Cardio kickboxing has its origin in Thai sport of kickboxing, which makes the participants sweat. It is taught in aerobic studios, wherein the participants facing a big mirror, learn the specific punches and kicks, usually to the beat of dance-music. A few minutes exercising with jump rope can be included as warm up exercise before the workout. The punches done with precision and power help strengthen your upper body and tone the muscles. The kicks strengthen the legs, especially, the hamstring muscles of the thighs. Bobbing, weaving and jumping amidst the kicks and punches make kickboxing an interesting and enjoyable activity. Cardio kickboxing routines help improve the heart health. Usual 30-60 minutes kickboxing workouts may leave you drenched in sweat and energized. The kickboxing exercises can be called a fresh style of martial arts, which blends the grace of boxing with the powerful maneuvering of kicking style. Knowing boxing tips and techniques can help master this form of exercise easily.
Though kickboxing is a good form of cardiovascular exercise, cardio kickboxing routines are not suitable for all bodies and temperaments. You don’t need to switch to these exercises; if you are satisfied with your existing cardio workout plan. If you have tight hamstrings, or if you have a back problem, you should not try kickboxing workout. Instructions regarding warm up exercises to begin, stretching and cooling down should be strictly followed. The position you will return to, after every punch and kick will be as follows: your feet are kept at about shoulder width apart and one foot is set back from the other at a slight angle, while your fists are up around your temples, guarding your face. You should be quick and light on your feet. Your actions should be quick and forceful. The types of punches which are commonly included in the cardio kickboxing moves are jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts.
Jabs: A straight punch, packed with power (on the face of your imaginary opponent) is called jab.
Crosses: Crosses are rear hand analogs of jabs.
Hooks: Stretch your leading hand fully and in an arc, the punch is targeted towards opponent’s temple and cheek (remember, you will be shadow boxing, there is no contact with resistance pad or punching bag).
Uppercuts: Uppercuts are to be thrown with rear hands, targeted towards opponent’s chin from downside.
The roundhouse kick, front-kick and side-kick are the types of kicks that you learn during cardio kickboxing routines.
Front-Kick: Stand facing your opponent. With your back leg, you have to deliver a front-kick into the opponent’s trunk (chest, stomach or groin), which is just like slamming the door shut with your back-kick.
Back-Kick: Imagine the target advancing from side. Bend the leg in the knee, turn it slightly and deliver the kick, as if striking him with the heel.
Side-Kick: Side-kick is delivered by the front leg. Raise the front leg straight up but sideways and to full extent, to deliver the kick.
Roundhouse Kick: Stand with your side facing the opponent and lift your front leg, bend the knee and throw a kick in one hard motion.
Cardio kickboxing workout can be a part of cardio workouts at home as you don’t need any equipment. You may master the kickboxing moves, step by step, depending upon your level of preparation and your strength. Some of the advanced kickboxing moves may require more skill, coordination and maneuvering.
Sample Cardio Kickboxing Routine
First step – 2 sharp jabs
Second step – a Cross
Third step – a hook
Final step – an upper jab
People generally attend classes of cardio kickboxing for a few days. They enjoy performing exercises in groups or classes. But they do not continue with it at home. Once you learn the moves, you should practice the moves on your own. You can even design various combinations of punches and kicks, after watching actual kickboxing videos. Just see to it that combination strikes are thrown quickly, without any pauses. Then only, the exercise can be effective and useful. You may try different combinations of all the basic strikes. This kind of exercise should be performed for at least two minutes. It should exhibit speed and power.
If you include intensive aerobic moves in your kickboxing exercises, it can help you burn as much as 500 – 800 calories per hour and as an added benefit, it can boost your confidence to defend yourself during a real world combat situation. Although cardio kickboxing cannot be regarded as training for practical combat situations, it can be considered as great stress-relieving exercise. Consistency, power and precision can help shape your abs and improve your cardiovascular fitness. This is the best way to improve your endurance. Exercising on a treadmill may seem to be monotonous but cardio kickboxing, which involves fast reflexes and power can be fun! This type of exercise can not only invigorate your body, but it can also energize your mind. Moreover, it can be both energizing and relaxing simultaneously. You can be lean and strong from shoulders to calves, building up self-confidence and a positive self-image.