What is Aerobic Kickboxing?

B. Miller

Aerobic kickboxing, also known as cardio kickboxing, is a workout that combines elements of martial arts, boxing, and aerobics into a high-impact, high-intensity program that is quite popular in gyms. Some experts state that aerobic kickboxing can burn between 500 and 800 calories per hour, while increasing strength, stamina, and flexibility. Many women also use kickboxing as a way to increase their self-defense abilities.

Aerobic kickboxing utilizes jumping jacks.
Aerobic kickboxing utilizes jumping jacks.

Aerobic kickboxing incorporates boxing moves, such as kicking, punching, and striking with the knees, into an aerobic program of rapid stepping, squats, and jumping jacks, among others. Many cardio kickboxing classes are structured similarly, with ten to 15 minutes of active warm-ups, followed by 30 to 45 minutes of kickboxing, and then a cool-down period of approximately ten minutes.

Hydration is an important part of staying healthy while exercising.
Hydration is an important part of staying healthy while exercising.

During warm-ups, instructors may ask participants to stretch the muscles as well as get the heart rate up by jogging in place, doing jumping jacks, or even doing crunches or push ups. Cool-down usually consists of slower moves to slow the heart down, as well as more stretching to prevent muscle tightening and injury. When practicing aerobic kickboxing at home, it is very important to incorporate warm-up and cool-down periods into each workout.

Women use kickboxing as a way to increase their self-defense abilities.
Women use kickboxing as a way to increase their self-defense abilities.

Aerobic kickboxing is solely an independent, cardiovascular activity, and will not feature sparring or any type of fighting with other people. Some gyms may incorporate tools such as punching bags or jump ropes into their programs. Before taking a cardio kickboxing class, it is important to assess one's existing level of physical fitness, and perhaps observe a class first. It is typically not a good idea to jump right in to a kickboxing class without first building up some aerobic endurance by taking a more standard aerobics class, or performing some activities at home, such as walking or jogging. Checking with a doctor before starting any new exercise program may be a good idea as well.

Unlike traditional kickboxing, aerobic kickboxing features no sparring.
Unlike traditional kickboxing, aerobic kickboxing features no sparring.

Whether taking an aerobic kickboxing class at a gym, or watching a video or DVD, it is important to perform each move exactly as instructed. It is easy to kick or punch too hard and overextend a muscle, damage a joint, or twist an ankle or knee. For that reason, it is extremely important to start slowly, be patient, and understand the limits of one's body. Most gyms and DVDs offer classes or exercise programs at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, which gradually get more intense and fast-paced as the knowledge and strength of their participants increases. In addition, remember to always stay hydrated when exercising.

Doing push ups can be a good warm up prior to aerobic kickboxing.
Doing push ups can be a good warm up prior to aerobic kickboxing.
Kickboxing can be used as a way to increase self-defense abilities.
Kickboxing can be used as a way to increase self-defense abilities.

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Discussion Comments

anon965928

"Women use kickboxing as a way to increase their self-defense abilities."

You need sparring to learn that kind of stuff. So why point at self-defense when describing aerobic/cardio kickboxing?

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