Without a doubt, a cardio kickboxing workout is one of the most intense, calorie-melting workouts you will ever try. Kickboxing, by definition, uses the legs as well as the arms to strike and block attacks, meaning that a good kickboxing workout will train your whole body.
As with all exercise routines, it is essential to warm up properly beforehand to avoid injury. To begin, march on the spot whilst gently rotating your shoulders and arms in a circle. After a minute, begin to step to the left side for 3 steps then the right for 3 steps
Whilst doing this side to side stepping movement, you can begin to incorporate punches. With each step to the side, punch out in front of you whilst remembering not to lock your elbows when you extend your arms. These straight punches are called ‘jabs’ and are the easiest type of punch to do. Continue this motion for 1 minute if you can.
Stop moving from side to side and face front. Now, step forward 2 steps with your arms above your head and raise your right knee whilst bringing your arms and hands down to meet it. Imagine you are grabbing an assailant’s head and are bringing it down to meet your upcoming knee. This is exactly the move that would be used in a real kickboxing fight ,and as well as being extremely effective at disabling an attacker, uses a lot of body movement. Alternate the knees left and right for another minute, trying to raise them as high as you can.
Coming straight out of the knee exercise, begin to alternate kicks in much the same manner. Lift the knee first before kicking out, again try to kick as high as you can without injuring yourself. If you find this difficult, you can kick lower if you need to. Keep your hands and arms up in a defensive position in front of your face during this part, and pull in your abs.
Duck and Squats
As important as attacking is in kickboxing, defensive maneuvers are just as vital. Ducking and weaving are great ways to work your lower body and the exercises are very simple to do.
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down slightly and then lean over to one side, pushing yourself back up to an upright position. Do not extend your legs fully to lock the knees-keep them slightly bent. At the end of the movement, you can add a cross punch or ‘hook’ with one of your arms. Imaging ducking below and to the side of someone punching at you and you punching them in the side of the head. This is exactly the movement you are striving for.
Once you have gotten the hang of the basic punches, kicks, knees and squats, you can easily begin to combine them together. Try stepping forward whilst punching a jab, then a hook, then a front kick and finally a knee. These ‘combos’ are terrific compound moves that work the whole body as well as sharpening reflexes and honing concentration skills.
You will be surprised at just how much of a workout these seemingly simple moves offer you, and just as important as the workout itself is the cool down period. At the end of your session, march on the spot for a minute, rotating your arms and shoulders around in a circle. Finish off with some gentle stretching in order to avoid muscle soreness and excessive fatigue after you have finished.