Kickboxing Workout: Sculpt Muscles and Blast Fat
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Fitness

Kickboxing Workout: Sculpt Muscles and Blast Fat

Kickboxing is an easy way to lose weight, burn calories and get stronger. Knock out boredom and blast fat all over with these muscle-sculpting kickboxing exercise moves.

Why We Love Kickboxing

  • Burns an average of 500 calories an hour (some estimates reach 810)
  • Targets your arms, shoulders, abs, thighs, and butt in one workout
  • It's an amazing stress release (how often do you get to pretend you're beating up your archenemy?)

Workout designed by Ilaria Montagnani, creator of Powerstrike kickboxing and a black belt in karate.

 

1. Jab

This is a straight punch; if the right foot is in front, the right hand is jabbing.

Imaginary Target: Nose

  • Stand with right foot forward in fighting stance.
  • Rotate right hip forward, extending right arm.
  • Twist forearm so the fist is parallel to the floor at full extension, arm in line with shoulder.
  • Recoil immediately.

Quick Tip: Jabs are fast, surprise punches, so strike as quickly as possible with control.

Fighting Stance

  • Stand with feet staggered, knees slightly bent, rear heel lifted.
  • Bring fists to chin, elbows near ribs, palms facing each other.

 

2. Cross

A straight punch thrown from the rear hand, so if your right foot is in front, your left hand does a cross.

Imaginary Target: Nose

  • Stand with right foot forward in fighting stance.
  • Turn left foot, knee and hip to the right at the same time, followed by the left shoulder and left arm.
  • Twist your forearm so your fist is horizontal at full extension; don't lock your elbow.
  • Recoil and return to fighting stance immediately.

Quick Tip: The force of the cross originates from the hips. By using your core, you'll pack a more powerful punch.

 

3. Hook

Punch in a circular motion, thrown with the lead hand.

Imaginary Targets: Ear, Cheek

  • Stand with left foot forward in fighting stance.
  • Pivot on the ball of your left foot, turning left knee, hip, shoulder, and arm simultaneously as you punch from left to right.
  • Bring left forearm parallel to floor, thumb up; keep right fist by face.
  • Recoil immediately and return to fighting stance.

Quick Tip: To get the pivoting motion correct, think of putting out a cigarette under the ball of your foot.

 

4. Uppercut

Punch in an upward thrust with the fist pointing at the ceiling.

Imaginary Target: Chin

  • Stand with your left foot forward in fighting stance.
  • Drop your right hand slightly and bend both knees, then twist your hips to the left as you thrust your right fist straight up and slightly forward with knuckles facing the ceiling and palm facing body.
  • Keep your left fist by your face.
  • Recoil immediately and return to fighting stance.

Quick Tip: To generate more force, drive the punch from your legs up. Don't punch up beyond the tip of your nose.

 

5. Front Kick

A jab with the heel of the foot; can be done with either leg.

Imaginary Targets: Knee, Groin, Chest

  • Stand with left foot forward and fists by face in fighting stance, then shift your weight to right foot.
  • Bring left knee up to the chest, foot flexed, heel close to the glutes (not shown).
  • Keep fists up and kick straight out from the hip as if you were punching with your heel; retract immediately and return to fighting stance.

Quick Tip: Picture slamming a door open with your foot.

 

6. Roundhouse Kick

A circular kick (your leg moves in an arc). Montagnani recommends doing it with the front leg because it puts less stress on the opposite knee.

Imaginary Targets: Knee, Obliques, Head

  • Stand with right foot forward in fighting stance.
  • Bend right knee, bringing heel toward glutes, and pivot on left foot, turning hips to left (not shown).
  • Strike from right to left in an arc with right foot, extending kick from knee, toes pointed.
  • Retract and return to fighting stance.

Quick Tip: Imagine slapping target with your shoelaces.

 

7. Side Kick

This kick is the strongest, because the force comes from the glutes. Keep your foot flexed as you kick out.

Imaginary Targets: Torso, Chest

  • Stand with your left foot forward in fighting stance.
  • Turn hips to the right, and pivot right toes out slightly.
  • Lift your left knee toward the chest, keeping your foot flexed (not shown).
  • Forcefully extend the left leg out to the left side, pushing through the heel while counterbalancing by leaning your entire upper body toward the right.
  • Keep hands in fists near face. Retract the kick and immediately return to fighting stance.

Quick Tip: Think of kicking through target with heel.

 

10-Minute Fat-Burning Routine

Practice each combination in this 10-minute fat blaster slowly at first, then increase your speed as the routine becomes more familiar. For more of a challenge, vary the height of your kicks and punches. Do it twice and you'll burn about 170 calories.

Minutes: Combination Moves:
0:00–2:00

Jab, cross, hook, uppercut lead with left (30 seconds each)

2:00–4:00

Jab, cross, hook, uppercut lead with right (30 seconds each)

4:00–5:00 Front kick (30 seconds each, left and right)
5:00–6:00 Roundhouse kick (30 seconds each, left and right)
6:00–7:00 Side kick (30 seconds each, left and right)
7:00–7:30

Combination (left foot forward): Jab (L), uppercut (R), front kick (L)

7:30–8:00

Combination (right foot forward): Jab (R), uppercut (L), front kick (R)

8:00–8:30

Combination (left foot forward): Jab (L), cross (R), roundhouse (L)

8:30–9:00

Combination (right foot forward): Jab (R), cross (L), roundhouse (R)

 

More Self-Defense Workouts to Try

If you like kickboxing, you'll love...

Krav Maga: Developed by the Israeli Defense forces. You'll learn such self-defense skills as fending off chokes, grabs, and bear hugs.

Forza: This killer routine, developed by Ilaria Montagnani, blends elements of Kendo and Iaido using wooden swords.

Capoeira: Created by Brazilian slaves, this noncontact discipline is known for its flying kicks, incredible acrobatics, and gravity-defying movements.

Budokon: This unique blend of yoga, martial arts, and meditation, created by Cameron Shayne, is billed as a more holistic form of martial arts.

 
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