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What Is Kenpo X in P90X?

by 
author image Dustin Bogle
Dustin Bogle is an experienced personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutritionist and fitness article writer. His articles have been featured in "Daily Press" newspaper and "Fresh Ink" newspaper.
What Is Kenpo X in P90X?
What Is Kenpo X in P90X? Photo Credit: tankist276/iStock/GettyImages

Kenpo X is included in P90X as a high-intensity cardiovascular workout. With its fast-paced punching and kicking combinations, Kenpo X burns calories and improves balance, endurance, flexibility and coordination. Tony Horton, the creator of P90X, guides you through each exercise and instructs you how to perform each movement with precision and control.

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History of Kenpo Karate

Kenpo, which translates as "fist law," is a Japanese martial art thought to have been brought over from China several hundred years ago. In World War II it traveled to Hawaii, where it was practiced and taught by masters including William K.S. Chow. Under Chow's tutelage, native Hawaiin Ed Parker became an adept teacher himself and brought the art to mainland U.S., where he opened a studio. This was allegedly the first karate studio in America.

The Workout

The Kenpo X workout begins with a long warm-up that primes your body for the intense workout ahead. During the next 45 minutes, you'll perform different types of punches, kicks and blocks in various combinations. You'll get a few water breaks, but otherwise it's non-stop action. The last 5 minutes of the routine are a cool-down period. Kenpo X is one of the few P90X workouts that don’t require exercise equipment; only your body weight is needed.

Read more: Is P90x a Good Workout for Beginners?

Benefits of Kenpo X

Kenpo X is a non-stop cardiovascular workout that will increase your aerobic endurance, burn calories and promote heart health. This martial arts-inspired routine will give a well-rounded core workout, since you will utilize your abs to lift your legs during kicks, and twist the obliques during punches.

Quickly shifting directions improves explosive power and balance, and the hand and footwork involved will improve your coordination. Stretching before and after will increase flexibility. At the same time, you'll learn effective moves for defending yourself from physical attacks.

Increasing Intensity

If you've performed the Kenpo X workout multiple times and would like to ramp up the intensity you can wear weighted gloves, which will increase the difficulty of each punch and increase your calorie burn. Beginners should not increase intensity until they feel that they have become proficient in their punches, kicks and combos.

Read more: P90X Workout Program Pros & Cons

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