Kickboxing is a fun but challenging series of exercises that combines various martial arts and traditional boxing. Through kicks, jabs and punches, you will get a total body workout that can burn up to 450 calories per hour for an average-size woman. Many gyms offer kickboxing classes, but you can easily do free workouts at home following these routines. If you really like the idea of punching something, you can invest in a heavy punching bag for the garage, but it’s not necessary to achieve your kickboxing fitness goals.
Get your heart pumping, and then stretch your muscles before you move onto the kicks and jabs of a kickboxing routine. Simple, old-fashioned jumping jacks are a good way to get warmed up. Do at least 50, but aim for two minutes.
Bend down from a standing position, and touch your toes about 20 times. Stretch your neck from side to side, placing your hand on the side of your head to deepen the stretch. Warm up the arms and shoulders by doing arm circles and arm swings.
Warm up your hamstrings and quadriceps. Lie on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Grab one thigh from behind and pull your straight leg toward your body gently. Repeat three to five times on both legs. In a standing position -- using a wall for balance if you want -- grab your ankle and gently pull your heel up behind you until you feel the stretch in the front of your thigh, or quad.
Jabs, Crosses and Uppercuts
Stand with your right foot forward, in basic boxing stance. Extend right arm forward into a jab, while rotating your right hip forward as well. Retract the arm quickly. Continue motion for about one minute. Repeat on the left side. Don’t rest between sides to get that heart rate up for maximum cardio benefit. Remember that while this is a fast punch, it needs to be controlled.
Begin in basic boxing stance, with right foot forward. This time instead of straight jabs, you will be crossing over. Stand with right foot forward, but turn your left hip, knee and foot toward the right side as you punch toward your right side. Retract the arm quickly. The motion should engage your core. Repeat for one minute on each side.
Begin in basic boxing stance, with left foot forward. This time instead of straight or cross jabs, you will be punching upward. Bend both knees as you drop your right fist slightly. Twist your hips to the left and thrust your fist upward, with your knuckles facing the ceiling. Return to starting stance quickly. Repeat for one minute on each side.
Front, Back and Roundhouse Kicks
Begin in basic boxing stance, with left foot forward. Shift your weight to your right foot, while bringing your left knee up to the chest with your foot flexed. Kick straight out from the hip, leading with your heel, then recoil immediately. Do this front kick for 30 seconds on each side. Consider doing a minute of jumping jacks between each set of kick styles to keep your cardio level up.
Stand in basic boxing stance with left foot forward. Raise your right knee toward the front, bringing your heel toward your glutes, then kick back in a sharp movement, leading with the heel. Engage your core for a controlled but fast motion. Watch that you don't arch your back too much, tucking your tailbone under as you complete the back kick.
Stand in basic boxing stance with left foot forward. You will be doing a roundhouse kick, or circular kick that moves in an arc. Bring your right leg out to the side, opening your hip flexor to the right. Kick your foot forward with a rapid motion forward, primarily moving your calf, swinging from knee to toe. Do 30 seconds on each side.
- Fitness Magazine: Kickboxing Workout: Sculpt Muscles and Blast Fat
- ACE Fitness: ACE Research Team Counts Calories, Confirms Benefits of Cardio Kickboxing
- “The Ultimate Fitness Boxing & Kickboxing Workout”; Ross O’Donnell; 2005
- MayoClinic.com: A Guide to 10 Basic Stretches
- ActivePhysioClinic.com: Stretching Guide for Kickboxing