It’s one of the best exercises around. Everyone knows that getting your heart rate up and keeping it up for a sustained period of time is what enables people to become and stay fit, and kickboxing may be one of the most demanding exercises around.
In this video, Cheryl Cullina is encouraging viewers to try kickboxing. She’s taught group fitness classes for over 20 years and is certified in a number of different disciplines, one of which is cardio kickboxing. This isn’t fighting: it’s non-contact, is meant only to be exercise, so it’s fine for the whole family to do.
One of the really great things about this exercise is that you don’t need any equipment! You can choose to use a jump-rope, but it’s not absolutely necessary. So it’s a great sport with no financial investment!
But the benefits aren’t just financial. Cardio kickboxing will improve and strengthen your cardiovascular system—in other words, it will strengthen your heart. But there’s more: cardio kickboxing improves balance, flexibility, and joint health. Like many other exercises, it reduces stress. And because there’s no contact with anyone else, it’s safe. Those are benefits that will help you stay healthy and fit, get more out of life, experience less anxiety, and live longer. And best of all, the more you work out, the more energy you’ll get!
While there’s no special equipment required, you do want to be sure to wear clothing that’s comfortable and that moves with you. Nothing too tight or too baggy! You want to pay special attention to your shoes and make sure that they give you as much support as possible: good running shoes are an option. And of course, as with any exercise program, it’s critical that you have a conversation with your doctor before starting. You want to make sure that the exercise helps you, and it can’t do that if it would be harmful. Make sure especially that your heart is strong enough for a vigorous exercise program. You can do these exercises inside or outside, though if you’re doing them inside you’re going to want to move all potential obstacles (furniture, toys, etc.) well out of the way. Finally, always start any exercise by warming up: cold muscles are easily injured. So put on some peppy music if you’d like and do some step-touches, roll your shoulders backward and forward, even do some gentle squats. The best warm-up is one that moves every part of your body but does so in a gentle, undemanding way.
There are two major components to cardio kickboxing: the kick and the punch.
There’s the front kick (composed of a knee lift and a push with the ball of the foot0, the side kick (turning the foot of the standing leg, off to the side to protect the ankle and the knee), the back kick (starting in a cannonball position, you sit into your heels, your knee into your chest), and the roundhouse (a circular kick).
Punches include the job, the cross, the hook punch, and the upper-cut punch.