Whether it's dealing with quarantine fatigue or trying to process senseless acts of racial violence, a lot of us are dealing with an overabundance of anger. Exercise helps you channel that restless, irritable energy in a healthy way. And kickboxing tops the list of rage-releasing workouts.
"Oftentimes, people hold frustration and stress inside, and they struggle to express it in words," says Sandy Liang, personal trainer and boxing instructor. But when you're kickboxing, "it allows us to express ourselves in a controlled and safe environment," she says. That's because you can unload your fury on the bag without hurting anyone.
If you're new to fight-centric workouts, it's crucial to find a class or instructor that allows you to feel supported, Liang says. But more importantly, your exercise experience should be as fun and motivating as it is challenging.
Here are three free cardio kickboxing videos that'll help you blow off some steam and break a serious sweat in the process.
1. IntensityX3 Fitness Kickboxing and Core Workout
The next best thing to being at your favorite kickboxing studio, this 30-minute workout includes a full-body warm-up featuring squats, lunges, fire hydrants and plank shoulder taps to train you train from head to toe — with a special emphasis on your core.
If you're all about busting that bag, you'll love this bag-centric routine, which not only offers stress relief but also serves up some serious physical benefits, too. And though having a heavy bag on hand to kick and punch is ideal, it's not necessary for this workout. You can shadowbox as you follow along for similar stress-busting experience.
"Boxing gives the body an amazing challenge," says Liang, who touts endurance, lean muscle and hand-eye coordination as the biggest benefits of boxing.
In fact, people who trained in kickboxing for five weeks exhibited significant gains in upper-body muscle power, aerobic power, anaerobic fitness, flexibility, speed and agility, according to a March 2014 study in Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal.
2. Kickass Kickboxing Workout by Keaira LaShae
Many of us haven't found an effective outlet to relieve pent-up frustration, Liang says. But through workouts like these, you can jab, cross and kick your way to a healthier mindset and slash your stress level.
This half-hour, calorie-crushing kickboxing workout by Keaira LaShae will certainly kick your butt. And if you're a newbie or prefer low-impact, LaShae includes modifications, so you can go as fast or as slow as you need.
One thing's for sure: By the end of this kickboxing session, you'll feel fitter and more empowered to handle the things that cause you stress (hello, feel-good endorphins!).
3. GymRa Cardio Kickboxing Workout
In boxing and kickboxing, "you are constantly moving, which will help improve one's cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance," Liang says.
To build even more stamina, boxers sometimes train with jump rope drills similar to the heart-pumping moves you'll find in this 30-minute, high-intensity cardio kickboxing workout by Natalie Yco of GymRa.
Between one-minute jump rope intervals and kickboxing combos, your heart rate will stay ramped up during the entire workout as you torch calories. Just be sure to "keep your knees soft, abs engaged and land light" when you jump rope, Yco says. This will help your body absorb the shock on your knee joints and reduce potential injury.