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Kickboxing Moves and Exercises

Two types of kickboxing are popular in the United States. One involves actually fighting an opponent, and the other does not. Known as aerobic or cardiovascular kickboxing, the latter form combines boxing, martial arts and aerobics to provide a cardiovascular workout. This workout can burn 350 to 450 calories during a 50-minute class, according to the American Council on Exercise.

Basic Stance

Before moving on to kicks and punches, learn the basic stance for kickboxing. Face forward with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your toes will point forward, slightly angled outward, and your knees should be soft. At no point should you ever lock your knees or elbows during kickboxing. Put your arms into the "defense position," with your elbows bent and your arms in front of your shoulders. Clench your hands into fists and place them in front of your chin. Keep your abdominal muscles tight.

Kicks

To complete a side kick, stand in the defense position with your target to your right. Lift your right knee up toward your left shoulder and kick in the direction of your target. If you are kicking an actual object or person, strike it with the outside of your foot or heel. Repeat the move with your other leg.

For a front kick, face forward in the defense position. Lift your knee up so it is perpendicular with the hip and straighten your knee to kick forward. Strike your target with the heel of your foot, leaning your torso backward slightly if necessary.

Jabs

To complete a forward jab, begin in the defense position. Punch forward with your fist, twisting the arm so your knuckles go forward to hit your target, whether it be a punching bag, a person or a point in space while watching yourself in the mirror. Maintain a straight alignment from your shoulder to your hand and keep your elbow close to your body, which adds force to the punch.

To do a cross jab, start in the defense position. Complete the same move as a forward jab, but twist your torso and hip to the side so you jab to the side. Keep your knees and toes in alignment to avoid injury.

Uppercut Punch

Stand in the defense position. Lower your fist and swing it back up as if you are punching the target under the chin. As the arm comes up, slightly pivot your hip for extra force. Keep the punch close to the front of the body.

Combinations

Combine these basic moves to create a cardio workout program. These routines are typically done to music with a upbeat tempo.

One possible combination starts in a basic stance. Start with a series of repetitive jabs. Do four jabs with the right arm, then four jabs with the left arm. Repeat this combination three times until you are used to the movements, then change it up. Do three jabs with the right arm and replace the four jab with a front kick. Repeat on the other side.

Another combination also starts in a basic stance and works your arm muscles. Jab with your right arm, uppercut with your left arm, uppercut with your right arm and finish by jabbing with your left arm. Repeat this combination until you feel your arm muscles getting sore.

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About the Author

Kelsey Casselbury is a freelance writer and editor based in central Maryland. Her clients have included Livestrong, School Nutrition magazine, What's Up? Media, American Academy of Clinical Chemistry, SmartBrief and more. She has a formal education in personal training/nutrition and a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Pennsylvania State University.

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