What is Cardio Kickboxing?
Cardio kickboxing combines elements of boxing, martial arts, and aerobics to provide a total body conditioning and toning class. It incorporates a variety of kicks and punches, typically performed to upbeat music. Depending on the instructor, classes may incorporate jump rope or other conditioning drills, such as jumping jacks, football shuffles, and running in place. There are a few versions of cardio kickboxing, including Turbojam® and TaeBo®, that offer kickboxing videos.
Choosing an Instructor
When searching for classes, look for a qualified, certified instructor with at least a general group fitness certification, such as ACE or AFAA. Some instructors may have also completed a kickboxing specific certification. Because teaching styles vary, it is important to find an instructor who meets your individual needs.
Your First Class
One of the most important parts of cardio kickboxing is your stance. The instructor should go over the proper way to stand to balance your body and maximize the power of your kicks and punches. A typical stance is with feet shoulder-width apart at a slight angle (one foot set back from the other). Fists should be made with the thumbs on the outsides of the fingers and arms should be in the ready position with hands besides the cheeks to guard the face. This is the ready stance you will typically return to after each punch or kick. The punches typically are the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut, and the most popular kicks are the front kick, side kick, and roundhouse. The class will start with a warm-up, focusing on learning the proper form and technique of different punches and kicks, progress to a cardio section, where different kicks and punches will be combined, and end with a cool-down and stretch. The majority of classes are done without special equipment, but some instructors may implement a toning segment and utilize hand weights, resistance tubing, or other strength-building equipment.
What to Wear/Bring
Wear something that allows you to stay cool and comfortable, such as shorts, a tank top, or T-shirt. There are specially designed cross-trainers or aerobic shoes you may want to purchase that provide the support you need for aerobic classes. Be certain to bring water with you to class and hydrate before, during, and after the workout.