorie Burn Estimations
We estimate that this cardio kickboxing workout burns between 10-15 calories per minute, or roughly 270 – 405 total.
The following is a quick description of the motions used in this workout video, just keep in mind that the motions performed here are for an aerobic workout only and not for use in competitive kickboxing.
Punches
– Jab (straight punch with hand on lead side of the body)
– Cross (straight punch from the trailing arm/rear arm)
– Hook (a hooking motion is done with either arm making a high swinging motion from the side generally aimed at the head)
– Uppercut (a hooking motion that starts low and comes up, generally aimed at the opponents face)
Kicks and Leg Motions
– Shin Block (bring knee up and elbows down in a crunching motion keeping hands in front of face, knee should meet and touch elbow of same side)
– Knee (drive rear knee up at same time as pulling “opponent” down into the lifting knee)
– Front Kick (drive knee up then extend leg straight forward, can be done with front or back leg)
– High Kick ( Hop rear leg to front leg position while simultaneously kicking the front foot up rotating your leg and hips to face sideways)
Stance Switch (quickly hop and shift feet, switching which foot is in front)
This is a direct transcript of the routine and the motions used in this routine. Feel free to use this for your personal use only.
Cardio Kickboxing Workout
Warm Up
30 – Arm Swing
30 – Arm Circle
30 – Torso Circles
30 – Torso Rotation
30 – High Knee March
60 – Standing Side Crunch
60 – Standing Crisscross Crunch
60 – Up and Out
120 – Jumping jacks / Jump Rope
Round One
(Start with left leg forward)
– Jab + Cross x 10 (switch stance and repeat)
– Jab + Cross + Jab x 10 (switch stance and repeat)
– Jab + Cross + Jab + Ducking Stance Change x 10 (5 on each side)
– Jab + Cross + Uppercut + Uppercut x 10 (switch stance and repeat)
– Hook + Uppercut + Uppercut + Hook x 10 (switch Stance and repeat)
– Jab + Hook + Hook + Uppercut + Ducking Stance Change x 10 (5 on each side)
Round Two
(Start with left leg forward)
– Shin Block (F) + Jab + Cross + Shin Block (R) x 10 (switch stance and repeat)
– Knee + Knee + Jab + Cross x 10 (switch stance and repeat)
– Knee + Front Kick (F) + Front Kick (R) x 10 (switch stance and repeat)
– High Kick + Knee + Shin Block (F) + Shin Block (R) + Ducking Stance Change x 10
– Front Kick (F) + Jab + Cross + Front Kick (R) x 10 (switch stance and repeat)
– High Kick + High Kick + Uppercut + Uppercut + Knee x 10 (switch stance and repeat)
Cool Down

Cardio kickboxing workout video

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